Thousands Flee Bali's Mount Agung After Volcano Threat Level Is Raised

Mount Agung volcano, seen at sunrise in Bali, Indonesia, could erupt soon, say authorities.

Firdia Lisnawati/AP

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Firdia Lisnawati/AP

Residents, tourists and climbers are being told to stay far away from Mount Agung, a large volcano in Bali where hundreds of shallow volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in recent days. The volcano’s last eruption, in 1963, killed more than 1,000 people.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the alarm on Friday.

“The disaster mitigation agency said 48,540 people had fled and the number was expected to rise because more than 60,000 people lived in the danger zone,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Agung is the highest point in Bali. An eruption would likely bring deadly threats from a rain of heavy ash, as well as from pyroclastic flares (volcanic stones) and pyroclastic flows (lava).

As the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program reminds us, “A VEI 5 eruption during 1963-64 produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and resulted in more than 1,100 deaths.”

The government has imposed a 12 kilometer (7.5 miles) exclusion, or “danger zone” around the volcano, according to the Associated Press.People who live in the area are being warned to prepare masks and other gear that could protect their nose, mouth and eyes.

The U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.K. have issued travel advisories, warning its citizens of the danger.

“If an eruption occurs, there is considerable disaster potential. This can happen because today many people live in disaster prone areas. In addition, people around Mount Agung also do not have enough experience to face the eruption of Mount Agung because this volcano last erupted in 1963 (54 years ago),” said Indonesia’s volcano monitoring body, MAGMA, as quoted by Australia’s

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'You Have To Try': Puerto Ricans, Without Power, Find Ways Forward

Edwin Delgado Rivera stands behind the counter of his oyster shack in Loiza, Puerto Rico, which sustained heavy damage by the destructive path of Hurricane Maria.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

Outside of his little business on the side of the road in a small town in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Santiago Quiñones adjusts a small solar panel.

It’s charging a floodlight, to illuminate the cramped space at night. He takes it down and demonstrates how it works. “You can’t see right now because it’s daylight, but it’s already charged,” he says in Spanish.

Like everyone else in Puerto Rico, 73-year-old Quiñones has lost access to the power grid. His house was also badly damaged by floodwaters when Hurricane Maria swept over the island.

Santiago Quiñones Escalera, 73, sits on an air mattress he and his wife are sleeping on in Loiza , Puerto Rico, which sustained heavy damage by the destructive path of Hurricane Maria. Quiñones owns the bar/restaurant in front of the ocean and he decided he and his wife should ride the storm out there. Fortunately the building held up. They use a generator and solar-powered lighting.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

So he and his wife are living across the street, using a bed set up in his shop, which survived the storm with relatively minor damage. They have a generator powering, among other things, a TV in their makeshift bedroom. And to help see at night there’s the solar panel and some rechargeable battery-powered lights.

They bought the light three months ago “for the storms,” Quiñones says. They’d heard it could be a dangerous hurricane season this year.

All over the island, people are facing the challenging task of recovering from the damage wrought by Maria — and simultaneously grappling with a power outage that won’t be over for weeks at the least.

In the streets of Loiza and Rio Grande, municipalities just east of San Juan, the daunting scale of the problem is easy to see.


Power lines dangle dangerously across coastal roads. Dozens of wooden telephone poles, in a continuous line, have toppled to the ground. Concrete power poles have snapped completely in half.

The effect on the island is visible from space — at night, Puerto Rico has gone dark. The only light comes from buildings with generators.

And inside the dark spots on the map, people are trying to cope with whatever they have left.

Fisherman Justino Rodriguez Rivera, 53, washes clothes with water from a well in Loiza, Puerto Rico, which sustained heavy damage by the destructive path of Hurricane Maria. Rodriguez and his wife evacuated to their church.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

In Torrecilla Baja, in Loiza, fisherman Justino Rodriguez Rivera, 56, is washing clothes — by hand — outside his daughter’s house. His own home was destroyed in the hurricane, the roof ripped off completely.

“My clothes, my wife’s clothes,” he says in Spanish. “Trying to save a little bit of clothing so not all of it goes bad. Imagine that … I lost everything else.”

He fills another bucket with well water and carries it from one stoop to another.

