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MUSIC NEWS

Music from Princess Diana’s faves Elton, Diana, Lionel & Celine on display in Buckingham Palace this summer

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty ImagesElton John, Rod Stewart, Celine Dion and Diana Ross will all be playing the Palace this summer: Buckingham Palace, that is.  Their music is part of a special commemorative exhibit paying tribute to the late Princess Diana.

According to the Times of London, the exhibit is located in the Music Room, one of the State Rooms you can visit as part of Buckingham Palace’s annual summer opening hours, which start Saturday and run through October 1.  Diana’s sons, Harry and William, have chosen some of their mother’s personal items for a display marking the 20th anniversary of her death, and among the items is her collection of music cassettes.

The small suitcase includes cassettes like Elton John’s Greatest Hits (Volume Two) and Diana Ross’ Ultimate Collection, as well as Celine Dion‘s The Colour of My Love, and cassettes by George Michael, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, The Three Tenors and more.

Other items in the exhibit include Diana’s ballet shoes, a wooden trunk she took to boarding school, and her writing desk, decorated with photos of her sons and a silver Cartier calendar that was a gift from former President Ronald Reagan.

In life, Diana was a big fan of pop music, and even became friendly with some of her musical idols, especially Elton.  His tribute to her, “Candle in the Wind ’97,” is among the best-selling songs of all time.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Guns N’ Roses celebrate 30th anniversary of “Appetite for Destruction” at intimate NYC gig; new tour dates added

Credit: Katarina BenzovaGuns N’ Roses rocked New York City on Thursday night in front of an intimate, invite-only crowd at the famous Apollo Theatre in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s classic debut album, Appetite for Destruction. According to Rolling Stone, the hard-rock legends played for three hours, showcasing eight of the album’s 12 songs along the way.

The concert also is serving as a warm-up gig for a new North American leg of GN’R’s hugely successful Not in This Lifetime tour, which gets underway Thursday, July 27, in St. Louis.

Guns N’ Roses has added 11 dates to the outing, which now includes will see the band visit Newark, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Hartford, Connecticut; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee; Nashville; and Sacramento and San Diego, California; as well as playing extra dates in New York City, Toronto and Inglewood, California. The new Inglewood show takes place November 29, which now is the tour’s final show.

Among the artists who will open for Guns N’ Roses at select shows during the trek are ZZ Top, Deftones, Sturgill Simpson, Royal Blood, Live and Our Lady Peace.

Tickets for most of the newly added shows go on sale to the general public next Friday, July 28, at 10 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com. Tickets for the November 29 show in Inglewood will be available to the public starting Friday, August 4.

Here are all of Guns N’ Roses’ upcoming North American dates:

7/27 — St. Louis, MO, The Dome at America’s Center
7/30 — Minneapolis, MN, U.S. Bank Stadium
8/2 — Denver, CO, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
8/5 — Little Rock, AR, War Memorial Stadium
8/8 — Miami, FL, Miami Marlins Stadium
8/11 — Winston-Salem, NC, BB&T Field at Wake Forest University
8/13 — Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium
8/16 — Buffalo, NY, New Era Field
8/19 — Montreal, QC, Canada, Parc Jean Drapeau
8/21 — Ottawa, ON, Canada, TD Place Stadium
8/24 — Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Investors Group Field
8/27 — Regina, SK, Canada, New Mosaic Stadium at Evraz Place
8/30 — Edmonton, AB, Canada, Commonwealth Stadium
9/1 — Vancouver, BC, Canada, BC Place Stadium
9/3 — George, WA, The Gorge
9/6 — El Paso, TX, Sun Bowl Stadium
9/8 — San Antonio, TX, Alamodome
10/8 — Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
10/11 — New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
10/12 — Newark, NJ, Prudential Center+
10/15 — New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
10/16 — New York, NY, Madison Square Garden+
10/19 — Washington, D.C., Verizon Center+
10/22 — Boston, MA, TD Garden
10/23 — Hartford, CT, XL Center+
10/26 — Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena
10/29 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
10/30 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre+
11/2 — Detroit, MI, Little Caesers Arena
11/3 — Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center+
11/6 — Chicago, IL, United Center
11/7 — Milwaukee, WI, Bradley Center+
11/10 — Houston, TX, Toyota Center
11/13 — Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
11/14 — Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
11/17 — Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
11/18 — Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
11/21 — Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
11/24 — Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
11/25 — Inglewood, CA, The Forum
11/28 — San Diego, CA, Valley View Casino Center+
11/29 — Inglewood, CA, The Forum+

