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Ivanka Trump’s Business Ties in China Are More Secret Than Ever

26 September, by Erika Kinetz / AP[ —]

(SHANGHAI) — It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump’s merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, an Associated Press investigation has found.

In the months since she took her White House role, public information about the companies importing Ivanka Trump goods to the U.S. has become harder to find. Information that once routinely appeared in private trade tracking data has vanished, leaving the identities of companies involved in 90% of shipments unknown. Even less is known about her manufacturers. Trump’s brand, which is still owned by the first daughter and presidential adviser, declined to disclose the information.

The deepening secrecy means it’s unclear who Ivanka Trump’s company is doing business with in China, even as she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have emerged as important conduits for top Chinese officials in Washington. The lack of disclosure makes it difficult to understand whether foreign governments could use business ties with her brand to try to influence the White House — and whether her company stands to profit from foreign government subsidies that can destroy American jobs. Such questions are especially pronounced in China, where state-owned and state-subsidized companies dominate large swaths of commercial activity.

“There should be more transparency, but right now we do not have the legal mechanism to enforce transparency unless Congress requests information through a subpoena,” said Richard Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, and is part of a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for alleged constitutional violations. “I don’t know how much money she’s making on this and why it’s worth it. I think it’s putting our trade policy in a very awkward situation.”

An AP review of the records that are available about Ivanka Trump’s supply chain found two potential red flags. In one case, a province in eastern China announced the award of export subsidies to a company that shipped thousands of Ivanka Trump handbags between March 2016 and February of this year, Chinese public records show — a possible violation by China of global fair trade rules, trade experts said.

The AP also found that tons of Ivanka Trump clothing were exported from 2013 to 2015 by a company owned by the Chinese government, according to public records and trade data. It is unclear whether the brand is still working with that company, or other state-owned entities. Her brand has pledged to avoid business with state-owned companies now that she’s a White House adviser, but contends that its supply chains are not its direct responsibility.

Ivanka Trump’s brand doesn’t actually make its products directly. Instead, it contracts with licensees who oversee production of her merchandise. In exchange, those licensees pay the brand royalties. The AP asked Ivanka Trump’s brand for a list of its suppliers. The company declined to disclose them. The clothing, footwear and handbag licensees contacted by AP also declined to reveal source factories.

Abigail Klem, president of IT Operations LLC, which manages Ivanka Trump’s brand, said the company does not contract with foreign state-owned companies or benefit from Chinese government subsidies. However, she acknowledged that its licensees might.

“We license the rights to our brand name to licensing companies that have their own supply chains and distribution networks,” Klem said in an email. “The brand receives royalties on sales to wholesalers and would not benefit if a licensee increased its profit margin by obtaining goods at a lower cost,” she added.

But Michael Stone, chairman of Beanstalk, a global brand licensing agency, said lower production costs for licensees would ultimately benefit Ivanka Trump by freeing up money for marketing or lower retail prices, both of which drive sales.

“It gives her a competitive advantage and an indirect benefit to her financially,” Stone said. “The more successful the licensee is the more successful Ivanka Trump is going to be.”

The AP identified companies that sent Ivanka Trump products to the United States by looking at shipment data maintained by ImportGenius and Panjiva Inc., private companies that independently track global trade. Panjiva’s records show that 85 percent of shipments of her goods to the U.S. this year originated in China and Hong Kong, but beyond that, it’s becoming more difficult to map the brand’s global footprint.

The companies that shipped Ivanka Trump merchandise to the U.S. are listed for just five of 57 shipments logged by Panjiva from the end of March, when she officially became a presidential adviser, through mid-September. Panjiva collects data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which did not immediately release the missing data to AP.

While in many cases the manufacturer ships goods directly, merchandise can also be made by one company and shipped by another trading or consolidation company.

There used to be more visibility. Last year, 27% of the companies that exported Ivanka Trump merchandise to the U.S. were identified in Panjiva’s records, and back in 2014 a full 95% were named. For two of Ivanka Trump’s licensees — G-III Apparel Group Ltd. and Marc Fisher Footwear — the number of shipments appears to plunge in 2015, likely because they “requested to hide” their shipment activity, according to Panjiva records. Neither company responded to AP’s questions.

The brand declined to comment on the growing murkiness of its supply chain.

Chris Rogers, an analyst at Panjiva, said any company can ask customs authorities to redact its information for any reason. About a quarter of companies request anonymity, he said, but the majority don’t mind disclosing who they’re doing business with.

“A lot of companies have said, ‘yes there might be a commercial disadvantage, but we want to be transparent about our supply chain,'” he explained. “‘Why would we want to cover up the fact that we’re working with this particular company?'”