A little to the south, in Canovanas, retired boxing instructor Jose Torres, 72, is sleeping on a chair in his balcony. It’s too hot inside the house without power.

During the path of Hurricane Maria, Jose Torres kept repositioning the gas jugs behind him as the water rose inside his house. He is a diabetic and lost all his medications when his two-story house was flooded up to seven feet.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

He lost all his medicine when his home flooded. He has diabetes and hasn’t tested his blood sugar in days. He’s trying to eat consistently to keep his blood sugar in check — but it’s hard, because their stove relied on power and the food in the fridge all spoiled.

“All the meat, we threw it away. Or — we didn’t throw it away, we cooked it for the dogs,” he said. “The dogs are eating better than me now,” he says.

“I’ve got some bananas and yautia,” he said, referring to a root vegetable that grows in the Carribbean. “My sister gave me a gas [stove] and my wife cooked rice yesterday,” he said.

Jose Torres’s rearranges some of the photos he was able to save in his home.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

“The whole [of] Puerto Rico is like this,” he says. “I don’t think we’re the only ones like this … We will survive.”

Amparo Ventura is sitting outside her restaurant, Puerta del Mar, in the coastal town of Piñones. She had a plan. She has a generator and enough fuel to last for days. But that’s not enough to bring nearby residents, many of whom have lost cars or lack fuel, venturing out on the sand-covered road along the coast.

The only people in the parking lot are employees clearing away debris.

Jose Torres’s backyard after Hurricane Maria.

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Angel Valentin for NPR

The hardest thing after the storm, Ventura said, was that she didn’t have any work to offer her employees, and couldn’t pay them.

“I want them to have the money for their families.” she said. “This week we did the impossible,” she says — that is, they opened. “But it was hard.”

Now, her generator is running. Her lights were on. Her doors were open for anybody who could make it.

“I’m here trying,” she said.

“There aren’t many customers, but you have to try.”

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Puerto Rico's Arecibo Radio Telescope Suffers Hurricane Damage

Until it was surpassed recently by a similar instrument in China, the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, completed in 1963, was the world’s single largest.

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Seth Shostak/AP

When Hurricane Maria raked Puerto Rico last week as a Category 4 storm, it cut off electricity and communications island-wide, including at the Arecibo Observatory, one of the world’s largest radio telescopes.

Initial reports, received via ham radio, indicated significant damage to some of the facility’s scientific instruments. But Nicholas White, a senior vice president at the Universities Space Research Association, which helps run the observatory, tells NPR that the latest information is that a secondary 40-foot dish, thought destroyed, is still intact: “There was some damage to it, but not a lot,” he says.

“So far, the only damage that’s confirmed is that one of the line feeds on the antenna for one of the radar systems was lost,” White says. That part was suspended high above the telescope’s main 1,000-foot dish, which lost some panels when it shook loose and fell down.

As all this was happening, the observatory’s staff sheltered in place. Reports are that everyone is OK. On Sunday, the team managed to post a defiant message to Facebook showing two of the staff displaying an outstretched Puerto Rican flag, with the giant dish in the background.

The observatory, which was used as the backdrop for the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995) and the 1997 movie Contact, starring Jodie Foster, was built in 1963 and has a number of firsts to its credit: it found the first planets around other stars, was the first to image an asteroid and discovered more exotic objects, such as the first binary pulsar.

And then there’s the Arecibo Message, a famous signal sent from the radio telescope to M13, a global cluster some 25,000 light years away. For any sentient extraterrestrials there, it describes who we are and where the signal comes from. (Don’t hold your breath though, as it’ll be at least 50,000 years before we get an answer).

One of Arecibo’s primary areas of research is near-Earth objects, or NEOs, those asteroids and asteroid-like chunks of rock that pass uncomfortably close.

Lance Benner, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Ca., who studies NEOs, has traveled to Arecibo dozens of times and tells NPR it’s probably the best place anywhere to do such research.

“Arecibo just has unparalleled sensitivity as a radar facility,” he says. “It is by far the most sensitive planetary radar in the world.”

But the aging facility’s funding from the National Science Foundation has been under review for the past few years, and it’s unclear how the cost of any repairs might affect that discussion.

Jim Ulvestad, acting assistant director for the National Science Foundation’s directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at NSF, tells NPR that Arecibo is doing “excellent science.”

