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Seattle Seahawk who sat during national anthem meets with veterans

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 5:17 PM

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10:  Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench during the national anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett – who sat during the national anthem for weeks – shook hands with military veterans outside the team’s practice space this week, as photos on social media show. 

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Dayna Mink Coats wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington on Tuesday, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road. 

“I thought it might be a car accident so I snapped a picture. As I got closer, I realized it was group of military veterans who had assembled in front of the VMAC,” Coats wrote. “Mostly all seniors who had probably seen the battlefield firsthand. They were proudly wearing their veteran’s hats, jackets and some carried American flags. The car in the middle of the road … it was Michael Bennett’s.” 

Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.

“A few of the veterans came over to see if I was OK and behind them walked up Michael Bennett,” Coats wrote. “I was unprepared and not expecting this situation in my morning. But with eyes welled up with tears and speaking from my heart … I simply said, ‘Michael, I am so torn and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to disrespect our country, our flag or my husband who’s in the military but I want to understand. I’m a big Seahawks fan and I don’t know what to do.’ He reached in and hugged me.”

They talked for nearly 20 minutes, and Bennett explained how he had family in the military too. His father served 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

“The word unity was used several times and he admitted he didn’t know where to go from here. I do not know either,” Coats wrote. “Nor do I know what the correct answers are … but I do know, I am thankful for those veterans and thankful Michael stopped to talk with them … and inadvertently me.” 

About Bennett as an advocate 

Bennett is one of the 200 NFL players who didn’t participate in the national anthem over the weekend in the wake of President Donald Trump suggesting the NFL bar players from kneeling in protest. 

The entire Seahawks team also didn’t participate during the anthem and waitedin the locker room before their game against the Tennessee Titans. 

Over the last year, Bennett has been a leader of the national anthem protests started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Before Trump’s comments on the NFL, Bennett gave this reason for his protesting: 

“I have always held the strong conviction that protesting or standing up for justice is just simply the right thing to do. This fact is unequivocally, without question, why before every game, I sit during the national anthem – because equality doesn’t live in this country, and no matter how much money you make, what job title you have or have much you give, when you are seen as a ‘n*****,' you will be treated that way."

Pete Carroll supports his players and Bennett. At a news conference Monday, Carroll told reporters he understands why people are upset with the protests, but he hopes that they listen. 

"It is not about denigration of the flag or our country," Carroll said. "We all can learn what we want to learn out of this, but I hope we learn about empathy."

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House releases Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP memo on alleged government surveillance abuses

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

 House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations .
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
 House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations .(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The House Intelligence Committee Saturday released the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging the FBI and Department of Justice engaged in questionable tactics in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. 

>> Read more trending news 

Schiff Memo by National Content Desk on Scribd

>> Related: House Intelligence Committee votes to release Democrat’s rebuttal to Nunes memo

The 10-page memo, released two weeks after President Donald Trump blocked it and after wrangling between Democrats and DOJ officials, was authored by ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in response to one by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and disputes allegations that illegal tactics were used to get warrants to surveil a former Trump campaign aide.

“The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC. Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests,” Schiff said in a statement Saturday after the release of the memo.

Trump tweeted a response to Schiff’s document release Saturday, calling the Democrats’ memo “a total political and legal bust.” He also repeated his claims that special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is a “witch hunt.”

The president released the Nunes memo last month, which contained information purporting to show that the FBI and DOJ did not provide complete information when requesting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to watch one-time Trump campaign member and foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

>> Related: Trump sends Democrats’ Nunes rebuttal memo back to House committee

The release of both memos came over the objections of investigators in the intelligence communities.

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Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 11:41 PM

WATCH: Florida Sheriff Attends Town Hall For Gun Reform

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel attacked Rep. Bill Hager’s call for his ouster as “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip and falsehoods,” in a response issued late Saturday night.

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State. Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday calling on him to remove Israel for “neglect and incompetence” over the handling of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

Israel said Hager falsely claimed the school resource officer and three other Broward Sheriff deputies were on campus during the shooting and took cover. Deputy Scot Peterson, of suburban Boynton Beach, was the only one on the campus at the time of the attack, Israel wrote in his own letter to Scott.

>> Related: State Rep. urges FL Gov. Rick Scott to oust Broward sheriff over Parkland shooting

Peterson resigned Thursday after he was suspended without pay and faced likely termination. An initial investigation showed he was outside the building where the shooting took place but didn’t enter for at least four minutes. Peterson received active shooter training but did not follow protocols, Israel said.

