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Bedtime & the Jets: Sir Elton John to read a story on British children’s TV channel

Matt Baron/ShutterstockvSir Elton John will give a unusual performance next week: he’ll be reading a bedtime story on a British children’s TV channel.

The CBeebies network — think the BBC’s version of Nick Jr. — has asked the rock legend to read The Dog Detectives, which the Manchester Evening News describes as a story of two dog detectives “who are cycling through the busy streets of London when they are called up to solve a new case.”

Elton John joins the ranks of Dolly Parton, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, and other musicians who’ve read books for the bedtime story series. Sir Elton’s reading will air next Thursday, May 3.

The Rocket Man presumably has a lot of practice reading bedtime stories, since he has two young sons: Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five.  He’s cited a desire to spend more time with the boys as one of the main reasons he’s retiring from touring.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nearing age 70, Robert Plant still has three quaaludes from the ’70s

Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records“Been there, done that,” said Robert Plant when asked by Mojo magazine about the drug-related deaths of Tom Petty and Prince.  No one with even the vaguest knowledge of Led Zeppelin back in the day would argue with that, but these days, Plant lives a different life.

On the edge of turning 70, the singer admits he still has drugs around, but this time, it’s a warning to himself to stay away.  Specifically, Plant says he’s got three Quaaludes — a sedative popular in the ’70s — still in their original prescription bottle. “The label…says, ‘Robert Plant – for sleeplessness’ – it looks like an album cover,” he said. ‘Three [of them], from Schwartz pharmacy in L.A., and I often think to myself, ‘Wow, there they are poison!'”

Plant joked to the magazine that at his age, sleeping pills are more his speed, and he might actually take one on August 20, his 70th birthday.

“If ever there’s a day for opiates,” he said, “I might drop an Ambien and see what happens. If there’s a bustle in the hedgerow, it’ll be me, snoring!”

Mojo is on stands now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jonathan Cain’s Don’t Stop Believin’ hits shelves next week; here’s a peek

Jim Spellman/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of FameNext week will mark the arrival of Jonathan Cain‘s autobiography, Don’t Stop Believin’. The Journey keyboardist tells Rolling Stone he was encouraged to write his life story by band mate Ross Vallory, after umpteen road trips aboard the band’s tour bus.

“Often I’d just start reminiscing about my life,” Cain says. “I’d talk about growing up…going to Dick Clark shows and listening to Wolfman Jack. I think it was Ross that said to me, ‘You should write a book.'”

The result contains some surprising revelations. For instance, it wasn’t Steve Perry or any other Journey member who came up with the phrase “Don’t Stop Believin'” — it was Cain’s dad, who said it to him in the late ’70s, during a phone call in which Jonathan was frustrated about his career prospects. Cain recorded his father’s words in a notebook and shared them with the band after he joined Journey — and the rest is history.

Cain also talks in-depth about how Steve Perry left the band, and why he hasn’t come back since.  Cain says Perry asked the band not to tour without him behind their 1996 album, Trial by Fire.  “Call the band something else,” Cain recalls Perry saying.  “Don’t fracture the stone. I don’t think I can come back if you break it.”

Cain also had doubts when Neil Schon recruited Arnel Pineda to sing lead, wondering “what our fans in places like Raleigh, North Carolina, and regions in the middle of Texas might think. I feared the twisted mentality that went, ‘That’s no Steve Perry — he’s Asian.'”

Don’t Stop Believin’ also addresses the issue that’s brought drama to Journey of late: his political differences with Neal Schon and the resulting tension.

Don’t Stop Believin’ hits stores and digital outlets on Tuesday, May 1.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Serena Williams dishes on being a new mom and “being” herself in upcoming HBO docu-series, “Being Serena”

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) — Thanks to her daughter Olympia, Tennis star Serena Williams says she’s now more motivated than ever when she returns to the court.

“I’m having the best time as a mom,” Williams told Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts. “I just walked out and was giving her extra hugs and extra kisses.”

The 23-time Grand Slam winner said Olympia brings out “patience in me.”

“And I love that about her,” she added.

Williams welcomed her daughter on September 1, 2017, along with husband Alexis Ohanian, whom she wed in November 2017.

In her new HBO docu-series, Being Serena, Williams gives fans unprecedented access to some of the most intimate moments over her whirlwind past year.  She said she hopes Olympia will be able to look back at the series when she is older.

