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MUSIC NEWS

Meet Arthur Buck: R.E.M.’s Peter Buck teams up with indie artist Joseph Arthur in new duo

Courtesy of New West RecordsR.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck has formed a new group with indie-folk singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur called Arthur Buck.  The duo has just completed a debut album that will be released this year.

Buck and Arthur’s collaboration came together after the two musicians bumped into each other near Peter’s residence in Baja California, Mexico.

“I was like, ‘Come swimming!'” Buck recalls to Rolling Stone. “Joe shows up in Mexico — the kind of guy where he’s carrying every single thing he owns on his back — and then all this stuff started occurring.”

Buck and Arthur proceeded to write eight songs in eight hours, and these tunes form the basis of the new album.

“It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything,” Peter explains to the magazine.

Adds Joe, “All of a sudden it was like I had this musical partner and friend, and that relieved the music of the burden of the self, if that makes sense.”

Buck, who first met Arthur when he opened for R.E.M. back in 2004, notes, “Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life. And those experiences he’s having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along.”

Arthur Buck is planning to head out on a tour of the U.S. and Europe to support the forthcoming album.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check “This” out: David Byrne releases new song, “This Is That”

Credit: Jody RogacEx-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has released a new track called “This Is That,” from his upcoming studio album, American Utopia, as a digital single and via streaming services Friday. If you pre-order American Utopia now at iTunes and Nonesuch.com, you’ll also immediately receive a free download of the song.

You can listen to “This Is That,” which was co-written and produced by electronic artist Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never, now at Byrne’s official YouTube channel. The ethereal, eclectic-sounding tune is highlighted by Chinese folk instruments and electronic percussion.

American Utopia, Byrne’s first full-fledged solo effort since 2004’s Grown Backwards, will be released March 9. The 10-track collection includes songs inspired by various things that give Byrne incentive to feel optimistic during this period of political and social upheaval. Among his collaborators on the project are Brian Eno, who co-wrote the song “Everybody’s Coming to My House” with David.

Byrne will be supporting American Utopia with an expansive world tour that kicks off March 3 in Red Bank, New Jersey, and is mapped out through an August 28 show in Morrison, Colorado.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Vinyl versions of Steve Miller Band’s first nine albums to be reissued in box set and individually

Capitol/UMe2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Steve Miller Band‘s debut album, Children of the Future.  In celebration of the milestone, a box set featuring remastered, 180-gram-vinyl versions of the group’s first nine studio albums will hit stores on May 18.

Titled Complete Albums Volume 1 (1968-1976), the set spans from Children of the Future through the multiplatinum Fly Like an Eagle. All nine albums will be available individually as well. Meanwhile, limited-edition colored-vinyl versions of the albums, with each disc boasting a different color or colors, will be sold individually and as a box set exclusively at uDiscoverMusic.com.

In addition, HD digital audio versions of each of the nine albums are being released, one a week every Friday, beginning with Children of the Future today and winding down with Fly Like an Eagle on April 13.

As previously reported, Steve Miller Band will be touring across North America this spring and summer with Peter Frampton. The trek kicks off April 14 in Victoria, Canada, and is mapped out through an August 25-26 stand in Woodinville, Washington. In honor of the tour, a video of Steve Miller and company performing a cover of Elmore James‘ “Stranger Blues” with Frampton at an August 2017 in Costa Mesa, California, has been posted at the Miller Band’s official VEVO YouTube channel.

Here are all of the Steve Miller Band albums featured in the Complete Albums Volume 1 (1968-1976) box set, as well as the release dates for the HD digital audio versions of the records:

Children of the Future (1968) — HD digital audio release: February 16
Sailor (1968) — HD digital audio release: February 23
Brave New World (1969) — HD digital audio release: March 2
Your Saving Grace (1969) — HD digital audio release: March 9
Number 5 (1970) — HD digital audio release: March 16
Rock Love (1971) — HD digital audio release: March 23
Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden (1972) — HD digital audio release: March 30
The Joker (1973) — HD digital audio release: April 6
Fly Like an Eagle (1976) — HD digital audio release: April 13

And here’s the info of the colored-vinyl versions of each album being released:

Children of the Future — pink
Sailor — blue
Brave New World — yellow
Your Saving Grace — white
Number 5 — orange
Rock Love — transparent green
Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden — red
The Joker — yellow-green
Fly Like an Eagle — half black + half bright yellow

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Balancing tragedy with comedy in Netflix’s “Irreplaceable You”

Netflix/Linda Kallerus (LOS ANGELES) — Netflix’s Irreplaceable You promises to make you both laugh and cry…maybe at the same time.

