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MUSIC NEWS

Hear The Eagles, Michael McDonald, Donna Summer & more sing Dan Fogelberg tunes on new tribute album

BMGDan Fogelberg is saluted on the new all-star album titled A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg, which is in stores now.  It features artists from a number of genres putting their own stamp on the late singer/songwriter’s biggest hits, as well as some lesser-known favorites.

The album features The Eagles taking on “Part of the Plan,” Michael McDonald‘s interpretation of “Better Change,” “Nether Lands” by the late Donna Summer and “There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler” by Jimmy Buffett. Other artists featured on the disc include the late Dobie Gray, Boz Scaggs, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with ex-Buffalo Springfield/Poco singer Richie Furay, Train and Garth Brooks.

This past August, Dan Fogelberg was posthumously inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, along with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and others.  During the induction event, many of the artists on the album performed, including Brooks, Vince Gill and Amy Grant.  The concert will air in the spring of 2018 on AXS TV.

Fogelberg died of prostate cancer in 2007. 

Here’s the full A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg track list:

“Phoenix” — Garth Brooks
“Nether Lands” — Donna Summer
“Better Change” — Michael McDonald
“Longer” — Amy Grant/Vince Gill
“Same Old Lang Syne” — Train
“Don’t Lose Heart” — Dobie Gray
“Old Tennessee” — Fool’s Gold/Denny Henson and Tom Kelly
“As the Raven Flies” — Casey James
“Sutters Mill” — Randy Owen
“Run for the Roses” — The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Richie Furay
“Hard to Say” — Boz Scaggs
“Part of the Plan” — The Eagles
“There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler” — Jimmy Buffett
“Leader of the Band” — Zac Brown Band

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Geoff Downes’ side project Downes Braide Association releases new album featuring Kate Pierson, Marc Almond

Cherry Red RecordsYes and Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes has just released a third album with Downes Braide Association, his collaborative side project with veteran U.K. singer/songwriter/producer Chris Braide. Skyscraper Souls features appearances by a variety of guest vocalists, including Kate Pierson of The B-52s, Marc Almond of Soft Cell and XTC‘s Andy Partridge.

Downes tells ABC Radio that he and Braide — who has co-written and/or produced tracks for such famous artists as Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Sia and Lana del Rey — generally work remotely on their albums, and Skyscraper Souls was no exception. The new record combines Downes’ prog-rock influences with Braide’s pop sensibilities and love of epic studio productions.

According to a press statement, Skyscraper Souls began as a series of musical sketches penned by Downes that he then turned over to Braide to flesh out. As Chris explains, “Geoff would send me folders full of stuff such as the magnificent piano pieces which turned into ‘Glacier Girl’ and ‘Prelude.’ As soon as I heard the chords I was writing lyrics like a mad man and before long the album started to materialize.”

You can listen to the album’s title track, which features backing vocals by Pierson, on Downes Braide Association’s official YouTube channel.

Downes says he has no current plans to play live with Braide, since he’ll be hitting the road with Yes next year on the band’s 50th anniversary tour, while Chris is involved in his own various projects. Geoff doesn’t rule out eventually performing with his DBA band mate, though.

“We certainly have enough material to put together a live show,” he tells ABC Radio. “So, it’s something that if we were offered a slot somewhere, I’m sure we could put something together.”

Here’s the Skyscraper Souls track list:

“Prelude” — featuring Andy Partridge of XTC
“Skyscraper Souls” — featuring Kate Pierson of The B-52s
“Glacier Girl” — featuring Andy Partridge
“Angel on Your Shoulder” — featuring Matthew Koma
“Tomorrow” — featuring David Longdon of Big Big Train
“Lighthouse” — featuring Tim Bowness
“Skin Deep” — featuring Marc Almond
“Darker Times” — featuring Andy Partridge
“Finale” — featuring Andy Partridge

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

John Oates releasing Americana-inspired new solo album, “Arkansas,” in February

Thirty TigersHall & Oates singer John Oates takes a deep dive into American roots music on his latest solo album, Arkansas, which will be released on February 2. The 10-track collection, which will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally, was recorded in Nashville with a collective of respected session musicians christened The Good Road Band.