“When I was younger my dad … always shot video of myself and our whole family,” Williams said. “I wanted to do the same thing for Olympia. And I wanted to start with, you know, her in my belly.”

“I wanted to just kind of shoot some stuff,” she added. “So one day I would be able to go back … and show her.”

Williams added that the series offers fans a look at a side of her life they may not have seen before.

“When I’m on the court, that’s not necessarily me. That’s just my tennis two hours of the day,” she said. “There’s the mom, I can say now. There’s the wife, I can say now.”

“It’s just me,” she added. “It’s just Serena. I’m just being myself.”

Being Serena premieres on HBO Wednesday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET, with new episodes airing every Wednesday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Priyanka Chopra on the return of “Quantico”, and her pal Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

ABC Radio(NEW YORK) — ABC’s Quantico returns tonight, and with it, its female lead, international star Priyanka Chopra.

For season three, her character Alex Parrish recruits a team of former spy pals to undertake a dangerous rescue mission. But Chopra’s also involved in another hush-hush international operation: the May 19 wedding of Priyanka’s pal, Meghan Markle, to Prince Harry.

Chopra won’t be in the wedding party but will be a guest.

“It’s a wonderful story,” Chopra said of the couple’s relationship, adding, “I think it made the world sit up a little bit, and believe in fairy tales again.”

She said of Markle, “Well, just like anybody would be happy for their friend, I’m really happy that — I wish her the best. She’s an amazing girl. The world is responding to her because she deserves it. She’s a real, very relatable girl and that’s what I’ve loved about her always, and I really, really wish her the best.”

As for Quantico, we pick up tonight with her character being called out of hiding “living la dolce vita” in Italy to save a kidnapped friend.

“I’m very excited about the show this year,” Chopra enthuses. “If people haven’t seen season one and two, you don’t have to have seen it to get into season 3. This is the right time to start watching, because we’ve…revamped it. We’re setting up a whole new team, so it’s going to be secret sexy spy show that everyone loves.” 

Quantico, which also stars Blair Underwood and a new cast member, Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin, airs at 10 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Pratt: “Avengers: Infinity War” will be “the biggest movie of all time”

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — The wait is finally over: Avengers: Infinity War officially opens Friday, with many theaters holding screenings tonight.

Chris Pratt — who plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and appears as the character in his first Avengers film — predicts the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be, “the biggest movie of all time.”

What makes the 38-year-old actor so sure? “There are 18 movies — that’s like 36 hours, maybe 40 hours of straight cinematic splendor that you take as a crash course to get ready for this movie, Pratt tells ABC News. “And the crazy thing is, is that the entire world has taken that crash course. And so that’s why you can make a movie like this. That’s why it’s so exciting.”

The experts agree: Infinity Wars is expected to rake in somewhere between $225 million-$245 million in its opening weekend. But Pratt insists it’s all up to the fans.

“You’re always crossing your fingers every time one of these movies comes out, and certainly when you’re a part of them hoping that it connects with an audience and that audiences love them,” he says. 

Disney is the parent company of Marvel Studios and ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Milo Yiannopoulos appearing at Cal Poly amid racially charged climate on campus

Michael Masters/Getty Images(SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.) — Controversy surrounds Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech this evening at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after the school was at the center of multiple racially charged incidents in recent weeks.

The Cal Poly College Republicans Club is hosting the “Fake News Panel” Thursday evening, which will include YouTube personalities Austin Fletcher and Carl Benjamin in addition to Yiannopoulos, said Matt Lazier, media relations director for the university.

A major police presence is expected at the sold-out event. In a statement, the university disassociated itself from the event, saying that it “is being presented by the club, not by the university.”

“The university understands that the participants in the panel discussion are personalities that some members of our campus community may find offensive,” said Lazier. “However, as a public university, Cal Poly is required to uphold free speech rights and provide an open forum for a variety of opinions, thoughts and ideas — even those that may be distasteful or offensive.”

Two of the university’s professors expressed concern over Yiannopoulos’ appearance in the current racially charged climate after photos emerged showing fraternity members in blackface and dressed as gang members, and racist posters were seen around campus. This is the second time Yiannopoulos has spoken at Cal Poly in less than two years, with his most recent appearance being January 2017.

Dr. Jose Navarro, an assistant professor in the university’s ethnic studies department, told ABC News that he believes the sponsors of the panel event “implicitly endorse Yiannopoulos’ Islamophobic, anti-feminist, alt-right and generally hateful positions.”