While ethics lawyers may see disclosure as the best antidote to conflict of interest, many brands see it as a tool to keep supply chains scandal-free. Public outcry over sweatshop conditions and worker suicides prompted companies like Nike Inc. and Apple Inc. to disclose the names and addresses of their manufacturers, and a growing number, including Gap Inc., the H&M Group, New Balance Athletics Inc., Adidas AG and Levi Strauss & Co., publicly identify their suppliers.

Ivanka Trump should do the same, said Allen Adamson, founder and CEO of BrandSimple Consulting. “It’s a missed opportunity to lead by example.”

What shipping records do show is that a company called Zhejiang Tongxiang Foreign Trade Group Co. Ltd., a sprawling conglomerate once majority-owned by the Chinese state, sent at least 30 tons of Ivanka Trump handbags to the U.S. between March 2016 and February.

Zhejiang province’s commerce department said in June 2014 that it would help lower export costs for that same company, along with nine other local enterprises, through a special three-year trade promotion program. Among the measures outlined were export insurance subsidies and funding for online trading platforms and international marketing, as well as special funds earmarked for foreign trade companies with large-scale, fast-growing exports.

The value of the subsidies is unclear, as are details about how the directives were implemented, but using subsidies to reduce the price of exports is considered so destructive to fair trade that the World Trade Organization generally bans the practice. Chinese government subsidies hurt American workers but can lower costs for U.S. companies that import made-in-China merchandise, potentially boosting their profits. President Donald Trump has called companies that benefit from foreign government subsidies “cheaters.”

The AP spoke with four trade experts in the United States and China who said the Zhejiang measures appeared to violate World Trade Organization rules. “These are clearly export subsidies,” said Gary Hufbauer, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Zhejiang province’s Department of Commerce and the Zhejiang Tongxiang Foreign Trade Group declined comment.

The AP also found that from Oct. 2013 to Jan. 2015, Jiangsu High Hope International Group Corp., a conglomerate majority-owned by the Jiangsu provincial government, shipped 45 tons of Ivanka Trump clothing to the U.S., according to records from ImportGenius and Panjiva.

High Hope told AP it had “a small number of business dealings” with Ivanka Trump licensee G-III Apparel, but declined to answer questions about whether the relationship is ongoing.

G-III, which is based in New York City, declined to respond to specific questions but said in a statement that it is “committed to legal compliance and ethical business practices in all of our operations worldwide.” Ivanka Trump licensee Mondani Handbags & Accessories Inc., also headquartered in New York, did not respond to requests for comment.

Ivanka Trump’s brand said it was in the process of reviewing its supply chains with the help of “independent experts whose mission it is to advance human rights” and emphasized that all licensees, manufacturers, subcontractors and suppliers are required to abide by the law, as well as ethical practices set forth in a vendor code of conduct.

The AP asked to see the code of conduct, but the brand declined to share it.

Rapper B.o.B. Has Started a GoFundMe Campaign to Prove That the Earth Is Flat

26 September, by Kevin Lui[ —]

Rapper B.o.B., who made waves last year for tweeting that the Earth is flat, now wants your help to prove his theory.

Late last week, he started a GoFundMe campaign, Show BoB The Curve, aiming to find evidence that the planet is actually round.

“Help support B.o.B purchase and launch multiple satellites into space,” reads the fundraising page’s description. “He will be keeping you updated with step-by-step documentation of the process! Help B.o.B find the curve!”

Since the campaign launched on Sept. 21, 27 donors have given a total $596 to the rapper by the time of writing — he is aiming to raise $200,000 for the project.

In 2016, the rapper, whose real name is Bobby Ray Simmons, dropped a diss track on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, after Tyson tried to convince him that the Earth is, in fact, round.

“Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest/ They’ll probably write that man one hell of a check,” read one line from B.o.B.’s track,”Flatline.”

For his part, Tyson clapped back with a scientific explanation, and dropped his mic on national television to demonstrate gravity.

The view that Planet Earth is a flat disc, as opposed to a globular-shaped spheroid, has been amplified in recent years by celebrity endorsements, reports CNN.

Apart from B.o.B., high-profile flat-Earthers include Tila Tequila, NFL player Sammy Watkins and NBA star Kyrie Irving. (However, it turns out Irving could be just trolling everyone with his professed belief in a flat Earth.)

Chelsea Manning Says She Was Denied Entry Into Canada

26 September, by Joseph Hincks[ —]

Chelsea Manning has been denied entry into Canada on the basis of her criminal record in the United States, according to a letter from Canadian immigration officials the former army intelligence analyst posted Monday.

