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MUSIC NEWS

Tour Is No Disgrace: Founding Yes member Tony Kaye honored to take part in band’s 50th anniversary trek

Credit: Suzanne Reardon-MulhallAs previously reported, original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye will be joining his old band as a special guest on the summer leg of the prog-rock legends’ 50th anniversary tour.  Now, in a new official Q&A, Kaye says it was “a thrill” to be asked to take part in the trek, which kicks off with a June 5-6 stand in St. Charles, Illinois.

“It will be an honor to join [longtime guitarist] Steve [Howe] and the band to play those early iconic songs that were the beginning of Yes,” declares the 72-year-old musician, who also played with the group on the 2018 edition of the band’s Cruise to the Edge in February.

Kaye maintains that he hadn’t been planning to hit the road again, but “the opportunity to play Yes music again with such great guys was something I couldn’t turn down.”

Tony, who left Yes in 1994, says he’s most looking forward to “reconnecting with Steve after so many years,” as well as the rest of the band — drummer Alan White, singer Jon Davison, bassist Billy Sherwood, drummer Jay Schellen — and he says, “especially with [keyboardist] Geoff [Downes], who was so generous to me on the [cruise].”

He adds, “It will be great and somewhat nostalgic for me to see all the Yes fans at the shows around the U.S.A. this summer…I can’t wait!”

Kaye was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes in 2017. Tony says he was happy the group was finally acknowledged with the honor, noting, “To me, it meant a well-deserved recognition of the band’s music and long history and a thank-you to all the fans who have supported Yes all these years.”

Here are all of the dates on the #YES50: Celebrating 50 Years of Yes tour:

6/5 — St. Charles, IL, Arcada Theatre
6/6 — St. Charles, IL, Arcada Theatre
6/8 — New Buffalo, MI, Four Winds Casino Ballroom
6/10 — Kansas City, MO, Midland Theatre
6/11 — Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
6/13 — Boise, ID, CenturyLink Arena
6/14 — Woodinville, WA, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
6/16 — Bakersfield, CA, Spectrum Amphitheater
6/17 — Anaheim, CA, City National Grove of Anaheim
6/19 — Los Angeles, CA, Ford Theatre
6/20 — San Jose, CA, City National Civic
6/22 — Wendover, NV, Peppermill Casino Hall
6/23 — Laughlin, NV, Edgewater Hotel & Casino
6/24 — Temecula, CA, Pechanga Resort & Casino
6/28 — Interlochen, MI, Kresge Auditorium
6/29 — Grand Rapids, MI, 20 Monroe Live
6/30 — Detroit, MI, Fox Theatre
7/2 — Cincinnati, OH, PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
7/5 — Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
7/6 — Jim Thorpe, PA, Penn’s Peak
7/7 — Montclair, NJ, The Wellmont Theater
7/10 — Boston, MA, The Wilbur Theatre
7/11 — Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
7/13 — Mashantucket, CT, Foxwoods Casino
7/14 — Atlantic City, NJ, Tropicana Casino
7/15 — Staten Island, NY, St. George Theatre
7/17 — Peekskill, NY, Paramount Hudson Valley
7/18 — Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
7/20 — Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore
7/21 — Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore
7/23 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre
7/24 — Richmond, VA, Classic Amphitheatre
7/26 — Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
7/27 — Orlando, FL, The Plaza Live
7/28 — Atlanta, GA, Atlanta Symphony Hall

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The Outfield’s Tony Lewis releases, “Into the Light,” the first single from his debut album

Madison RecordsOutfield frontman Tony Lewis has just released the first single from his forthcoming debut solo album, Out of the Darkness, which is due out on June 29. “Into the Light” is an upbeat, mid-tempo pop-rock tune that was inspired by Lewis’ decision to return to music after taking a hiatus following the 2014 death of his Outfield band mate and collaborator John Spinks.

The track is available now as a digital download and via streaming services. In addition, a lyrics video is streaming on AXS.com and Tony’s official YouTube channel. The clip features footage of Lewis singing the song and playing guitar and bass, as well as new and vintage photos of Tony and various animated segments displaying the lyrics.

“The line ‘out of the darkness’ means my venture back into the music industry after a four-year hiatus,” Lewis tells AXS about “Into the Light.” “It’s about coming out of that dark period after losing John and getting back into the industry. After being known primarily as a singer in The Outfield, I wanted to re-emerge as a solo artist and show that have more than one string to my bow. It’s taken a long time but it’s something I really enjoy doing.”

