Alaska GLACIER Conference

Alaska GLACIER Conference

The Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER, will highlight international and domestic priorities in the Arctic. At the direction of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee, the Department of State is developing the agenda for GLACIER in close coordination with the White House, and Departments and Agencies of the United States Government with Arctic responsibilities.

This global leadership focus on the Arctic is intended to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region. This conference will bring together Foreign Ministers of Arctic nations and key non-Arctic states with scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic. Representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples will be invited to attend and encouraged to participate. GLACIER will discuss individual and collective action to address climate change in the Arctic; raise the visibility of climate impacts in the Arctic as a harbinger for the world, and the Arctic’s unique role in global climate change; identify ways that Arctic innovators are responding to these critical challenges; and share opportunities to prepare and respond to other issues in the changing Arctic.

GLACIER will take place during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but is not an Arctic Council sponsored event. GLACIER is also not directly related to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (otherwise known as COP-21) taking place in late 2015. This conference will, however, help to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities that the Arctic Council intends to address and highlight how a region vulnerable to climate change is experiencing and responding to these impacts, helping to drive political will for ambitious action at COP-21.

The full-day event will begin with an opening plenary session, after which attendees may participate in one of three tracks. Foreign Ministers will participate in sessions focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues.

For more:

WH 2015 Alaska GLACIER Conference

Monday, August 31, 2015

President Obama participates in a roundtable with Alaska Natives
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Barack Obama announces a “secretarial order” that has officially restored the Koyukon Athabascan name of Denali to the tallest mountain in North America, previously known as Mt. McKinley
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama addresses the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama meets with foreign ministers, scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic region at the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

President Obama hikes to the Exit Glacier
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska

President Obama participates in a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

President Obama tours of the Northwest Arctic city of Kotzebue
Kotzebue, Alaska

President Obama meets with local fisherman and families
Kotzebue, Alaska

President Obama deliver remarks about climate change
Kotzebue, Alaska



Trump Piñatas Are Hotest Selling Item

Trump Pinata - street viewTrump Pinata - in-store view

Donald Trump Piñatas Become Popular Item In San Francisco’s Mission District

August 27, 2015 8:10 PM Don Ford – cbs

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – There’s a hot new item on San Francisco’s Mission Street. A likeness of Donald Trump, the kind you beat with a stick.

While piñatas are normally popular at children’s parties, the piñata of the 2016 presidential candidate has become popular with adults.

“The Latino community is a little bit upset, some are angry,” Mia Fregreso of San Francisco told KPIX 5. “So I guess they decided to make a piñata out of him, so people can beat the crap out of him basically.”

The store owner refused to go on camera, saying it’s all just good fun and political satire. And at nearly twice the cost of say, a Minnie Mouse piñata or a piñata of Woody from “Toy Story,” the price doesn’t seem to be an issue.

“Twenty Bucks! Yes! I guess people will pay twenty bucks to beat on Mr. Fake Donald Trump,” Fregeso said.

Lauren Weissman is getting one as a present. She is more than just a little excited. “I literally jumped off the bus and ran in here to buy this,” Weissman said.

Weissman said not everyone wants to bust open the piñata. In case some in her family are offended, she has a backup plan. “I can always keep it in the house and use it as a Voodoo Doll. Or use it to kick and punch whenever we get frustrated,” Weissman said.

For more:


New Piñata Trumps Usual Party Props For Mexican Entrepreneur 

AUGUST 14, 2015 3:34 PM ET John Burnett – npr

Donald Trump never met Dalton Javier Ramirez. But the 69-year-old real estate mogul would have a grudging respect for the ambitious 28-year-old piñata entrepreneur.

Ramirez claims to be the first piñata maker in Mexico or the United States to create the Trump piñata. He’s based in the town of Reynosa, across the Rio Grande from Hidalgo, Texas. In the past two months, news stories about him have appeared around the world. And the Facebook page of Piñateria Ramirez has 11,000 likes and counting.