The letter, posted to Manning’s Twitter account, said that she had not been permitted to cross Canada’s Lacolle, Quebec border because her convictions in the U.S. “constitute an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.”

In a separate tweet, Manning wrote that she would be challenging the decision.

“[S]o, i guess canada has permanently banned me ?” she tweeted. “[D]enied entry b/c of convictions similar to “treason offense”.”

Manning was released from prison in May after former President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence. In 2013, she was convicted of charges including violating the U.S. Espionage Act after leaking a trove of classified material to whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

Read more: Harvard Withdrew Chelsea Manning’s ‘Visiting Fellow’ Invitation. Here’s What to Know

According to CBC, immigration officials refused to comment on the case. “Our government is committed to ensuring that every case put forward to IRCC is evaluated based on its merits and in a fair manner. All applicants can expect impartial, professional treatment and clear, accountable decision-making,” a spokesperson said.

Trump Tweets About Puerto Rico’s Debt as the Island Struggles With Hurricane Recovery

26 September, by Joseph Hincks[ —]

President Donald Trump posted a trio of tweets Monday night that appeared to center on Puerto Rico’s fiscal debt, as the devastated U.S. territory struggles to recover from powerful Hurricane Maria.

After commending the recovery of Texas and Florida — which were lashed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively — Trump tweeted Monday: “Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”

Trump continued, “It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

“Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well,” Trump added.

Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, killed 16 people and left millions without power or communications when it battered the island last week. Beset by food and water shortages, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló issued a statement appealing for help for his “essentially devastated” island.

“My petition is that we were there once for our brothers and sisters, our other U.S. citizens, now it’s time that U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are taken care of adequately, properly,” Rosselló wrote Sunday. On Monday, he called for greater federal aid and appealed to Congress to pass a relief package and treat Puerto Rico like any other U.S. state, Politico reports.

According to the Associated Press, 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory are without adequate food, water and fuel. Communications are still lacking and electrical power may not be fully restored for a month.

Trump’s response, which appeared to put the issue of the island’s bank loans before emergency supplies, provoked consternation among some diplomats. “Is the President of the United States saying that the mammoth hurricane damage is Puerto Rico’s fault?” posed Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Before the Category 4 storm struck, Puerto Rico was suffering from a $73 million debt crisis, that had left agencies like the state power company broke.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management said aid was getting to the island, and that the agency had more than 700 staff on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, delivering diesel, food and water to communities, reports AP.


In a Landmark First, the U.S. Marines Now Has a Female Infantry Officer

26 September, by Kevin Lui[ —]

A female Marine officer made history Monday by becoming the first woman to graduate from the U.S. Marines Corps’ demanding Infantry Officer Course.

The lieutenant, who wants to keep her identity private, successfully completed the 13-week training in Quantico, Virginia, becoming the U.S.’s first-ever female infantry officer.

“I am proud of this officer and those in her class‎ who have earned the infantry officer MOS [military occupational specialty],” Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a press release. She will be assigned to the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The course is considered one of the Corps’ toughest, and is designed to train prospective officers “in leadership, infantry skills, and character required to serve as infantry platoon commanders,” according to the Marines. About 10% of students fail on the first day, reports the Washington Post.

The new infantry officer, who graduated with 87 others, is the first woman to complete the course but she is not the first to have attempted it.

A total of 32 women enrolled on the program between 2012 and 2015, when the Marines experimented with opening it up to women. Four others, including the recent graduate, have attempted the course since the Pentagon opened all combat roles to women in December 2015.

The Marines has recently been pushing to recruit more women to its ranks, but historically it has been reluctant to welcome women. The Corps publicly opposed opening all combat roles to female officers.

Earlier this year, the Corps was rocked by revelations that current and former Marines circulated nude photos of female service members online without their permission. Neller asked female Marines to trust the leadership to “take action and correct this problem.”


What a Roy Moore Win Could Mean for Washington

26 September, by Maya Rhodan[ —]

On Tuesday, voters in Alabama will choose between two very different political styles: a flame-throwing wild card and an Establishment-backed reliable vote.

But as the Alabama Republican Senate primary draws to a close, the differences between incumbent Sen. Luther Strange and conservative firebrand Roy Moore amount to whether voters are happy with the status quo in Washington, and how they felt about their last governor.

Strange, the former state attorney general, was appointed in February by embattled former Gov. Robert Bentley, and is backed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Session’s former Senate seat.

