Drug Czar Nominee, Rep. Tom Marino, Led Effort to Undermine Opioid Abuse Fight.

President Trump declined to say Monday whether he’d continue to back his nominee for drug czar, Republican Congress member Tom Marino, after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found Marino spearheaded a drug industry-backed effort to weaken federal government’s ability to crack down on the opioid epidemic. The legislation, backed by Rep. Marino and passed in 2016, made it nearly impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to intervene in cases where large, suspicious shipments of opioids are delivered to pharmacies bound for the black market. The Washington Post reports the drug industry lobbied heavily to win passage of the bill, contributing $1.5 million to its 23 congressional co-sponsors. Among them was Congress member Marino, who accepted nearly $100,000 in campaign cash from the industry. Drug overdose deaths—primarily from opioid abuse—surged in the U.S. last year to nearly 60,000, becoming the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

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And, the league reacts and unites in reaction to Comrade Trump’s comments.

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This weekend, the professional sports world was rocked by widespread protests against racism, police brutality and President Trump. On Sunday, members of the majority of all National Football League teams took the knee or locked arms during the national anthem, or even sat out the anthem entirely. Professional baseball players, WNBA players, cheerleaders and national anthem singers also protested on Sunday. The weekend of defiance came after Trump lashed out at players who have joined a growing protest movement started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick against racial injustice. This is Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday evening.

President Donald Trump: “Luther and I and everyone in this arena tonight are unified by the same great American values. We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’?”

Why we all love Senator John McCain

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On Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers are scrambling to save their latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, after it looks like they will again fail to secure enough votes to pass the legislation. On Friday, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain announced he will not support the Graham-Cassidy bill. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul also opposes the legislation, and Maine Senator Susan Collins, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have all indicated they may vote against the bill. Top Republicans have revised the legislation to add additional benefits for Alaska and Maine in efforts to woo Senators Murkowski’s and Collins’s votes.

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Trump NFL row: US president denies comments were race-related

Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!

 

US President Donald Trump has said his comments about national anthem protests have “nothing to do with race”.

A number of sports players and teams demonstrated during the US national anthem over the weekend.

Demonstrations against racial injustice and police violence began last year but intensified after Mr Trump said players who failed to stand should be fired or suspended.

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New surge in migrants crossing US-Canada border

A cab drops off a couple of asylum seekers at the US/Canada border near Champlain, New York cabs regularly drop off asylum seekers on the US side of the border

More than 5,700 asylum seekers crossed illegally from the US into Canada last month, a rise of almost 80 percent on July, government figures show.

Canada has seen a surge of refugee claimants in recent months, especially into the province of Quebec.

Crossings have increased relatively steadily since January.

There were 5,712 people intercepted by the Mounties last month at the Canada-US border, bringing this year’s total to 13,211.

In Manitoba, 80 people were intercepted after crossing the border. In British Columbia, 102 people were stopped.

But the vast majority – 5,530 – crossed into Quebec in the first part of the month, where people can easily cross a ditch at the end of a rural New York state road into Canada.

The influx into the predominantly French-speaking province was led by Haitians who had been living legally in the US, protected by a programme that extended temporary protection from deportation to Haitian citizens after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

The Trump administration has hinted it will not extend that protection when it expires in January 2018.

US sends 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan

In August President Trump said: “We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists”

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says the US will send 3,000 extra troops to Afghanistan as the Taliban gain ground and security deteriorates.

American combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014, but over 8,000 US special forces remain in the country backing Afghan troops.

US President Donald Trump last month signalled he would keep US boots on the ground indefinitely.

The Taliban pledged to turn Afghanistan into a “graveyard” for foreign forces.

 

During the Obama administration, he repeatedly called for the US to withdraw from Afghanistan.

But once he became a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Mr Trump modified his stance.