As previously reported, Lewis wrote all 12 songs on Out of the Darkness, and also produced and played all of the instruments on the album.

Tony will promote Out of the Darkness while taking part in the 2018 Retro Futura Tour, which also will feature Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go’s, ABC, Modern English, Kajagoogoo‘s Limahl and Bow Wow Wow‘s Annabella Lwin. The trek gets underway July 11 in Atlanta.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“I had absolutely no idea”: Paris Jackson says she wasn’t invited to “Billboard” Music Awards

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for LongchampParis Jackson is upset that she allegedly was not invited to this year’s Billboard Music Awards nor was told about her aunt Janet Jackson‘s Billboard ICON Award honor. 

According to Rhymes with Snitch, the actress — and daughter of Michael Jackson — wrote in a recent Instagram story, “no one from my mgmt reached out to me about attending billboards or about the award, and no one from my family did either. i had absolutely no idea until y’all spammed me with hatred.”

Paris’ admission comes after fans lashed out at her for not publicly praising Janet’s Billboard ICON trophy win prior to the awards show.

Paris added another message to her Instagram story, captured by Rhymes with Snitch, which shows her and Auntie Janet posing with their tongues sticking out in a fun moment. 

Below the picture, Paris wrote, “congrats auntie ! you earned it [heart emoji].”

As previously reported, Janet Jackson became the first black female artist to receive the Billboard ICON Award. 

She took the stage to perform a medley of her hit tracks, including “Nasty,” “If” and “Throb,” and later gave a powerful speech about female empowerment

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Brynn Cartelli becomes the youngest winner of “The Voice”; coach Kelly Clarkson wins in her first season

Tyler Golden/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — Kelly Clarkson notched a victory in her very first season as a coach on The Voice, as her artist Brynn Cartelli was crowned the season 14 winner — the youngest in Voice history. She receives a recording contract as her grand prize.

Cartelli, a 15-year-old pop singer from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, finished ahead of runner-up, 18-year-old Britton Buchanan of Team Alicia Keys — who just missed winning her second straight title.

R&B powerhouse Kyla Jade and country/soul singer Spensha Baker, from Blake Shelton’s team, finished in third place and fourth place, respectively.

All of Team Adam Levine’s members were eliminated prior to the finale.

During the two-hour results show, each finalist performed with a special guest. Cartelli joined Julia Michaels to perform a medley of the latter’s singles “Issues” and “Jump”; Baker teamed up with Kane Brown for Brown’s “What If”; Buchanan joined Ryan Adams for a rendition of Adams’ “To Be Without You”; and Jade reunited with season 13 coach Jennifer Hudson — for whom Kyla was once a backup singer — for “I Know Where I’ve Been,” from Hairspray.

The musical lineup also included Dua Lipa performing her latest single, “IDGAF”; James Bay teaming up with Alicia Keys on “Us”; Florence + the Machine performing their latest single “Hunger”; Halseyand Big Sean teaming up for their single “Alone”; and Jason Aldean performing “Drowns the Whiskey.”

The Voice will be back with a new season in the fall on NBC, with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and returning coach Jennifer Hudson.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Brynn Cartelli becomes the youngest winner of “The Voice”; coach Kelly Clarkson wins in her first season

Tyler Golden/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — Kelly Clarkson notched a victory in her very first season as a coach on The Voice, as her artist Brynn Cartelli was crowned the season 14 winner — the youngest in Voice history. She receives a recording contract as her grand prize.

Cartelli, a 15-year-old pop singer from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, finished ahead of runner-up, 18-year-old Britton Buchanan of Team Alicia Keys — who just missed winning her second straight title.

R&B powerhouse Kyla Jade and country/soul singer Spensha Baker, from Blake Shelton’s team, finished in third place and fourth place, respectively.

All of Team Adam Levine’s members were eliminated prior to the finale.

During the two-hour results show, each finalist performed with a special guest. Cartelli joined Julia Michaels to perform a medley of the latter’s singles “Issues” and “Jump”; Baker teamed up with Kane Brown for Brown’s “What If”; Buchanan joined Ryan Adams for a rendition of Adams’ “To Be Without You”; and Jade reunited with season 13 coach Jennifer Hudson — for whom Kyla was once a backup singer — for “I Know Where I’ve Been,” from Hairspray.

