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Neil Young to release archival 1973 live album, “Roxy,” in conjunction with Record Store Day in April

Reprise RecordsNeil Young recently announced on his Neil Young Archives website that he’d soon be releasing a new archival album titled Roxy — Tonight’s the Night Live, and now full details about the record have been unveiled. The album, which was culled from a trio of September 1973 shows at the then-new venue The Roxy in West Hollywood, California, will initially be released as a limited-edition two-LP vinyl set in conjunction with Record Store Day 2018 on Saturday, April 21.

Standard-vinyl, CD and digital versions of Roxy will be issued the following Tuesday, April 24.

Young scheduled the concerts after completing the initial sessions for what became his classic 1975 album Tonight’s the Night. His band at the time included Nils Lofgren, Ben Keith and the Crazy Horse rhythm section of Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina. At the shows, Neil played renditions of all the tunes he’d recorded for Tonight’s the Night, as well as “Walk On,” which became the lead track of his 1974 album, On the Beach.

The vinyl editions of Roxy will feature three sides of music, plus an etching on the fourth side. The Record Store Day version of the LP will come packaged with an exclusive print of Young and his band onstage at The Roxy.

Young recently reported that another live album called Alchemy is in the works, which will feature high-resolution performances from Crazy Horse’s 2012-2013 Alchemy tour recorded in Europe, Australia and Canada.

Here’s the full track list of the vinyl version of Roxy — Tonight’s the Night Live:

Side 1
“Tonight’s the Night”
“Mellow My Mind”
“World on a String”

Side 2
“Speakin’ Out”
“New Mama”
“Roll Another Number (for the Road)”

Side 3
“Tired Eyes”
“Tonight’s the Night (Part II)”
“Walk On”

Side 4
Etched artwork

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Foreigner releasing new live album and DVD documenting 2017 orchestral concerts

earMUSICAs part of Foreigner‘s 40th anniversary tour last year, the band played two special concerts with accompaniment from a 58-piece orchestra and 60-voice choir in May in Lucerne, Switzerland. Now, highlights from the sold-out shows will be released in various formats under the title Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus on April 27.

The concerts featured Foreigner playing many of its classic songs backed by the symphony and choir, with new orchestral arrangements created by Juilliard-trained cellist, pianist and composer Dave Eggar and producer, writer and percussionist Chuck Palmer.

Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will be available on CD, as a double-LP vinyl set and digitally, while a CD/DVD digipak version will be sold exclusively via Walmart. In addition, an hour-long version of the show is being prepared for broadcast television.

“I could never have imagined when I set out to create Foreigner 40 years ago, that we’d still be touring around the world and performing the music we love all these years later,” says founding guitar/songwriter Mick Jones. “Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer’s orchestral arrangements have shown us a new symphonic dimension of our music, which I hope our fans will enjoy.”

Foreigner will be bringing its orchestral show to the U.S. for a series of eight dates, running from a March 16 concert in St. Augustine, Florida, through an April 4 performance in Duluth, Minnesota. Accompanying the band will be the Dave Eggar Orchestra.

As previously reported, Foreigner’s 2018 itinerary also includes a lengthy U.S. summer trek with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, as well as a variety of headlining dates.

Here’s the Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus CD track list:

“Blue Morning, Blue Day”
“Cold as Ice”
“Waiting for a Girl Like You”
“Say You Will”
“When It Comes to Love”
“That Was Yesterday”
“Feels Like the First Time”
“Double Vision”
“Fool for You Anyway”
“Juke Box Hero”
“I Want to Know What Love Is”

And here’s the DVD track list:

“Blue Morning, Blue Day”
“Cold as Ice”
“Waiting for a Girl Like You”
“Head Games”
“When It Comes to Love”
“Say You Will”
“The Flame Still Burns”
“That Was Yesterday”
“Juke Box Hero”
“Double Vision”
“Fool for You Anyway”
“Hot Blooded”
“Feels Like the First Time”
“I Want to Know What Love Is”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Quincy Jones apologizes for controversial interviews

Amanda Edwards/WireImageQuincy Jones has issued an apology for two recent interviews in GQ and Vulture in which he made controversial remarks about several entertainers, including Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Richard Pryor.