“Indeed, it seems like the strategy of covert racists and bigots on campus to have such views disseminated by proxy,” he said in an email to ABC News. “Inviting Milo to speak on campus, in short, is a way to get him to espouse the very ideas they believe without actually having to espouse those ideas publicly themselves, and then be held accountable by the campus community for their racism, bigotry and misogyny.”

Dr. Neal MacDougall, a professor in the university’s agribusiness department, called the club’s decision to hold the panel at such a sensitive time “incredibly hurtful” and that it sends the message that “it really doesn’t matter what students of color feel.”

A Tribune Media report published last week found that Cal Poly has “the least racially diverse student population” among California’s public universities. In 2017, 54.8 percent of the university’s student body identified as white, which is the highest percentage of any public university in the state, according to the report.

Following the blackface incident, Cal Poly University President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a forum attended by nearly 1,000 students on April 12 that racism was not an issue at Cal Poly.

“I don’t believe we have a culture that is racist,” he said in the video, which was posted to the university’s Facebook page. “I believe we have had some incidents that are awful and we are working very hard to get at the root cause and help people understand.”

MacDougall said he “couldn’t believe” the president’s comments and added that Armstrong needs to address that “racism is a problem” at the university in order to improve the community in the long run.

“There is, in fact, a culture of racism of Cal Poly,” MacDougall told ABC News.

Navarro said that while Armstrong deserves “some credit” for increasing the diversity of the student body, “nevertheless, the Cal Poly student body remains the whitest and wealthiest of any California public university.”

“Simply put: if we do not create greater access to higher education for our major base of Californians (Latinos and other minorities), then they will not get high-wage jobs,” he said. “The result of which will be that we will not be able to tax this base enough to replenish the coffers in the state that fund our universities and other public infrastructure.”

The Cal Poly College Republicans did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Racially charged posters seen on campus

On the morning of April 17, MacDougall came into his office in the agribusiness department to find a multitude of racially charged messages, he said.

The first thing he said he noticed when he arrived was a university police officer standing in front of a men’s bathroom. The officer instructed him to not use the last stall, he said. A maintenance worker later told him that someone had written the “N-word” on the wall, he said. A student of MacDougall’s colleague snapped a photo of the graffiti before it was cleaned up, he added.

Later, MacDougall said he noticed that several racist posters had been put up on bulletin boards near his office, and messages of inclusion that were already there had been defaced.

Among the racist material was a flier with a bullet list referring to “species and subspecies,” which purported to prove that people who are not white are “not human,” he said. Maps were also posted that were said to show a “correlation” of a higher concentration of rape where there’s darker people, such as Africa, as well as a higher rate of potential homicides where there are lower IQs, which also used darker skin tones as a factor, he said.

MacDougall snapped photos of the material and posted them to his Facebook page later that day. University police at first said they would send someone, but they never did, instead instructing MacDougall to take the posters down, he said.

In addition, messages of inclusion, including a sign that stated MacDougall was an “unafraid educator” who works “with and for undocumented students & families,” were slashed.

Armstrong responded to findings, saying he was “disgusted to report that there have been a variety of inappropriate and hateful actions on campus in recent days, from slurs being directed at students, to offensive graffiti and postings in or on our facilities.”

“These activities are the desperate work of a few who would seek to spread hate and divide us at a vulnerable time,” he said. “Our strongest response in the face of this rhetoric is to come together as one with the common goal of eradicating hatred from our community.”

Campus Greek life suspended over photos showing blackface

Armstrong has indefinitely suspended sororities and fraternities on campus as a result of photos surfacing showing a fraternity member in blackface and others dressed as gang members.

But Armstrong said he decided not to take action against individual students because it was their First Amendment right to express their views, he said in a video statement posted to Facebook.

Navarro said that he believes students and organizations who engage in “actions and speech that is severe or persistent enough to create a hostile environment for other students, staff and faculty based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, age, etc., ought to be suspended or expelled.”

“Indeed, I think the current issues related to free speech and the hostile environments they create raise an important constitutional question — one that requires us to ask whether the right to free speech is greater than the right to equal protection and access to education,” Navarro said.

Navarro said the students at Cal Poly are “unprepared for engaging in an incredibly diverse population” and that the university’s lack of diversity will impress upon students an ignorance of diversity in the real world.

