“The Paris Review is known for its hysterically extensive masthead,” she said, “and Susannah was the only person in the world who could coax all these founders, editors, associates, readers, contributors and board members not only to get along but to have wild fun together.”
Terry McDonell, a former editor of Esquire and a former president of The Paris Review’s board, called Ms. Hunnewell a protector of the essential DNA of the magazine, which Mr. Plimpton helped start in Paris in 1953 and whose modest circulation had belied its influence in the literary world as a showcase for writers and a discoverer of new talent.
“She just had this wonderful enthusiasm not just for literature, but for the life around it,” Mr. McDonnell said of Ms. Hunnewell. “She represented a really optimistic kind of continuity.”
Susannah Gordon Hunnewell was born in Boston on July 16, 1966. Her father, Francis Oakes Hunnewell, was an international investment banker and an entrepreneur and a descendant of the family on whose land the town of Wellesley, Mass., was founded. He died in 2010. Her mother, Elizabeth Milton Hunnewell, is a freelance writer.
The family moved to Paris shortly after Susannah was born, and she attended the Ecole Active Bilingue, a school that teaches in French and English. The family returned to Wellesley when she was 15, and she attended the Winsor School for young women in Boston and then Harvard, from which she graduated with a degree in English.
As a young editorial assistant at The Paris Review, Ms. Hunnewell read through submissions relegated to the so-called slush pile and edited short stories and articles for print. She was also among the staff members who Mr. Plimpton credited with helping him put together “The Paris Review Anthology” (1990).
It was at The Review that she met Mr. Weiss, who was an editor of the magazine and Mr. Plimpton’s assistant at the time.
Passengers on a Turkish Airlines jetliner flying to Sudan had to subdue a man who started screaming a few minutes after takeoff and began smashing an oxygen mask box and then a cabin window before pushing flight attendants aside and rushing toward the cockpit.
Associated Press photographer Hussein Malla was on the flight Friday and says several passengers stopped the man in the Boeing 737-900’s business class section. Flight attendants calmed the man down after about 15 minutes and he was taken back to a seat as the plane continued toward Khartoum. Flight attendants said the man was complaining about not being able to breathe.
After about 2½ hours, the pilots announced the plane was returning to Istanbul. A few minutes later, the man suddenly stood up and headed toward the front of the plane, where others grabbed him and tried to shackle him with plastic restraints provided by flight attendants but he resisted.
Passengers were yelling in fear and children were crying.
The plane landed back in Istanbul about three hours after it took off and police escorted the man off. As he departed, he shook hands with some passengers and kissed some children.
A Turkish Airlines official on Saturday confirmed Malla’s account, saying a 35-year-old Sudanese man on Flight TK680 from Istanbul to Khartoum displayed aggressive behavior, causing damage to the plane and physically and verbally harming other passengers.
He said the airline was forced to apply “inadmissible passenger” procedures to prevent further harm to passengers and ensure flight safety, which meant that the plane was diverted back to Istanbul and had to circle in the air to reduce fuel before landing.
It was not clear if the man, who was in police custody, was psychologically disturbed, the official said. He spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
He said the airline will decide later whether to file a legal complaint against the passenger.
Hussein Malla reported from Istanbul and Khartoum.
From “Chernobyl” to “Fleabag” and “Leaving Neverland,” these are the best 10 TV series that 2019 has been able to produce, so far.
Skip the ties, the mugs and the grill tools for Father’s Day this year. Instead, give your dad the gift of some time on the couch together, watching TV you’ll both enjoy.
When it comes to watching television with a parent, it can be hard to make sure that everyone will like your pick, and, more importantly, that there’s nothing in it that will make you squirm with awkwardness (cough, nudity and sex, cough).
To help you pick a TV series that will help you bond with your father this weekend, we rounded up five of our favorites that we would watch with our dad any day of the week. Whether you want something funny, dramatic, sad, inspiring or delicious, we’ve got you covered.
John Ross Bowie as Jimmy and Micah Fowler as J.J. on “Speechless” (Photo: Michael Ansell/ABC)
If you love a goofy, sweet TV dad: ‘Speechless’
ABC canceled this delightful family sitcom after three seasons this spring, which is a huge shame, but you can still enjoy the episodes we have. “Speechless” follows the DiMeos, a blunt and chaotic family whose eldest child has cerebral palsy. Minnie Driver gets a lot of praise as the bulldozer of a matriarch Maya DiMeo, but John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) quietly sidles in as sarcastic and low-key dad Jimmy. His version of fatherhood manages to stand out in the sea of slacker sitcom dads.
