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MUSIC NEWS

David Bowie, Ringo Starr to Be Featured in 2017 “Guinness World Records” Book

Jimmy King; Rob ShanahanThe late David Bowie and famed Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and are among the music stars who will appear in the 2017 edition of the Guinness World Records book. Bowie is being recognized for the albums he sold, while Starr’s record is in acknowledgment for one particularly pricey record that sold at an auction.

Earlier this year, Bowie set a posthumous world record for having the most simultaneous entries in the U.K. albums chart, when 19 of his releases appeared on the tally shortly after his January 10 death. Ten of those albums landed in the chart’s top 40.

As for Starr, he set the mark for the most expensive vinyl record sold at auction, when his first pressing of The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 album, a.k.a. The White Album, brought in $790,000 at a December 2015 memorabilia sale in Los Angeles. Ringo’s copy of double-LP was a mono edition of the record that was numbered “0000001,” and was in near-mint condition, having been stored in a vault for almost 35 years.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Apollonia Makes Surprise Appearance at “Purple Rain” Celebration

JB Lacroix/WireImage“Purple rain, purple rain!” A special screening and discussion titled “Purple Rain: Celebration,” took place in Beverly Hills, California Monday night — and none other than the movie’s leading lady, Apollonia Kotero, made a surprise appearance, says Billboard

The event honored the cult classic 1984 romance drama Purple Rain, which famously starred the late music icon Prince and made Apollonia famous, albeit briefly.

Co-stars Jerome Benton and Jill Jones, the film’s producer, Robert Cavallo, and writer-directorAlbert Magnoli were also there, as well as the costume designer responsible for Purple Rain‘s iconic fashion looks, Marie France.    

“I was the last person they saw for the audition [to find the Vanity replacement],” Apollonia told the crowd.  “[Actress] Nia Peeples had just walked out of the room. I walked in and they asked me to take my shoes off. I thought, ‘wow, they’re into feet,” she said. 

“Later I learned they were flying me to Minneapolis to meet Prince, who takes me out for a ride in a purple limo,” Apollonia added. “He was very reserved and shy.” 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Barbra Streisand Approves of Lady Gaga Remake of “A Star Is Born”

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for BSBOne of Barbra Streisand’s most popular films was the 1976 version of A Star Is Born, which cast her as a showbiz ingenue opposite Kris Kristofferson. The movie is being rebooted once again with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and the diva says she’s totally fine with that.

The original version of A Star Is Born came out in 1937, and Streisand’s version was the second remake: the first, in 1954, starred Judy Garland.  Noting that the Gaga/Cooper version would be the third remake of the movie, she told Extra, “I feel great about it because I know A Star Is Born will work; it works every time… because the music can change with the decades, so I know it’s gonna work.”

Streisand’s #1 single “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born),” became one of the biggest hits of her career.  Lady Gaga is composing and performing new music for the film.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

“Charlie” and the Other “Willy Wonka” Kids Remember Gene Wilder

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A day after the passing of Gene Wilder, the tributes to the Oscar nominated actor are still rolling in — this time, from the grown-ups who were just kids when they worked with him on the set of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Pete Ostrum played good-natured Charlie Bucket in the 1971 classic — and despite offers to continue a big-screen career, he decided to leave Hollywood behind. He became a Cornell-educated veterinarian who still works in Lowville, New York.

In an exclusive email to ABC News, Dr. Ostrum said, “Lots to remember…Few actors have had such a great impact on the film industry as Gene did. Gene’s wit and humor spoke to many generations of film audiences. He was a unique talent that brought joy to all of us that followed his long career. As a young actor filming Willy Wonka, I had the rare privilege of working with Gene who I greatly admired. He became my mentor and personal friend. For that I will always be grateful. So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

They might not have gotten along with him onscreen, but the other children from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory remembered fondly the actor who immortalized Willy Wonka on the silver screen.

The remaining golden ticket winners — who were ultimately undone by their bad behavior in the movie — took to social media to pay tribute to the late Wilder.

Julie Dawn Cole, who played the bratty Veruca Salt, and Denise Nickerson, who played the gum-chomping Violet Beauregarde, expressed their condolences via Twitter.

“Such very sad news. Words not enough. Treasured memories,” Cole wrote.