Ever since Trump spoke out against Mexico exporting its criminals to the United States, Latinos have expressed loathing of the GOP’s leading candidate. Despite his attempts to mollify our southern neighbor, it’s not working. Dalton Ramirez can’t make Trump piñatas fast enough.

For more:

Europeans are obsessed with Donald Trump
The loud-mouthed billionaire businessman embodies what Europeans love to hate about the U.S.

8/28/15 By NICHOLAS VINOCUR – politico

PARIS — The media here has got a Continental strain of Trump fever.

Since the real estate mogul made a shocking surge to the top of the Republican presidential polls in the U.S., Europe has fixated on the unapologetic showman, churning out a steady stream of news coverage and commentary.

On Thursday, France’s Libération newspaper devoted its entire front page to a photo of a snarling Donald, with an inch-high headline that read: “Donald Trump — The American Nightmare.”

The Continent has its share of outrageous personalities on the political right of center: Britain’s Nigel Farage, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, France’s family Le Pen. But Trump fits many perceived European stereotypes of America: excess, vulgarity, ignorance, superficiality, love of wealth, to name a few.

“Trump represents the America that we love to hate,” said Marie-Cécile Naves, a sociologist and author of “Le nouveau visage des droites américaines” (“The New Face of the American Right”). “He is our negative mirror image, a man we see as brutal, who worships money and lacks culture — someone who lets us feel a bit superior about being European.”

In Europe’s capitals, feelings of superiority sometimes translate as concern for an ignorant American public that Trump, described by Britain’s Observer newspaper as a “malign buffoon,” is supposedly exploiting. “His constituency is ignorance,” the Observer wrote on Aug. 9 in an unsigned editorial. “In this, he is heir to a long, inglorious American tradition.”

In France, editorialist Alexandre Vatimbella called him a [“un clown provocateur” or] “provocative clown” whose brand of populism was dangerous for democracy, while Germany’s newspapers have reached a consensus around the label “Großmaul,” or loudmouth.

A YouGov poll this week showed that two-thirds of Germans had a negative view of him. And the commentary written about Trump in Europe’s newspapers, from Paris to London to Berlin, is almost uniformly disparaging.

Read more:


Voto Inteligente. vote_democrat_sml

¡Votar Demócratas!


Death of Emmett Till – 60th Anniversary

Emmett Till Memorial

Emmett Till photographed by his mother on Christmas Day 1954
Emmett Till photographed by his mother on Christmas Day 1954

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American teenager who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14, after reportedly flirting with a white woman.

Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went to Till’s great-uncle’s house. They took Till away to a barn, where they beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Three days later, Till’s body was discovered and retrieved from the river.

Till’s body was returned to Chicago. His mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. “The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till’s bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy”. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black-oriented magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state. Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they soon began responding to national criticism by defending Mississippians, which eventually transformed into support for the killers.

In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till’s kidnapping and murder. Protected against double jeopardy, Bryant and Milam publicly admitted in an interview with Look magazine that they killed Till. Problems identifying Till affected the trial, partially leading to Bryant’s and Milam’s acquittals, and the case was officially reopened by the United States Department of Justice in 2004. As part of the investigation, the body was exhumed and autopsied resulting in a positive identification. He was reburied in a new casket, which is the standard practice in cases of body exhumation. His original casket was donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

The trial of Bryant and Milam attracted a vast amount of press attention. Till’s murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Events surrounding Emmett Till’s life and death, according to historians, continue to resonate, and some writers have suggested that almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the region in which he died, in “some spiritual, homing way”.