If you want a crime procedural with a twist: ‘Person of Interest’
Dads are known for loving murder-of-the-week series like “NCIS” or “CSI,” but you can take that formula a step further with “Person.” The series follows two men, a billionaire (Michael Emerson) and a former covert operative (Jim Caviezel) as they try to prevent crimes from happening with the help of a intelligent surveillance system known as “The Machine.” Other famous faces like Taraji P. Henson, Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi pop up over the five seasons, which mixes sci-fi, politics, espionage and good old fashioned police work. Your dad will be sucked in instantly.
Stream it on Netflix.
If you’re OK with a good cry: ‘Parenthood’
You have to be in the right mood, but if you’re willing to endure some tears and tragedy, “Parenthood” is an immensely rewarding television series. Created by “Friday Night Lights” chief Jason Katims, the series is an achingly accurate portrayal of parenting in adversity, be it disease, finance or otherwise. There are so many great (but flawed) dads in the series, brought to life by Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson and Dax Shepard.
Stream it on Netflix.
If your dad is big on hitting the gym: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
Watching whatever happens to be on ESPN this Sunday is always an option, but if your favorite team isn’t playing and you want to see athletic thrills, turn to NBC’s celebration of human potential. No show on TV is better at showcasing the athletic prowess men and women can attain nor is any series better at inspiring and moving us with stories of triumph. Just don’t think after watching a few of these you can take on the infamous obstacle course. Believe us, we tried it.
Stream it on Hulu.
If your dad is big on hitting the grill: ‘Iron Chef America’
Plenty of food shows eventually take on the smoke and heat of grilling, a pastime of many dads, including the fast and furious “Iron Chef,” which has a great grill masters episode in Season 12. But really you can watch any episode in Kitchen Stadium to watch incredible chefs like Bobby Flay and Alex Guarnaschelli battle for the title of Iron Chef.
Stream it on Hulu.
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Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, who delighted audiences around the world with his romantic vision and extravagant productions, most famously captured in his cinematic “Romeo and Juliet” and the miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth,” died Saturday at 96.
While Zeffirelli was most popularly known for his films, his name was also inextricably linked to the theater and opera. He produced classics for the world’s most famous opera houses, from Milan’s venerable La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and plays for London and Italian stages.
Zeffirelli’s son Luciano said his father died at home in Rome.
“He had suffered for a while, but he left in a peaceful way,” he said.
Zeffirelli made it his mission to make culture accessible to the masses, often seeking inspiration in Shakespeare and other literary greats for his films, and producing operas aimed at TV audiences. Claiming no favorites, Zeffirelli once likened himself to a sultan with a harem of three: film, theater and opera.
“I am not a film director. I am a director who uses different instruments to express his dreams and his stories — to make people dream,” Zeffirelli told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview.
From his out-of-wedlock birth on the outskirts of Florence on Feb. 12, 1923, Zeffirelli rose to be one of Italy’s most prolific directors, working with such opera greats as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Maria Callas, as well as Hollywood stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Mel Gibson, Cher and Judi Dench.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was “profoundly moved by the death of Zeffirelli, who was an Italian ambassador of cinema, art and beauty.”
Throughout his career, Zeffirelli took risks — and his audacity paid off at the box office. His screen success in America was a rarity among Italian filmmakers.
He was one of the few Italian directors close to the Vatican, and the church turned to Zeffirelli’s theatrical touch for live telecasts of the 1978 papal installation and the 1983 Holy Year opening ceremonies in St. Peter’s Basilica. Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi also tapped him to direct a few high-profile events.
But Zeffirelli was best known outside Italy for his colorful, softly-focused romantic films. His 1968 “Romeo and Juliet” brought Shakespeare’s famous story to a new and appreciative generation, and his 1973 “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” told the life of St. Francis in parables.
“Romeo and Juliet” set box-office records in the United States, though it was made with two unknown actors, Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. The film, which cost $1.5 million, grossed $52 million and became one of the most successful Shakespearian movies ever.
A year earlier, he directed Taylor and Burton in Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” leaving his distinctive mark on world cinema.
In the 1970s, Zeffirelli’s focus shifted from the romantic to the spiritual. His 1977 made-for-television “Life of Jesus” became an instant classic with its portrayal of a Christ who seemed authentic and relevant. Shown around the world, the film earned more than $300 million.