“RIP Gene. You were so talented and kindhearted. You will be sorely missed by so many. All of us have lost OUR Willy Wonka. Love, Violet” Nickerson tweeted.

Actor Paris Themmen, who played Mike Teevee, changed his Facebook cover photo to honor Wilder’s life.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Beary Good: Bill Murray Sings in “Jungle Book” Behind-the-Scenes Peek

2016 Disney(LOS ANGELES) — Bill Murray channels his inner Baloo in the recording studio in this new video shot behind the scenes of The Jungle Book.

Good Morning America got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look inside the booth as Murray let loose while recording “Bare Necessities” for Disney’s blockbuster reimagining of the Disney classic.

Helmed by Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, the acclaimed film also features the voices of Marvel movie vets Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, and Idris Elba, as well as that of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

The movie, which hit theaters in April, was recently re-released in IMAX and on DVD and Blu-ray; Murray’s bear-y good crooning can be seen in the home format’s supplemental material. 

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

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thinner Oprah Says She’s Got Boyfriend Stedman’s Back — Literally

Copyright Discovery Communications, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) — Oprah Winfrey’s weight-loss journey has hit a distinct milestone, and her longtime boyfriend has the proof. 

The media mogul and Weight Watchers spokeswoman talked to People magazine Monday night at the red carpet premiere of her network OWN’s drama Queen Sugar, where she was asked what her recent weight loss means for her beau Stedman Graham.

“I would like him to pick me up and carry me to the pool,” she said. “I’ve lost enough weight, he can pick me up and carry me to the pool. I can straddle him without breaking his back.”

Winfrey announced in January that she had lost more than 25 pounds, all — famously while still eating one of her favorite staples: bread.

“I genuinely feel that it’s been easier this time than the other 3,000 times I’ve gone on a diet because I don’t even feel like it is a diet,” she said back in May.

Along with her work for Weight Watchers, Oprah is also featured in a new scripted show for OWN, Greenleaf, which she is also producing. The show is generating a lot of positive buzz and she couldn’t be happier.

“I am actually doing it. I really only do what I want to do when I want to do it. That’s the best life,” she said earlier this summer.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

NATIONAL NEWS

11 Kayakers Hit by Ferry in NYC

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — Eleven kayakers were hit by a ferry in the Hudson River Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The ferry departed from Pier 79 in New York City and hit the kayakers at just before 6 p.m. Officers from the NYPD Special Operations Division pulled several people from the water, the NYPD confirmed.

Five kayakers were taken to area hospitals, according to the Coast Guard. Two people were in critical condition.

All 451 people on board the ferry were accounted for, according to an NYPD dispatch call. One of the injured had a “severe laceration” to his left arm, while another suffered an injury to his head, according to the call.

The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Affluenza’ Teen Ethan Couch’s Lawyers File Motion Seeking His Release From Jail

Tarrant County Sheriff(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Lawyers for “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch filed a motion Tuesday asking for Couch’s release from jail, claiming that Tarrant County Criminal Court Judge Wayne Salvant never had jurisdiction to incarcerate him or rule on his case.

Couch was 16 years old when he killed four people and injured 11 more in a drunk driving accident. Nearly six month later, on December 10, 2013, he was sentenced by a Texas juvenile court judge to ten years probation and ordered to spend time in a rehabilitation center.

His case became infamous after a defense psychologist claimed he suffered from “affluenza” because of his privileged upbringing.

Couch, now 19 years old, landed back in court in May of this year after he missed a check-in with his probation officer and fled to Mexico with his mother.

But this time, Couch appeared before an adult criminal court judge who ordered him to serve two years in jail, where he currently spends 23 hours a day in isolation.

In Tuesday’s filing, Couch’s lawyers argued that he was improperly sent to adult criminal court, even though he is now of legal age.

Juvenile proceedings are “civil actions, not criminal cases,” according to the motion. The defense lawyers claim that Couch’s case should be handled in civil court because it originated in juvenile court, according to their reading of Texas laws and the state’s Constitution. They argue that the narrow exceptions that allow a transfer from juvenile court to criminal court do not apply.