The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw — from Black Mirror’s Emmy-winning episode “San Junipero” — and Michiel Huisman, who plays Daenerys’ lover Daario in Game of Thrones.  They play a newly engaged couple faced with an uncertain future after a devastating cancer diagnosis, but they handle the tragic situation with humor.  That’s what Mbatha-Raw said drew her to the role.

“It’s like a tightrope ’cause I’m laughing one minute and crying the next and this is a really tricky tone to pull off,” she told ABC Radio at the film’s New York premiere. “Not to take away from the seriousness of the subject matter, but I think this movie is not about cancer, it’s about letting go [and] releasing control.”

Much like her character, Mbatha-Raw had to learn to “let go” during the movie’s “very quick shoot.” She and Huisman had to develop their characters’ long-term relationship in a matter of days.

“We didn’t have a lot of time so I think we both just had to kind of jump in and try and create this relationship that had been going since they were like eight years old, you know?” she said. “So we sort of relied on being really playful with each other.”

That playfulness carried over to her other co-stars as well. Mbatha-Raw, who hadn’t done much comedy before, was thrown into scenes with comedic heavyweights Kate McKinnon, Steve Coogan, and Christopher Walken.

“It was really a master class to be able to be around that energy and I learned so much,” she says. “…There was a real improvisation spirit within, certainly, the group scenes, which I just love.” 

Prepare to feel all the feels. Irreplaceable You debuts on Netflix today.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Rock confesses his infidelity and being a “bad husband” in his Netflix special, “Tamborine”

Netflix/Kirill Bichutsky(LOS ANGELES) — Chris Rock is holding nothing back in his new Netflix special Chris Rock: Tamborine — and that includes the ugly end to his 19-year marriage to Malaak Compton.

In his special, which debuted on Valentine’s Day, Rock opens up about his bad behavior during his marriage and admits he was “not a good husband.”

“It’s f***** up. When guys cheat, it’s like we want something new,” Rock says. “But then you know what happens? Your woman finds out, and now she’s new. She is never the same again. So now you have new, but you have a bad new.”

Rock admits he cheated on his wife with three different women while on the road, but in his special he takes full responsibility for his actions.

“Some of these lessons you’ve just got to learn,” he says. “Like, I brought this s*** on myself; nobody told me to go ho up. I brought this s*** on myself, and you’ve got to learn some lessons — some man lessons.”

Rock continues, “It’s my fault, because I’m a f****** asshole. I didn’t listen. I wasn’t kind. I had an attitude. I thought, ‘I pay for everything, I can do what I want.’ That s*** don’t f***** work! I just thought I was the s***.”

Chris Rock: Tamborine is now playing on Netflix.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Meet Shuri, one of the stand-out female characters of “Black Panther”

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) — Black Panther is being praised for its cast of very strong female characters — including Shuri, played by Letitia Wright.  The character is the little sister to Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, the king of Wakanda who also wears the mantle of its fearsome protector, the Black Panther.

Wakanda is an African nation so technologically advanced it has literally hidden itself from the rest of the world.  As the head engineer of the Wakanda Design Group, Shuri’s in charge of all that tech.  She’s also one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe, who can intellectually go toe to toe with the likes of Tony “Iron Man” Stark.

Wright tells ABC Radio she’s grateful that her character will inspire a whole new generation of girls to take on careers in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Incidentally, in the current run of the Black Panther comics, Shuri herself takes over as Black Panther. “If that happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that’s cool,” Wright tells ABC Radio, “but where Shuri is right now, you can take her anywhere. You can mix her up with Spider-Man, you can throw her in with, you know, Thor — whatever you want to do with her, she can be there. So the sky’s the limit, really, with Shuri.” 

Black Panther is now in theaters from Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Florida school shooting suspect had access to 10 firearms, including AK-47 variant

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Authorities believe the young man accused of storming a Florida high school and gunning down 17 people had access to 10 firearms, all long guns, law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told ABC News.

A law enforcement source said the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, is believed to have purchased seven of the long guns himself. The other three firearms were weapons authorities believe Cruz had access to but did not purchase, the source said.