The project began as a tribute to Oates’ musical idol, late blues legend Mississippi John Hurt, but developed into an homage to the pop veteran’s various influences.

“It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues,” explains Oates.

He describes Arkansas as “the record I have always wanted to make, with the band to bring it to life. After all these years, I feel I’ve finally been able to capture the sound that’s in my head.”

The album features covers of a variety traditional and vintage Americana tunes, including Emmett Miller‘s 1924 classic “Anytime” and the 1932 Jimmie Rodgers song “Miss the Mississippi and You.” The record also features two new tunes: the title track and “That’ll Never Happen No More.” You can listen to the song “Arkansas” now at Oates’ official YouTube channel.

The album can be pre-ordered now at various online retailers, as well as via a PledgeMusic campaign that also offers autographed vinyl copies of the record, limited-edition exclusive Oates merch and more goodies.

Here’s the complete track list of Arkansas:

“Anytime”
“Arkansas”
“My Creole Belle”
“Pallet Soft and Low”
“Miss the Mississippi and You”
“Stack O Lee”
“That’ll Never Happen No More”
“Dig Back Deep”
“Lord Send Me”
“Spike Driver Blues”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Earle Hyman, Grandpa Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show,’ dies at 91

Earle Hyman in 1986; Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage(NEW YORK) — Actor Earle Hyman, best remember for playing Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has died at 91, The New York Times reports.

Hyman played Russell Huxtable, father of Bill Cosby’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable, on 40 episodes of the sitcom in the 1980s and early 1990s. Hyman had a long career as an actor performing the works of Shakespeare, Eugene O’Neill, Ibsen and other great playwrights not only in New York and London but also in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. 

Hyman was also one of two actors who voiced the character of Panthro on the 1980s animated series Thundercats, and had a long career as an acting instructor.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harrison Ford helps out in traffic accident

ABC/Eric McCandless(SANTA PAULA, Calif.) — It was Harrison Ford to the rescue Sunday when a woman lost control of her car on a California highway.

Local authorities say the actor helped first responders assist the driver of the car, which veered off of the eastbound 126 Freeway around noon Sunday and crashed into an embankment.  Ford was reportedly driving either to or from the airport in nearby Santa Paula, about an hour northwest of Los Angeles.  T

he driver was taken to the hospital and treated for what was said to be minor injuries.  

Neither Ford nor his rep had any comment on the actor’s involvement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jeffrey Tambor to exit ‘Transparent’ after sexual harassment claims?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor isn’t saying he’s quitting the Amazon show, but in a statement he says it may be impossible for him to continue amid sexual harassment claims.

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago. I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”

Two members of the Transparent team — transgender actress Trace Lysette, who plays yoga instructor Shea on the show, and Van Barnes, a former assistant to Tambor — have charged that Tambor harassed them during their work on the show.

Nearly two weeks ago, Barnes posted a private Facebook message complaining about harassment by Tambor.  Then last week, Lysette posted a public statement via Twitter accusing Tambor of making “many sexual advances and comments” towards her and writing, “one time it got physical.”

A rep for Amazon had no comment Sunday night about Tambor’s statement, though at the time of Barnes’ initial claim a rep for the company told Deadline that the company was investigation the claim and a rep for the company told The Hollywood Reporter last week, in response to Lysette’s statement, that “This information will be added to our ongoing conversation.”

Tambor has won two Emmys for his performances on Transparent, a groundbreaking show about a retired college professor who late in life opens up to his family about being transgender.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Small plane crash caught on camera in Florida

credit: Pinellas County Sheriff(CLEARWATER, Fla.) — A deputy’s dashcam captured the moments when a small plane crashed onto a road in Clearwater, Florida, Sunday morning.

As seen in the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office’s dashcam footage, the single-engine plane is flying low over the road and suddenly banks to its left, soaring right over the deputy’s squad car.

Two deputies responded within seconds of the plane’s crashing onto the road. Luckily, according to authorities, the pilot who owns the plane and his passenger were able to walk away from the crash.

Fortunately, no bystanders were injured, either.

The plane is a four-seater 1975 Rockwell International 112A fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft, according to ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa.