Couch asks that all orders by Judge Salvant, including his jail term, be thrown out, explaining in the motion, “Because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter, this Court has no authority to act whatsoever, and any orders -– including the imposition of any and all conditions of probation – previously entered by this Court in this matter are null and void.”

Meanwhile, Couch’s mother Tonya — who was charged with hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering — was released from home confinement earlier this month. A judge said she no longer needed to be under house arrest, but must wear an electronic monitor and not consume alcohol or drugs while awaiting trial. She currently tends bar in suburban Fort Worth, Texas.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Massachusetts Man Wanted to Attack Mosque and Kill Obama, FBI Says

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A Massachusetts man, already under FBI investigation, was arrested over the weekend and charged with weapons possession after allegedly telling a childhood friend that he wanted to attack a mosque or kill President Obama, or do both, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Garguilo, 40, was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with the possession of a “trove of weapons” in violation of a restraining order, ammunition and incendiary material, as well as his threats to use them, according to the U.S. Attorney.

He allegedly told the friend he wanted to “chain a mosque closed and burn it down. Burn every [person] down in there,” according to court records.

Another person also reported him to the FBI on July 27, the charging documents allege. That person feared he was using drugs, acquiring parts to make an AR-15 and stockpiling other weapons, food and water because “Garguilo believes that the structure of America will collapse and that America is going to enter a state of martial law,” the court records state.

When martial law is declared, Garguilo told his children, he hopes to build thermite grenades to kill police officers, according to the documents.

That person also told the FBI that “he will plant bombs in police stations … and kill as many homeland security officers as he can before they kill him,” according to court documents.

The childhood friend also called the FBI to say he saw in Garguilo’s basement a partially assembled AR-15, crossbow and knives, according to the court records.

The friend told the FBI Garguilo said he wanted to “attack a mosque and/or kill President Obama,” according to the court records. He also said Garguilo’s “mental state had gone downhill,” the documents state.

The friend also reported that Garguilo made a comment to the effect that when Obama was on the golf course in Martha’s Vineyard, Garguilo should have taken the opportunity to kill him, according to court documents.

The United States Secret Service is aware of the arrest and referred questions to the FBI.

When agents searched Garguilo’s residence last Friday they found ammunition, magazines, parts to assemble AR-15 rifles and chemicals that could be combined to create explosive material, according to the criminal complaint.

Agents also recovered handwritten notes allegedly threatening violence against Muslims.

Garguilo was taken into custody Saturday and had an initial court appearance Monday. He was charged with possessing ammunition in violation of the restraining order. He did not enter a plea, but plans to plead not guilty, according to his attorney, Mark Meehan.

Meehan said Gargiulo is, “first and foremost, a loving and dedicated father to his two boys.”

“[T]he character the media is portraying Mr. Gargiulo as being is not accurate,” the lawyer told ABC News in a statement. “Mr. Gargiulo, from what I am aware of, has never entertained any plots against any individual or group. Mr. Gargiulo may not possess mainstream political beliefs, but what beliefs he does hold is no threat. He is a collector of self-defense tools and can be categorized as what is called a ‘prepper,’ that is, preparing for difficult times.”

The FBI discovered that Garguilo has a criminal history with a number of “sealed adult appearances,” according to the court records. The status of an earlier conviction was unclear, according to the FBI.

As a result of the information the FBI received, it contacted the Holliston Police Department in Massachusetts. Detectives there were familiar with Garguilo and said they believed he had been involved in some kind of hit-and-run incident, according to court records.

Detectives also said that Garguilo had metal bars on his doors and windows, wears a handcuff key on his neck and is believed to abuse prescription medication, the documents state.

The restraining order required that he surrender all firearms and ammunition to police based on the finding that there “there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse…”

A detention hearing is scheduled for Garguilo on Sept. 7. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Ali, Smith and Carlos’ Protests Left Lasting Impressions. Will Kaepernick’s?

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of America’s treatment of “black people and people of color,” has drawn considerable attention for his remarks but questions remain over how the public will perceive his recent actions over time.

Jeremy Schaap — an ESPN writer and the author of “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics” — and Dave Zirin — the sports editor for The Nation and the author of “What’s My Name, Fool!,” a book about sports and political resistance in America — told ABC News that several factors will determine the legacy of Kaepernick’s recent actions.