In addition to the AR-15 variant Cruz allegedly used in the school shooting, he also purchased an AK-47 variant, one law enforcement official said.

All appear to be legal purchases, sources said.

Cruz, 19, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The other firearms Cruz had purchased were an assortment of shotguns and standard rifles, the source added. No handguns associated with Cruz have been recovered by authorities, according to the official.

Public defender Melisa McNeill, who appeared with Cruz in court Thursday, called him a “broken child.”

“My children they go to school in this community and I feel horrible for these families,” McNeill said, adding, “and Mr. Cruz feels that pain.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Trump’s shifting stance on assault weapons

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s position on gun control, particularly regarding assault rifles, has appeared to shift over the years.

Trump in 2000 said he took a middle ground, supporting a ban on assault weapons though generally opposing gun control.

Trump in 2015, however, was dismissive of calls to regulate assault rifles which, he said, are common semi-automatic weapons popular with many Americans.

Now in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre in Florida that killed 17 high school students and teachers, the nation is again focused on the question of gun control generally and, specifically, of regulating semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 allegedly used by the shooting suspe at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Students from the high school who have overnight become outspoken activists for gun control have specifically called on President Trump as well as other elected officials to listen to their concerns and enact gun restrictions.

So where does Trump stand?

Supportive of the US assault weapons ban in 2000

In a page-long explanation of his stance on guns in his book, “The America We Deserve,” published in 2000, Trump offered a very generalized summary of Democratic and Republican positions on gun control, characterizing each as extreme.

“Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk to NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions,” he wrote.

By contrast, he cast his stance as something of a middle ground.

“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun,” he wrote.

At the time, the U.S. had a ban on semi-automatic rifles under a law known as the assault weapons ban that took effect in 1994 and expired in 2004.

15 years later, a different view

In his 2015 book “Crippled America,” Trump appears to have changed his position.

“Opponents of gun rights often use a lot of scary descriptive phrases when proposing legislative action against various types of weapons. Ban ‘assault weapons’ they say, or ‘military-style weapons,’ or ‘high-capacity magazines,'” he wrote. “Those all do sound a little ominous, until you understand what they are actually talking about are common, popular semiautomatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned and used by tens of millions of Americans.”

In “Crippled America,” Trump argues that background checks on prospective gun buyers “accomplished very little” and merely brought “more government regulation into the situation.”

Trump cited Project Exile, a crime-reduction program started in Richmond, Virginia, in the late 1990s, which sought to reduce firearms-related offenses by increasing the penalties on felons caught carrying guns. As a presidential candidate, Trump reiterated his support for this program.

‘A very big Second Amendment person’

Trump wrote in his 2015 book that he “owns guns. Fortunately, I have never had to use.”

According to public records, he got a concealed weapons permit in 2010, which he referred to in an interview with Outdoor Life magazine in early 2016, calling himself “a very big Second Amendment person.”

Since his election, Trump has become the first president since Ronald Reagan to address the NRA while in office.

As president, he has also taken action that may make it easier for some people to get guns, including people with mental illness.

On Feb. 28, 2017, Trump signed H.J. Res. 40, effectively ending a Social Security Administration requirement that the names of people who receive mental health benefits be entered into a database used by the FBI for background checks on prospective buyers of firearms.

The requirement, which had yet to go into effect when Trump ended it, would have added the names of an estimated 75,000 individuals with mental illness to the database, according to the administration of former President Obama. These individuals would have been notified by the Social Security Administration of possible restrictions on their buying firearms, but would have had the opportunity to go through an appeal process.

Since ending the requirement, Trump has pointed to mental health issues as a root cause of a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were killed in a church. He has also suggested that mental illness may have been a factor in the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Police dashcam video captures pack of exotic sports cars speeding down interstate

KSTP/ABC News(MINNETONKA, Minnesota) — A high-speed police chase of luxury sports car that looked like something out of movie was caught on newly-released dashcam footage.

A lime green Lamborghini, a Ferrari, another Lamborghini and an Audi were among the pack speeding as fast as 110 mph on a Minnesota highway.

The video shows Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Paul Stricker pursuing the pack of exotic cars for several miles along Interstate 394 in April 2016 and captured his conversations with the drivers when he finally caught up with them

Striker asked one of the drivers if he knew why he was being pulled over.