However, “if you look at the overall sweep of things that we’re funding, we do have to make choices and we can’t keep funding everything that’s excellent.”

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'Millions' Fewer Would Have Coverage Under GOP Health Bill, Says CBO Analysis

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., continues to tweak the health care bill he cosponsors in an effort to persuade reluctant senators to back it.

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The proposal the Senate is considering that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will result in millions losing health insurance and a $133 billion reduction in the deficit by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Graham-Cassidy legislation.

The CBO did not have enough time to estimate specifically how many people’s insurance would be affected as they have done when they have scored previous repeal bills. But, the analysis it released Monday evening says, “the number of people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by millions” compared to current law.

The bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, would dismantle the major components of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Gone would be the subsidies that help people buy insurance, the mandate that requires people to be covered and the expansion of Medicaid.

All the money from those programs would be rolled up and redistributed to states in the form of block grants. Each state would then decide how to spend those funds. Because of that, says the CBO, the number of people who lose health insurance, “could vary widely depending on how states implemented the legislation.”

The bill also changes Medicaid by capping the federal contribution by giving states a fixed amount per person and increasing it at a rate that is slower than health care inflation.

CBO says it can’t do a complete analysis of the plan in the short window requested by lawmakers. Senate Republicans are looking to vote on the bill this week, before a deadline at the end of September would require they get support from Democrats to be able to pass the legislation.

Earlier proposals to overhaul the health care system failed in part because the CBO analyses showed tens of millions of people were likely to lose insurance coverage because of the proposed changes. The major drivers of those losses, according to the CBO, were the loss of the individual mandate that requires people to buy insurance and the rollback of the expansion of Medicaid that was allowed under Obamacare.

The latest proposal includes both provisions, so some analysts say the results will be the same.

“With less money, fewer people will be covered. That’s just math,” says Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in health law. “And since Graham-Cassidy is a lot less money, a lot fewer people will get covered.”

An analysis by the Brookings Institution estimates that about 21 million people would lose coverage under Graham-Cassidy compared to the current law through 2026, and eventually 32 million people would lose it due to the block grant funding changes.

And a separate report by the health care consulting firm Avalere Health estimates that states would lose about $700 billion in federal health care funding over 10 years, and $3.5 trillion over 20 years.

The bill’s sponsors, senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La, introduced a revised bill on Monday. “Whatever the CBO score is will be superseded by another score later this week,” Cassidy said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

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3 GOP Senators Oppose Graham-Cassidy, Effectively Blocking Health Care Bill

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, in a 2013 file photo. They along with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have announced firm opposition to the latest GOP health care bill.

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The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year – it doesn’t have the votes needed to pass the chamber.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she’ll oppose the bill, authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Collins’ decision means three Republicans have now publicly said they are against the bill – and that’s one more than the GOP could afford to lose.

In a statement, Collins said, “Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target.”

Senator Collins opposes Graham-Cassidy health care bills

— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 25, 2017

Cassidy was asked earlier Monday on CNN whether Collins’s opposition would mean it’s over for the bill and said, “Yes, it is.” It’s not clear yet whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would still bring the bill to the floor for a vote now that it’s fate is clear.

Collins has been a steady skeptic of the Republican repeal push all year, regularly raising concerns about how the various repeal incarnations would affect the millions of people who rely on Medicaid, especially in states that chose to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. She had previously indicated she’d likely vote no, but said she’d withhold a final judgement until after the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis.

That analysis came out Monday evening, and found the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $133 billion by 2026, but was only a partial analysis due to the limited time CBO has had to examine it. The analysis does not have specific projections on how the bill would affect coverage, but says “millions” fewer people would be covered as funding decreases for Medicaid, subsidies for exchanges and the elimination of the individual mandate to have coverage.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would transform Medicaid, giving states, not the federal government, control over how the bulk of billions of dollars in funding is spent. It would also allow states to waive key Obamacare regulations and protections, including the bill’s trademark ban on insurance companies charging higher rates to people with preexisting conditions.

Collins joins Arizona Sen. John McCain and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as firm “no” votes on Graham-Cassidy. While Republicans have until Saturday to pass the bill with a simple majority, and Cassidy has already announced changes to the measure’s text, it’s hard to see how any of the three lawmakers change their mind.