“I’m sorry to anyone who my words offended and I’m especially sorry to my friends who are still here and to those who aren’t,” the Thriller producer posted on Twitter.

Jones wrote that his six daughters had a family intervention “because of some silly things I’ve said in two recent interviews. I have learned my lesson!”

Jones continued, “To my dear family and friends…thank you for calling me out when I’ve clearly made a mistake…many mistakes.”

He added, “I’m an imperfect human being and I’m not afraid to say it. I’m sorry and I’m not afraid to say it…Even at 85, it’s apparent that ‘wordvomit’ and bad-mouthing is inexcusable.”

The multi-Grammy Award winner wrote that his “bad-mouthing contradicted the very real messages I tried to relay about racism, inequality, homophobia, poverty.”

Jones commented that he reached out to his friends privately, but wanted to also make a public apology. 

As previously reported, in the Vulture interview, Jones said that Jackson “stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer‘s] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.'” He added that the King of Pop was “greedy” and said he “had a problem with his look because his father told him he was ugly and abused him.”

“I used to kill him about the plastic surgery, man. He’d always justify it and say it was because of some disease he had. Bulls***,” Jones said.

Jones also claimed that Gaye and Pryor slept with Marlon Brando

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ryan Reynolds shares sweet photos with Make-A-Wish kids on “Deadpool 2” set

20th Century Fox(VANCOUVER) — Ryan Reynolds is about as sarcastic and witty as they come, especially when he’s donning the mask of his super-alter-ego Deadpool.

But while filming the sequel to the hit film recently, Reynolds made no jokes — well, some, naturally — when he welcomed Make-A-Wish and Children’s Wish Foundation kids to the set for some laughs, a few gifts and a whole lot of inspiration.

As Deadpool would, say, it was “maximum effort.”

“One of the best parts of playing the Big Red Jacka– is welcoming @makeawishamerica and @childrenswishfoundation onto set,” Reynolds posted on Instagram.

The actor also touched upon the fact that Deadpool’s origin story involves conquering cancer.

“Deadpool kicked Cancer … but these kids do it for real every day,” he wrote. “These foundations make dreams come true for a lot of super-brave kids. They also make dreams come true for parents, who just wanna see their kid smile. HUGE thanks to our Prop Master, Dan Sissons, for making sure every kid left with his/her own sword. (Bamboo versions. Not stabby-stabby versions.)”

Reynolds posted a slew of pics alongside his new friends. Each Deadpool prop sword the children were holding looked to be signed by Reynolds himself and the smiles on their faces were contagious.

Make-A-Wish America also posted on Instagram a collage of pictures, writing in the caption a giant, “Thank you” to Reynolds.

Casey Thompson, the national communications manager for Make-A-Wish, told ABC News that the visit happened sometime this summer. “Ryan is such a great wish granter and supporter. He’s hosted in the past and we are just incredibly grateful for all that’s he’s done.”

“Every single [kid] left and said that this was the best day of their life,” she added.

Deadpool 2 hits theaters May 18. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Scandal” vet Joe Morton to co-star in CBS pilot, “God Befriended Me”

ABC Image Group/LATwo ABC alums are coming together for a godly project on CBS.

According to The Hollywood ReporterScandal‘s Joe Morton has joined The Mayor‘s Brandon Micheal Hall in Hall’s new CBS pilot, God Befriended Me.

The potential series, which is described as a “humorous and uplifting drama,” follows Hall’s character Miles, an outspoken atheist whose life changes dramatically when he is “friended” by God on Facebook. After his holy encounter, he helps to change the lives and destinies of others around him.

Morton will play Miles’ father, Rev. Arthur Finer, a “thoughtful and intelligent man” who has been the reverend of Trinity Church for the past 25 years. Although Finer doesn’t agree with his son’s atheism, he wants him in his life.