“For speeding?” the driver said.

“A bunch of beautiful cars going that fast out here,” Striker replies. “It’s like Cannonball Run all over again,” referencing the ‘80s movie starring Burt Reynolds.

Some of the drivers were pulled over along the highway and others were detained at a gas station nearby.

After issuing the drivers speeding tickets, Striker sends them on their way with a bit of advice.

“You guys have got beautiful cars, enjoy them,” he said in the dashcam footage. “But, just run them in the right spot. There’s tracks around, I know you can run them.”

The cases have now been closed, allowing the video to be released, Minnetonka City Attorney’s office confirmed to ABC affiliate KSTP.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

MLB imposes rule changes to enhance pace of play

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — You’ll be seeing less visits to the mound this baseball season. This part of Major League Baseball’s effort to speed up the nine-inning game which was on average a record three hours and five minutes last season.

The league announced Monday there will be a general limit of six mound visits per nine-inning game without a pitching change. This means any visit by a coach, manager or player.

Under this rule, each team will get an additional mound visit without a pitching change per extra inning. If there are no visits remaing, the home plate umpire can grant permission for the catcher to go out and talk to the pitcher if there’s a cross-up on pitch signals.

MLB is also eliminated rules guaranteeing eight warm-up pitches before a half-inning in an effor to keep inning breaks shorter. The goal is 2:05 for most games, 2:25 for national TV games during the regular season and 2:55 for postseason games. There are, of course, exceptions if there are injuries or if the pitcher or catcher is on base, at bat or on deck during that time.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the players association,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions.”

Understanding is the key word, because the MLB Players Association refused to agree to the changes, but also signed an agreement to not oppose the rules. There were also discussions about 20-second pitch clocks, but that was not implemented.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

LeBron James says ‘Laura who?’ as he responds to the Fox News host’s comments

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — LeBron James says he didn’t know who Laura Ingraham was until she started an NBA-like trash-talking feud with him on her Fox News show by telling him “shut up and dribble” in response to his bashing of President Trump.

But the 33-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers star said Ingraham couldn’t have picked a better time than NBA All-Star weekend to launch her attempt to silence his social commentary.

“I get to sit up here and talk about social injustice, equality and why a woman on a certain network decided to tell me to ‘shut up and dribble,'” James said at a news conference ahead of Sunday night’s NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles. “So, thank you, whatever her name is. I don’t even know her name.”

On Sunday, the 54-year-old conservative host of “The Ingraham Angle” defended her on-air comments about James, in which she slammed his “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical take on President Trump” in a podcast. She said people who described her comments as racists in an avalanche of social media posts took them wrong.

“In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks & Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics. I’ve told Robert DeNiro to ‘Shut Up & Act,’ Jimmy Kimmel to ‘Shut Up & Make Us Laugh,’ and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich to ‘Shut up & Coach,'” she said in a statement to ABC News.

“If pro athletes and entertainers want to freelance as political pundits, then they should not be surprised when they’re called out for insulting politicians. There was no racial intent in my remarks — false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism.”

Ingraham’s brouhaha with James started Thursday night when she aired part of a segment from the podcast “Uninterrupted,” hosted by ESPN’s Cari Champion, in which James and fellow NBA star Kevin Durant talked basketball and social issues while riding in an Uber.

“I feel like our team, as a country, is not ran by a great coach,” Durant tells James in the piece.

James responds: “It’s not even a surprise when he (Trump) says something. It’s laughable and it’s scary.”

Referring to Trump, Champion added: “I shouldn’t be numb to your racist comments. I shouldn’t be numb to your behavior.”

When the camera cut back to her, Ingraham said, “I’m numb to this commentary” before slamming James, specifically.

“Must they run their mouth like that?” she said. “Unfortunately, a lot of kids, and some adults, take these ignorant comments seriously.

“Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids,” she continued. “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred-million-dollars a year to bounce a ball. Oh, and LeBron and Kevin, you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

During his news conference Saturday with reporters from around the world, James said, “We will definitely not shut up and dribble. I will definitely not do that.”

“I also wish she did a little bit more fact checking because I actually did finish high school and didn’t leave early. I graduated high school,” James said. “You know, to be an African-American kid and grow up in the inner city with a single-parent mother and not being financially stable, and to make it to where I’ve made it today, I think I’ve defeated the odds and I want every kid to know that and everybody to know that the youth, they can do it as well.”