+ = newly added date.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

David Gilmour’s “Live at Pompeii” concert film out on DVD in late September

Columbia RecordsWith the new concert film documenting David Gilmour‘s historic July 2016 performances in Pompeii, Italy, getting one-night-only theatrical screenings on September 13, comes word that the flick will be released as a home video in multiple formats and configurations on September 29. David Gilmour — Live at Pompeii will be available as a two-DVD set, a single Blu-ray disc, a deluxe box set featuring two Blu-rays and two CDs, and a digital video.

The new movie features footage from two shows that the ex-Pink Floyd singer/guitarist played at the 2,000-year-old Pompeii Amphitheatre last summer, 45 years after his old band performed at the same site for the classic 1972 movie, Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii. Gilmour’s shows were the first publicly attended rock concerts ever held at the Roman amphitheater, which was built in 90 B.C. and buried in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 70 A.D.

The standard two-DVD and Blu-ray versions of Live at Pompeii features the concert film, plus a new documentary titled Pompeii Then and Now. The deluxe box set includes an extra Blu-ray disc containing performances from shows that Gilmour played in South America in December 2015, and from a June 2016 concert in Poland featuring orchestral accompaniment; the BBC documentary David Gilmour: Wider Horizons; and four short documentaries looking at various legs of Gilmour’s world tour in support of his 2015 solo album, Rattle That Lock.

In addition, separate two-CD and four-LP vinyl sets featuring the audio from the Live at Pompeii concerts also will be released on September 29.

Check out the films’ preview trailer on Gilmour’s official YouTube channel.

Here’s the track list of the David Gilmour — Live at Pompeii Blu-ray discs:

Blu-ray 1
Part 1:
“5 A.M.”
“Rattle That Lock”
“Faces of Stone”
“What Do You Want from Me”
“The Blue”
“The Great Gig in the Sky”
“A Boat Lies Waiting”
“Wish You Were Here”
“Money”
“In Any Tongue”
“High Hopes”

Part 2:
“One of These Days”
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
“Fat Old Sun”
“Coming Back to Life”
“On an Island”
“Today”
“Sorrow”
“Run Like Hell”
“Time/Breathe (In the Air)” (Reprise)
“Comfortably Numb”

Documentary:
Pompeii Then and Now

Blu-ray 2
South America December 2015:
“Astronomy Domine”
“Us and Them”
“Today”
“Time/Breathe (In the Air)” (Reprise)
“Comfortably Numb” (Jon Carin – vocal)

Wroclaw, Poland June 2016 – with Orchestra:
“5 A.M.”
“Rattle That Lock”
“Dancing Right In Front of Me”
“The Girl in the Yellow Dress” (with Leszek Mozdzer)
“In Any Tongue”

Documentaries:
–Europe 2015
–South America 2015
–North America 2016
–Europe 2016
–David Gilmour: Wider Horizons

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Creators of HBO’s “Confederate” respond to backlash

(L-R) David Benioff and D. B. Weiss — Getty Images/Steve Granitz(LOS ANGELES) — When HBO announced it would be producing a new series, Confederate, involving an alternate timeline in which the south has seceded and slavery still exists, backlash was pretty severe.

Supergirl actor David Harewood tweeted, “Good luck finding black actors for this project.” And writer Roxane Gay tweeted, “It is exhausting to think of how many people at @HBO said yes to letting two white men envision modern day slavery. And offensive.”

But the show’s creators, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — and their partners in Confederate, the African-American husband and wife writers and producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman — are defending the show and its premise. 

Speaking with Vulture, the team said they expected to take fire.  “We all knew it was coming in one form or another,” Benioff said.  And Malcolm Spellman recalled reacting to the premise by saying, “You’re dealing with weapons-grade material here.”

“It goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history,” Weiss said.  “It’s our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear.  That sin is still with us in many ways.”

But Confederate, he said is a “science-fiction show,” and as such  “…can show us how this history is still with us in a way that strictly realistic drama ever could….”