The sheriff’s office said the pilot and his passenger took off from Clearwater Air Park earlier that morning and went to Zephyrhills, which is about 50 miles away. The pilot told authorities they were returning to the Clearwater Air Park when “something went wrong.” The plane went down about half a mile away from the air park.

Deputies say the pilot thinks an engine problem was to blame, but no official cause has not been determined yet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Texas teenager adopted by former teacher

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A Texas teenager has a forever home in time for the holidays after being adopted by his former teacher.

“I really couldn’t sleep last night,” Anthony Berry, 16, told reporters last week after being adopted by Bennie Berry, who became a first-time mom.

“I told mom, I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep,'” he said. “She was like, ‘I don’t think I am either.’”

Anthony of Beaumont first met Berry last November when she was his English teacher. By January, Anthony asked her to adopt him.

“How many kids my age get adopted nowadays?” said Anthony, who had been in foster care since the age of 9.

He did not think he ever wanted to be adopted, until he met Berry.

Anthony asked his now mom to adopt him by asking her to look at a website. Berry told him to finish his work first.

“Finish your assignment and then you can show me the website,” she recalled telling Anthony. “Then later I found out that it was really an option to adopt him, so we pushed forward.”

Berry described her son as an “ideal” and “model” student.

“I have a son. I’m more than elated,” she said. “I have a son for the rest of my life.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Fallen Border Patrol agent remembered by lifelong friend as ‘good guy’ who wanted to ‘make a difference’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who died in the line of duty on Sunday, will be remembered as a loving and giving family man, according to a longtime friend.

Martinez, a native of El Paso, had been a border agent since August 2013.

“He would be the type of guy to give the shirt off his back and wouldn’t ask for nothing in response,” Emory Crawford, a lifelong friend of agent Martinez, told ABC affiliate KVIA Sunday.

Crawford, who said the two were classmates at Irvin High School in El Paso, Texas, described him as caring person who wanted to make a difference in the world.

“All he wanted to do was just help people and help the world and try to make a difference,” he said. “I just wish him the best, that he rest in peace, I love him.”

 Martinez, 36, died in West Texas while on a patrol on Sunday morning, according to the federal authorities. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not provide many details about the incident, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz described it as an “attack.”

“Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was killed this morning in the line of duty. We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked,” Cruz said in a statement.

“This is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them,” he added.

 Meanwhile, Rep. Martha McSally, R-AZ., alleged that the Martinez had been “murdered.”

“The senseless death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was murdered along our southwest border in Texas, should be a wakeup call to our country that we must have the resolve to secure our border and protect Americans from deadly threats like these,” she said in a statement late Sunday.

Officials said the agents were responding to activity while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the Big Bend Sector, which runs along the U.S.-Mexico border, when Martinez’s partner reported that they were injured and in need of assistance.

Responding agents provided immediate medical care, and transported both agents to a local hospital, where Martinez later died, according to the CBP. His partner is in serious condition, according to the agency.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Martinez and his family, and with the agent who was injured,” CBP said in a statement.

Crawford said he got the news of his death while on social media.

“Unfortunately, it was him,” Crawford said. “He was such a good guy, it’s so unfortunate.”

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences on Sunday evening as he renewed his call to build a border wall.

“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt,” Trump tweeted. “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

The Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations are searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses, according to the CBP.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

President Trump and father of UCLA player spar over arrest in China

ABC News(NEW YORK) — President Donald Trump and the father of one of the UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting in China have become engaged in a so-called war of words.

 Last week LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA players, Cody Riley and Jaden Hill, were detained in Shanghai after an incident that involved stealing a pair of sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. The incident coincided with Trump’s Asia trip, and he brought the issue up with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Here’s how the fallout unfolded.

Nov. 15
Trump made it clear that he wanted recognition for his help in securing the release of the players, dropping a not-so-subtle hint on Twitter.

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he wrote on Twitter.

During a news conference later that day, the three players admitted to shoplifting and each thanked Trump for his assistance in the matter.

Nov. 16

Trump then responded to the players in a series of tweets the following day.

“To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!” he wrote in two tweets.