Pointing to his two young sons sitting near him, James said he feels an obligation to speak out on subjects other than basketball.

“I will not just shut up and dribble because I mean too much to my two boys here, their best friend right here, my daughter that’s at home, my wife, my family, and all these other kids that look up to me for inspiration and trying to find a way out, and find some leeway on how they can become as great as they can be and how those dreams can become reality,” he said.

As for Ingraham, he added: “I would have had a little bit more respect for her if she would have actually wrote those words. She probably said it right off a teleprompter.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jazz rookie, Mitchell soars to dunk title

Leon Bennett/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — A 21-year-old rookie and a 25-year-old, third-year pro battled it out in the NBA dunk contest.

Larry Nance Jr. dressed in his father’s old uniform and also had his father, who won the contest in 1984,  help him with one of his dunks.  But Nance’s nostalgia was no match for Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz rookie.

Mitchell’s show at the Staples Center won him the slam dunk contest and capped off NBA All Star Saturday.

Mitchell sealed his victory over Nance Jr. with the 360 degree spin dunk that Vince Carter used to win the 2000 contest.

“I wanted this so badly,” Mitchell said. “This is one of my favorite events of All-Star weekend. To not only be in it, but to win it, it’s crazy.”

Before making his winning dunk, Mitchell peeled off his Jazz jersey to reveal a vintage Carter jersey from the Toronto Raptors.

Mitchell needed a score of 47 to beat Nance, and he got a 48 from the five judges: DJ Khaled, Mark Wahlberg, Chris Rock and Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Lisa Leslie.

Nance had earned a perfect 50 with a slam off a double alley-oop off the glass.

Mitchell advanced to the finals with a creative dunk in the first round that used his sister, Jordan, as well as Kevin Hart and the comedian’s son as props.

Mitchell’s sister, Hart and the comedian’s son, crouched in a line in front of the basket. Mitchell had an assistant toss the ball off the side of the backboard. He caught it and did a one-handed tomahawk dunk as he jumped over his sister, Hart and his son.

For that dunk, Mitchell wore a Darrell Griffith Jazz jersey. Griffith participated in the first slam dunk contest in 1984.

It earned a perfect 50.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Villages covered in ash after volcano erupts in Indonesia

iStock/Thinkstock(KARO, Indonesia) —  A volcano on Indonesia’s Sumatra island sent columns of ash shooting into the sky on Monday, prompting a “code red” warning to airlines by an Australian agency monitoring volcanic ash.

Villages in the Karo region near the volcano were covered in layers of grey ash, which settled on trees and the tops of buildings, motorcycles and cars.

Villagers were forced to wear masks.

Mount Sinabung has been erupting intermittently since 2010 after being dormant for centuries.

Thousands have been displaced in the surrounding area, and continued seismic activity has kept the alert level at its highest point since June 2015.

Mount Sinabung is one of three currently active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an area of concentrated seismic activity due to the presence of tectonic fault lines in the region.

Last year, the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali forced the cancellation of several flights, grounding thousands of tourists and sparking an evacuation order for 100,000 residents.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Inside Lesbos’ Moria camp, home to thousands of trapped refugees and migrants

ABC News(LESBOS, Greece) —  In her temporary home, a fraction of a tent, Aziza Hommada holds up a transparent plastic bag with pita bread. The plastic has little holes in it and the bread is in pieces.

“Look,” she says. “The rats come into the tent and eat our bread. I have to throw this out.”

Hommada, 37, is five months pregnant and lives with her six children in the Moria camp, the largest refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The words “Welcome to prison” are spray-painted at the entrance and barbed wire surrounds the camp, which used to be a detention center for rejected asylum seekers. Tents and containers are packed tightly together, with narrow, muddy passageways between them. Trash spills out of overflowing garbage bins and piles up on the ground. At night, bonfires light up the faces of children and adults who try to stay warm.

As Europe experienced an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants in 2015, the camp was originally a temporary solution that could house up to 2,000 people. When ABC News visited the camp in mid-January, it was home to more than 5,300 people, according to the director of the camp.

ABC News was granted rare permission to access a small area of the Moria camp, and also visited other parts where journalists were not allowed.