“If all Cal Poly students know about people different from themselves is filtered through stereotypes of these other people that are rendered on television or the internet, they might perform those same stereotypes in blackface or dressed up as Latino gang members,” he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Parents meet 911 dispatcher who helped them deliver baby at home

iStock/Thinkstock(JESSUP, Pa.) — A couple forced to deliver their fourth child at home with the help of a 911 dispatcher on the line recently got to meet the woman they deemed their “real-life hero.”

On April 17, around 1 a.m., Tim Benedict of Jessup, Pennsylvania, called 911 to report that his wife, Arlee Benedict, was in labor. Their three children were asleep upstairs. He said he assumed that an ambulance would be on the way to take the couple to the hospital.

“It wasn’t till a couple of minutes later that I realized that nobody was coming — it was going to be me,” he told ABC affiliate WNEP-TV on Wednesday.

According to WNEP-TV, the ambulance closest to the Benedicts’ home had broken down.

As Arlee Benedict’s labor progressed, 911 dispatcher Katlynn Aulisio stayed on the phone and talked Tim Benedict through the delivery. It was Aulisio’s first time coaching a delivery over the phone.

“The baby’s out! The baby’s out!” Tim Benedict could be heard yelling on the 911 call. “She’s crying! … It’s a girl!”

“OK, good! Congratulations, number one,” Aulisio could be heard responding. “This is going to be a story to tell your friends.”

On Wednesday, the Benedicts and baby Felicity traveled to the Lackawanna County 911 Center in Jessup to meet Aulisio. Aulisio said the visit meant a lot to her because 911 dispatchers don’t often get to learn the outcomes of the calls they receive.

Tim Benedict told ABC News today that although the ordeal was “absolutely terrifying,” having Aulisio on the phone was exactly what he needed.

“It helped me to be able to take care of my girls and deliver my baby,” he said. “Honestly, meeting her yesterday was like meeting a real-life hero. … We are so thankful and very relieved.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bill Cosby accuser reacts to guilty verdict: ‘Women are being believed, finally’

Mark Makela/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — A Bill Cosby accuser who’d traveled from California to attend the weeks-long trial in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, told ABC News today that she was “elated” after hearing the guilty verdict.

“We [accusers] are finally believing in the system. The system is now working for us,” Victoria Valentino said. “Women are being believed, finally, instead of the perpetrator, instead of the wealthy, powerful, famous perpetrators.”

Valentino said that 48 years ago, in 1969, Cosby had drugged her with pills and raped her. She said that at the time, she had just turned 27 and was depressed after losing her 6-year-old son in a drowning.

Valentino said she never reported the incident with Cosby to authorities out of shame and humiliation.

Cosby, 80, was convicted in court today on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from drugging and molesting a woman in his suburban Pennsylvania home nearly 14 years ago.

Andrea Constand, Cosby’s main accuser, and five other women had testified that he’d drugged and sexually assaulted them. Cosby has steadfastly denied the charges.

Today’s conviction came about 11 months after a mistrial was declared in Cosby’s first trial. Valentino said she was also present for that trial.

Since the start of jury deliberations Wednesday, Valentino said that she and other accusers attending the trial had been “steeling” themselves for another mistrial.

“I didn’t think they [the jurors] were going to come back this soon. I thought we were going to be here all day. … I came back and all these crowds are out in front,” she said. “You could feel the electricity in the air, and when they said verdict, oh my God, unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Valentino said that although she never thought this day would ever come, it was important for her to attend the trial.

“Once you find your voice, there’s no stopping you. … The floodgates are open. … It’s not just about me anymore, it’s about women,” she said. “All of us, not just the Cosby survivors. … It’s about all women who still haven’t found the courage to speak and they’re holding their secret and holding their pain and holding their wounds into themselves and they’re festering and it’s infecting the next generation. … So once you start speaking, I mean, it’s just like flushing all the toxins out of your system and you just can’t stop. You’ve got to see it through to the end.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ex-cheerleaders offer to end lawsuit against NFL for $1

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — Two former NFL cheerleaders who are suing the league for discrimination said they are not in it for the money.

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware and former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis are offering to end their discrimination cases for just $1 a piece if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league lawyers would agree to a meeting.

“This was never about money for me,” Davis told ABC News. “This is about having respect for our sport and standing up for our sport and standing up for women.”