The musical lineup also included Dua Lipa performing her latest single, “IDGAF”; James Bay teaming up with Alicia Keys on “Us”; Florence + the Machine performing their latest single “Hunger”; Halseyand Big Sean teaming up for their single “Alone”; and Jason Aldean performing “Drowns the Whiskey.”

The Voice will be back with a new season in the fall on NBC, with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and returning coach Jennifer Hudson.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Jamie Foxx to host the 2018 BET Awards

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — BET has tapped Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx to host the 2018 BET Awards.

The network announced on Tuesday that Foxx has signed on to host the annual event, which will take place in Los Angeles June 24. This will be Foxx’s second time hosting the music event — his first time was in 2009.

As previously noted, DJ Khaled tops the list of nominees this year with six nominations, including Video of the Year and two for Best Collaboration, with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, for “Wild Thoughts,” and with Jay-Z, Future and Beyoncé for “Top Off.”

Kendrick Lamar follows with five nominations, while Migos and SZA have four each.  

The 2018 BET Awards air live Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Border patrol detains man with stage 4 cancer after cruise docks in Florida, family says

Carnival Cruise Lines(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — A Chinese man with stage 4 cancer and his wife were detained on Monday after the Carnival cruise they were on docked at a port in Florida, according to the couple’s family.

Yuanjun Cui and Huan Wang came to the U.S. in December on a multiple entry travel visa valid for 10 years, their son-in-law, Joseph McDevitt, told ABC News.

After Cui had his stomach removed and endured up to eight rounds of chemotherapy, McDevitt and his wife had invited her parents to come stay with them in the U.S. so the dying grandfather could get to know his grandchildren during his final months, McDevitt said.

The family, who are from the Ozarks region of Missouri, had an “awesome” time on their cruise aboard the Carnival Elation, which departed Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday and returned on Monday after traveling to the Bahamas, McDevitt said.

But, in hindsight, McDevitt realized there were some red flags, he said.

When they first got on the boat, there was an “issue” with the family’s paperwork, but they were finally allowed to board after about an hour, with the attendant ensuring them that “if there were any problems, they would fix them en route,” McDevitt said.

Then, during the trip, McDevitt was called up to the front desks a total of four times to show cruise personnel their paperwork, he said, adding that Carnival employees “knew something” was wrong.

“They should have never let us on the boat,” McDevitt said. “I would have rather lost my money on a cruise than my family.”

Once the cruise docked in Jacksonville on Monday, the family was the first off the boat after they were deemed “persons of interest,” McDevitt said.

They brought the family to the front, fingerprinted his wife’s parents, separated the family, and threatened to arrest them, he said.

McDevitt’s children, ages 3 and 4, remained with his wife, while he and his wife’s parents were placed in separate rooms. McDevitt then requested to be released because he “was being detained for no reason,” and called an attorney once he got out.

“Eventually, my wife was released, and my kids, and we never saw her parents again,” he said.

Since then, the family has been holed up in a Florida hotel room for two days as they try to figure out what happened to his wife’s parents, McDevitt said. They have had no indication of what happened to them since they last saw them on Monday, he said.

McDevitt, a U.S. citizen, is a business owner and active duty member of the Army National Guard, ABC affiliate station WJXX in Jacksonville reported. His wife gained citizenship through marriage.

His wife’s parents did not have any money or keys to their home in China when they were detained, McDevitt told WJXX.

The family’s immigration attorney, Susan Pai, described the couple’s detention as “illegal” in a letter sent to federal officials, according to WJXX. Pai said that the couple “did not voluntarily or knowingly withdraw their application for admission under their ten-year B1/B2 visas” and said they were forced to sign a paper with contents unknown to them because they only understand Chinese, WJXX reported.

Pai hypothesized that the recent green card applications filed by Wang and Cui were invalidated when they left the country on the cruise, according to WJXX. But the valid travel visa should have guaranteed the couple’s return, she told the station.

Officials told McDevitt that Carnival would pay for his in-laws’ plane ticket back to China, according to WJXX. Both Cui and Wang are in their 60s, WJXX reported.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

In a statement, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Control said the agency “welcomes more than a million passengers arriving in the United States every day,” and that border patrol officers are “charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws” but also enforcing more than 400 laws from 40 other agencies.

“Under U.S. immigration law [Section 291 of the INA [8 USC 1361] applicants for admission bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States,” the statement read. “In order to demonstrate that they are admissible, the applicant must overcome ALL grounds of inadmissibility.”