This will be be the first major project for Morton, post-Scandal. He recently played Cyborg’s father in Justice League.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

McDonald’s bringing back “Rick and Morty” fave Szechuan sauce; launches podcast about the saucy quest

Adult Swim(LOS ANGELES) — After the hit animated show Rick and Morty generated massive interest in a McDonald’s condiment they no longer produce — specifically, Chicken McNugget Szechuan Sauce that debuted to promote the 1998 Disney hit Mulan — the fast food giant ended up in a sticky situation.

But now it’s making amends, deliciously.

Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty has created a new generation of Szechuan sauce fans, when it featured the stuff this year in season three, as something of a universe-shaking McGuffin. “That’s my one-armed-man, Morty!” a raging Rick tells his frightened grandson. “I’m not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty. That was fake. I’m driven by finding that McNugget sauce!”

McDonald’s announced they would reintroduce the stuff last October, but lines of fans left empty handed, and in one case launched a small-scale riot — when the demand nearly instantly outmatched the supply.

Others auctioned off the tiny pods on eBay, charging hundreds.

Driving demand as well, was the super-sized bottle McDonald’s gifted to the creators of the Adult Swim show.

As a mea culpa — and let’s face it, a pretty savvy marketing move — McDonald’s has announced it’s releasing 20 million packets of the coveted nugget covering beginning Monday, and is launching a podcast slightly spoofing the likes of the true-crime ‘cast Serial to explore the phenomenon.

“We’ve worked every day since October to bring back much, much, more of the sauce our fans have been craving,” the statement reads, noting the 20 million packets will be around, “while supplies last (which this time around, we hope is a while).”

The podcast, made with the help of Studio@Gizmodo and Onion Labs, is called The Sauce, and its three episodes are called, “Good Intentions,” “The Szechuan Sauce Riots,” and “Making Amends.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Suspect in Florida school massacre questioned in November over shooting threat

Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The suspected gunman in the Florida school massacre was questioned by a police officer in November after a woman he was living with at the time called 911 to report he had threatened to use a gun on her 22-year-old son, according to records obtained by ABC News.

The report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is just the latest in a string of red flags concerning Nikolas Cruz’ volatility that law enforcement, school officials and mental health experts were notified of prior the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead, including 14 students.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s offense report from Nov. 29 shows that a woman who initially took Cruz in after his mother’s death in November, called 911 to complain that Cruz had gotten into an altercation with her son in her Lantana, Florida, home and threatened to get a gun and come back.

“[He] bought a gun from Dicks last week and is now going to pick it up,” the woman told a 911 dispatcher, according to a log of the call contained in the report.

“[He] bought tons of ammo…[and] has used a gun against [people] before,” the dispatcher’s log states. “He has put the gun to others heads in the past.”

While the name of the 911 caller was redacted in the report, ABC News has learned that, at the time, Cruz was living with Rocxanne Deschamps, a family friend who took him and his younger brother in after their 68-year-old adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, contracted pneumonia and died on Nov. 1.

After police arrived at Deschamps’ home just after 3 p.m., her son told an officer that he had gotten into a physical altercation with Cruz, who became “upset and began punching walls and breaking items inside the home.”

The son said Cruz punched him in the left side of his jaw as he attempted to calm Cruz down, according to the report. He told the officer he punched Cruz back in “self-defense” and attempted to restrain him before Cruz bolted from the residence, the report says.

The officer found Cruz in a nearby park and described the 19-year-old as being “nervous and calm,” according to the report. Cruz told the officer he had become upset and punched a wall after losing a picture of his late mother.

“He said he was sorry for losing his temper,” according to the officer’s report.

There were no references to guns in the officer’s narrative, but the dispatch notes indicate that Cruz told police there were guns inside the home.