Where Zeffirelli worked, controversy was never far away. In 1978, he threatened to leave Italy for good because of harsh attacks against him and his art by Italian leftists, who saw Zeffirelli as an exponent of Hollywood.
On the other hand, piqued by American criticism of his 1981 movie “Endless Love,” starring Brooke Shields, Zeffirelli said he might never make another film in the U.S. The movie, as he predicted, was a box office success.
In his 2006 autobiography, Zeffirelli recounted how his mother attended her husband’s funeral pregnant with another man’s child. Unable to give the baby either her name or his father’s, she tried to name him Zeffiretti, after an aria in Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” But a typographical error made it Zeffirelli, making him “the only person in the world with Zeffirelli as a name, thanks to my mother’s folly.”
His mother died of tuberculosis when he was 6, and Zeffirelli went to live with his father’s cousin, whom he affectionately called Zia (Aunt) Lide.
Living in Zia Lide’s house and getting weekly visits from his father, Zeffirelli developed the passions that would shape his life. The first was for opera, after seeing Wagner’s “Walkuere” at age 8 or 9 in Florence. The second was a love of English culture and literature, after his father started him on thrice-weekly English lessons.
His experiences with the British expatriate community under fascism, and their staunch disbelief that they would be victimized by Benito Mussolini’s regime, were at the heart of the semi-autobiographical 1991 film “Tea with Mussolini.”
He remained ever an Anglophile, and was particularly proud when Britain gave him an honorary knighthood in 2004.
As a youth, Zeffirelli served with the partisans during World War II. He later acted as an interpreter for British troops. Then the lifelong bachelor turned to acting at 20 when he joined an experimental troupe in Florence.
After a short-lived acting career, Zeffirelli worked with Luchino Visconti’s theatrical company in Rome, where he showed a flair for dramatic staging techniques in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Troilus and Cressida.” He later served as assistant director under Italian film masters Michelangelo Antonioni and Vittorio De Sica.
In 1950, he began a long and fruitful association with lyric theater, working as a director, set designer and costumist, and bringing new life to works by his personal favorites: Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. Over the next decade, he staged dozens of operas, romantic melodramas and contemporary works in Italian and other European theaters, eventually earning a reputation as one of the world’s best directors of musical theater.
Both La Scala and New York’s Metropolitan Opera later hosted Zeffirelli’s classic staging of “La Boheme,” which was shown on American television in 1982.
His first film effort in 1958, a comedy he wrote called “Camping,” had limited success.
Zeffirelli returned to prose theater in 1961 with an innovative interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” at London’s Old Vic. British critics termed it “revolutionary,” and the director used it as the basis of frequent later productions and the 1968 film.
When Zeffirelli decided to do “La Traviata” on film, he had already worked his stage version of the opera into a classic, performed at La Scala with soprano Maria Callas. He had been planning the film since 1950, he said.
“In the last 30 years, I’ve done everything a lyric theater artist can do,” Zeffirelli wrote as the film was released in 1983. “This work is the one that crowns all my hopes and gratifies all my ambitions.”
The film, with Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo in the lead roles, found near-unanimous critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic and received Oscar nominations for costuming, scenography and artistic direction.
Zeffirelli worked on a new staging of La Traviata as his last project, which will open the 2019 Opera Festival on June 21 at the Verona Arena.
“We’ll pay him a final tribute with one of his most loved operas,” said artistic director Cecilia Gasdia. “He’ll be with us.”
Zeffirelli often turned his talents toward his native city. In 1983, he wrote a historical portrait of Florence during the 15th and 16th centuries. During the disastrous 1966 Florence floods, Zeffirelli produced a well-received documentary on the damage done to the city and its art.
“I feel more like a Florentine than an Italian,” Zeffirelli once said. “A citizen of a Florence that was once the capital of Western civilization.”
Accused by some of heavy-handedness in his staging techniques, Zeffirelli fought frequent verbal battles with others in Italian theater.
“Zeffirelli doesn’t realize that an empty stage can be more dramatic than a stage full of junk,” Carmelo Bene, an avant-garde Italian director and actor, once said.
It was a criticism that some reserved for his lavish production of “Aida” to open La Scala’s 2006-7 season — his first return to the Milan opera house in a dozen years and the fifth “Aida” of his career. The production was a popular success, but may be remembered more for the turbulent exit of the lead tenor, Roberto Alagna, after being booed.