For more:


Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Speaks at Emmett Till Tree Planting Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.,
United States
Monday, November 17, 2014
Thank you all, and especially Senator [Susan] Collins, Senator [Thad] Cochran, Senator [Roger] Wicker, Stephen Ayers, and my good friend Janet Langhart Cohen, for the opportunity to be here this morning.
Nearly six decades have passed since the terrible night when young Emmett Till – a 14-year-old Chicagoan on a trip to visit relatives in Mississippi – was abducted, in the early-morning darkness, by violent men with hatred in their hearts.  Yet even today, the pain from this unspeakable crime, this unspeakable tragedy, still feels raw – perhaps because those responsible for this hate crime were never held to account.  Or perhaps because the progress that generations have fought and died to achieve – progress that made possible my own life and career, and those of leaders like President Obama – came too late for Emmett Till.  Or perhaps even because, despite the extraordinary steps forward our country has witnessed in the years since that murderous, hate-filled summer night, our nation’s journey – along the road to equality, acceptance and opportunity for all – is not yet complete.  And perhaps because our history – including our recent history – is dotted with the stories of far too many other Emmett Tills, Matthew Shepards, and James Byrds: talented, thriving people, many of them young, with promising futures stretching out before them – all cut down, brutally and unnecessarily, because of what they looked like or who they were.
Although today our hearts still ache for Emmett Till, and for so many others – before and since – who have suffered the same fate, from the darkness of these tragic losses there have arisen great sparks of humanity that have transformed our nation to be more strong, more equal, and more free.  Just months after Emmett Till was laid to rest, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, later saying she had thought of this young man the moment she was challenged.  In the decades that followed, countless Americans – from brave young people who integrated schools and universities across the South, including my late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone; to leaders like Dr. King and the legendary John Lewis; to Freedom Riders and activists who launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer – have carried with them the memory of what happened, one night in 1955, on the banks of the Tallahatchie River.
So although Emmett Till died senselessly – and far too soon – it can never be said that he died in vain.  His tragic murder galvanized millions to action.  And today, we commemorate this legacy by planting a tree in his honor – a tree that will become his living memorial, here at the heart of our Republic, in the shadow of the United States Capitol.
Like the work it symbolizes and the cause it represents, this tree will outlast us.  Like our ongoing efforts, it will honor the enduring legacy of a young man – a boy, really – who never had the chance to grow old.  And it will ensure that Emmett Till’s story, his example, and his too-short life will be preserved forever – on these grounds now made hallow, but also in the memories of all who knew him, in the work of those who carry on his fight, and in the hearts and minds of generations yet to come.  In remembering that young man in the way we do today, we ennoble our nation and make our union more perfect.
Thank you.


Emmett Till 60th year commemoration events planned

Aug 26, 2015  Cheryl Lasseter – WLOX-TV Biloxi

This weekend, take a look back at the legacy of Emmett Till, 60 years after his death, with “The Emmett Till Legacy: 60th Year Anniversary Commemoration, A Time for Unity, Reflection & Remembrance.”

  • Thursday, Aug. 27: A documentary of Mamie Till Mobley’s visit in 2002. Cornerstone MBC, 1118 Martin Luther King St., Jackson, 6 p.m..
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Time for unity in black and white. Wear black and white attire. Observe a moment of silence at noon.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Remembering Emmett Louis Till’s Legacy & Luncheon, 60 years later. Smith Robertson Museum, 528 Bloom Street, Jackson, 12-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Candlelight vigil and prayer for peace. Jackson State University, 7:45-9 p.m..
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Meet and greet the Till family. Mediterranean Bar & Grill, 6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29: Emmett Till Parade, featuring Till family as grand marshals. Begins at Freedom Corner at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29: A Delta, MS bus and walking tour. 12 p.m.-10 p.m..
  • Sunday, Aug. 30: Worship with Emmett Till family and Team Mississippi. Wear all white. Alabaster COGIC, 940 McDowell Road, Jackson,11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 30: Film screening: ‘Who Killed Emmett Till’ and ‘The Story of Mamie Till Mobley’. Community discussion to follow. New Highlights Building on Tougaloo College Campus, 4-6 p.m.