Nichelle Spellman, who worked on The Good Wife, recalled the team’s original meeting, saying, “I just remember being so excited — and absolutely terrified at the same time.”

“In this futuristic world, you could have this conversation in a straightforward manner without it being steeped in history,” she said.

Nichelle understands people’s concerns but adds, “I wish their concern had been reserved to the night of the premiere…” after they’d seen the program, none of which, the team adds, has even been written yet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Insecure” cast says the HBO series hits close to home

HBO/Anne Marie Fox

(LOS ANGELES) — With the second season of Insecure set to premiere on Sunday, the cast of the hit HBO series is weighing in on their connection to their characters. In addition to sharing how the show takes a page out of their everyday lives, Issa Rae is also offering her thoughts on how her character Issa Dee will now deal with being single.

“We’re just going to see her kind of filter it a bit more and realize who she doesn’t want to be,” Rae tells ABC Radio. “Given her new single status she’s feeling kind of vulnerable– so we’ll see how she adjusts to her vulnerability.”

Jay Ellis, who plays Issa’s now former boyfriend Lawrence on the show, says even though he and his character have different ideas when it comes to relationships, Lawrence’s character traits are very familiar.

“When I look back at how Lawrence started out, there are a lot of things,” Ellis says of the similarities. “There are the the discourage traits, the down on yourself — those moments when your constantly getting told ‘no’ — where things aren’t going the way you want them to and…you’re not really sure which way to go.”

But, like his character, Ellis says he’s learned how to “bounce back” and “how you get off the ground and go fight the next day.”

Yvonne Orji goes further saying her character Molly’s narrative is taken straight from her experiences.

“We..talked to the writers and we just thought we were having a casual conversation with friends and I think some of the things we shared openly…made its way into the season,” she says.

The actress adds, “Before you know it, your life is in episode four!”  

Insecure returns Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bubble blows up: Rihanna invades your multiplex today in “Valerian”

(L-R) “Valerian” director Luc Besson, Rihanna — Credit: Eric Charbonneau

(LOS ANGELES) — Rihanna Navy, get hyped: your girl is landing at your local multiplex this weekend.

The singer stars in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a sci-fi epic from director Luc Besson, based on a popular comic book series.  Rihanna plays Bubble, a shape-shifting alien.  She says when Besson described the part to her, she was hooked.

“Sci-fi movies are always really fun and this one has such a modern twist,” Rihanna says. “There’s a lot of reality in this world that’s not real, and that’s why I think I was [attracted] to it.”

Rihanna also liked working with Besson, the director of The Fifth ElementThe Professional and Lucy, because she says he gave her a lot of help on set.

“He is very patient when it comes to working and directing me because I’m very new to the movie world and he’s very considerate of that,” she explains.  “He knows exactly how to get what he wants out of you and that’s what a director is.”

As for Bubble, when we first meet her, she’s being forced to perform for patrons in a space cabaret called Glam Club.

“She’s in this place and she has to perform and the thing that makes her feel free is her performing, her being an artist, her becoming whatever and making people happy in that way,” says Rihanna of Bubble. “She’s an entertainer…She’s very sensitive about her art, as all artists are.”

Rihanna’s previous films include 2012’s ill-received Battleship, and the animated movie Home, in which she voiced the main character.  She also had cameos in Annie and This Is the End.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Minneapolis police chief resigns in wake of fatal shooting of bride-to-be

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced that she is resigning in the wake of the officer-involved shooting of an Australian bride-to-be.

“[L]ast Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection,” Harteau said in part in a statement posted on the police department’s Facebook page.

She continued: “The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a Department. Despite the MPD’s many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the City, I have to put the communities we serve first. I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be.”

Justine Ruszczyk, 40, who went by her fiancé Don Damond’s last name, was killed by a police officer on July 15 after she called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home.

Authorities said officers Matthew Harrity and Mohammed Noor responded to Ruszczyk’s 911 call, but never found a suspect. They were startled by a loud noise and then Ruszczyk approached the driver’s side of the car and Noor, who was on the passenger side, fired his gun through the open driver’s side window, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Harrity’s attorney, Fred Bruno, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that it was “certainly reasonable” for the police officers to assume they could be the target of an ambush.