If they were to meet with Goodell, the women said they hope to address the list of concerns from dozens of cheerleaders, which include allegations of harassment from fans, low pay, long hours and strict rules on everything from weight to social media use.

“They could ignore us or listen to us and then do nothing — and I understand that risk,” said Sara Blackwell, the women’s lawyer. “But I hope they have a real legitimate discussion with us, because I feel like we are on the same side.”

Ware, a Dolphins cheerleader for three seasons beginning in 2014, said she felt compelled to quit a couple of weeks prior to the end of her contract in spring 2017 because she felt “she was just not accepted on the team if she was a Christian,” according to the complaint filed this month with the Florida State Labor Board.

Ware says in the complaint that although she was co-captain of the cheerleading team and a fan favorite, she suffered harassment from some representatives of the squad because of her social media postings about her faith. She claims her decision to remain a virgin until marriage also adversely affected her.

Ware contends that problems began after she posted a photo of her April 10, 2016, baptism on her public Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Ware said she had not publicized her decision to wait to have sex until marriage but that the topic had come up months earlier, in fall of 2015, during a conversation with fellow Dolphins cheerleaders in front of other staff.

The Dolphins responded to Ware’s complaint in a statement to ABC News on April 13: “We are seriously committed to providing a positive work environment for everyone associated with the organization. We hold every member of our organization to the same standards and do not discriminate as it relates to gender, race and religious beliefs.”

Ware alleges in her complaint that in her annual tryout-interview in spring 2016, she was told her she was “not allowed to speak about anything related to her virginity to anyone” and that she “needed to develop into a woman.”

A few months later, in September 2016, the cheerleading director and coaches told the co-captains, captains and some other cheerleaders that they could change their Instagram accounts to Dolphin Instagram accounts “under certain conditions,” Ware alleges in the complaint, adding that they were told that on their Dolphin Instagram accounts they were to talk about “fashion and fitness and cheerleading.”

Ware claims that when she said she wanted to continue to “share her faith, post Bible verses and to be a role model for little girls” on Instagram, she was told by one of the coaches that “you cannot be ‘too much. You cannot mention Jesus or anything like that.'”

The complaint further alleges that a month after the discussion about Instagram, the cheerleading director became physically aggressive with Ware at a fashion show for the Dolphins.

Ware said her breaking point came in April 2017 after she was asked by the Dolphins to write a motivational blog post for women trying out for the cheerleading team, and some of her allusions to her faith in the post were removed.

“I was told that I wasn’t allowed to mention God, and what really broke my heart is seeing how public football players can be about their faith,” Ware told ABC News.

“Dolphin football players are allowed to maintain and express their faith in any way,” the complaint alleges. “Several players prayed on the 50-yard line before a game. They profess their faith online, on social media, to fellow players, to the public.”

Ware’s allegations followed a complaint filed in March by Davis, who was with the New Orleans Saints cheering squad.

Davis alleges in her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she was fired on Jan. 23, 2018, for posting a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a one-piece bodysuit, breaking a rule that prohibits cheerleaders from posting revealing images on social media, a rule that her complaint says does not apply to men.

“The players can post whatever they want on social media. … They can post shirtless and in the gym,” Davis told ABC News. “We can’t post in lingerie or a semi-nude, and it’s discriminating because for women to do that, it’s seen as something sexual, but when a guy does it, it’s seen as athletic.”

The Saints deny that Davis was discriminated against because she is female.

“The New Orleans Saints is an equal opportunity employer, and denies that Ms. Davis was discriminated against because she is female,” the NFL organization said in a statement to ABC News. “The Saints will defend these allegations in due course and in the appropriate forum, and the organization is confident that its policies and workplace rules will withstand legal scrutiny.”

In response to the recent cheerleader complaints, the NFL told ABC News in a statement, “The NFL and all NFL member clubs support fair employment practices. Everyone who works in the NFL, including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment that is free from any and all forms of harassment and discrimination, and fully complies with state and federal laws. Our office will work with our clubs in sharing best practices and employment-related processes that will support club cheerleading squads within an appropriate and supportive workplace.”

The league has until May 4 to accept or reject the deal proposed by Ware and Davis.

“I don’t think that anyone has to say, ‘I was wrong’ or ‘I’m sorry,'” Blackwell said in regards to her clients. “I don’t care about any of that. My clients don’t care about that. What we want is change.”