“I’m 83 and I’ve really been working like mad since I was a kid. I’ve done everything, but I never really feel that I have said everything I have to say,” Zeffirelli told The Associated Press shortly before the opening of “Aida.”
Zeffirelli had trouble with his balance after contracting an infection during hip surgery in 1999, but didn’t let that slow him down.
“I always have to cling on this or that to walk … but the mind is absolutely intact,” he said in the AP interview.
Giada Zampano contributed from Rome.
This story corrects that the film “Romeo and Juliet” was made in 1968, not 1978, and that Zeffiretti is from Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” not from his “Cosi fan tutte.”
The isolation ward for Ebola patients is a tent erected in the garden of the local hospital. Gloves are given out sparingly to health workers. And when the second person in this Uganda border town died after the virus outbreak spread from neighboring Congo , the hospital for several hours couldn’t find a vehicle to take away the body.
“We don’t really have an isolation ward,” the Bwera Hospital’s administrator, Pedson Buthalha, told The Associated Press. “It’s just a tent. To be honest, we can’t accommodate more than five people.”
Medical workers leading Uganda’s effort against Ebola lament what they call limited support in the days since infected members of a Congolese-Ugandan family showed up, one vomiting blood. Three have since died.
While Ugandan authorities praise the health workers as “heroes” and say they are prepared to contain the virus, some workers disagree, wondering where the millions of dollars spent on preparing for Ebola have gone if a hospital on the front line lacks basic supplies.
“Even the gloves are not enough,” the hospital administrator said Thursday. “I give them out small small.” A nurse nodded in agreement.
The World Health Organization on Friday said the Ebola outbreak is an “extraordinary event” of deep concern but does not yet merit being declared a global emergency . Such a declaration typically triggers more funding, resources and political attention. WHO said $54 million is needed to stop the outbreak.
And yet both Congo and Uganda appeared to lobby against a declaration, with Congo counting the Uganda-related Ebola cases as its own, saying Congo was where the family members began developing symptoms. Ugandan authorities on Friday said they had only one suspected Ebola case remaining in the country.
More than 1,400 people have died since this outbreak was declared in August in eastern Congo, one of the world’s most turbulent regions, where rebel attacks and community resistance have hurt Ebola response work. The virus can spread quickly via close contact with bodily fluids of those infected and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, and identifying people who might have been exposed is crucial.
While Ugandan health workers aren’t facing the violent attacks that have killed several Ebola responders in Congo, they remain at risk as they seek to isolate, test and treat for the virus. Basic equipment such as gloves is essential.
At least two nurses at Bwera Hospital might have been exposed as they offered first aid to the infected family. They and some other contacts have since been quarantined in their homes. WHO says at least 112 such contacts have been identified in Uganda since the outbreak crossed the nearby border.
A nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid possible retribution, questioned why some people who might have been exposed to Ebola are allowed to stay at home.
“I wish we could coordinate,” the hospital administrator said of the apparent confusion over how to manage the outbreak.
Ugandan Health Minister Jane Aceng told the AP on Saturday that district officials in Kasese were to blame for limited medical supplies after delaying in submitting their budget.
“It is clearly the responsibility of the district to order supplies,” she said. “If they haven’t done the orders we can’t supply because we don’t know how much they need.” As for upgrading the makeshift isolation ward in the hospital garden, she said “it is not economical. It is not cost-effective” to build permanent structures.
Uganda has faced multiple Ebola outbreaks and is a regional leader in battling Ebola, even if this part of the country has never experienced an outbreak. Some Ugandan physicians were deployed to the West African outbreak of 2013-2016, the deadliest in history.
Health workers in this outbreak now have the benefit of an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine that is being widely used, with more than 130,000 doses distributed. Uganda has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers, with more vaccinations beginning on Saturday.
Still, corruption is rampant, and many local people are scornful of government officials seen as out of touch.
As Bwera Hospital tried to arrange a safe burial on Thursday for one of Uganda’s first Ebola victims, officials quickly realized there was no vehicle. The burial took place hours later and in darkness , which some residents called a sign of the government’s shortcomings.
“This should have been done by the health office, the district health office,” said Moses Mugisa, clerk of the border town of Mpondwe-Lhubiriha, who eventually found transport for the corpse.
In addition, he said, voluntary health teams screening for Ebola on the border have gone unpaid for about four months. He criticized the decision of government officials from Kampala, the capital, to visit only briefly after Uganda’s first Ebola case was announced.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.
Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP—Africa
One of Africa’s largest wildlife preserves is marking a year without a single elephant found killed by poachers, which experts call an extraordinary development in an area larger than Switzerland where thousands of the animals have been slaughtered in recent years.
The apparent turnaround in Niassa reserve in a remote region of northern Mozambique comes after the introduction of a rapid intervention police force and more assertive patrolling and response by air, according to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the reserve with Mozambique’s government and several other partners.
Monitoring of the vast reserve with aerial surveys and foot patrols remains incomplete and relies on sampling, however. And despite the sign of progress, it could take many years for Niassa’s elephant population to rebuild to its former levels even if poaching is kept under control.
Aggressive poaching over the years had cut the number of Niassa’s elephants from about 12,000 to little over 3,600 in 2016, according to an aerial survey. Anti-poaching strategies from 2015 to 2017 reduced the number killed but the conservation group called the rate still far too high.
The new interventions, with Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi personally authorizing the rapid intervention force, have led partners to hope that Niassa’s elephants “stand a genuine chance for recovery,” the conservation group said.
“It is a remarkable achievement,” James Bampton, country director with the Wildlife Conservation Society, told The Associated Press. He said he discovered the year free of poaching deaths while going through data.
The last time an elephant in the Niassa reserve was recorded killed by a poacher was May 17, 2018, he said.
Political will is a key reason for the success, Bampton said, with Mozambique’s president keen to see poaching reduced.
Bampton acknowledged that the low number of remaining elephants is also a factor in the decline in poaching. A year ago, he estimated that fewer than 2,000 elephants remained in Niassa, though he now says preliminary analysis of data from a survey conducted in October and not yet published indicated that about 4,000 elephants are in the reserve.
Still, a year that appears to be free of elephant poaching in the sprawling reserve drew exclamations from some wildlife experts.
“It is a major and very important development that poaching has ceased. This represents a major success,” George Wittemyer, who chairs the scientific board for the Kenya-based organization Save the Elephants, told the AP.
The new rapid intervention police force is an elite unit that is better-armed than the reserve’s normal rangers and has “a bit of a reputation of being quite hard,” Bampton said, adding that no “bad incidents” have been reported in Niassa.
Members of the force are empowered to arrest suspected poachers, put together a case within 72 hours and submit it to the local prosecutor, Bampton said. “Just being caught with a firearm is considered intent to illegal hunting,” with a maximum prison sentence of 16 years.
Wildlife experts have seen gains elsewhere in Africa against elephant poaching. Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, widely acknowledged as “Ground Zero” for poaching and linked to the Niassa reserve by a wildlife corridor, also has seen a recent decline in the killings.
African elephant poaching has declined to pre-2008 levels after reaching a peak in 2011, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
But experts say the rate of annual elephant losses still exceeds the birth rate, and the encroachment of human settlements is reducing the animals’ range. Africa’s elephant population has plummeted from an estimated several million around 1900 to at least 415,000, according to surveys in recent years.
Collaboration and “huge effort” among the Niassa reserve’s partners has been crucial but data show that issues remain with other iconic species such as lions, said Rob Harris, country manager for Fauna & Flora International, which supports one of the operators in the reserve. “So the combination of national-level support and on-the-ground effort must be maintained to improve the situation for all wildlife.”
Associated Press writer Christopher Torchia contributed.
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Liberal environmental activist and lawyer Zuzana Caputova was inaugurated Saturday as the first female president of Slovakia.
Caputova took the oath of office at a special session of Parliament, becoming Slovakia’s fifth president since it gained independence after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.
The 45-year-old has little experience in politics but attracted voters who are appalled by corruption and mainstream politics. Her election to the largely ceremonial post defied a wave of gains for far right populists across Europe.
“I’m not here to rule, I’m here to serve,”Caputova said in her inauguration speech.
A lawyer by profession, Caputova became known for leading a successful fight against a toxic waste dump in her hometown of Pezinok, for which she received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2016.
A divorced mother of two, she is in favor of gay rights and opposes a ban on abortion in this conservative Roman Catholic country.
She only recently became vice chairman of Progressive Slovakia, a new pro-EU party that won the recent European Parliament election in Slovakia
Caputova resigned from her party post after winning the first round of the presidential vote.
Like her popular predecessor Andrej Kiska, who didn’t run for a second term, she is firmly supporting Slovakia’s membership in the European Union and NATO.
She said the EU and NATO give her country “happiness and privilege that (previous) generations could only dream of.”
Kiska backed Caputova in the presidential vote in March when she beat European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in a runoff vote.