Ultimately, the son told police he did not want Cruz arrested and signed a “refusal to prosecute” form, according to the officer’s report. But the son expressed that he wanted Cruz to leave the residence until he calmed down, according to the report.

He said Cruz “has been going through a lot with his loss” and he “did not want him to go to jail” the report states.

The officer’s report concludes that the son and Cruz hugged to reconcile their differences, and the case was cleared with no arrest or charges filed.

Cruz moved out of Deschamps’ home around the time of the altercation and went to live with James and Kimberly Snead, the parents of a friend.

In an earlier police report obtained by ABC News, officers were called to Deschamps’ residence on Nov. 24 by her son, who claimed Cruz had possibly hidden a gun in the back yard. There is no indication in the report that a gun was found and the incident was declared “domestic unfounded,” according to the document

In documents filed in Broward County probate court the day after the Feb. 14 mass shooting, Deschamps’ attorney, Audra Simovitch, petitioned to have Deschamps appointed a personal representative of Lynda Cruz’s estate, claiming an interest in the estate “as a family friend … who is caring for a 50% minor beneficiary,” meaning Cruz’s younger brother.

Simovitch declined to comment on the probate motion. But in a court document filed Thursday, she asked a judge to allow her to see Cruz in jail and that she was retained by Cruz on Dec. 13 to represent him in the probate matter. Deschamps also signed the retainer agreement and was named as the “proposed personal representative” for Cruz and his brother, according to the document.

The Sneads claimed that Nikolas Cruz told them he stood to inherit in a few years at least $800,000 from his deceased parents’ estates, the couple’s attorney, Jim Lewis, told ABC News. Cruz’s adoptive father, Roger Cruz, died in 2004 at the age of 67.

As investigators dig into Cruz’s background, more and more instances have emerged in which state and federal officials had been in contact with Cruz or were alerted of his violent behavior prior to the mass shooting.

The growing list of warning signs either detailed by public statements from officials or public records, includes an admission by the FBI that a tip it received on Jan. 5 warning that Cruz might be planning a “school shooting” and detailing his guns, was not passed on to its Miami field office and was never investigated.

Records show the Broward County Sheriff’s Office also received 39 calls for service in the last few years regarding Cruz for a variety of disturbance complaints, including fighting with his mother. In a police report from Sept. 28, 2016, a therapist who went on one of the calls cleared Cruz, concluding he was “no threat to anyone or himself.”

A report in August 2016 by the Florida Department of Children and Family shows the agency investigated a Snapchat post in which Cruz was seen cutting his arms and was told by Cruz that he “plans to go out and buy a gun.” The agency determined Cruz “to be stable enough not to be hospitalized,” according to the DCF report. DCF said in a statement it “relies on the expertise of mental health professionals and law enforcement and these records show that DCF took the steps to involve these partners in investigating this alleged abuse.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Same-sex couple allegedly told they don’t ‘mirror the holy family’ and denied chance to be foster parents — A Texas same-sex couple has sued the federal government, alleging they were denied the chance to be foster parents to a refugee child because they do not “mirror the holy family.”

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, married couple Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin expressed their interest in February 2017 in fostering a refugee child to an official with the Catholic Charities of Fort Worth (CCFW). The group is an affiliate of the United States Conference of Bishops, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracts for some of its federal child welfare duties.

The lawsuit alleges that during a phone conversation with Donna Springer, chair of the executive committee of CCFW’s board of directors, they were told that foster parents must “mirror the holy family,” and they would not “qualify” to foster a child.

“We were both completely shocked,” Marouf told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

“It was hurtful in realizing there was no overcoming that barrier,” Esplin added.

The lawsuit says the couple also asked if any of the refugee children in the program might be lesbian or gay and were told that none of the 700 children served by the program are members of the LGBT community.

Marouf immediately reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement via email that CCFW had discriminated against her and her wife, the complaint says, but she did not receive a response for nearly two months. The couple claims they haven’t received any further communication from them since, leading to this week’s lawsuit.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and HHS are named in the lawsuit.