The NFL declined to comment in regards to the offer.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/24/18

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

Chicago Cubs 10, Cleveland 3
Milwaukee 5, Kansas City 2
Seattle 1, Chicago White Sox 0
N.Y. Yankees 8, Minnesota 3
Toronto 4, Boston 3, 10 Innings
Oakland 3, Texas 2
L.A. Angels 8, Houston 7

Cincinnati 9, Atlanta 7, 12 Innings
Arizona 8, Philadelphia 4
N.Y. Mets 6, St. Louis 5, 10 Innings
Colorado 8, San Diego 0
Miami 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
San Francisco 4, Washington 3

Boston 92, Milwaukee 87
Philadelphia 104, Miami 91
Golden State 99, San Antonio 91

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jenny Cavnar makes MLB history with Rockies-Padres play-by-play call

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  Jenny Cavnar has had a long-running career in Major League Baseball, but she slid into a historic new role in the broadcast booth Monday night, becoming the first woman since 1996 to call the televised play-by-play for a major league team.

Cavnar called the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres matchup in Denver alongside analyst Jeff Huson and former Rockies outfielder-turned analyst Ryan Spilborghs. It was a fitting assignment for Cavnar, who previously reported for the Padres before joining the Rockies as a pre- and post-game host in 2012.

With more than a decade of baseball reporting in various capacities under her belt, Cavnar called her first televised homerun Monday night when Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado stepped up to the plate.

“That ball is shot into left field, fire up the fountains she’s gone,” Cavnar announced, describing the two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning. Her run call coincided with the eruption of the classic Coors Field fountains whenever the home team hits a home run.

Cavnar joins a shortlist of women who have called America’s pastime.

Mary Shane was the first female in a booth, doing radio for the Chicago White Sox in 1976 before moving on to television; and Suzyn Waldman was the first woman to do baseball game commentary, for a few New York Mets games on radio in June 1993, according to ESPN. Waldman called her first TV broadcast in July 1995 for a New York Yankees versus Texas Rangers game on ABC’s “Baseball Night in America” and her first play-by-play in 1996.

Other notable women who have spent time in the booth include Gayle Gardner, who replaced Charlie Jones on the Rockies TV broadcast for the Aug. 3, 1993 Rockies and Cincinnati Reds game. Pam Boucher announced 36 games on Yankees TV, WPIX in 1977.

Cavnar, a Colorado native, previously made history in 2015 as the first female analyst for a series of National League games in the radio booth.

She felt the love with messages of support from around the league and other women in the industry, including ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Jessica Mendoza.

Although the Rockies fell to the Padres 13-5, the night will go down as a win for Cavnar.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


North Korea’s Kim Jong Un crosses DMZ line for historic meeting with South Korea

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has crossed the line dividing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in what’s being described as a historic summit.

The two leaders shook hands at the Military Demarcation Line dividing the North from the South, smiling, chatting and posing for photos together. Holding hands, they crossed the line together. Shortly after, two children from South Korea presented Kim with flowers, which the North Korean leader passed to his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Escorted by traditional music, Moon and Kim walked together to where the opening ceremony is prepared.

It’s the first time leaders of the two countries have met since 2007 and is part of a recent thawing of relations as South Korea and the United States have focused on diplomacy in their efforts to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The summit has been in the works for some time, with the stage being set by two previous meetings between high-level North and South officials, as well as the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year, where the two marched under a united flag.

The meeting is also a precursor to U.S. President Donald Trump’s own announced meeting with Kim, which is expected to take place next month or in early June, though Trump cast doubt on it Thursday.

“It could be that I walk out quickly — with respect, but it could be. It could be that maybe the meeting doesn’t even take place. Who knows?” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

The U.S. and North Korea have narrowed down the location to five possibilities, according to Trump, with three or four dates in the running. One senior U.S. official previously told ABC News that Trump had ruled out China and that it was highly unlikely Kim would agree to meet in the U.S. or Trump to meet in North Korea.

Possible venues include Europe — like Switzerland, where Kim went to university, or Sweden, the U.S.’s protecting power in North Korea — South Asia, and the DMZ between North and South Korea.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russia accused of ‘obscene masquerade’ after flying in alleged witnesses to Syrian chemical attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Russia has been accused by Britain and France of organizing an “obscene masquerade.” These claims come after Russia reportedly flew in several Syrians to the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who Russian officials claimed could prove the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma this month was fake.