For the entire article:


Women’s Equality Day 2015

Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.

Equal Pay - Women Breadwinners

The Paycheck Fairness Act is proposed legislation that would add procedural protections to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address male–female income disparity in the United States. A Census Bureau report published in 2008 stated that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of men’s earnings, newer studies suggest, when the data is controlled for certain variables, the residual gap is around 7%, the same study concludes that the residual is due to the fact that “hours of work in many occupations are worth more when given at particular moments and when the hours are more continuous. That is, in many occupations earnings have a nonlinear relationship with respect to hours.”

The House of Represen­tatives approved the bill in January 2009. The United States Senate failed to move the bill forward in November 2010. President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill was reintroduced in both houses of Congress in April 2011.

The 2010 bill had no Republican Party co-sponsors, though a group of four Republican senators had supported an earlier bill to address gender-based wage discrimination, including Susan CollinsKay Bailey HutchisonLisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe. On June 5th, 2012 the bill fell short of the 60 votes necessary to override a filibuster and did not make it to the Senate floor for debate. The vote went along party lines, excluding a vote against by Democrat Harry Reid. (A vote which left Democrats the option to introduce the bill again at a later time.) On April 9, 2014, in another straight-party-line vote, the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199; 113th Congress) was again blocked by a Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Once again, Senator Reid changed his vote from support to oppose, as a tactical maneuver to keep the bill alive.

The 2010 Senate version of the bill had the support of the Obama administration and that of Democrats in the Senate. The American Civil Liberties Union supported S.182, citing the 2008 data from the United States Census Bureau that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of the male median, African-American women’s median annual earnings were 64% of the white male median, and Hispanic women’s median annual earnings were 54% of the white male median. The American Association of University Women also supported the bill, citing the organization’s 2007 research report, Behind the Pay Gap, which showed that women earn less than their male colleagues just one year out of college. The pay gap has widened 10 years after graduation.



Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men?

On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This substantial gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.

President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.



GOP Blocks Equal Pay

Senate Republicans again kill Paycheck Fairness Act

4/09/14 01:06 PM – Steven Benen – maddowblog

The third time was not the charm. Democratic efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to overcome Republican opposition in the 111th Congress and the 112th Congress, and as of this morning, it failed once again at the hands of a GOP filibuster.

Senate Republicans filibustered a debate on a Democratic pay equity bill backed by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments.

The roll call from the vote is online here. Note that the final tally was 54 to 43 – six votes shy of the supermajority needed to end Republican obstructionism – but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his vote for procedural reasons, leaving it at 53 to 44.

The legislation received exactly zero Republican votes, as was the case with previous efforts to pass the bill.I

In case anyone needs a refresher, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a perfectly credidble piece of legislation that would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

As we’ve discussed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

Republicans have responded that they endorse the idea of equal pay for equal work, but in recent years, much of the party remains opposed to policymakers’ efforts to do something about it. (This morning, some GOP senators also raised procedural objections about amendments.)

As for the electoral considerations, aren’t GOP lawmakers worried about rejecting measures like these in an election year?

Apparently not.

Senate Republicans aren’t sweating a ramped-up push by Democrats and President Barack Obama for new pay equity legislation – pushing forward women Republicans to rebut charges they have a woman problem and doubting the issue will resonate with voters. […]

Republicans argue that the Democrats’ bill – along with their so-called “Fair Shot” agenda for the year – is a political ploy that will not fool voters.

I’m not sure who’s trying to fool whom in this model. Dems put together a bill; the bill is popular; and they’ve pushed it repeatedly for six years. That sounds less like a p.r. stunt and more like an effort to address a problem.

As for the midterms, Republicans have struggled of late with the gender gap. At a minimum, today’s vote won’t help.