HHS told ABC News, “We do not comment on pending litigation.” The USCCB has not immediately responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Catholic Charities Fort Worth denies to the Dallas Morning News that the couple ever spoke with Springer — saying she “never had any contact with the couple” — but acknowledged the then-director of child welfare services talked to them over the phone. The organization also denied allegations in the lawsuit that the couple was told the agency did not have any LGBT kids among the refugee children in its care at the time.

“We do not screen or otherwise ask the children we serve to self-identify if they are LGBT,” said Katelin Cortney, Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s communications director told the local news outlet. “We train our foster families to accept children from all cultures and walks of life so they can be as prepared as possible to welcome someone new into their home.”

The couple hopes the lawsuit will allow them to apply to be foster parents to a refugee child, as well as prevent sexual orientation-based discrimination against other prospective parents, according to the lawsuit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

School officer waited outside building for 4 minutes as killings happened: Sheriff

Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) —  A Marjory Stoneman Douglas school resource officer has been suspended without pay after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said video shows him taking up a defensive position during the shooting but never entering the school.

Israel announced Thursday that the decision to suspend Scot Peterson was made after reviewing video from the shooting and taking statements from witnesses and Peterson himself, Israel said.

“He should have went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer,” Israel said.

Peterson was armed and on campus during the shooting Israel said. Since he met the requirements for retirement, Peterson opted to resign after he was told he was being suspended, Israel said.

Israel said that the video shows Peterson arrived at the west side of Building 12, where most of the killing happened. He then took up a position but “never went in.”

The video shows that Peterson remained outside the building for upwards of four minutes during the shooting, Israel said.

When the shooting started, Peterson was in an office dealing with a “school-related issue,” Israel said.

When asked by reporters to describe how the video made him feel, Israel responded, “sick to my stomach” and “devastated.”

Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty while the sheriff’s office investigates whether they “could’ve” or “should’ve” done more while dealing with suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, during the 23 calls they received involving Cruz or his brother since 2008, Israel said.

Cruz was arrested shortly after the shooting and is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is being held in a Broward County jail.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


American siblings earn second bronze medal at Olympics 2018

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) — It has been four years in the making for the Shibutani siblings.

Alex and Maia Shibutani didn’t medal in their Olympic debut in Sochi in 2014. But they talked about how they grew.

“It feels like everything about our approach has changed since 2014, we have completely transformed ourselves as a team and we had some challenges along the way but it’s really about how we have chosen to overcome that ’s allowed to have these four Olympic performances,” Maia, 23, said.

The American skaters won their second bronze medal in the ice dance event in Pyeongchang.

“Part of it is time and part of is maturity and natural development. We have also kinda changed the way we approach our training both on and off the ice and I think that we are so strong now because we have overcome the obstacles we have faced earlier in our career we are just really proud to be here right now,” Alex, 26, said.

The first bronze medal Maia and Alex earned in Pyeongchang was the team event.

“We had an amazing experience in Sochi. We placed 9th and we changed so much since that time,” Alex told ABC News. “We worked really hard so we came into [these] Games hoping to win two medals. So our first opportunity was with our team in the team event and we were very proud to anchor that effort.”

“Our event was the last event to seal the placement for the bronze medal. For our team to feel that pressure, you want to skate your very best for your teammates and they had all worked really hard and we wanted to do our part. So it’s just a combination of pride and relief felt really good to get that first one,” Maia said.

After that finish, they rode that wave into the free dance performance that earned them their medal.

“We have been building so much momentum where we skated really well three times. So for that fourth one for the free dance, we just knew we wanted to really leave it all out there,” Maia told ABC News.

The Shibutani’s danced to a contemporary artist.

“The reason we picked [Coldplay’s] Paradise was because of the lyrics and the way we connected to the song: ‘When she was just a girl, she expected the world. But it flew away from her reach, so she ran away in her sleep, and moved to paradise,'” Maia said.