The statement did not comment specifically on the couple’s case.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

2 Mississippi police officers fired after alleged police brutality incident

moodboard/Thinkstock(LAUREL, Mississippi) — Two Mississippi police officers could be facing additional charges after they were terminated by the Laurel Police Department (LPD) for allegedly beating 36-year-old James Barnett last week.

Barnett was pursued by officers after reaching a vehicle checkpoint and turning around in Jasper County. Following a short chase, Barnett was pulled over and the officers approached his car with their guns drawn, according to Barnett.

Police told Barnett to get down on the ground and when he did, they began kicking him, Barnett said to ABC News.

Barnett also claimed that he never fought back.

The police then transported him to the South Central Regional Medical Center, where he was beaten more, Barnett claimed.

The police charged him with five misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license.

Barnett posted pictures of his alleged abuse on his Facebook page last week.

“I’ve never been so afraid in my life,” Barnett wrote in the Facebook post. “I will not let this go, I don’t [want] this to happen to anyone else. There is no justice in what they did to me!! But I will get JUSTICE!!”

The supervisor on duty realized that there was a problem with the arrest that occurred, according to the Laurel Police Department. The department’s Internal Affairs (IA) began investigating hours after the incident occurred and the next day the officers, who were not named, were fired.

The police department has been in contact with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations (MBI) on the possibility of pressing additional charges against the involved officers.

“The Officers and Administration of LPD take these types of allegations very seriously,” the Laurel Police Department said in a statement to ABC News. “It should be noted that the IA was initiated only hours after the incident occurred before any media attention, social media posts or even a formal complaint from the individual involved.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Coast Guard searching for 50-year-old who disappeared from Carnival cruise ship

iStock/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, North Carolina) — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 50-year-old man who was reported missing from a Carnival cruise ship on Tuesday.

Greensboro, North Carolina, resident Brian Lamonds was reported missing around 10 a.m. after he reportedly went overboard from the Carnival Paradise, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

Helicopter crews from Clearwater, Miami and Key West were circling an area about 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida, according to the release.

Further details were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Danica Patrick will be the 1st-ever female ESPYs host

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images(NEW YORK CITY) — Racecar driver Danica Patrick will be the first-ever female host of the ESPYs.

Patrick told Good Morning America earlier in the day that she was flattered to be asked.

Past hosts have included former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, Justin Timberlake and Samuel L. Jackson.

“This is such a huge honor. At the end of the day, I love a challenge and I love sports, [and] those are two things that come together to host the ESPYs,” Patrick said. “It’s our only show! So, I love it, I love meeting all the different people and hearing all the stories. I truly leave the ESPYs every year and think to myself, ‘I am so inspired, I feel like I suck.’ Because everybody has such a great story. I want to be one of those stories!”

The ESPYs are an annual event meant to recognize athletic achievements and other sports-related moments from the previous year. This year’s show will take place on July 18 and will be broadcast on ABC. Patrick told “Good Morning America” that she has her fingers crossed that she’ll be able to make her fellow athletes laugh during the show.

“Hopefully somebody can help me write a good joke!” she said. “[But] at the end of the day, it’s about honoring those who have had an amazing year.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Serena Williams not seeded in French Open after taking break for maternity leave

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams will not be given a seeding at this year’s French Open, her first major tournament since taking maternity leave.

The 36-year-old gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017.

She was ranked number one when she took leave from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour last year, and had dropped to rank 453 during her absence.

Without a seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam winner could face highly-ranked opponents in the early round of a tournament she has won three times.

“This year, again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement to ABC News. “Consequently, the seeds will reflect this week’s world ranking.”

A spokesperson for the French Tennis Federation would not comment on the criticism they have received following the announcement.

In Paris, Williams will compete at her first Grand Slam since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant with Alexis, her daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian.

The American champion returned to the WTA tour in March this year, and compiled two wins and two losses.

Williams spoke to “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts last month about the health hardships she’s endured after sustaining a pulmonary embolism the day after her emergency cesarean section.

“Then everything was fine for the first, like, you know, eight to 12 hours,” she said. “Then it was after that things started going crazy.”

Williams said at the time she was still in the process of fully recovering from the medical ordeal, adding that “it hasn’t been easy for me.”

Williams’ coach said in an interview published May 14, before the seedings were announced, that Williams, who recently attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, has been training very hard.