Russian diplomats presented the alleged witnesses at a news briefing at the OPCW’s headquarters at the Hague in Holland Thursday, ignoring objections from the organization itself. Moscow sought to bolster its claims that the Syrian government was not behind the chemical attack, which later prompted retaliatory missile strikes from the United States and its allies two weeks ago.

Russia and Syria have insisted that the attack on April 7, which doctors and activists have said killed at least 40 people, was in fact simulated by rebels and humanitarian groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as a pretext for U.S. and European military action.

Russia held the presentation despite a request from the OPCW to wait until it had completed its investigation of the attack. France and Britain, which joined the U.S. missile strikes two weeks ago, refused to attend the presentation, denouncing it as a gruesome stunt.

“This obscene masquerade does not come as a surprise from the Syrian government, which has massacred and gassed its own people for the last seven years,” France’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Philippe Lalliot told Reuters.

The U.S. and France have said they have evidence showing chlorine and likely a nerve agent was deployed by Syrian government forces in the attack. French officials have said their findings were based on samples taken from bodies in Douma.

Since the first reports appeared of people suffering from apparent chemical poisoning in Douma, Russia has pressed two narratives. Russia has backed the Syrian government claims that no attack took place, while also claiming to have found chemical weapons produced by rebels and even Britain in the area near Douma.

Russia’s military has fixated on one video released by the White Helmets, a well-known group that rescues people from buildings hit by airstrikes in rebel areas. The video shows panicked people in a hospital apparently after the attack being doused with water in an attempt to wash off chemicals.

Russia’s defense ministry has claimed that the video was set up by rebel activists, alleging the activists had filmed themselves simply hosing people with water and causing panic by shouting about chemicals.

The alleged witnesses — among them, was an 11-year-old boy — brought out by Russia at the OPCW Thursday said they had been present at the hospital shown in the White Helmets video.

The boy was also interviewed by Russian state television last week, which identified him as Hassan Diab, along with a man purportedly his father, who in the reports echo the Russian military’s version of events. Russian media has been heavily promoting the interview and Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya referenced it in a speech.

But doubts have emerged around whether the boy is speaking freely. The national security-focused news site, The Intercept has reported the interview appeared to have been filmed inside a Syrian military facility in Damascus, where Russian military advisers were present.

At the presentation Thursday, the boy was allowed to speak for less than a minute, following a 40-minute preamble from Russia and Syria’s OPCW representatives lambasting the U.S. and rebels. First, the man identified as his father spoke as he described how his children had been led through a tunnel to the hospital and then sprayed with cold water. He said the children cried in the video because the water was cold.

He then handed the microphone to his son, who slowly repeated the same story almost word for word.

“At the hospital, they started to pour water onto us. Cold water,” the boy said, before saying thank you and handing the microphone back.

None of the identities or testimonies of the witnesses presented by Russia could be independently verified and they contradicted numerous other accounts from people in Douma to international media, which described seeing dozens of people sickened with symptoms resembling those caused by chlorine and a nerve agent.

Russia has also not addressed the numerous other videos and photos that show piles of dead or dying people, many foaming at the mouth. This week, Russian state media was also caught using old photos from a 2016 documentary as proof that the Douma chemical attack had been staged by rebels. Open source investigations by the independent research group Bellingcat have also disputed the Russian versions.

Britain’s OPCW envoy, Peter Wilson in a statement said that any witnesses should be interviewed by OPCW investigators and condemned the Russian presentation.

“The OPCW is not a theatre,” Wilson said. “Russia’s decision to misuse it is yet another Russian attempt to undermine the OPCW’s work.”

OPCW inspectors are currently in Syria to investigate the attack, and have visited Douma twice, following days of delay after the team was fired on there. Britain has accused Russia and Syria of using the delay to try to cover up traces of the attack and the U.S. has warned it’s concerned the site may be contaminated due to tampering.

Russia has previously refused to accept independent investigations that have found the Syrian government to be behind other chemical attacks. After a United Nations investigation found government warplanes had carried out an attack that killed 80 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun last April, Russia denounced the investigators as biased.

The clash reflects how the OPCW is struggling to retain its influence as a neutral arbiter, amid Russian rejections of its work. Last week, Russia suggested it will not accept the OPCW’s conclusions from its investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian double-agent with a nerve agent in Salisbury — an incident Russia may bear the responsibility for, according to claims from the United Kingdom and two dozen other countries.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Will the North-South Korea talks be more successful than these historic summits?