“We thought the song was really symbolic of us flying from the city where there’s a lot of congestion and people are doing things the same way, in the daily grind,” she added. “We had to leave that.”

Alex and Maia talked about what it’s like to skate as siblings.

“For Alex and me as family sharing this journey together has been very special,” Maia said. “Obviously, there’s that bond, there’s that trust but really, it’s been the communication for us.”

“Skating was initially my dream. I thought I would be out there skating by myself but thank goodness I’m not,” she added. “Yes, he’s the older brother but we have so much respect for each other.”

“A lot of people say:” ‘Oh, they’re siblings so it’s easier,’ or, ‘Oh, they’re siblings so it’s much harder,’” Alex added. “We’re family. We’ve always known that whether we have an argument on the ice or disagree, it doesn’t matter because if there’s something we love more than skating, it’s each other.”

“If it wasn’t for how strong our relationship is, we wouldn’t have come away with two Olympic medals because there is so much stress and pressure,” Maia added.

What’s next for the Shibutanis? They told ABC News they look forward to indulging in foods that they don’t normally eat, such as chicken and pizza, and catch up on sleep.

“There will be a little more indulging in some of those foods that we don’t normally get to eat,” Alex said.

But in the meantime, they look forward to enjoying the rest of the Olympics.

“For the rest of the time, we are really going to soak up the Olympic experience,” Maia said. “Now that we don’t have to worry so much about sleep and rest, we can really enjoy it.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russian curlers stripped of medal after doping violation

iStock/Thinkstock(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) — Russian curler Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, and his playing partner wife, will not be going home with a medal from Pyeongchang after all.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) officially ruled Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal in curling’s mixed pairs, guilty of doping on Thursday.

Krushelnitckii and his wife, who is his curling partner, were disqualified from the mixed doubles curling event and will be stripped of their medal. She did not test positive. Norway, which finished fourth, is expected to be given the bronze medal.

According to the CAS statement, Krushelnitckii admitted to the anti-doping violation. No information was provided on whether the athlete from Russia — officially competing as a member of the team of Olympic Athletes from Russia due to the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee — had purposefully taken meldonium, a potential performance-enhancing drug that has been prohibited for athlete use since 2016.

In a statement to the Russian news agency TASS, Krushelnitckii wrote “having weighed up the pros and cons, I decided to withdraw my case from CAS. I believe that a hearing would be useless under the current rules,” the Russian curler said. But with the evidence he admits “it would be stupid to deny it after two tests proved positive.”

“The samples tested had been collected during the Olympic Games and I am ready to face the verdict that is usually announced in such cases,” he added.

The CAS announced that Krushelnitckii has accepted a provisional suspension beyond the games while the investigation continues. But the Russian athlete reserved the right to challenge the suspension should the investigation conclude “no fault or negligence.”

Krushelnitckii statement leaves open the question of how the substance could have gotten into his body.

“We won a bronze medal by hard work and constant training,” his statement read.

Russia’s Curling Federation had earlier asked the Russian Investigative Committee to look into the possibility of Krushelnitckii’s food or drink being spiked. They also asked South Korea and Japan, where Russian curlers trained before going to the Olympics, to provide data from CCTV cameras. They hope that their athlete will be cleared of doping violations after the subsequent investigation.

The Russian athletic community has been rocked by doping scandals which led to the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee. Clean athletes were allowed to participate at the Pyeongchang games under the Olympic flag. The International Olympic Committee was expected to rule on whether the suspension would be lifted in time for the Russian athletes to enter the closing ceremonies under the Russian flag. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) meets this weekend although it is unclear whether a decision will be issued.

A total of three athletes have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Pyeongchang: Kreshelnitckii, Japanese speed skater Kei Saito and Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic. All three athletes have left the games.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korea to send high-level delegation to Olympics closing ceremony

iStock/Thinkstock(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) — North Korea said it plans to send a high-level delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games on Sunday, according to the South’s Unification Ministry.