Moore, the twice-ousted former Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, was in many ways the underdog in the race. Known for his strong feelings on the Ten Commandments—the Washington Post reported the Biblical edicts are on display in at least three places in his home, including over his bed— and fierce opposition to same-sex marriage, Moore was seen more as a disruptor than a viable candidate.

That was until he finished ahead the pack in the Aug. 15 primary, beating Strange by six percentage points.

Though the field has narrowed, anti-Moore ads have flooded the airways, and Trump visited the state for a rally last week, a Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Moore around 10 points ahead of Strange. Given the President’s endorsement, it’d be easy to declare a win for the Bible-thumping Moore as a major loss for Trump, but consultants in Alabama say it’s not that simple.

“I don’t think a vote against Strange has anything to do with voting against Trump,” says David Mowery, a Montgomery-based political consultant. “I think that [voters] just feel like Trump is have to do what he can because of McConnell and because of the national implications.”

The president seemed to suggest that was the case at a rally for Strange last Friday.

“I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake,” Trump told the crowd. “If Luther doesn’t win, they’re not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time. They’re going to say, ‘Donald Trump, the President of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line. It is a terrible, terrible moment for Trump. This is total embarrassment.’”

He went on to say that if Strange loss, he would “campaign like hell” for his opponent.

Trump engenders broad support in the state of Alabama, where he beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 30 points in the 2016 presidential election, and his support for Strange certainly gave the candidate a boost.

But Strange’s connection to both McConnell — who has become a symbol of everything voters dislike about Washington in the race — and former Governor Bentley, who was excoriated when news of the sex scandal that led to his resignation broke, has dampened his support. When Bentley appointed Strange for Sessions’ seat, the then-attorney general was in the midst of investigating the scandal that led to his ouster.

“The first thing you hear anytime the race comes up with someone who is not political is, ‘Oh, well, Strange cut a deal with the governor,’” says John Pudner, the executive director of the Alabama-based conservative action group Take Back Our Republic. “Fair or not, it seems to me that might be the difference in the end.”

With McConnell emerging as persona non grata among some Republicans in the state, a Moore win could mean more instability in a Senate where the GOP is having trouble gaining enough support for what should be easy wins like repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Moore was removed as a judge for failing to remove a Ten Commandments statue and retired early after being suspended for declaring he would not honor the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. If the candidate’s history on the bench is any guide, he could enter the Senate bucking a system already chock-full of system buckers. At the end of the day, though, consultants in the state expect that Moore would vote with Republicans the majority of the time if elected.

Ads from groups like the McConnell allied Senate Leadership Fund, the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have sought to increase support for Strange by blasting Moore in the lead-up to the race. Politico estimates Moore faced a five-to-one ad spending deficit through Sunday. Yet despite that gap, support from national groups has boosted Moore’s argument that Strange will kowtow to Washington bigwigs. Moore also boasts the support of former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Aside from causing a stir in Washington, a win for Moore could be viewed as having widespread implications for the 2018-midterm elections. If firebrand candidates enter into races across the U.S., Senate Leadership Fund president Steven Law told Politico, attention that should be drawn toward battles with Democrats would be spent on fights with other Republicans.

Brent Buchanan, a Montgomery-based strategist and president of the communication and research firm Cygnal, says the Alabama primary won’t easily translate to other contests. Moore, he says, is not the average Republican challenger — he is a well-known conservative figure in the state whose positions just happen to align with that of the electorate.

“Any Senate candidate that’s looking at running against an incumbent Republican Senator and they’re looking at this race as their barometer, that’s going to be a mistaken strategy on their part,” he says. “ “Kind of like how we’re never going to see another Donald Trump in a presidential race — it’s the same thing with Roy Moore.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Make Their First Official Public Appearance Together

26 September, by Rob Gillies / AP[ —]

(TORONTO) — Hand in hand, Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle made their first official public appearance as a couple. Markle might have even left a wedding hint.

The prince and Markle held hands Monday as they walked toward Toronto’s city hall and attended a wheelchair tennis event at Harry’s Invictus Games for wounded veterans.

Markle wore a white button-down shirt with blue jeans ripped at the knee. The white shirt is called “The Husband Shirt” and is by designer Misha Nonoo.

The 36-year-old American actress recently told Vanity Fair they’re in love

Markle, who lives in Toronto, appeared at the games’ opening ceremony this weekend, cheering from the stands while Harry sat four rows and a section away beside U.S. first lady Melania Trump.

The couple has been photographed together in the past but this is the first time they have appeared together at an official event. The two sat together and took in a match of the wheelchair tennis between Australia and New Zealand at the small venue. Both wore dark sunglasses on an uncommonly hot sunny day for Toronto in late September.

