FROM James Joyce
Race politics and the NFL's culture of silence The National Football League is "as American as apple pie, "with deep roots in popular culture. Now the nation's most profitable sports enterprise is caught up in race politics. Former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is out of a job. He once helped the San Francisco 49ers reach the Super Bowl, but he's best known for refusing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner-- saying the nation is not keeping its promise of equality for people of color. Michael Bennett is an all-star defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks. In the aftermath of Saturday's deadly violence by white racists in Charlottesville, he says he'll refuse to stand for the National Anthem this season. So far, only black players have been taking the knee, but some white teammates are joining demands for racial equality. Players are also speaking out about long-term injury, as research shows the longer and harder they play, the more likely is permanent brain damage.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.