The eight-member delegation, led by hardline military general and Party Central Committee Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, is expected to arrive by land on the Gyeongui Line at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the South’s Unification Ministry said. Peaceful Reunification Committee Chairman Ri Son Gwon, who led talks between the neighboring nations last month, will also be a part of the delegation.

“We expect the high-level delegation’s participation in the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to help advance the process of settling peace on the Korean Peninsula including the improvement of inter-Korean relations and denuclearization,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.

Kim Yong Chol has been blacklisted under South Korea’s unilateral sanctions, but Seoul has exempted him for the special occasion. Kim is the former head of North Korea’s reconnaissance bureau, which the South says orchestrated two deadly attacks on them in 2010: the sinking of the Cheonan navy vessel in March and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November.

The ministry said it plans to release more details through a document exchange on the Panmunjeom communications channel between the North and South.

Ivanka Trump, the first daughter and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, will lead the U.S. delegation to the closing ceremonies on Sunday, the administration announced Wednesday.

The White House did not say if Ivanka Trump planned to meet with the North’s delegation as a part of her visit.

“This opportunity of direct contact was something that North Korea has desperately wanted for a very long time,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told ABC News in an interview. “North Korea is a master when it comes to diplomatic strategy. They would not have wanted to miss the chance.

“In that sense, I think chances are higher this time for North Korea and the U.S. to meet in some form.”

The North scrapped plans to meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Olympics earlier this month, citing new sanctions the U.S. announced before Pence’s arrival in South Korea, according to an official in Pence’s office.

Pence was slated to meet with Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, on Feb. 10. The North pulled out at the last minute, the official said.

Pence would most likely have used the opportunity to reiterate the country’s tough stance against North Korea and its ballistic missile program, analysts said.

But the North appears to be much more prepared for a potential U.S. encounter this time, according to Yang, who called Kim Yo Jong “no match” for Pence.

“Kim Yong Chol has a firm political and military grip within North Korea. He is a seasoned politician who has been in charge of policy towards the South for decades,” Yang said. “By sending Kim, North Korea is clearly signaling that they will not step back [or shy away] if the U.S. would want to meet.

“There’s much on the table for North and South to talk about, especially the prospect of President Moon accepting an invite from Kim Jong Un. But much would heavily rely on how the U.S. and North Korea react to each other this Sunday.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Living in a ‘nightmare’: Airstrike interrupts Syrian activist’s interview with ABC News YORK) —  A Syrian media activist living in a besieged Damascus suburb said residents there feel like they are living in a nightmare — describing nonstop bombardment that was clearly audible as he spoke with ABC News.

“Every day people die,” Nour, 22, said shortly after a loud explosion was clearly audible in the background in the rebel-held suburb, Eastern Ghouta. He had barely reacted. “Every day people lost their sons or their family. Every day there are kids lost his mother and father.”

Pro-Syrian government forces have pounded Eastern Ghouta for days, killing at least 335 civilians, including 79 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group. Nour spoke to ABC News’ Ian Pannell via Skype on Tuesday and requested that his last name not be used out of concern for his and his family’s safety.

“We’re used to it,” he said. “Every day people die — we’re used to it. But people think we are a number, but actually we are human and people, and no one feel what we are suffering.”

Nour has been living under siege for five years and said he had never seen anything like the current barrage — saying residents felt it was like a “nightmare.”

“They want to wake up but they can’t because that’s our reality and that’s what we and suffering from the warplanes every single minute of the day.”

He described an entire family killed the day before. He said people had become “used to” the daily death and carnage.

To U.S. President Donald Trump and the rest of the world, he said his message was: “We are not just [a] number — we are human, we are people who want just to live.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

2 paintings given to Argentine countess from Salvador Dali himself in the 1930s up for auction

Ian Gavan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) —  Two rare Salvador Dali paintings are being put up for auction for the first time since the 1930s, when Dali himself gave them to an Argentine countess.

The pieces have been in the same “prominent” family ever since, according to Sotheby’s, the auction house presiding over the sale.