“She is improving in all the areas fast. I am very satisfied and confident that she will be ready for Roland Garros,” Patrick Mouratoglou said in an interview for the WTA’s website.

“Serena will play the French Open to win it,” he said. “Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything — after being her coach for six years, I’m even more sure of that statement.”

The French Open draw will be made on Thursday. The tournament starts next Sunday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Houston Texans’ star JJ Watt visits Santa Fe shooting survivors, hospital staff

Kathy Garza(SANTA FE, Texas) — J.J. Watt, star defense end for the Houston Texans, brought cheer on Monday to survivors of the Santa Fe High School massacre.

Watt was seen posing for photos and signing a shirt at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, where some of the 13 injured are being treated.

One survivor had a “huge smile on her face” after Watt’s visit.

Watt has also offered to cover the costs of funerals for all 10 students and staff members killed in the Friday morning shooting.

“Absolutely horrific,” the NFL star tweeted hours after the massacre.

This isn’t the first time Watt has given back to his community.

Watt led efforts to raise more than $37 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston last year.

Watt told “Good Morning America” last year he decided to try and find a way to help Houston as he watched his city become inundated with deadly floodwater from his hotel in Dallas.

“You can’t get back home, you can’t physically help out in any way,” Watt said. “I’m watching it on TV and seeing all these people help out, seeing people get in boats and help, seeing water rush down streets that I drive down every day … I said, ‘How can I help?'”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Foreign journalists set to witness North Korea nuclear test site closing

Airbus Defense and Space/38 North(SEOUL) — North Korea is set to dismantle its nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri this week in front of a delegation of two dozen handpicked foreign journalists.

The journalists flew on a chartered plane Tuesday from Beijing to the city of Wonsan on the east coast of North Korea and were set to be taken on a long journey to the nuclear site near the village of Punggye-ri.

From Wonsan, the group is expected to travel at least 11 hours on a train up the coast and another four hours into the foothills of Mount Mantap by bus and then finally an hourlong hike to the nuclear test site, according to reporters there.

The research group 38 North said an analysis of satellite imagery taken Monday showed that what was probably an observation platform had nearly been completed at the test site and that improvements had been made to a nearby road and pathway. Another probable observation position had appeared to have been placed on a hillside there, the group said Tuesday.

North Korean state media previously reported the dismantlement process will involve “collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts” and that foreign media was invited to cover the event to show the process in a “transparent manner.”

Journalists from the U.S., China, U.K. and Russia were among the small group invited to witness the process but The Associated Press reported eight South Korean journalists, who were initially invited, were refused visas after they arrived in Beijing to connect onward to North Korea. The decision coincided with latest protests from Pyongyang over the U.S.-South Korea military drills. No experts were among those invited.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s government expressed regret over the decision to exclude their journalists just as Moon prepared to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to discuss Trump’s planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The meeting was scheduled for June 12, but Trump said Tuesday “it may not work out for” that day.

Kim announced in April that he no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests because the country had achieved its “nuclear weaponization.”

Punggye-ri in the northeast of the country has been the site of every one of the six North Korean underground nuclear test from 2006 until the most recent one on Sept. 3, 2017.

The facility is built into the granite base of Mount Mantap roughly 100 miles from North Korea’s border with China.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lawmakers concerned Trump giving up too much in negotiations with China over ZTE

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — As the Trump administration tries to sell its rapidly-evolving trade deal with China to Congress, members of both parties are not convinced it’s in the best interest of the United States.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday during which he pledged that any changes to penalties on the Chinese telecom ZTE, which is publicly traded but whose largest shareholder is an enterprise owned by the state, would not affect American national security.

“I can assure you that whatever the Commerce Department decides, the intel community has been part of the briefings and we will ensure that we enforce national security issues,” Mnuchin said.

“This was not a quid pro quo or anything else,” he added.

Last month the United States slapped steep penalties on ZTE for violating U.S. sanctions and doing business with Iran and North Korea. Those infractions, along with concerns that ZTE could use its devices to spy on Americans, led to a seven-year ban on ZTE being allowed to purchase U.S. parts in production, crippling its business. ZTE also agreed to pay a $1.2 billion fine.

Now, however, members of the administration have signaled that the terms of ZTE’s punishment are up for negotiation. President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that China had agreed to buy an unspecified amount of American agricultural exports in exchange for the United States easing its sanctions.

And in remarks at the White House Tuesday, Trump said he envisioned ZTE having to pay another fine, plus installing a new board and management structure, in exchange for sanctions relief.