US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 ( Civil Rights Timelines ™)


Forward For Equality_sml

2015 National Clean Energy Summit 8.0

Natl Clean Energy Summit - lrg

The eighth annual National Clean Energy Summit will bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs. The day-long clean energy summit is cosponsored by US Senator Harry Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Ripple Effect: Game-Changing Clean Energy Investments

Moderator: Dan Klaich, Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education

Speakers: Jamie Evans, Managing Director and Head of U.S. Eco Solutions, Panasonic
Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development at Tesla Motors

Description: The “Ripple Effect: Game Changing Clean Energy Investments” brings the next generation of clean energy development into focus with an in-depth look at large, trend-setting investments in clean energy. A recent example of those game-changing investments is the “Gigafactory,”  the Nevada-based lithium ion battery plant currently being constructed by Tesla and Panasonic. The discussion will focus on how significant clean energy investments have dramatic positive impacts on the surrounding communities, including job creation, fostering entrepreneurship and building economic diversity. The panel will also provide an opportunity to discuss cooperation between the public and private sectors to prepare the workforce to match the needs of a growing clean energy economy, with the gigafactory highlighted as one of many models of success.

 Energy in the Information Age

Speakers: Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
Thomas Voss, Chairman of Smart Wires
Amy Ericson, Country President for the United States at Alstom
Susan Kennedy, CEO and BOard Member of Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Description: The “Energy in Information Age” panel will explore solutions to revitalize the nation’s outdated power grid. As homes and appliances become more connected to the internet and people generate more of their own clean electricity, the country will need to invest in innovative solutions to ensure the grid infrastructure is serving the needs of Americans. During “Energy in the Information Age,” the panelists will lead a thrilling conversation about how companies are inventing and deploying solutions that will ensure the grid communicates better with consumers and their homes, allowing them to save energy and deploy cleaner energy.

Energy in American Life

Moderator: Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress

Speakers:  Bill Ritter, Former Governor of Colorado
Antonio Villaraigosa, Former Mayor of Los Angeles
Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Investors
Geisha Williams, President of Electric Operations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Description: The “Energy in American Life” panel features a timely discussion about the savings and opportunities that clean energy and efficiency bring to families and businesses today. Panelists will discuss how Americans are demanding cleaner energy, less pollution and solutions to climate change, and the ways in which communities are adopting those solutions today. The conversation will also focus on how state and federal clean energy investments and policies will help states implement President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting the nation’s health and environment now and for future generations.

For more:



August 24, 2015
National Clean Energy Summit 8.0: Powering Progress
Las Vegas, Nevada
Keynote Speaker: President Barack Obama



Heroes: S. Stone, A. Sadler, A. Sharlatos, C. Norman, M. Moogalian & Damien A.

A humble wave from a hero: Wounded US airman who took down AK47-wielding terrorist on French train, then treated others before tending to his own stab wounds emerges from hospital with a smile 

US Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling a day after tackling a terrorist down
US Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling a day after tackling a terrorist down
  • Air Force airman Spencer Stone ran at 26-year-old Moroccan when he opened fire on high speed service to Paris
  • He was stabbed in the neck, above his brow, and almost severed his thumb – but still gave First Aid to others
  • Was on the train with friend Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was travelling through Europe
  • With the help of Anthony Sadler, from California, and British national Chris Norman, they stopped the attack
  • Three people, including Stone, wounded in the attack and French police have hailed the bravery of the bystanders
  • French media report the man denies being a terrorist and instead claims he wanted to carry out an armed robbery 
  • Also claims he wanted to ransom off passengers and he found the weapons in a bag ‘by chance in a Brussels Park’

The US airman who was stabbed in the neck and hand while tackling a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist to the ground in a packed Paris-bound train has emerged from hospital with a humble wave.

He became a hero while traveling on a high speed train from Amsterdam to France with his two friends – Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was on leave after a tour of Afghanistan, and Anthony Sadler of California – when they ambushed a terrorist and averted a tragedy.