Noor has not made any statements to investigators and has declined to be interviewed, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Both officers have been placed on standard paid administrative leave pending the investigation. Ruszczyk’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Police have launched an internal affairs review of the officers’ use of force.

Harteau faced criticism for her notable absence in the days following Ruszczyk’s death, but she told reporters Thursday that she was in a remote area, “backpacking in the mountains,” which made it difficult for her to return. She was scheduled to return on Aug. 1, she said.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement that she asked for Harteau’s resignation.

“I’ve lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well,” Hodges said. “In conversation with the Chief today, she and I agreed that she would step aside to make way for new leadership. I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it, and I have accepted it.”

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Police Department released transcripts from Ruszczyk’s Saturday’s 911 call, detailing what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood.

“I can hear someone out the back and I — I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Ruszczyk tells the 911 operator, according to the transcript released by police.

Robert Bennett, the attorney representing both Damond and family of Ruszczyk, told ABC News this week “the family wants justice in its largest sense.”

“I think Justine is the last person you’d expect to be killed by police,” Bennett said.

Bennett said that the idea that Justine Damond could have been thought of as a threat is “patently, utterly, ridiculous.”

“If that’s the excuse they want to use to shoot people, I guess they can use any excuse they want, we’re all in danger,” the attorney said.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Friday that a witness to the shooting has been identified and interviewed, though the agency did not disclose what the witness, a bicyclist, said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

USS Arizona survivors welcomed to Washington 75 years after Pearl Harbor attack

EJ Hersom/Department of Defense(WASHINGTON) — Hundreds of service members lined the halls of the Pentagon on Friday to welcome three of the five remaining survivors from the USS Arizona, 75 years after their ship was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor.

Lauren Bruner (Fire Controlman), Donald Stratton (Seaman First Class), and Ken Potts (Coxswain) traveled to Washington, D.C. to posthumously honor a fellow sailor who saved their lives — and those of four others — that fateful day.

During the attack, Bruner and Stratton, trapped on the burning Arizona, caught the attention of a man named Joe George, who was on a neighboring Navy vessel. George helped secure a line to the Arizona, which the men climbed some 70 or 80 feet to safety, 95-year-old Stratton said.

“And we finally got all six of us over there, and Joe George coaxing us saying, ‘Come on sailor, you can make it, you can make it,'” Stratton told ABC News.

Potts, uninjured in the attack, assisted in the recovery of his shipmate’s bodies. Over 1,000 Americans died on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.

After the grand welcome to the Pentagon, the men and their wives met with Defense Secretary James Mattis, followed by a lunch with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Steven Giordano, as well as enlisted sailors.

They then headed to the White House to visit with President Trump, who delivered remarks in the Oval Office.

“For these three World War II veterans, Dec. 7, 1941, the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor, is forever seared into their memories,” Trump said. “It’s also seared into America’s memory, because on that grim day this mighty nation was roused to defend freedom itself.”

“There are many remarkable things that I witness as president, but nothing can take the place of meeting heroes like those with us today,” he added. “In them we see the strength of our nation, the courage of our men and women in uniform, the resolve to never accept failure, and the belief that justice will always triumph.”

Stratton told Trump that the country was “coming together again.”

“All the people we met today, and all the people that were lined along as we went along, you can tell with the military and everything that this country’s coming together again, and we’re going to be there,” he said.

Mattis told reporters later that the sailors are a reminder of those who have endured so much during their time in military service.

“It’s a reminder why you need physical fitness standards in the military,” Mattis added. “Only way they saved themselves going from one ship to another.”

Stratton and Bruner, while severely injured during the Pearl Harbor attack, later returned to military service and deployed to the Pacific to fight in World War II.

“So we started the war and we finished it,” Stratton said.

For these men, the visit to the nation’s capital was an important way to finally honor George.

“We’re not heroes, we just got lucky and with the help of God and the good Lord we’re here today,” Stratton said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Connecticut mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary in local church

ABC News(NORWALK, Conn.) — Nury Chavarria, an undocumented mother of four who has lived in the United States for 24 years, was set to be deported to Guatemala on Thursday night. Instead, Chavarria refused to leave her children, taking sanctuary in a Connecticut church.