They stayed for a half hour and shook hands with the athletes and Invictus volunteers. They left together hand in hand.

Harry, 33, has been dating Markle since last year. He confirmed the relationship in November when he complained about intrusive press coverage.

The Vanity Fair interview prompted British bet-maker Betfair to offer 6-to-4 odds that the couple is engaged by the end of 2017 and 3-to-1 odds that they marry in 2018.

Best known as paralegal Rachel Zane in the US Network legal drama, “Suits,” Markle has appeared on “General Hospital,” ”CSI: Miami,” ”Without A Trace” and “Castle.” She also is a campaigner for gender equality.

The Invictus Games are the creation of Harry, who got the inspiration to help wounded and sick military personnel and their families after his two tours of duty in Afghanistan. This is the third Invictus Games. About 550 competitors from 17 countries are slated to compete in 12 sports over the next week.


Republican Senators Vow to ‘Press On’ With Healthcare Bill at Debate

26 September, by Maya Rhodan[ —]

Just hours after a third Republican senator came out against the latest healthcare proposal, all but guaranteeing its defeat, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy defended it during a televised debate with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on CNN.

Graham and Cassidy, the namesakes of the latest Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, spent the night repeating their talking points about the law signed by President Obama in 2010. “It’s about Obamacare failing,” Graham said. “It’s not working and it’s never going to work.”

But the Graham-Cassidy bill was on thin ice as of Monday night. Protests marred a hearing on the bill before the Senate Finance Committee. A preliminary Congressional Budget Office analysis estimated that the deficit would be reduced by $133 million between 2017 and 2026, but noted that millions would lose insurance.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ decision to vote “no” on the bill, along with Sens. John McCain and Rand Paul, meant that the GOP majority in the upper chamber lacks the votes needed to pass the bill on a simple majority basis before a Sept. 30 deadline. But at Monday night’s debate, Graham vowed to “press on.”

“We’re going to press on,” he said. “It’s OK to vote, it’s OK to fall short if you do for an idea you believe in.”

Every Senator on the CNN stage Monday night agreed that something needs to be done to fix the U.S. healthcare system, but Sanders and Klobuchar took the opportunity to both express their discontent with the existing legislative proposal and call for a bipartisan solution for health care.

The Minnesota Democrat noted that the widespread opposition to the proposal and excoriated the impact the bill would have on those with pre-existing conditions and women seeking services from Planned Parenthood.

Sanders largely used the platform given to him by CNN to call for a single-payer health plan that would provide Medicare for all. He also called for a bipartisan, short-term solution to existing health care issues.

Klobuchar, who began the debate by speaking to her personal experience dealing with a sick baby as a new mother, echoed McCain’s calls for regular order and championed the bipartisan approach of leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray.

As the debate raged on, President Trump waded into the health care discussion sharing a six-minute video of McCain talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

But with tears in his eyes, Graham defended his longtime friend, who is recovering from cancer, despite the fact that McCain’s lack of support may have killed the bill.

“John McCain can do whatever the damn he wants to,” Graham said. “He’s earned that right.”

‘Cardi B Has Just Made History.’ Twitter Reacts to Rapper’s Billboard Success

26 September, by Eric Renner Brown / Entertainment Weekly[ —]

Cardi B’s historic Billboard success has been a cause for celebration on Twitter.

The 24-year-old rapper’s “Bodak Yellow” has topped the Hot 100 chart, knocking Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” from No. 1 after three weeks in the position. But the most important part of Cardi B’s rise is “Bodak Yellow” becoming only the second song by an unaccompanied female rapper to ever top the chart, joining Lauryn Hill’s 1998 track, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” She’s also the first female rapper of color to appear on a Hot 100 No. 1 hit since Lil’ Kim collaborated with P!nk, Mya, and Christina Aguilera for 2001’s “Lady Marmalade.”

On Twitter, many people — including Nicki Minaj and Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles — shared their enthusiasm for Cardi B’s triumphant feat. “Cardi B went #1 with a REAL Hiphop / Rap song! Bodak Yellow is not a Pop Song, or a R&b Song,” wrote one user. “She didn’t need a feature, or a singer on it!”

This article originally appeared on Ew.com.

The Dallas Cowboys and Owner Jerry Jones Kneel in Unity Before National Anthem

26 September, by Associated Press[ —]

(GLENDALE, Ariz.) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.

Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group before the playing of the national anthem.

The Cowboys went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.

Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.

Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field. They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem. They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.

More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

Three teams did not take the field for the national anthem and numerous NFL owners came out against Trump’s statements.



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