Dali painted both “Gradiva” and “Maison pour erotomane” around 1931 and 1932, respectively, during the height of the surrealism movement. The first depicts a semi-nude woman representing the mythical figure of the same name, while the second features a Catalan landscape in a dream-like scene, according to Sotheby’s.

The noblewoman who acquired them, Maria de las Mercedes Adela Atucha y Llavallol — or Countess “Tota” Cuevas de Vera by marriage — met several artists like Dali and Pablo Picasso through family friends.

The oil paintings will lead the Surrealist Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s London on Wednesday. They are both expected to sell for up to $2.5 million.

The auction will feature additional works from Dali and from several of the surrealist movement’s key figures, including René Magritte, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Yves Tanguy.

The next day, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art day sale will feature several of Picasso’s works, including an early drawing “Jeune fille nue de profil,” which has been auctioned before.

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Nigerian officials apologize as dozens of schoolgirls remain missing after suspected Boko Haram attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  Three days after suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a school in northeast Nigeria and kidnapped dozens of schoolgirls, local officials have apologized to parents for mistakenly announcing that some of the students had been rescued.

Suspected militants of the Nigeria-based jihadist group allegedly stormed the town of Dapchi in Yobe State Monday night and abducted students from an all-girls boarding school. Other students and teachers were able to escape the attack and flee into the surrounding brush, according to a statement from Yobe State government spokesman Abdullahi Bego.

Officials at the time had “no credible information yet” as to whether any of the schoolgirls were taken hostage, Bego said.

In another statement issued late Wednesday, Bego announced that “some of the girls” had been “rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian army from the terrorists who abducted them.”

But the Yobe State government issued an apology and clarification Thursday, in which Bego revealed that the girls missing from the Government Girls Science Technical College still remain unaccounted for in the wake of Monday’s attack. He explained that the information the state government received about some girls being rescued was provided by a security agency involved in the fight against Boko Haram, “which we had no reason to doubt.”

“We have now established that the information we relied on to make the statement was not credible. The Yobe State government apologizes for that,” he said in the statement. “The Yobe state government will continue to do everything necessary in partnership with security agencies and the federal government to address the situation.”

Bego had said, as of late Wednesday night, that about 50 students out of a total of 926 students at the school were still unaccounted for.

Yobe State Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam visited the town of Dapchi on Thursday, where he met with community leaders, school officials and parents of the missing students.

It would hardly be the first time Boko Haram has preyed upon schools. In April 2014, the group snatched 276 schoolgirls from their boarding school in the town of Chibok in Borno State, about 170 miles northeast of Dapchi. Some of the girls managed to escape on their own, while others were later rescued or freed following negotiations. But the fate of many of the girls still remains unknown.

Boko Haram’s uprising was fueled largely through the group’s systematic campaign of abducting children and forcing thousands of girls and boys into their ranks, according to a report issued in April 2017 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Boko Haram militants have waged a brutal insurgency in northeast Nigeria since 2009. The group, which seeks to establish an Islamic state, has spread its terror across Nigeria’s mountainous borders over the years into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, all of which surround the Lake Chad Basin.

Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates into “Western education is forbidden,” has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced some 2.3 million, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.

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The 101 # 1 song of the day is from an English Band with a royal sounding name (funny, just yesterday it was a band from Chicago who wanted an English sounding name) Anyway, today’s featured band’s lead singer listed Jimi Hendrix and Liza Minelli as his main influences.  read more…

Win a stay at The Lodge

Today’s 101 #1 Song of The Day comes from one half of a duo who was still performing with said duo. It appeared on their album. It was written by both members but it was the first solo effort for the artist in question. Hear the rest of the story and the song next on 101 Gold. The artist travelled to Muscle Shoals, AL to record and produce the song with Jerry Wexler but he was ultimately unhappy with that product so he decided to redo it – all by himself and that’s the version that was number one on this day in 1985 for Wham’s George Michael and “Careless whisper”

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