Nov. 17

 LiAngelo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, was interviewed by ESPN and some interpreted his remarks as an attempt to downplay Trump’s role in his son’s release.

When asked about Trump’s involvement, LaVar Ball said, “Who?”

“What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” he said.

He went on, “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from LA. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing. Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That’s not me. I handle what’s going on and then we go from there.”

LaVar Ball has gained national attention for some outlandish claims that he has made in the past, including one that made earlier this year when he said that he could have beaten NBA legend Michael Jordan back in the day (Ball played basketball in college).

Nov. 19

Those comments clearly struck a chord with Trump.

“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

In another tweet he wrote, “Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. opens up about retirement, says he hopes to still ‘be a part of the sport that I love’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. opened up his legendary 18-year career in NASCAR, saying that despite retiring from competition, he hopes to “continue to be a part of the sport that I love.”

“I want to continue to cover it, be a part of its health and growth,” Earnhardt, 43, who will remain in the world of NASCAR as a commentator, broadcasting races from the booth next season, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Michael Strahan.

Moments before completing the final race of his career on Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, in Homestead, Florida, Earnhardt said he felt “excited.”

“Looking forward to the future,” he added. “But definitely want to make this last one count … I want to make sure I get it all out on this last race.”

Earnhardt also opened up about the beginnings of his career, when he stepped out as a racer in the shadow of his late father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., a seven-time NASCAR champion.

“He was this intimidator, man in black … rough … and tumble, blue collar,” the junior Earnhardt said of his father. “He had this whole … mystique and … fans wanted that.

“They wanted 20 more years of … Dale Earnhardt, the intimidator, and I couldn’t be that,” he added. “That’s not who I was. I didn’t want to be that. I didn’t want to emulate him, and try to fit into that mold.”

Earnhardt said that instead of trying to become his father, “I just went ahead right from the start, and just was myself.”

“Maybe even more outspoken than I was comfortable with, just so people could get to know me,” he added. “I think people found me relatable because of that.”

Earnhardt, who has amassed 26 wins over the course of his decorated career, said that he attempted “to show people that I’m grounded and humbled and … appreciate, you know, what good fortune I’ve got to be here.”

In addition to discussing his retirement from racing, Earnhardt also opened up about another major life change coming up for him.

“My wife’s pregnant with a little girl, we’re going to have in May,” Earnhardt told ABC News, adding that he is still processing all the emotions he feels.

“I can’t tell what my emotions are,” he said. “Cause there’s so many great things happening in my life, but I’m really excited.”

Earnhardt added that his wife, Amy Earnhardt, whom he wed in 2016, has “made every day in my life better”

“Amy has changed me,” he said. “I became a better person, a better husband, a better friend, a better brother, a better son.”

He said that he is looking forward to welcoming their first child together.

“I have no idea how this little girl’s going to change my life,” he said. “I’m getting all kinds of advice from everybody. But that is going to be an experience that … I couldn’t imagine … how to describe it today.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 11/19/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Toronto       100  Washington   91
Indiana       120  Miami        95
Golden State  118  Brooklyn    111
Detroit       100  Minnesota    97
Phoenix       113  Chicago     105
L.A. Lakers   127  Denver      109

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Carolina      4  N-Y Islanders   2
 Final OT  Colorado      4  Detroit         3
N-Y Rangers   3  Ottawa          0
Anaheim       3  Florida         2
Vegas         4  L.A. Kings      2

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
OT  New Orleans     34  Washington    31
OT  N-Y Giants      12  Kansas City    9
Baltimore       23  Green Bay      0
Minnesota       24  L.A. Rams      7
Tampa Bay       30  Miami         20
Jacksonville    19  Cleveland      7
Detroit         27  Chicago       24
Houston         31  Arizona       21
L.A. Chargers   54  Buffalo       24
New England     33  Oakland        8
Cincinnati      20  Denver        17
Philadelphia    37  Dallas         9

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Who is the Saudi crown prince who has been arresting cousins and consolidating power?

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Never has any leader in Saudi Arabia had so much power since Ibn Saud founded the country in 1932.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has grabbed, consolidated and inherited much of the power over the kingdom, still officially ruled by his father, King Salman, 81.