President Trump called into the Rick & Bubba Show, a talk radio program in Alabama, to discuss the GOP senate primary happening there on Tuesday and took the opportunity to criticize Republicans as the bill looked imperiled.

“What McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican Party,” Trump said after again criticizing the GOP for campaigning on a promise to repeal Obamacare for seven years. The president also seemed resigned to the bill’s defeat on Monday morning when he said, “So we’re gonna lose two or three votes and that’s the end of that.”

Collins, McCain, and Paul have each voiced separate, fundamental problems with either the bill’s content, or the repeal process as a whole. None of their concerns could be easily fixed by changing funding formulas. What’s more – a move to assuage Paul’s concerns would likely make Collins more opposed, since Paul’s chief complaint is the measure keeps too much of Obamacare in place, and Collins is worried it would erode key protections promised by the law.

Indeed, Paul’s office has already said that, having seen the new amendments, Paul remains opposed to the bill. “My main concern is that the main thing this bill does is reshuffle the money from Democrat states to Republican states but doesn’t fix the problem,” Paul told reporters, calling for more “freedom in the marketplace,” including the ability to buy insurance over state lines and allow people to buy cheaper plans that provide less coverage for care.

Other Republicans are wavering, too. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said over the weekend that he’s not yet ready to publicly support the bill. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski – who along with Collins has been a prominent skeptic of the entire repeal process – hasn’t announced where she stands, either.

Still, given the immense pressure Republicans are facing from their base constituents and conservative donors to repeal Obamacare – not to mention constant criticism from President Trump – the Senate could still proceed to a vote later this week.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley summed up the GOP political calculation in a call with reporters last week. “I could have – maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that we have –you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in a campaign.”

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Rental Firms' Disaster Readiness May Help Usher The Age Of Self-Driving Cars

Cars sit along the street in Houston following Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30. Car rental companies made preparations to move vehicles into affected areas even before the storm hit.

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With more than 1 million autos damaged in recent U.S. hurricanes, car rental firms have had to move vehicles quickly into affected areas. The ability to manage large fleets involves artificial intelligence and data — tools that are keys to a future of self-driving fleets.

Often even before the first rain falls in a hurricane, rental cars are on the way.

Lisa Martini, with Enterprise Holdings, the nation’s largest car rental company, says that in anticipation of this hurricane season, the company started getting ready to send cars. “For example, in Texas we started anticipating the replacement vehicle need … . We brought in about 17,000 vehicles in Texas and that was part of that recovery process,” she says.

First responders, officials, volunteers, residents and reporters need cars in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, Martini says. “We really just understand where the demand is highest and, especially when a disaster hits, we just move those vehicles where they’re needed,” she says.

Enterprise, which also owns the Alamo and National Car Rental brands, has 6,400 locations throughout the U.S. As peak vacation season ended, just before the hurricanes, cars came from as far away a Green Bay, Wis., Seattle and Cape Cod.

That shift could have had an effect on vehicles in, say, Washington state. Martini says that for a couple of days, renters who didn’t have an insurance claim might have had to wait a little bit longer. “The Mustang might have not been where you would have hoped it would have been,” she says.

Chris Brown, executive editor of the trade publication Auto Rental News, says preparing for natural disasters is a part of the DNA of the rental car companies. Moving the 2.1 million vehicles in the rental fleet around the country is a microcosm of what’s to come.

Rental cars may appear low tech on the surface, but Brown says the companies “have the ability to use artificial intelligence now, big data, combined with the collective wisdom of people that have been in the industry for 30 years to understand a customer’s wants and needs.”

Despite their low-tech image, car rentals are the wave of the future. Getting you the car you want, when you want it, for the time you want it will be increasingly important skills to have as cars become autonomous.

Fleet management admittedly is not something the average consumer is likely to think about. We just expect that the Mustang we wanted will be there.

Brown says fleet management is paramount to a successful operation. “But more than that, it only gets more important moving forward into this era of autonomous vehicles,” he adds.

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How Every NFL Team Responded To Trump's National Anthem Protest Comments

Washington Redskins Owner Daniel Synder stands with players during the national anthem before Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

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At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, President Trump expressed his opinion that NFL players who kneel or otherwise take part in protests during the national anthem prior to games should be fired. The president doubled down on those comments over the weekend, tweeting that players “should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country).”