Chavarria left Guatemala and came to the United States without legal papers in 1993 when she was 19, ABC affiliate WTNH-TV reported.

She ultimately settled in Norwalk, Connecticut, where she got a job as a housekeeper and raised a family. Chavarria, now 43, has four children who are all U.S. citizens, two of whom are in college. She has no criminal history and has paid taxes since she received a work permit, according to her immigration attorneys.

Chavarria told WTNH-TV that she has been honest about her immigration status for years and regularly and voluntarily checked in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But this year, ICE fitted her with a GPS ankle monitor to track her movements ahead of her deportation, she said.

Chavarria was supposed to board the plane that would take her out of the country at 5 p.m. on Thursday. She sought sanctuary in the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven, according to Sidd Sinha, one of the lawyers who represented Chavarria in her battle against the deportation order.

“On behalf of Formica Williams, P.C., we have been informed that Nury Chavarria has opted to seek refuge in a local church through sanctuary,” Sinha said in a statement provided to ABC News on Friday.

Sinha said the law firm will continue to represent Chavarria in her petition to stay and for any applications on relief that may become available, but that she is retaining new counsel regarding her decision to enter sanctuary.

An ICE spokesperson told ABC News that Chavarria is “currently an ICE fugitive” because she did not obey orders to leave the country.

“Nury Chavarria was allowed to voluntarily depart by a federal immigration judge in 1998, and failed to comply, rendering her subject to final order of removal in 1999,” the spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “In 2010, the agency deferred her removal for one year on humanitarian grounds. As a current exercise of discretion and after an exhaustive review of her case, the agency had allowed her to remain free from custody while finalizing her timely departure plans.”

“Since she did not depart as instructed, she is currently an ICE fugitive,” the spokesperson added.

ICE agents are asked to avoid conducting enforcement activities at “sensitive locations unless they have prior approval from an appropriate supervisory official or in the event of exigent circumstances,” the spokesperson said. These locations include schools, hospitals and places of worship.

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) said on Twitter that he had met with Chavarria at the church and posted photos of them together Thursday. The governor did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday.

Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church also did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday.

Kica Matos, director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is among the local activists and members of the community working to help protect Chavarria and her family. Matos told ABC News on Friday that Chavarria remains at the church and “has settled in” with the youngest of her four children, Hayley.

The 9-year-old girl spoke to reporters at the church and made a direct plea to President Donald Trump to allow her mother to stay.

“She’s not a criminal. She has a positive attitude about everything. I want her to stay because I love her so much. My message to President Trump is: don’t separate my family,” Hayley Chavarria said, according to WTNH-TV.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Sky’s the limit for baseball player, 11, born without his left hand

ABC News(NEW YORK) — July’s been a great month for Keenan Briggs and the players on the Warren County South All-Stars in Kentucky.

On Wednesday, the team of 10- and 11-year-olds took home the state championship, 6-0, after winning 10 games in the postseason and scooping up the state tournament.

And on July 1, during the first game of the postseason, Keenan, one of the team’s pitchers, hit his first over-the-fence home run.

“Once I hit it, I looked up and I saw it had a chance, it was high enough to go over,” Keenan said. “I was like, ‘Did I really do this?’ I was so happy. … Now I know I can do it.”

It was a huge deal for Keenan, who was born without his left hand and forearm. While he’d hit homers inside the park, Keenan hadn’t been able to hit the ball over the fence and it was a feat that he feared he’d never achieve.

“About three to four days before Keenan hit the home run, he expressed to us that the fact that a lot of his friends were hitting the ball really hard … and in games were hitting the balls over the fence,” said his mother, Crista Briggs. “He said, ‘I’m afraid I won’t ever be able to do that,’ and we told him, ‘Don’t even try to focus on hitting a home run — that may never happen — what we want you to focus on is just hitting on the ground and running really hard.'”

His father, Kevin Briggs, said he was celebrating so much after the hit that he didn’t even see Keenan round the bases.

“I was like, ‘Wow, he did it. He did it,'” Kevin Briggs said.

Keenan’s parents said that from the moment Keenan was born, they’d decided to treat him no differently and to give him every opportunity.

Kevin Briggs said that Keenan has played a variety of sports and had excelled and won awards.