Like most people in the camp, Hommada and her children share their living space. A piece of fabric splits Hommada’s tent in two. She lives with her children in one half while some of her relatives occupy the other.

She washes laundry by hand using water from a room right next to her tent. The floor there is brown from dirty water and on one recent evening two rats peeked out of a corner.

The family escaped from airstrikes and fighting between ISIS and the Syrian government in their village in Deir Ezzor, Syria. The family became separated when Hommada’s husband left to pick up his sister from another village, she says. She has not heard from her husband or been able to find out what happened to him. She arrived in Lesbos with her children about two weeks ago. Even though the family is now safe from airstrikes, Hommada feels scared in the camp, especially at night.

“I don’t sleep from the fear,” says Hommada. “If anyone walks by our tent at night I sense it immediately and feel frightened.”

International organizations operating on the island say lack of security and hygiene are two major issues in the Moria camp. The UN warned earlier this month that women and children are at risk of sexual violence in the camp and called for more police. It described the bathrooms there as “no-go zones” for women and children after dark if they are not accompanied. Even showering during the day can be dangerous, the UN said.

 In his office inside the Moria camp, Giannis Balpakakis, the camp’s director, who is appointed by the Greek government to run it, lets out a sigh.

“The only problem is that there are a lot of people and it is difficult for us,” he says when asked why the camp is crowded and dirty. “If you have an apartment with one kitchen and two bedrooms and this apartment is for two people and in the same apartment you put 10 people you will have a problem. This is the problem.”

New containers were recently added in the camp, increasing the capacity from 2,000 to 3,000, he says, but it’s still not enough. People keep arriving to the island and the camp is crowded, he says — so crowded that staff members clean the bathrooms and toilets only to find them dirty again one hour later.

“We may make mistakes, we may not be able to get to everything, but we are trying really hard,” he says. “All of us here are striving for the betterment of the people. I’m not saying that it’s the best, but we earnestly try. Everyone talks countless hours on the phone, to get everything in order, to strive, but I say to you honestly the problems that we have here are huge. Why? Because we constantly have new people. There is this stress, to welcome 100 people today, then 200 tomorrow, then another 100.”

In March 2016, the EU sealed a deal with Turkey intended to stop illegal migration to Europe by closing the main route that a million refugees and migrants had used to cross the sea to Greece. Since the EU-Turkey pact went into effect, the Greek islands have received a much smaller number of migrants and refugees. But in the second half of 2017, the numbers increased. Since September, more than 16,000 migrants and refugees have arrived on the Greek islands by sea from Turkey. And while asylum seekers before the EU-Turkey deal could move to the Greek mainland after typically just a few days on the islands, they now wait on the islands for months — and in some cases, more than a year.

Under the agreement, which has been criticized by humanitarian organizations, refugees and migrants who manage to cross the sea to Greece are trapped on the islands. They face being returned to Turkey, unless the Greek authorities determine that they should be granted asylum in Greece. Only vulnerable asylum seekers such as pregnant women, unaccompanied children and torture victims — or asylum seekers with close family members elsewhere in Europe — are allowed to move to mainland Greece. But even those vulnerable people often have to wait on the islands for months for a decision.

The crowded conditions create tension and fights break out in the camp, Balpakakis says. There are also problems with the infrastructure and electricity. At one point during the interview the lights in the director’s office go off because of a sudden power outage.

 Deeper inside the camp Jihad Al-Haj Hussein Al-Hilal, 50, lights a cigarette in his part of a shipping container that serves as a temporary home. When he lived in his Syrian hometown in Deir Ezzor under ISIS rule, smoking was not allowed. He escaped intense fighting between ISIS and the Syrian government there and has been on Lesbos with his family since late October.

“I’m still trapped on this island,” says al-Hilal. “We escaped from death and came to death — from quick death to slow death.”

It’s around dinner time and people line up for food outside. Residents say they usually have to wait two to three hours for a meal. A sound of men yelling makes its way into the container.

“Can you hear that?” asks Jihad. “They’re fighting. It happens a lot when people line up for food.”

The conditions in the camp surprised him when he arrived, he says. “I had expected that I would at least feel safe here,” he says.