Last year, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. Over the course of the season, other players joined his protest by kneeling, sitting or raising their fists during the anthem.

Kaepernick is not currently employed by any NFL team and has not spoken publicly about his movement in several months. However, other players have continued to protest during the anthem, and Trump’s statements led to widespread protests over the weekend. Most teams stood by their players’ decision to protest. Here’s how the league, individual teams and a few other sports have weighed in:


The National Football League and its Players’ Association both issued statements supporting their players’ rights after Trump’s comments on Friday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump’s remarks “divisive” and said they fail to understand “the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

New NFL statement

— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) September 23, 2017

In his statement, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith expressed support for the rights of the league’s players and said “no man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights.”

NFLPA president Eric Winston called Trump’s comments “a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present,” and said “we will not stop challenging others on how we can all come together to continue to make America the greatest country on earth.”

Many of the league’s players and teams also issued statements or participated in protests prior to this weekend’s games:

Arizona Cardinals

Team President Michael Bidwell issued a statement supporting his players and describing football as “something that has always united us as Americans.” On whether the team would protest before their game Monday night, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker said “if there is anything like that, it’s going to be unified.”

Atlanta Falcons

Two players knelt Sunday, and the team linked arms during the national anthem. Team owner Arthur Blank joined the team on the sidelines and issued a statement on Saturday saying “we are at our very best when we are working together”:

Statement from Arthur Blank:

— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 23, 2017

Baltimore Ravens

Playing in England, about 10 players knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner, according to the Baltimore Sun. Other players and coaches linked arms. Before the game, owner Steve Bisciotti issued this statement:

Statement from Owner Steve Bisciotti.

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 24, 2017

Buffalo Bills

Several Bills players kneeled for the anthem, and running back LeSean McCoy continued pre-game stretching instead of observing the anthem. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula released the following statement on Saturday night calling Trump’s comments “divisive”:

Statement from Buffalo Bills Owners Terry and Kim Pegula.

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 24, 2017

Carolina Panthers

Defensive end Julius Peppers remained in the locker room for the anthem, while the rest of the team stood. The team has yet to issue any statement regarding Trump’s comments or protests around the league.

Chicago Bears

The Bears stood and linked arms during the national anthem on Sunday. Chairman George McCaskey issued the following statement on Sunday morning calling the political situation “divisive”:

Statement from Chicago Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey.

— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 24, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals

All Bengals players stood and most locked arms for the anthem. The team later issued a statement, saying “Football and politics don’t mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that’s where our focus should be.”

Tight end Tyler Eifert, who is injured and did not make the trip to Green Bay for their game, had previously spoken to the Cincinnati Enquirer and wrote a statement on Medium about why he makes a point of standing for the anthem.

Cleveland Browns

At least 20 players knelt, while others stood and linked arms during the anthem, and owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam called Trump’s comments “misguided, uninformed and divisive” in a statement supporting their players. Before an earlier game this season, the team played a video in which players discussed racial inequality.

Dallas Cowboys

The Fort Worth Star-Telegramreported Cowboys players plan to protest during the anthem before Monday night’s game. Owner Jerry Jones has previously said he feels “so strongly” about recognizing the flag and has not yet issued any statement regarding Trump’s comments or protests around the league.

Denver Broncos

At least 32 players protested by kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. On Saturday, team president and CEO Joe Ellis released a statement supporting his players. Defensive end Derek Wolfe did not participate in the protest and made the following statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson:

NEW: Statement to me from #Broncos DE Derek Wolfe on Donald Trump’s comments regarding national anthem protests in the @NFL.

— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 24, 2017

Detroit Lions

Lions owner Martha Ford and head coach Jim Caldwell locked arms with their players during the anthem. Eight players knelt. Singer Rico Lavelle dropped to one knee and raised his fist as he sang the final word of the anthem:

The national anthem in Detroit ended on one knee

— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2017

Ford also issued a statement about football’s “platform for dialogue and positive change.”

Green Bay Packers

Three Packers knelt, while most others stood and locked arms for the anthem. On Saturday, Packers president Mark Murphy issued a statement against Trump’s comments, calling them “divisive and offensive.”