Widely known by his initials, MBS, the young prince’s critics call him a reckless hothead while his supporters say he is a bold, young leader.

He was promoted to crown prince last summer, leapfrogging over his older cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, as the heir apparent.

His titles now include defense minister, deputy prime minister, chair of the Supreme Economic Council, head of a council overseeing the state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco, head of the Public Investment Fund and a pivotal member of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, among others.

He is the favorite son of King Salman, and before his swift ascension to power as the state’s number two, he was the head of his father’s royal court. Shortly after Salman became king in January 2015, MBS was appointed defense minister at just 29 years old.

Battling Iranian influence

Two months later, the young, untested defense minister sent Saudi forces into war in Yemen, ostensibly to counter Iranian influence in the region.

Speaking to The Economist last year in one of his rare interviews with Western press, MBS said “[The timing of the war] has nothing to do with the fact that I became minister. It has everything to do with what the Houthis did.”

“I have surface-to-surface missiles right now on my borders,” he added. “Is there any country in the world who would accept the fact that a militia with this kind of armament should be on their borders?”

Saudi forces, armed with American weapons, are fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, but the cost is high and the Houthis maintain control over Yemen while millions starve. According to UNICEF, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is dire.

“More than 20 million people, including over 11 million children, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. At least 14.8 million are without basic health care and an outbreak of cholera has resulted in more than 900,000 suspected cases,” UNICEF says.

When asked about the strategic goals in Yemen, MBS told The Economist, “All of our efforts are to push for the political solution. But this does not mean we will allow for the militia to expand on the ground, they must realize that every day they do not get closer to the political solution, they lose on the ground.”

In his most recent television interview, on Saudi TV and Al Arabiya in May, MBS ruled out any dialogue with Iranian officials, saying Iran’s goal was “to control the Islamic world” and to spread its Shiite doctrine.

He added that in Saudi Arabia, “We know we are a main target of Iran.”

Now, seven months since that interview, tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are even higher following the kingdom’s latest provocation and an ensuing crisis involving its longtime ally, Lebanon.

Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia summoned Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim prime minister, Saad Hariri, and forced him to resign publicly on Saudi television.

Hariri’s fiery resignation statement blamed Iran for interfering in “the internal affairs of Arab countries.” Hariri, also a Saudi citizen, has long been a weak leader of a Lebanon government partly controlled by the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

Shortly after his resignation, a rocket flew over the Saudi border from Yemen. “The involvement of Iran in supplying missiles to the Houthis is a direct military aggression by the Iranian regime,” the Saudi news agency SPA reported MBS as saying, “and may be considered an act of war against the kingdom.” Iran denies that it supports the Houthis.

Also as defense minister, MBS inked the latest multibillion dollar arms deal with the United States. And since January, he has become close to the Trump administration, notably, Trump’s son-in-law and trusted advisor, Jared Kushner. Since President Trump took office, he has been clear that he favors a Saudi-led region, leaving the Islamic Republic of Iran out in the cold after President Obama spent years trying to normalize relations with Tehran through the 2015 nuclear deal.

Vision 2030

The kingdom felt shortchanged by the Obama administration, and on the heels of President Obama’s final visit to Riyadh, MBS, then deputy crown prince, launched a Vision 2030 project and a National Transformation Plan. Together they comprise an ambitious economic and social reform package aimed at economic diversification, tax increases, planning for life after oil and opening up the strictly conservative kingdom to some social reform — at least a little.

MBS’s plan to list Saudi Aramco publicly, a company that up until now has been owned solely by the king of Saudi Arabia, got the business community talking and gaming out how the world’s biggest IPO might unfold. He has said he is hopeful the public offering will happen in 2018 or 2019.

Much of his ambitious reforms target young Saudis, his peers.

More than half the population of Saudi Arabia is under 25 and 70 percent are under 35. MBS’s plan is to create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by 2020 that could help employ these young people.

Reforms like lifting the driving ban for women, cutting back the powers of the religious police and allowing women into sports stadiums are small steps toward a more inclusive, modern society. MBS has also brought back movie screenings and concerts which were banned for much of the last two decades.