Schaap noted that history has warmed to protests of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who competed when the Civil Rights Movement was at its peak, and said that “the world has adjusted to their viewpoints.”

“We’ve had a chance to step away with the benefit of hindsight after a cooling down period, and now people judge their actions in a completely different way,” Schaap said.

Zirin, for his part, noted that Smith and Carlos, who raised their fists in a Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, did so in October of 1968, after a storm of highly charged political events, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.

He described their actions as being “in the context of a movement,” something he said was also true of Kaepernick, pointing to the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have occurred throughout the country.

“He’s elevated the discussion with the actions he’s taken,” Zirin said. “That’s why this story has been so electric. It feels very similar to 1968.”

Ali, of course, drew considerable criticism at the time of his protest but was lionized as an American hero by everyone from President Obama to Donald Trump when he died this year. Smith and Carlos, who were ostracized and received death threats in 1968, later went on to win an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2008 ESPYs. Nowadays, imagery of their protest has become ubiquitous, and has even been featured in corporate advertising.

Other protests, however, seem to have only been remembered in the context of Kaepernick’s recent actions, like NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s sit-out of the national anthem in 1996 and MLB first baseman Carlos Delgado’s protest of “God Bless America” in 2004.

Zirin differentiated the actions of Abdul-Rauf and Delgado from those of Ali, Smith and Carlos by describing them as “isolated” and not really part of any specific movement.

He said that the isolation of Abdul-Rauf, for example, made him more vulnerable to punishment than Kaepernick. “He was fined, and I don’t think that would happen now,” Zirin said.

Schaap said that Delgado’s actions aren’t really remembered because he never received much in the way of punishment for his protest, which was conducted in response for America’s invasion of Iraq and made in solidarity with a political movement happening in his native home of Puerto Rico over U.S. weapons testing on the island of Vieques.

“He didn’t lose millions of dollars and wasn’t banished from his sport,” Schaap said. “To create a lasting impression [like the protests of Ali, Smith and Carlos], there has to be a sense that these guys are sacrificing something.”

Zirin also noted that Abdul-Rauf and Delgado conducted their protests in an age before social media and that that the public interpretations of their actions were left almost exclusively to sports writers. Nowadays, however, the public at large has a louder voice thanks to social media. He called this change a “bottom up” interpretation of events, rather than “top down,” opening up a broader potential for support of Kaepernick’s actions.

On Tuesday, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar voiced support for Kaepernick’s protest, driving the discussion on social media even further.

Zirin agreed with Schaap that the degree of sacrifice displayed by an athlete plays an important role in how a protest is viewed by the culture at large, suggesting that Kaepernick was indeed taking a big risk with his career.

“He’s really risking something by doing this,” Zirin said. “It’s all the more admirable that he could be cut by the 49ers.”

Kaepernick electrified fans early in his career. In his first career postseason start in 2012, he helped defeat the Green Bay Packers and set an NFL single-game record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181.

Since that time, however, his performance on the field has been mixed. Last year, he struggled through injury and inconsistency, having the worst year of his career as a pro.

“Even the best athletes have a short time in the spotlight,” Zirin said, noting the difference between Kaepernick taking a political stance versus an established movie star with longevity like George Clooney.

Kaepernick can next be seen on Thursday night, when the San Francisco 49ers play a preseason game in San Diego against the Chargers, who are set to host their “28th Annual Salute to the Military” celebration, recognizing the city’s robust military population with pregame and halftime events.

Kaepernick has said that he will not stand for the national anthem at that game.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Calls Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest ‘Highly Patriotic’ in Op-Ed

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighed in on the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem, in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post, portraying his protest as “highly patriotic.”

“What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after [Muhammad] Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote, referring to prominent protests by black athletes that were once considered controversial but have since become iconic symbols of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Abdul-Jabbar’s defense of Kaepernick comes amid growing backlash against the quarterback’s actions.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday that “maybe [Kaepernick] should find a country that works better for him,” and fans posted videos of themselves burning Kaepernick jerseys and other memorabilia on social media.

Abdul-Jabbar — an NBA Hall of Fame center who played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers and holds the league record for points scored, blocks and MVP awards — certainly adds prestige to those defending Kaepernick’s protest.

Previously, Kaepernick’s most vocal defenders were activists like Black Lives Matter advocate and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King.