Houston Texans

Players and coaches stood and locked arms during the anthem. Texans founder and CEO Robert McNair released this statement on Sunday morning:

Statement from @HoustonTexans Founder, Chairman and CEO Robert C. McNair:

— Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 24, 2017

Indianapolis Colts

Several players knelt for the anthem, and those who stood locked arms. Owner Jim Irsay issued the following statement on Saturday:

Statement from #Colts Owner @JimIrsay on recent events:

— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 24, 2017

Jacksonville Jaguars

In London, team owner Shahid Khan locked arms with his players and coaches on the sidelines, and more than a dozen Jaguars knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner. Afterward, Khan issued the following statement saying it was a “privilege” to stand on the sidelines with his team:

Statement from our Owner Shad Khan:

— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) September 24, 2017

Kansas City Chiefs

Several players knelt or sat on the bench for the national anthem. Before the game, owner Clark Hunt issued this statement:

Statement from Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt.

— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 24, 2017

Los Angeles Chargers

Most Chargers locked arms during the anthem, and some sat down. Owner Dean Spanos released the following statement:

Statement on #Chargers team unity.

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 24, 2017

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams played on Thursday night, before Trump’s comments. At that game, linebacker Robert Quinn raised his fist during the anthem, as he has throughout the season. On Sunday morning, Rams owner Stan Kroenke issued a statement supporting his players’ freedom to protest.

Miami Dolphins

Most of the team, including owner Stephen Ross, stood and locked arms for the anthem. Several players knelt, and some wore T-shirts supporting Kaepernick during pregame warmups. Ross issued the following statement on Saturday:

Statement from Miami Dolphins Owner and Founder of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) Stephen Ross.

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2017

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings stood and locked arms during the anthem on Sunday. Team ownership released a statement supporting their players and coaches’ “constitutional right to respectfully and peacefully express their beliefs.”

New England Patriots

Seventeen players knelt for the anthem, while others linked arms. In a statement Sunday morning, owner Robert Kraft said he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s comments:

Statement from #Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft:

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 24, 2017

New Orleans Saints

At least 10 players sat on the bench for the anthem. Quarterback Drew Brees said after the game that he did not agree with either Trump’s comments or his teammates’ decision to sit for the anthem. The Saints issued a joint statement with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday morning:

Saints statement

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 24, 2017

New York Giants

Three Giants knelt for the anthem, while the rest of the team stood and joined arms. After the game, the team released this statement:

Giants statement after 3 of their players kneeled during the national anthem:

— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) September 25, 2017

In an earlier statement, co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch called Trump’s comments “inappropriate, offensive and divisive.”

New York Jets

The entire team stood and linked arms, and acting team owner Christopher Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan joined them. Johnson later issued this statement:

— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 24, 2017

Oakland Raiders

A majority of the team knelt or remained seated during the anthem. In a statement to ESPN, Raiders owner Mark Davis said “I could no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class.”

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles players, coaches and owner Jeffrey Lurie stood and locked arms during the anthem. Three players raised their fists. Lurie issued this statement on Saturday:

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 24, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers remained in the locker room for the national anthem, with the exception of Alejandro Villanueva, who stood just outside of the tunnel. Villanueva is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

Team president Art Rooney released a short statement after the game supporting his players. In an earlier statement, Rooney said “I believe the Commissioner made an appropriate statement, and I have nothing to add at this time.”

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers played on Thursday night, before Trump’s comments. Safety Eric Reid, who consistently knelt with Kaepernick last year, was the only 49er to protest the anthem on Thursday. On Saturday, team CEO Jed York tweeted the following statement:

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks remained in their locker room for the national anthem and released a statement through the team’s PR account before the game:

— Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksPR) September 24, 2017

On Saturday, team president Peter McLoughlin issued a statement supporting his players’ freedom of speech.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Two players knelt with their hands over their hearts while many of their teammates joined arms. Co-chairman Joel Glazer issued a statement on Sunday pledging to recognize “every individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech.”

Tennessee Titans

The Titans remained in their locker room for the anthem and later issued a statement about their decision, while singer Meghan Linsey knelt after performing the Star-Spangled Banner. Earlier, owner Amy Adams Strunk released a statement supporting her players and Goodell.

Washington Redskins

Owner Dan Snyder locked arms with his players during the anthem, and some players took a knee. The team issued the following statement before the game:

A statement from the Washington Redskins.

— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 25, 2017

Players from other professional sports leagues also participated in protests before their games on Sunday:


On Sunday, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to join the anthem protests by taking a knee before his team’s game.

Women’s basketball

Before the WNBA finals began on Sunday, the Minnesota Lynx joined arms on the court, while the Los Angeles Sparks returned to their locker room during the anthem.

Women’s soccer

Nine players stayed in the locker room for the national anthem before a NWSL game on Sunday, including Megan Rapinoe, who has previously knelt during the anthem.

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The Isley Brothers & Santana On World Cafe

Power of Peace is the tile of the new album from Santana and The Isley Brothers

Maryanne Bilham/Courtesy of the Artist

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Maryanne Bilham/Courtesy of the Artist

  • “Higher Ground” – from Power of Peace
  • “I Just Want To Make Love To You”- from Power of Peace
  • “Body Talk” – from Power of Peace

In this session of World Cafe, we’ve got four superstar musicians for the price of one: Carlos Santana, one of the greatest guitarists of all time; Cindy Blackman Santana, a virtuoso jazz and rock drummer who spent decades as the backbone on world tours for artists like Lenny Kravitz, and her now-husband Carlos; and Ron and Ernie Isley, the two main surviving members of the legendary Isley Brothers.

Carlos, Cindy, Ron and Ernie have teamed up for a new album, Power of Peace, consisting of a dozen covers and one original song focused around music’s ability to heal and unify. The idea originated at Carlos and Cindy’s wedding, in 2010, when the pair chose Ron Isley’s cover of “The Look of Love” for their first dance.

Hear songs from the record as I chat with all four of the musicians, in the player above.

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First Female Marine Completes Grueling Infantry Officer Course

Marines participate in an exercise during the Infantry Officer Course in August at Quantico, Va. The first female Marine to complete the course graduated on Monday.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen/Office of Marine Corps Communication

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Master Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen/Office of Marine Corps Communication

For the first time, a female Marine has completed the grueling Infantry Officer Course.

The 13-week course is considered one of the toughest in the U.S. military, and one-third of the class dropped out before graduation.

The Marines said in a press release that the lieutenant has “asked to keep her identity private.” The Marine Corps Times reported that 36 other women have attempted the feat before but did not make it through.

Last year, the military opened up all front-line combat jobs to women. The Washington Post gives a sense of how difficult the infantry officer course is:

“The course requires both proficiency in the field, and the strength and stamina to carry equipment weighing up to 152 pounds. The school begins with a day-long combat endurance test that includes rigorous hikes through Quantico’s rolling, wooded hills, an obstacle course and assessments of skills like weapons assembly and land navigation.

“Historically, about 10 percent of students fail the first day.”

The course, according to the Marines, “trains and educated newly selected infantry and ground intelligence officers in leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders in the operating forces.”

The transition for women into Marine Corps combat roles has not been smooth, as The Two-Way has reported, with some male Marines questioning whether gender integration would impact operational readiness.

Proud of this officer & her fellow leaders. Now they focus on what’s important: preparing to lead Marines in combat

— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) September 25, 2017

“Because the infantry is the beating heart of the Corps and the most revered and influential group within the tribe, the significance of her achievement cannot be overstated,” two retired Marines, Kate Germano and Joe Plenzler, wrote in a column in The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Despite its well-established legacy of tactical competence in combat, the Marine Corps has always served as a boat anchor dragging behind the rest of the services when it comes to social change.”

Earlier this year, a trove of nude photos of female service members was shared on a Facebook page called Marines United, prompting a Pentagon investigation and tough questions from lawmakers.

A great day for @USMC! “Marine Corps to have 1st female infantry officer”

— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 21, 2017

The female infantry officer has been assigned to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in California. The Marines published video of her participating in the Infantry Officer Course:

Three women completed the U.S. Army’s Ranger School in 2015, and one of them, Capt. Kristen Griest, became the Army’s first female infantry officer last year, Army Times reported.

Gender integration in special operations jobs has not yet happened, the Post wrote: “Women have not yet met the qualifications to take elite jobs in special operations, including that of Navy SEAL and Army Green Beret, though at least three have attempted the Army’s Special Forces Assessment Selection test.”

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