With each move, he is upending basic tenets that have ruled the kingdom for the last 85 years, and his critics say it’s all happening too abruptly.

Paving his way to the throne

Two weeks ago, MBS ordered more than 200 businessmen, princes and even cabinet ministers under King Salman rounded up and detained. It was all done in his father’s name and billed as an anti-corruption crackdown.

Critics cried foul, calling the arrests a “purge” and a stamping out of potential political challengers before MBS ascends to the throne, President Donald Trump weighed in, supporting his young ally.

Those detained were taken to Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton, where they have reportedly been held for the last two weeks. Apparently, the slightly less luxurious Marriott across the road has also been commandeered for detentions.

Among those being held are two of MBS’s most prominent cousins, including Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who ran the powerful National Guard until earlier this month, and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is perhaps Saudi’s most famous billionaire.

MBS is largely seen as free of corruption, unlike many of his contemporaries, but the royal family and its patrons have historically operated above the law.

Faisal Abbas, the Saudi editor-in-chief of the daily Arab News, wrote last week that the kingdom is “damned if it acts against corruption, damned if it doesn’t.”

“More importantly, it is just mind-boggling that very few are noticing the obvious; which is that all of those being detained are incredibly wealthy,” Abbas added.

The Associated Press reported that investigators say they’ve already discovered at least $100 billion in funds allegedly linked to corruption and that the figure could rise.

“[The arrests do] not represent the start, but the completion of phase one of our anti-corruption push,” said Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, according to Reuters.

Analysts say the real test will be if the recent sweep truly changes the rules, or merely sends a signal, albeit a loud one, to the old guard as the ambitious prince clears his way to the throne.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Marine allegedly in crash that kills Japanese driver in Okinawa

iStock/Thinkstock(OKINAWA, Japan) — A U.S. Marine who police said had a blood-alcohol content three times the legal level was allegedly involved in an accident on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa that left a 61-year-old Japanese man dead.

The unidentified Marine was driving a truck that collided with a small truck at an intersection early Sunday morning in Naha, the main city in Okinawa, police said.

Later Sunday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry put out a statement saying that the Marine was “driving under the influence of alcohol” when the collision occurred.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, expressed its deep regret over this incident and requested that discipline would be strengthened and that measures would be taken to prevent recurrence,” the statement said.

The U.S. Marine Corps Installations Pacific said in a statement that the cause of the crash is under investigation, according to Stars and Stripes.

“I would like to convey my deepest regret and sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Okinawan man who died as a result of this accident,” Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, commander of Marine Forces Japan and III Marine Expeditionary Force, said in the statement quoted in Stars and Stripes. “We are still gathering facts and working with the Japanese authorities who are investigating the accident and its causes.”

The fatal auto incident could rekindle growing opposition in Okinawa to the U.S. military presence there.
Last year, the U.S. government relinquished land on its Okinawa military base back to the Japanese government.

The move, considered the largest land return by the United States to Japan since 1972, came after swelling protests involving large crowds of Japanese expressed their discontent throughout the summer when a U.S. contractor was brought on charges of raping and then strangling and stabbing a 20-year-old Japanese office worker. That same year, a U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced after being found guilty of pulling a sleeping woman he found in the hallway of his hotel and raping her.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New photo released to mark 70th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip

Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Buckingham Palace has released a new photograph to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th wedding anniversary to Prince Philip on November 20.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were photographed by Matt Hollyoak in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November.

 

 

The couple will mark their platinum wedding anniversary privately with their children and grandchildren on Monday for a special toast and dinner celebration at Windsor Castle. The guest list includes Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate and Prince Harry.

In 2015, Queen Elizabeth became the country’s longest reigning monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria, and in February 2016 she became the first monarch to celebrate her sapphire jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.

Prince Philip retired from public duties earlier this year, but is still seen at the queen’s side, and he joined her just last week as the nation paid respect to military heroes for Remembrance Sunday activities.

Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to her husband on her golden wedding anniversary, celebrating 50 years together.

“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” she said.

At 1 p.m. on Monday the bells at Westminster Abbey, where the couple were wed, will toll to mark the milestone.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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