The retired NBA star, 69, noted in his piece the financial risk that Kaepernick took by speaking up for his beliefs and compared him to Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks, who, while competing in the Rio Olympics, stopped short while pole vaulting to honor the national anthem.

Abdul-Jabbar wrote that both athletes made a sacrifice.

“What makes an act truly patriotic and not just lip-service is when it involves personal risk or sacrifice. Both Kendricks and Kaepernick chose to express their patriotism publicly because they felt that inspiring others was more important than the personal cost,” he said.

He portrayed the matter as a nonpartisan issue, suggesting that a discussion around Kaepernick comes amid “Trump and [Hillary] Clinton supporters each righteously claiming ownership of the ‘most patriotic’ label.”

Abdul-Jabbar is no stranger to commenting on political matters and is widely regarded as liberal. He regularly contributes opinion pieces on issues of race and religion to The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

He disappointed some progressives by endorsing Clinton before the New York primary in April in an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he praised Sanders’ “dedication to the welfare of all Americans” but said he preferred Clinton, whom he called a proven warrior.”

Abdul-Jabbar was born in New York City and emerged as a high school basketball star there.

In 1967, Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, participated in what is known as the Ali summit, a news conference lending support to Ali’s rejection of his military induction and conscientious objection to the Vietnam War.

NBA legend Bill Russell and NFL star Jim Brown were among the news conference’s other notable attendees.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony referred to Ali in an Instagram post in July, after the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, calling for fellow athletes to “step up” and “demand change.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Video Shows Emotional Hope Solo After She Learns of Suspension From US Soccer

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — New video of Hope Solo captures the moments after she learned that U.S. Soccer had suspended her for six months and terminated her contract.

The video, shot by Fullscreen for its series “Keeping Score,” shows the goalkeeper telling her husband, “Terminated contract, not just a suspension.”

“Seventeen f—ing years and it’s over,” an emotional Solo, 35, says in the video.

On Tuesday, the goalkeeper also announced she will not be returning to the pitch for her professional team, the Seattle Reign.

“Coming to terms with the fact I was fired from the U.S. Women’s National Team after 17 years of service has been devastating,” Solo said in a statement. “After careful consideration, I have decided to end my season with the Seattle Reign, an organization I love playing for. Mentally, I am not there yet.”

Solo was suspended following her comments calling the Swedish women’s team “a bunch of cowards” after they beat the U.S. women’s team in Rio.

“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement announcing Solo’s suspension. “Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.

“Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action,” Gulati added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

American Hostage of Taliban Appears in New Video

Obtained by ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A Pennsylvania woman held by the Taliban since 2012 appeared in a new video posted online Tuesday, looking dazed but healthy with her Canadian husband and saying their captors will kill the couple if the Afghanistan government doesn’t stop executing militant prisoners.

The 2 1/2-minute video with Caitlan Coleman, 30, of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, 33, is the first glimpse of the couple since 2014, when her parents released two short video clips of them speaking in captivity.

“We have been told that the Afghan government has executed some of their prisoners of these men that are holding us, and that our captors are frightened of the idea of further executions and further death, and that because of their fear they are willing to kill us, willing to kill women, to kill children, to kill whomever in order to get these policies reversed or to take revenge,” Coleman says in a slow, halting voice, almost never raising her gaze from the floor.

Dressed in a black dress and head covering, with her left hand holding what appears to be an earpiece to the side of her face, Coleman speaks directly to her parents and says she knows it is “terrifying and horrifying” for them to hear that she might be executed herself. A counterterrorism analyst studying the video said Coleman and Boyle appeared “out of it.”

Near the end of her short statement, as she asks for their help, the video camera light illuminating the couple switches off suddenly.

“So, if you are willing, if you are able to do anything to help,” Coleman tells her family, just as the light plunges the couple into a dark shadow and she looks up into the lens for a moment, “if you could, please try to help stop this depravity.”

Last month, Jim and Lyn Coleman revealed that they had received a letter from their daughter in November through a neutral party. Caitlan, who was pregnant when she and Boyle went missing during a trip to Ghazni, Afghanistan, four years ago, told her parents in the letter that she’d had a second son born to her, according to the Colemans. The parents also made a video addressed directly to new Taliban leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada.