Berevan Ahmad Hassan, a 25-year-old Kurdish Syrian from Aleppo, fled her country after an airstrike destroyed her home and all her belongings. When she saw the wreckage, she actually felt relief. Her children and husband were safe and that was all that mattered to her, she says. But after seven years of war, she decided to leave her country for the safety of her 5-year-old and 3-year-old. In Greece, her children often wake up screaming at night because they see bombs in their dreams. They refuse to use the toilets in the camp unless their mother cleans them first.

“They have started bed-wetting,” she says. “They didn’t do that in Syria.”

She has lived with her family in a tent for two months. The conditions in the camp are far worse than she imagined, she says. Every morning when she wakes up her first thought is: I can’t wait for this day to be over.

“I think, I hope this day will go by fast so that it will be night so that I can reach the day when I will get out of here,” she says.

She wants to settle in an actual home where her children can feel like they are living a stable life. And she wants them to go to school.

“It will be a while before that can happen. We will suffer until then,” she says. “But after everything we’ve been through I can’t imagine that I will end up regretting coming. I can’t think that. I have to think that it will be good.”

After ABC News left the Greek island of Lesbos, the Hommada family told ABC News that they had been transferred from the Moria camp to Lesbos’ Kara Tepe camp, which is known to have much better conditions than the Moria camp. The family said they now live in a container by themselves rather than a shared tent.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Princess Kate steps out in green at the British Academy Film Awards

Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images(LONDON) — Princess Kate arrived at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) tonight with Prince William in a dark green Jenny Packham gown, as the majority of other women on the red carpet chose to wear black in solidarity with the fight against sexual harassment and the Time’s Up movement.

The mother of Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2, who is currently pregnant in her third trimester, however, did wear a black tie around her dress above her glowing figure, in what may have been a subtle nod to fellow women.

Royal family members are forbidden from making political statements of any kind and must remain unbiased. Kensington Palace declined to comment on Kate’s decision to wear green instead of black in solidarity with other women. Last year, Kate wore a black Alexander McQueen gown with printed flowers.

The dress code is similar to other red carpets, most notably the Golden Globes, when women and men both showed their support for gender equality and human rights for women.

Margot Robbie, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie and almost every other major celebrity wore black on the red carpet tonight, which has been a dominant theme at awards shows in the wake of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last fall.

There was considerable discussion online and on television about the Duchess of Cambridge’s decision to forego black on the red carpet as the Time’s Up movement is not aligned with a particular political party.

British TV presenter Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter “Duchess of Cambridge being abused by ‘feminists’ on Twitter for not wearing a black dress at tonight’s #BAFTAS Apparently, she’s not allowed to exercise HER feminist right to wear whatever colour dress she chooses.”

Others said that it was a missed opportunity for Kate, and argued that wearing black was not a political statement but rather simply an affirmation of women’s rights.

Kate accessorized her gown with stunning emerald and diamond earrings, which she donned previously in New York when she and Prince William attended the 600th anniversary benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of their Alma mater St Andrews University.

Princess Kate accompanied William, who is president of BAFTA, and also wore a glittering matching emerald and diamond necklace to the Awards ceremony.

“Catherine and I are extremely pleased to be here amongst you all this evening,” William said at tonight’s event. “The Film Awards are just one part of BAFTA’s activity. I have been privileged over the years to experience first-hand the impact of its work in the United Kingdom, in Los Angeles, New York and Asia — work ranging from scholarships and supporting new talent, through to masterclasses with the very best in the film industry — many of whom are here this evening.”

“Your support of BAFTA — sharing skills, expertise and time — means we can ensure the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. It ensures that we can do much, much more to help talented people from all backgrounds to be given the opportunity to succeed,” he added.

Earlier in the day more than 200 women signed on to a new fund to support women who experience abuse and harassment at work. Emma Watson donated $1 million to the campaign, while Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Kristen Scott Thomas are all signatories to the open letter.

“As we approach the BAFTAs, our industry’s time for celebration and acknowledgement, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement international,” the letter states.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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”

Win an overnight stay at The Lodge

Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day was done a few times before today’s featured artist got a hold of it. Dee Dee Warwick did it in 1963 – so did Betty Everett. Then the following year the Swingin’ Blue Jeans did it…it was pretty good (despite its title) and that’s why our featured artist started playing it live.  read more…

Win a stay at The Lodge at Cloudcroft

The 101 number one song of the day was written, produced and recorded by a former San Francisco Disc Jockey who found himself torn between the positive and the negative and the resulting conflict is taking its toll to the day. read more…

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