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.
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!’?”
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.
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.