Having already been suspicious of Ayoub el-Qahzzani’s behavior, Stone leaped into action when he heard him load up a Kalashnikov in the toilet. When he came out to open fire, Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler charged and tackled him to the ground.

Stone was stabbed in the hand during the scuffle with a Klashnikov and Stanley knife on Friday – almost severing his thumb – but was hailed a hero as he disarmed the suspect then administered first aid to others before caring for himself.

On Saturday, he emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling – and offered the cameras a humble wave before slipping into a black sedan with diplomatic license plates.

It was not immediately clear where he was headed.

Stone, who is in the Air Force, was also commended for helping an injured train passenger, a French-American, bleeding from a gunshot wound. That passenger, a teacher who resides outside Paris, was being treated in another hospital in Lille.

French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that he spoke with President Barack Obama to personally thank him for the ‘exemplary conduct of American citizens who stopped an extremely serious attack.’

Earlier on Saturday, Stone’s friend Sadler described the sequence of events.

‘We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,’ Sadler said from France. They then saw a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle.

‘As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,’ Sadler continued. ‘Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.’

As they beat the man – named in reports as Ayoub el-Qahzzani – he pleaded with them to return his AK-47, Sadler explained.

‘He was just telling us to give back his gun. ‘Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.’

The men, along with fellow passenger British IT consultant Chris Norman, have since been commended for their bravery by President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande has tweeted that he will meet the men tomorrow to thank them.

(From left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Oregon Army National Guard Spec Alek Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
(From left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Oregon Army National Guard Spec Alek Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery

Read more:


Mark Moogalian, first heroic passenger to wrestle a weapon from the high-speed train gunman
Mark Moogalian, first heroic passenger to wrestle a weapon from the high-speed train gunman

Revealed: The mystery man who tackled AK-47 assault rifle from train gunman

Traveller who intervened to disarm gunman youb El-Khazzani is an American academic named Mark Moogalian

Mr Moogalian, who lives in Paris but is originally from Midlothian, Virginia, US, is the previously unnamed man who came to the aid of “Damien A”, 28, a French banker who confronted El-Khazzani.

The academic acted instinctively to protect his wife Isabella Risacher, who was also aboard the Thalys train.

He tackled the Kalashnikov assault rifle off El-Khazzani, who then drew a sidearm and shot him in the neck before taking back the rifle, his sister has revealed.

Three other US citizens including two military personnel, and Chris Norman, a British businessman then stepped in to disarm and overpower the assailant.

For more:

Defense Officials Praise Troops’ Actions in Train Attack

WASHINGTON, August 22, 2015 —

In a statement released today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter praised three Americans for their actions yesterday on a train outside of Brussels, Belgium.

“On behalf of all the men and women of the Department of Defense, I want to thank the brave individuals, including two members of the U.S. military, who stepped forward to prevent an even greater tragedy from taking place aboard that train,” Carter said.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, assigned to the 65th Air Base Group, Lajes Air Base, Azores, Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos and a civilian friend were traveling together via train on personal leave. The men took immediate action to subdue an armed gunman before he could engage his automatic weapon on the train.

“My thoughts and prayers today are with those injured in the attack, including Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, whose selfless actions saved lives. I wish him a speedy recovery,” the defense secretary said.

“These men are heroes,” said U.S. European Command Commander Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove.

“Actions like this clearly illustrate the courage and commitment our young men and women have all the time, whether they are on duty or on leave,” he said. “We are extremely proud of their efforts and now are praying for our injured airman to have a speedy recovery.”

Stone, who suffered non-life threatening injuries in the attack, is currently being treated in a French medical facility.

“(Stone and Skarlatos) are two reasons why — on duty and off — ours is finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said.

“I’m still waiting to wake up,” he said. “It’s like a movie scene or something.”

“I was thinking about survival,” said Spencer Stone, who serves in the Air Force. “It was to survive and for everybody else on the train to make it.”

“He seemed like he was ready to fight until the end,” Stone added of Ayoub El Khazzani, 26, the alleged attacker. “So were we.”