CNN reported Friday that when Coral Springs police arrived at the school, three other Broward deputies were outside the building but did not go in. Coral Springs received the 911 call and was dispatched to the active shooter incident before the call was transferred to BSO dispatch, according to Israel. Those Coral Spring officers entered the building, followed by more Coral Springs officers and Broward deputies.

>> Related: Parkland victim’s dad: My daughter will be last kid murdered in school

Israel also accused Hager of falsely claiming Broward Sheriff deputies visited Nikolas Cruz’s home 39 times. There were 23 calls for service involving Cruz, who confessed to the shooting, or his family. Eighteen involved Cruz directly, and the rest involved his brother, according to the sheriff.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch repeatedly said there were 39 calls to Cruz’s home during a CNN town hall Wednesday.

None of them were offenses that warranted arrest, according to the sheriff. Most were “routine parenting issues,” such as the brothers fighting or one of them banging pool equipment against the house, according to Israel.

>> Related: Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Two encounters are still under review. In a subsequent incident at school, the school resource officer referred Cruz to the Department of Children and Families, and he received mental health counseling, DCF supervision and medication for 2 1/2 months before DCF closed the case, according to the sheriff.

The BSO deputy who handled the call that’s still under internal investigation referred the person who reported the issue to Palm Beach County law enforcement, because Cruz had moved.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks at a news conference, flanked by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, and state Attorney General Pam Bondi.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Lastly, Israel said Hager was wrong to criticize the sheriff’s office for being under review in the past, specifically after the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. All police agencies perform self-assessments after any major incident so they know how they can do better, Israel said. The problems to which Hager referred were identified by BSO itself, he said.

>> Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

The sheriff’s office caught the killer in the Fort Lauderdale Airport attack within 80 seconds of the first shot being fired, Israel said.

Israel was elected in 2012 and 2016.

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Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 11:10 PM

An ambulance rushes to the scene of an emergency.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
An ambulance rushes to the scene of an emergency.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tennessee college student died in the middle of an amateur boxing match Friday night in Knoxville, authorities said.

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University of Tennessee junior Tanner Wray, 20, collapsed on the mat as he was walking to his corner in the second round of his fight in the 38th annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament.

Wray, an aerospace engineering and science student from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., was boxing in the ninth bout of the night and appeared to be winning the fight according to a boxing official that was ringside.

The rest of the event, which is organized by Knoxville Golden Gloves, was canceled.

Wray, a former high school quarterback, was fighting for the Chi Phi fraternity, of which he was the Vice President.

Wray was given immediate medical attention, but attempts to revive him appeared to be unsuccessful according to eyewitnesses, and he was transported to UT Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It did not appear any major punches were landed, witnesses say.

The following statement from Knoxville Golden Gloves was published by Boxingweekend.com:

With great sadness, we remember Joseph Tanner Wray and his family and the tragic loss that occurred on Friday, February 23, 2018. The entire Golden Gloves family is heartbroken by his passing and extend our most heartfelt condolences to all that knew and loved Tanner. 

Over the last 50 years, Knoxville Golden Gloves has worked to keep boxers safe and to avoid any serious injuries in over 6,000 amateur boxing bouts. 

On February 23rd, after the end of the second round, Tanner collapsed. Within seconds, a team of 11 medical professionals attended to him and provided care and transferred him to UT Medical Center. The doctors and nurses did everything possible to resuscitate Tanner, but were unsuccessful. 

After this tragic event, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled out of respect to Tanner. Golden Gloves is fully cooperating with all ongoing investigations and is hopeful the results will assist in preventing similar tragedies in the future. 

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Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 10:40 PM

Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing.

>> Read more trending news 

Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel. Though she won the heat that was almost thwarted by the squirrel, she fell in the next round to Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.

>> Related: Olympian Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

But, Ulbing can’t be too disappointed with her loss to Ledecka. The Czech snowboarder is a regular winter games sensation. At only 22 years old, she made history at the 2018 games by becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in different sports — she won the gold in alpine skiing last week.

After a fun and freezing few weeks, the winter games are finally preparing to wrap up. At the moment, the Norwegians are at the top of the pack with 13 gold medals and 38 total. They’re followed by Canada and Germany. The Americans are in fourth place with nine gold medals and 23 total.

What You Need To Know About Chloe Kim

>> Related: Photos: 2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. women's hockey team wins gold

And, while the sports and squirrels were fun, this year’s games also had a lot of diplomacy going on in the stands and around the venue. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the games with his visit to South Korea where he sat only feet away from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony. President Trump’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, is in South Korea now for the closing ceremony.  

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