“He just figures it out,” Kevin Briggs said. “He has just figured out a way to do it and he did that from a very early age. … For me, it’s a combination of a lot of the hard work that Keenan has put in to be able to compete at this level. … He works really hard at it.”

Crista Biggs advised parents to try not to worry too much about children who are without a limb.

“They will figure things out on their own,” she said. “They will learn their own way of doing things and they will succeed. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, practice, commitment but in the end, if they put in the time, it will be such a reward for them.”

Next up on Keenan’s list: throwing a no-hitter.

“I like just striking people out and having fun,” he said. “It feels good. I mean, I just feel like I’m no different than anyone else.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Celtics to add free-agent guard

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — The Boston Celtics are expected to sign free-agent point guard Shane Larkin, a league source tells ESPN.

Larkin was the No. 18 pick in the 2013 NBA draft and last played for the NBA during the 2015-2016 season for the Brooklyn Nets.

This summer the Celtics have signed nine players inlcuding All-Star Gordon Hayward. There are only six returning players on the team’s current roster: Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.

Earlier this week, the Celtics signed small forward Paul Pierce so he could retire as a member of the team.  

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Minnesota Twins close to trade for LHP Jaime Garcia

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — The Minnesota Twins are close to acquiring left-handed starter Jaime Garcia in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for a minor league player, according to ESPN sources.

Garcia has a history of shoulder trouble and was 10-13 with a 4.67 ERA for the Braves last season.

Garcia spent most of his injury-interrupted career with the St. Louis Cardinals before he was acquired by the Braves in an offseason trade.

In his eight seasons with St. Louis he went 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA. In 2011, he won a World Series with the Cardinals.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

New photo of Prince George released for his 4th birthday

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — Kensington Palace has released a new photo of Prince George to mark the third-in-line’s fourth birthday.

The photograph was taken at Kensington Palace at the end of June by Chris Jackson, Getty Images’ royal photographer.

Kensington Palace shared in a statement: “The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share this lovely picture as they celebrate Prince George’s fourth birthday, and would like to thank everyone for all of the kind messages they have received.”

George’s parents, Prince William and Princess Kate, both 35, revealed George’s excitement about his upcoming birthday with well-wishers in Germany. William told a group of students in Hamburg, “George has got a big tummy. He’ll probably end up eating all his cake himself.”

The royal couple joked that George would also be on “sugar overload” in Heidelberg after trying their hands at candy-making and sharing they planned to bring the sweets back to their children.

George will celebrate his birthday on Saturday in the U.K. after returning home from a five-day royal tour of Germany and Poland with his family.

George received an early birthday gift from his German hosts as the family boarded their plane home. He was also surprised with a special treat, climbing into the cockpit of two Airbus helicopters. The little prince got behind the controls and donned a helmet shortly before the family’s departure for the U.K.

The public caught glimpses of a growing George as he held his parents’ hands as the family arrived in and departed from Poland and Germany. George, who loves planes, was seen at one point pulling the hand of his father to be able to board the plane faster.

In other photos, George and Charlotte were seen looking outside the plane’s windows.

George’s trip to Poland and Germany marked his third royal tour. He traveled with his parents and Charlotte to Canada last fall and accompanied his parents to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 as a toddler.

This year will be one of change for George, who will begin school in September at Thomas’s Battersea School, a private school in Battersea, South London.

George attended preschool at a Montessori school near the family’s country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. The family will now be based in London and George be a full-time student at Thomas’s Battersea, a coeducational school not far from the family’s Kensington Palace base.

Kensington Palace said in a statement coinciding with the announcement that William and Kate were looking forward to George’s next milestone: “Their Royal Highnesses are delighted to have found a school where they are confident George will have a happy and successful start to his education.”

Thomas’s Battersea enrolls around 500 students from a variety of backgrounds whom George will one day lead when he is king.

The photo from Kensington Palace is the latest of several images released on George and Charlotte’s birthdays, many of which were taken by the Duchess of Cambridge. Take a look back at the official photos released for George’s three previous birthdays.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Prince George climbs in helicopter cockpit as Prince William and Princess Kate depart Germany

PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — After five days of city hopping through Poland and Germany with his family, Prince George stole the spotlight on Friday from Prince William, Princess Kate and Princess Charlotte.