“His intentions were very clear,” said Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman. “The guy had a lot of ammo. In the beginning it was gut instinct, survival.”

Khazzani allegedly opened fire on board a train heading from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday before being subdued by Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone.

Three passengers were injured in the incident, sustaining knife or gunshot wounds, none of them life-threatening.

Stone had his neck and thumb caught when he and his two close friends rushed Khazzani and prevented further bloodshed.

“Other than my finger, I didn’t really feel any of my other injuries,” he said on Sunday. “I trust my friends very much. If it wasn’t for them, I’d be dead.”

“He clearly had no firearms training whatsoever,” Skarlatos said of Khazzani. “I have no idea where he was aiming.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday that the accused assailant wielded a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger automatic pistol and a box cutter during the attack.

Sadler argued on Sunday that the international community must remain both vigilant and brave in the face of similar extremism.

“Please do something,” he said. “Don’t just stand there and watch.”

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From the left, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon, Alek Skarlatos, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley, U.S. Airman Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento University in California, pose for photographers as they leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after being awarded with the French Legion of Honor by French President Hollande, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. French President Hollande and a bevy of officials are presenting the Americans with the prestigious Legion of Honor on Monday. The three American travelers say they relied on gut instinct and a close bond forged over years of friendship as they took down a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
From L, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon, Alek Skarlatos, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley, U.S. Airman and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento University in California was awarded with the French Legion of Honor by French President Hollande, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

US National Heritage Areas

Preserve Natl Heritage Areas

National Heritage Areas Map
National Heritage Areas Map

A National Heritage Area is a site designated by United States and intended to encourage historic preservation of the area and an appreciation of the history and heritage of the site. There are currently 49 National Heritage Areas, some of which use variations of the title, such as National Heritage Corridor.

National Heritage Areas (NHA) are not National Park Service units or federally owned or managed land. National Heritage Areas are administered by state governments or non-profit organizations or other private corporations. The National Park Service provides an advisory role and limited technical, planning and financial assistance.

NHAs are created by Congress. Each area has its own authorizing legislation and a set of unique resources and goals. Areas considered for designation must have specific elements. First, the landscape must be a nationally unique natural, cultural, historic, or scenic resource. Second, when the related sites are linked, they must tell a unique story about the U.S.

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What are National Heritage Areas?

National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources,NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. NHAs are lived-in landscapes. Consequently, NHA entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.

NHAs are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects. Leveraging funds and long-term support for projects, NHA partnerships foster pride of place and an enduring stewardship ethic.

The National Heritage Area Program

NHAs further the mission of the National Park Service (NPS) by fostering community stewardship of our nation’s heritage. The NHA program, which currently includes 49 heritage areas, is administered by NPS coordinators in Washington DC and six regional offices – Anchorage, Oakland, Denver, Omaha, Philadelphia, and Atlanta – as well as park unit staff.

NHAs are not national park units. Rather, NPS partners with, provides technical assistance, and distributes matching federal funds from Congress to NHA entities. NPS does not assume ownership of land inside heritage areas or impose land use controls.


How do National Heritage Areas work?

National Heritage Areas (NHA) expand on traditional approaches to resource stewardship by supporting large-scale, community driven initiatives that connect local citizens to the preservation and planning process. 

What is the role of the National Park Service?

The National Park Service (NPS) provides technical, planning and limited financial assistance to National Heritage Areas. The NPS is a partner and advisor, leaving decision-making authority in the hands of local people and organizations. 

The National heritage Areas staff at NPS headquarters are available to help answer any questions about the program. 

How is it different from a National Park?

A National Heritage Area is not a unit of the National Park Service, nor is any land owned or managed by the NPS. National Park Service involvement is always advisory in nature.

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Heritage & Historic Preservation – NPS Facebook
Heritage & Historic Preservation – NPS Twitter