“Thank you for sharing such wonderful news. These blessings brought us great joy,” James Coleman said in the video made last June at the family’s home. “Such news has also brought us great sorrow. We desperately want to be with our daughter and hold our grandsons, who we long to meet and care for.”

Caitlan Coleman has been suspected of being in the custody of the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani network, which has fought U.S. forces in a lethal insurgency along the border with Pakistan while also operating a lucrative kidnapping for ransom business in both countries. Two years ago, the Obama administration carried out a controversial prisoner swap of five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner of the Haqqanis for five years.

But the Coleman family in rural Pennsylvania has not received any demands for ransom since her disappearance. Senior counterterrorism officials tell ABC News that Coleman is being held as a hostage against her will and efforts have been made to secure freedom for the young mom and her kids.

The video released Tuesday is suspected by counterterrorism officials to be linked to a recent kidnapping, likely by the Haqqani network, of two people including an American in the capital Kabul a few weeks ago. Both incidents are assessed to possibly be in retaliation for the recent death sentence given to Haqqani Network leader Siraj Haqqani’s brother Anas. Siraj Haqqani also serves as one of the deputy emirs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban call their shadow government.

“The Haqqanis are ticked off,” a counterterrorism official familiar with hostage recovery operations told ABC News.

“Our captors are terrified of the thought of their own mortality approaching, and are saying that they will take reprisals on our family,” Boyle says in the new video. “They will execute us, women and children included, if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned. … And therefore we ask Canada and the United States to change the policies of the Afghan government so that our captors do not have to face the fear of execution in the future, and that we will — our family — will be able to live safely.”

State Department spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday that American officials “remain concerned obviously about the welfare of Caitlan and her family, and we continue to urge immediate release on humanitarian grounds.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report of Possible Alien Signal Sets SETI Community Abuzz but Many Scientists Remain Skeptical

iStock/Thinkstock(ZELENCHUKSKAYA, Russia) — News of a possible extra-terrestrial signal detection sent social media into a frenzy this week, but scientists remain skeptical that the signal picked up by a Russian radio telescope actually indicates alien life.

Paul Gilster reported on Saturday of a “strong signal” from the direction of HD164595, a star about 95 light years away from Earth in the constellation Hercules, on his respected deep space exploration blog.

The signal was actually picked up in May of 2015 by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, according to Gilster. But it wasn’t until last week that researchers circulated a paper about the signal.

“No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study,” Gilster wrote for Centauri Dreams.

Based on the strength of the signal, “researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization,” Gilster noted, referring to a type of beacon that transmits in all directions, with the intent, in theory, of making contact with alien civilizations.

The Kardashev scale measures how technologically advanced a civilization is, and Kardashev Type II ranking would indicate the civilization is more advanced than our own. News of the promising signal sent social media into a tizzy.

The discovery is scheduled to be discussed at a meeting during the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sept. 27, Gilster added.

Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, told ABC News Tuesday that the institute was investigating the signal with its Allen Telescope Array in northern California, and had swung it in the direction of HD164595 on Aug. 28 but did not detect any signal.

Shostak said he has no idea why it is only being reported on now. “Total supposition, but it could be they may have thought they just saw it once so they won’t get too excited. That’s me guessing,” Shostak said.

Shostak added on the institute’s website that it was unusual that this kind of discovery would not be shared immediately with the scientific community.

“One particularly noteworthy thing about this discovery is the fact that the signal was apparently observed in May, 2015 (it seems that this was the only time in 39 tries that they saw this signal). The discoverers didn’t alert the SETI community to this find until now, which is not as expected,” Shostak wrote. “According to both practice and protocol, if a signal seems to be of deliberate and extraterrestrial origin, one of the first things to do is to get others to attempt confirming observations. That was not done in this case.”

Shostak said that the institute is still looking into the signal, but that he does not think it is a significant discovery.

“We looked again at the source last night using our antennas, the Allen Telescope Array, and nothing,” Shostak told ABC News. “The Russians themselves looked 39 times and only saw it once.”

Shostak added that there is a long list of other possibilities that could have caused the signal.

“It could have been a military or a commercial aircraft with radar,” Shostak said, “or telecommunication satellites. The laundry list for things that could fool you is not very short.”