But he didn’t get into many details, saying, “I don’t like to talk about deals until they’re done. So we’ll see what happens.”

Trump also noted that ZTE buys most of its parts from American companies, meaning those firms get caught in the crossfire and lose business.

“When you do that, you’re really hurting American companies, also. So I’m looking at it,” he said.

But vague assurances that China will buy more farm products aren’t good enough for some lawmakers, especially those from states that depend heavily on agricultural exports. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., told reporters he had met with farmers and ranchers in his office all morning and that none of them believed this latest development would help them.

“They’re scared to death,” Sasse said, adding that he would “love to see the particulars” of the China proposal that Trump mentioned in his tweet.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services, before which Mnuchin testified Tuesday, tried to ask him more about the specifics of the China arrangement, but he deferred to the Commerce Department, led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, who he said had taken the lead on the talks.

But Mnuchin has participated in those discussions, and Sen. Chris Coons, the ranking member on the committee, said he was disappointed Mnuchin didn’t answer questions more directly.

“I think Sec. Mnuchin is well aware of decisions being made by the Trump administration with regard to ZTE. He simply passed the buck over to the Secretary of Commerce who wasn’t in front of us today,” Coons said.

As the administration continues to send mixed signals on the status of the negotiations, lawmakers are wasting no time preparing legislation to potentially check Trump’s authority to lift sanctions on ZTE.

The House of Representatives is voting this week on its annual defense authorization bill which contains a provision which would prevent the military from working with contractors that use ZTE devices and networks. The Pentagon has already banned ZTE products from being sold on American military bases.

House and Senate committees are also working on bills to prohibit the Trump administration from unilaterally lifting the seven-year ban on ZTE’s ability to purchase U.S. supplies. The Senate measure, introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., passed the Banking Committee Tuesday by an overwhelming margin.

“The reality is we should not be trading away national security for some non-security related issue,” Van Hollen said.

Congress is also exploring ways to expand the US government’s ability to review foreign transactions through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Banking Committee also approved a bill by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas., that would do just that.

But so far the leaders of both chambers have not indicated any sense of urgency to take up bills to curtail the administration’s ability to act on trade issues with China or any other country.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the administration must take national security and intelligence concerns into account but said Tuesday he was “not a party to the administration’s talks.”

When Cornyn, the sponsor of a bill to strengthen foreign transactions oversight, was asked about other legislative solutions, he responded, “I’m sure we’ll be having that conversation quite publicly and it will manifest itself in a number of ways.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle make 1st appearance since wedding

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended their first official engagement today as husband and wife, just three days after their wedding.

Prince Harry, 33, and Duchess Meghan, 36, still had their newlywed glow while visiting Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday patronage celebration.

Meghan chose a pale-colored dress, purse and hat for the occasion.

She was seen warmly laughing with her new in-laws, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The garden party is an early birthday celebration for Charles, who will turn 70 in November, and his patronage of hundreds of charities.

Harry and Meghan’s attendance at the celebration had particular significance because it was Charles who walked Meghan down the aisle Saturday in her father’s absence.

Charles, who has no daughters of his own, met Meghan at the quire of St. George’s Chapel and escorted her to the altar, where Harry stood waiting.

Charles, first in line to the British throne, was also seen very publicly welcoming Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, into the family on Saturday. He appeared to hold his hand out to Ragland at the wedding service and also walked her down the chapel’s steps after the service.

Even though they got back to work today, Meghan and Harry will take a honeymoon before resuming a busy schedule of engagements for the rest of the year.

Neither the timing nor the details of the honeymoon have been released by Kensington Palace.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Win Wine Fest tickets

Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day would become the third number one for today’s featured artist but two other people sing the first few lines of the song. read more…

Sushi needs a family

Sushi is a baby kitty who’s available for adoption at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley. DOG ADOPTIONS have also resumed! 3551 Bataan Memorial West

Win Blues Fest tickets

Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day almost didn’t happen – the singer wrote the song but the guitarist didn’t like it and although they tried arranging it differently several times, they felt like they were out of ideas – until along came a prototype instrument called the infinite guitar that was so unsafe it would shock the player and soundman if you didn’t hit the strings just right. read more…

Blues Weekend tickets

See the Blues Brothers movie Friday night and the concert Saturday night! Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day was recorded by nine siblings – and the song was written specifically to include a buzz word of the day. read more…

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