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un are set to meet in a few hours on the border between their countries amid hopes the talks could lead to a formal end to the Korean War, or the beginning of a plan for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

With the promise of peace talks ahead, here is a look at five major summits in recent history, and how effective they were – or were not — at creating and maintaining peace.

1945: The Yalta Conference

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met in what is now Crimea to hammer out the end of World War II. The leaders agreed to demand unconditional German surrender and began planning postwar control of Germany and the Pacific theater.

In exchange for Soviet help on the Pacific front, it was agreed that the Soviets would gain a sphere of influence in Manchuria after Japan’s surrender.

Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin also agreed Germany should pay war reparations, and that France should be involved in governing Germany along with the allies. The parties agreed to voting procedures in the future United Nations Security Council, including the veto for permanent members.

According to the State Department’s Office of the Historian, the initial reaction to the agreements was hopeful that the U.S.-Soviet wartime cooperation would continue in the postwar world. But with the untimely death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S.-Soviet relations broke down under the Truman administration, ushering in the Cold War. Many of Roosevelt’s detractors today criticize the president for “handing over” Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia to the Soviets, according to the Office of the Historian.

1973: Paris Peace Accords

Despite President Richard Nixon’s goal to bring a quick end to the Vietnam War, he became mired in a stalemate on the ground and in diplomacy.

As Nixon began to draw down U.S. forces in Vietnam, public peace talks were ongoing in Paris. But it became clear no progress was being made in those talks, so Nixon dispatched his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, to meet secretly with North Vietnam Politburo member Le Duc Tho for the first time in 1969.

The negotiations continued for three more years as the ground and air war dragged on. Nixon pressured South Vietnamese President Thieu to accept an agreement, and the Paris Peace Accords were finally signed in early 1973.

However, both North and South Vietnam violated the terms of the treaty, and the United States did not intervene to stop the violations. Violence continued until 1975 when North Vietnam captured Saigon to end the war.

1978: Camp David Accords

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin met with President Jimmy Carter for 13 days at presidential retreat Camp David in Maryland to produce the first peace treaty between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors.

Israel agreed to return the Sinai peninsula to Egypt, Egypt opened the Suez Canal to Israeli ships, and a process for Palestinian self-government was created. Sadat and Begin shared a Nobel Peace Prize for the effort.

However, in 1979, crises in Iran and Afghanistan demanded much of President Carter’s attention, and subsequent talks between the Egyptians, Israelis and Palestinians did not produce the same level of cooperation.

1993: The Oslo Accord

A handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Rose Garden at the White House, overseen by President Clinton, is the iconic image marking the first Oslo Accord.

The secret talks started in Oslo, Norway, and led to a signed declaration on Palestinian self-government. President Clinton actually played a limited role in bringing about the first agreement, but his administration invested vast energy in the ensuing talks.

Unfortunately, by the end of Clinton’s administration, violence had broken out again in Israel and Palestine, eventually leading to the Second Intifada.

Secret talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace that began in Oslo, Norway, led to a famous handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, overseen by President Bill Clinton. The Accord provided for the creation of a Palestinian self-government and withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. But the Accord, and future agreements, would eventually fail with the outbreak of the Second Intifada.

1998: The Good Friday Agreement

For a 30-year period known as The Troubles, conflict roiled between those who wanted Northern Ireland to become part of a united Ireland and those who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Those two groups also split largely along Catholic-Protestant lines. Violent attacks left thousands of citizens dead.

Finally, with the help of U.S. envoy George Mitchell, sent by President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish leaders Sinn Fein and Bertie Ahern acknowledged Northern Ireland as part of the UK, but established a principle of consent to allow citizens to vote for a united Ireland.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The 101 number song of the day is a song which is tied for the shortest title ever to make it to the top. What’s more, it featured one of the shortest lead singers to rule the Hot 100.  read more…


Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day was written as the theme for Soul Train! And it is considered by some to be the very first disco song to reach number one the Billboard chart read more…

What a mug!

This is Butterball! Our Pet of the Week from the Animal Services Center. He visited our studios Friday and would love for you to visit him at the shelter to see if he would like to come home with you. $50 to adopt a cat; $75 for dogs. Listen this Friday morning at 8:15 to meet Lily!

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