“I think the fact that we didn’t find it last night has me convinced that this is not a significant discovery,” Shostak said. “If you find the cure for cancer but you only cure one patient, then you would not say you have found the cure for cancer.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ISIS Claims Top Spokesman Killed in Airstrike

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — ISIS’s official news agency claimed Tuesday that its senior leader and top spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani has been killed in Aleppo, Syria, but it did not detail the circumstances of his death. The Pentagon later confirmed that coalition airstrikes on Tuesday had targeted al-Adnani but that the results of the airstrike are still being determined.

The Amaq News Agency, affiliated with ISIS, first posted news of al-Adnani’s death in a social media posting on Tuesday.

“#Breaking Military source to #AmaqAgency: Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the spokesman of the Islamic State, was martyred while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against #Aleppo,” read an English translation of the post from SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremists on the internet.

Later on Tuesday the Pentagon confirmed that an airstrike had targeted al Adnani earlier in the day.

“Today coalition forces conducted a precision strike near Al Bab, Syria, targeting Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, one of ISIL’s most senior leaders,” said Peter Cook, the Pentagon Press Secretary, in a statement Tuesday. ISIL is another acronym used to describe ISIS.

“We are still assessing the results of the strike, but Al-Adnani’s removal from the battlefield would mark another significant blow to ISIL” said Cook who described al-Adnani as the “principal architect of ISIL’s external operations” in addition to his prominence as the group’s top spokesman.

“He has coordinated the movement of ISIL fighters, directly encouraged lone-wolf attacks on civilians and members of the military and actively recruited new ISIL members,” said Cook. The U.S. military will continue to prioritize and relentlessly target ISIL leaders and external plotters in order to defend our homeland, our allies and our partners, while we continue to gather momentum in destroying ISIL’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria and combat its metastases around the world.”

Al Adnani’s stature in the terror organization was so important that only top ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ranked higher in importance.

Because of his high rank within the ISIS organization, the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program had placed a $5 million reward for information leading to his death or capture.

“Al-Adnani is ISIL’s main conduit for the dissemination of official messages, including ISIL’s declaration of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate,” reads the program’s website of al-Adnani, born in Syria in 1977. “Al-Adnani was one of the first foreign fighters to oppose Coalition Forces in Iraq before becoming ISIL’s spokesman.”

In September, 2014 al-Adnani released an audio recording where he called on ISIS sympathizers in the western world. That message has been seen as an inspiration to lone-wolve attacks that have occurred in the United States and France. A U.S.official tied several high-profile ISIS attacks outside of Syria and Iraq to al Adnani’s role as the head of external operations.

“Significant operations carried out on his watch include the Paris attacks, the Brussels airport attack, the Istanbul airport attack, the downing of the Russian airliner in the Sinai, the suicide bombings during a rally in Ankara, and the attack on a café in Bangladesh” said the official. “In total, these attacks killed over 1,800 people, and wounded nearly 4,000. Al-Adnani was a legacy AQI member, a Shura council member, and the most publicly recognizable official in ISIL.”

“If confirmed, this is a very significant blow for ISIL, and will degrade its ability to direct and inspire terror attacks on the West,” said the official.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement following reports of al-Adnani’s death:

“If the death of Abu al-Adnani is confirmed, it would be a significant blow to ISIS at a time when they are on retreat on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal), the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in a statement. “Al-Adnani has long been one of the most highly targeted ISIS figures due to his responsibility for external operations, his prominent role as an ISIS spokesman, and his advocacy of lone wolf attacks in the West.”

The initial post from Amaq stated that al-Adnani had been killed in Aleppo, but provided no details on how he had died. If al-Adnani died in an airstrike it would also be unclear if he was killed in a targeted strike or of happenstance from an airstrike targeting an ISIS position.

Russian and Syrian regime aircraft conduct airstrikes in the city of Aleppo, but U.S. military aircraft do not fly over the city because U.S. military officials say there is not a large ISIS presence there.

However, American military aircraft conduct airstrikes in eastern Aleppo province that stretches east of the Euphrates River. Recently American airstrikes there have helped with offensives that have retaken the ISIS-held cities of Manbij and Jarabulus.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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