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Happening Today: Paul Manafort Trial, NFL Protests, Opioid Prescriptions, Orca, Kanye West, Demi Lovato, Casey Affleck

What to Know

  • Player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games
  • In an experiment, doctors got a letter from the ME's office telling them of a patient's fatal overdose. The response: giving less opioids
  • Kanye West was silent during an interview on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in which Kimmel asked about President Donald Trump

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Several NFL Players Demonstrate During Anthem at Preseason Games

Player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games. At Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson and defensive end Robert Quinn protested during the anthem. Stills and Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Quinn stood and raised his right fist. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers. Stills kneeled during the anthem during the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by NFL players. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of the movement, tweeted support for Stills and Wilson. The league and the players' union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played, or remain in the locker room.

Prosecutors Shift Focus to Fraud Charges in Paul Manafort Trial

After three days of dramatic and even salacious testimony in the trial of Paul Manafort, prosecutors returned to the nuts and bolts of their case against the former Trump campaign chairman as they sought to show he obtained millions of dollars in bank loans under false pretenses. Attorneys for special counsel Robert Mueller also got a rare — and narrow — acknowledgment from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III that he likely erred when he angrily confronted them a day earlier over whether he had allowed a witness to watch the trial. The judge's comments and detailed testimony about Manafort's loans opened the eighth day of his trial as prosecutors began presenting the bulk of their bank fraud case against him after spending days largely on tax-evasion allegations. Prosecutors, with eight witnesses left to call, are expected to rest their case by Friday afternoon.

Doctors Told of Patient's Fatal Overdose Prescribe Fewer Opioids, Study Says

In a novel experiment, doctors got a letter from the medical examiner's office telling them of their patient's fatal overdose. The response: They started prescribing fewer opioids. Other doctors, whose patients also overdosed, didn't get letters. Their opioid prescribing didn't change. More than 400 "Dear Doctor" letters, sent last year in San Diego County, were part of a study that, researchers say, put a human face on the U.S. opioid crisis for many doctors. Researchers used a state database to find 861 doctors, dentists and others who had prescribed opioids and other risky medications to 170 people who died of an overdose involving prescription medicines. Most of the deaths involved opioid painkillers, many taken in combination with anti-anxiety drugs. On average, each person who died had filled prescriptions for dangerous drugs from five to six prescribers in the year before they died. Then the researchers watched what happened over three months. Letter recipients reduced their average daily opioid prescribing — measured in a standard way, morphine milligram equivalents — by nearly 10 percent compared to prescribers who didn't get letters. Opioid prescribing in the no-letter group didn't change.

After 2 Weeks, Grieving Orca Still Carries Dead Calf

An endangered orca is still clinging to her dead calf more than two weeks after her newborn died. Michael Milstein, a spokesman with NOAA Fisheries, says researchers spotted the 20-year-old whale known as J35 carrying her dead young off the tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. The calf died July 24 and the image of the mother whale clinging to the dead calf has struck an emotional chord worldwide. Milstein says researchers with Fisheries and Ocean Canada also spotted another member of the same pod — the 3 ½-year old whale J50 that is emaciated. The ailing orca was swimming with her mom. A team of experts led by NOAA Fisheries have been searching for the young whale to assess her health and potentially give her medication.

Kanye West Silenced by Jimmy Kimmel's Question on Trump

Kanye West was silent during an interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in which Kimmel asked about President Trump, NBC News reported. Kimmel pressed West, who has called the president his "brother," about Trump, pointing to his administration's now-defunct family separation policy on the southern border while discussing his character. West became silent, and nervous laughter from the studio audience ensued before Kimmel suggest taking a break. He nixed the Trump talk after, moving onto fashion choices West has made for his children. The meandering interview touched on a number of subjects, including how having bipolar disorder affects West's creativity.

Demi Lovato Cancels Tour Dates to Focus on Recovery

Demi Lovato has canceled the rest of her fall tour to focus on her recovery. The singer was scheduled to perform in Mexico in September and in South America in November but announced she would not perform the shows. Over the weekend Lovato checked out of the hospital she was rushed to on July 24 for a reported overdose. The 25-year-old wrote a lengthy post on Instagram, saying she remains committed to overcoming addiction. Lovato has spoken about her struggles with an eating disorder, self-mutilation, drugs and alcohol. She celebrated six years of sobriety in March but recently relapsed, revealing the news in the song "Sober," released in June. The track hit a new peak this week on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Casey Affleck Talks New Film, His Oscars Absence and MeToo

With a new movie coming out this fall, "The Old Man & The Gun," Casey Affleck is speaking publicly about bowing out of presenting the best actress Oscar and past harassment allegations against him amid the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Affleck reflects on the Oscars, the film, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and past harassment allegations against him in light of #MeToo, apologizing for allowing an unprofessional atmosphere on set which led to two civil lawsuits from women he worked with that were later settled.

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