Kiska’s five-year term in office was marked by clashes with populist former prime minister Robert Fico and his leftist party, a dominant political force that was tarnished by corruption scandals.
Caputova and Kiska had both supported the massive anti-government street protests last year following the slayings of an investigative reporter and his fiancee that that led to the fall of Fico’s coalition government. Investigators have linked Jan Kuciak’s death to his work probing possible widespread government corruption.
The president of the nation of 5.4 million people has the power to pick the prime minister, appoint Constitutional Court judges and veto laws. Parliament can override the veto with a simple majority, however. The government, led by the prime minister, possesses most executive powers.
Caputova hosted a lunch for the elderly later Saturday.
“I want to be the voice of those who are not heard,” she said.
Miami Dolphins players who do not stand on the field during the national anthem could face up to a four-game suspension under a new team policy.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that a nine-page discipline document classifies anthem protests as “conduct detrimental to the club.” Under the National Football League’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union, teams can fine players a maximum of one week’s salary and/or suspend them for up to four games for this type of violation.
A team source confirmed the report to BuzzFeed News, but cautioned that the club has not yet decided whether and how to punish players for protesting the anthem on the field.
“The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before their players reported to training camp,” the source said, adding that because the Dolphins rookies reported to camp on Wednesday they needed to have the policy in place.
“We will address this issue once the season starts,” the source continued. “All options are still open.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement Friday that the new policy was “a placeholder as we haven’t made a decision on what we would do, if anything, at that point.”
In May, the NFL announced that starting this season all players on the field must stand for the anthem or their team will face fines. Players who want to kneel or don’t want to stand for the ceremony must remain in the locker room, the league said.
But late Thursday, following reports about the Dolphins policy, the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced in a joint statement that the league’s policy on anthem protests and any other anthem-related rules adopted by teams are being put on hold.
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy,” the statement said. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
A spokesperson for the association, which filed a grievance against the league earlier this month, told BuzzFeed News that the agreement to not enforce the anthem policy was reached Thursday afternoon, but the decision had nothing to do with the report about the Dolphins.
The controversy began in 2016 when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained seated during the anthem in what he described as an act of protest against police brutality in the United States.
In later protests, Kaepernick instead kneeled during the anthem and a handful of players joined him.
The issue was reignited last year when President Donald Trump began to tweet and make public statements about players kneeling during the national anthem.
After Trump said during a speech in Alabama on Sept. 22, 2017, that NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who refused to stand during the anthem, many more players started to take a knee.
The NFL’s decision to fine teams for anthem protests drew swift backlash from players and the NFLPA, which said it was not consulted in the creation of the policy.
In a statement regarding the grievance it filed, the association said the anthem policy was “inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”
The Trump Administration wants to dramatically cut the expert panels that widely advise federal agencies on pollution, public health, spending, and planning, according to a White House executive order released late on Friday.
Often called “the fifth arm of government,” there are about 1,000 of these advisory committees that act as a reality check on agencies, operating under a 1972 law that makes their deliberations transparent to the public.
“Each agency shall, by September 30, 2019, terminate at least one-third of its current committees,” the Friday executive order says. “If the combined total number of eligible committees exceeds 350, an agency may not establish a new advisory committee.”
The panels advise on high-profile agency decisions. One at the EPA, for example, recently questioned estimates of cost savings from allowing more pollution. These panels are found at nearly 50 agencies and departments, involve about 72,000 volunteer experts, and cost around $367 million — total — to run in 2015, according to the Government Accounting Office.
“This kind of wholesale elimination of advisory panels is bad government,” Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists told BuzzFeed News.
“The panels are not expensive to run, and no one has to follow their recommendations,” he added. “But they help to inform and enrich the deliberative process. Could that be what the White House objects to?”
The executive order would still allow panels whose primary purpose is to provide scientific expertise to agencies making decisions about the safety of products sold to consumers, such as drug approvals at the FDA.
But the order follows efforts to recast advisory committees at EPA to include more industry voices, and has triggered objections from scientists.
“My view is that although it makes sense to take stock and consider the costs and benefits of advisory committees currently in operation — just as past administrations have — setting arbitrary caps and targets for reduction is difficult to defend if one’s goal is to ensure that government decisions are well informed,” public policy expert Stéphane Lavertu of the Ohio State University told BuzzFeed News by email.
“This order seems to prioritize a reduction in administrative expertise as opposed to some concern with reducing government waste.”