George, who will celebrate his fourth birthday on Saturday, had been a bit sleepy and shy as his parents shuttled him from city to city on the five-day royal tour but he could not conceal his excitement on Friday as he stepped into the cockpits of two helicopters.

George saw the helicopters as the royals toured the Airbus facility in Hamburg on their final day in Germany.

George, who never misses a chance to watch his father and his uncle, Prince Harry, both helicopter pilots, depart Kensington Palace on the royal helicopter, was in his element.

Charlotte, 2, who has charmed the crowds with her natural diplomacy — including ducking into a curtsy earlier this week — took a tumble and needed some reassurance from her parents on Friday.

She rubbed her eyes and quickly recovered, and both children were dancing about as they received gifts from their German hosts. The Cambridges were given a royal send-off by officials, including Airbus Helicopter CEO Wolfgang Shoder.

Earlier in the day, William and Kate, both 35, paid a visit to Hamburg’s new Elbharmonie Symphony Hall, where they met with 250 children enrolled in a music immersion education program in Germany’s second largest city.

When asked about her exposure to music, Kate, wearing a lavender bespoke Emilia Wickstead dress, revealed she played flute, “throughout my school years until the age of 18.”

Kate, obviously able to read music, had a hand with the conductor’s baton, directing the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony.

It wouldn’t be a royal tour without a walkabout and William and Kate did not disappoint as they held an unscheduled meet-and-greet with around 3,000 of Hamburg’s residents who came out to try and catch a glimpse of the royal couple. A group of well-wishers even asked about George’s upcoming birthday.

William joked in reply, “George has got a big tummy. He’ll probably end up eating all his cake himself.”

In an impromptu addition to their planned visit to Hamburg’s Maritime Museum, William and Kate tried a recently installed cargo ship simulator. William took the helm joking that perhaps he might hit one of the other yachts in the harbor.

The museum exhibition administrator in charge of the simulator reminded William, as Kate sounded the fog horn, that William will be the future King of England but his wife is still sometimes the boss.

“He is just the helmsman,” the administrator, Hans Trey, told Kate as William steered the ship simulator. “You are the captain.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Inside a formerly ISIS-occupied building in the western suburbs of Raqqa, Syria

ABC News(RAQQA, Syria) — A formerly ISIS-occupied building in Raqqa, Syria, sheds light on the pressures its militants face as the U.S.-led coalition attempts to retake the war-ravaged city.

ABC News ventured into the building in the western suburbs of Raqqa that had been in the hands of ISIS just days before, where there was evidence of drug abuse on the grounds.

The ground of an outdoor area of the home was littered with syringes, vials and packages for Oxycodone. One of the vials had a label for Diazepam, which is typically used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, seizures and muscle spasms.

The drugs possibly indicate that ISIS fighters faced such intense pressure that they felt the need to self-medicate, whether to calm themselves or, perhaps, relieve pain.

ISIS fighters in Raqqa and throughout the region are in a struggle to the death against U.S.-led coalition forces and local allies who have provided the boots on the ground to fight street by street against the militants. ISIS is estimated to have lost tens of thousands of fighters and thousands of square miles of land they once controlled in Iraq and Syria, but it will continue to present a significant threat to America, Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

This particular building, which is in relatively fair condition given the war-torn circumstances, seems to have been used by ISIS as a mosque, although apparently not before the terrorist group occupied it.

It bore hallmarks of ISIS occupation, including dark stains on the ground that appear to be blood, windows that had been shot through and a sniper hole.

Graffiti on the walls featured multiple ISIS flags, writing referring to various ISIS brigades, talk of supporting Palestinians and an excerpt of poetry.

Shreds of clothing and a burned propaganda pamphlet were found in another room.

Blocks away from the building, the battle with ISIS continues as the coalition — made of both U.S.-led and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters — moves in on Raqqa from all sides and pushes toward the city’s center.

Raqqa is the de facto capital of ISIS and holds a particular degree of significance to the terror group because it is the first city ISIS seized in 2014 during its rapid accumulation of ground in 2014.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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The 101 number one song of the day was recorded by a duo who very early in their career recorded a song about a little girl who would one day grow up to marry a rock and roll superstar. That was not what the song was about – that was what happened in real life. read more…

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