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40th anniversary of David Bowie classic celebrated with Depeche Mode cover

KMazur/WireImageDuring their tour this year, Depeche Mode has included a cover of David Bowie‘s “Heroes” in honor of the late music icon. The synth-pop icons have now released an official recording of the cover to mark the 40th anniversary of the original track’s release. You can listen to the cover now via YouTube.

“‘Heroes’ is the most special song to me at the moment,” says frontman Dave Gahan in a statement. “Bowie is the one artist who I’ve stuck with since I was in my early teens. His albums are always my go-to on tour and covering ‘Heroes’ is paying homage to Bowie.”

Depeche Mode has been touring in support of their new album, Spirit. The outing continues Friday night in Dallas, Texas.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Journey’s Jonathan Cain releasing Christmas album

Identity Records/The Fuel MusicJonathan Cain is stepping out with a Christmas album.

The longtime Journey keyboardist, co-writer of such hits as “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Who’s Crying Now,” will release Unsung Noel on October 13. The disc features 10 new songs written by Cain, as well as several holiday classics.

Cain plays piano, keyboards and sings lead vocals on the project, also arranged and produced the album at his state-of-the art Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville.

He explains, “The music came to me over the course of two recent Journey tours, and I recorded the entire album during a 10-day break this spring. I wrote and arranged most of this album on the road in hotel rooms as we traveled from city to city.”

Cain adds, “This album is dedicated to the coming of Christ and the events in scripture that is the core of our Christian belief.”

Cain, who previously issued an album of Christian music titled What God Wants to Hear, says he’d been contemplating a Christmas album for years. He’s posted a preview trailer for Unsung Noel on his Facebook page, and promises tour dates soon. 

Cain is also planning to publish a still-untitled memoir next spring that’ll detail his personal journey of faith, as well as his 36-year career with Journey.

 Here’s the track list for Jonathan Cain’s Unsung Noel:

“This Is the Heart of Christmas”
“Star of Bethlehem”
“Angels We Have Heard on High”
“Joseph’s Pride”
“It’s Only Christmas When”
“Unsung Noel”
“You Shall Call His Name”
“Hail Mary”
“Oh Holy Night”
“You Came to Reign”
“Light of the World”
“The Night Love Came Down”
“Do You Hear What I Hear”

Daryl Hall & John Oates pledge ticket proceeds to American Red Cross for hurricane relief

Stuart M BergDaryl Hall & John Oates are doing their part for hurricane relief.

Tonight in Cedar Park, Texas, the duo will start a run of shows in the American South.  Since some of those cities in this particular run of dates were devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the duo will be donating a portion of ticket sales to the Red Cross.

“I know everyone has been experiencing hard times, bad luck and a lot of sadness.  We’ll try and do our share to help and also give some soulful cheer at the shows,” says Daryl Hall in a statement.

John Oates adds, “Hopefully our music will bring a small respite from the damages suffered during the hurricane, and more importantly, I’m hopeful that our contribution to the American Red Cross can help those in need.”

The cities Daryl and John will visit in addition to Cedar Park include Sugar Land, TX, Tuscaloosa, AL, Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC.  Next month, the duo will play shows in London and Dublin.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


“Star Trek: Discovery” hits warp speed Sunday night

© 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved(LOS ANGELES) — Once again, we’re boldly going where no one has gone before — Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday night on CBS, before moving over to the subscription-based CBS All Access streaming service.

This adventure, which takes place about 10 years before Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock’s five-year mission, which debuted on NBC in 1966, stars The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green, Harry Potter and Black Hawk Down veteran Jason Isaacs, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh.

The original series famously tackled issues like racism and the Cold War, making hot-button issues more palatable because they were couched in Gene Roddenberry’s futuristic universe.  Discovery‘s executive producer Alex Kurtzman says the show won’t be overtly political, but will echo the times in which we live, because that’s what Star Trek does: “I think that obviously events of the world of the last two years have been so intense, no matter what side of the political line you’re on. And Star Trek, at its best, has always been a mirror, and a reflection of the world that we live in.”

Discovery will be the first Trek series developed for a digital platform, something about which Kurtzman has mixed feelings, knowing people may be watching the show’s grand vistas on a mobile phone screen. “That hurts my heart about anything that we create at any point,” he admits, allowing, “it’s also the reality of the world we’re living in now.”

Ultimately, Kurtzman says, “the most important thing for us is the character stories, and the audience’s investment in the emotion.”

Discovery premieres Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on CBS.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Manners maketh man: Taron Egerton says “gracious” stars of “Kingsman” helped him

20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) — Taron Egerton is in theaters again as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the followup to the 2015 blockbuster Kingsman: The Secret Service

Egerton was fresh out of drama school when he auditioned for the first film. He tells ABC’s Peter Travers there was a specific moment during the beginning of the “strenuous” audition process for Director Matthew Vaughn when the 27-year-old star knew he had a real shot at the part.

Vaughn “doesn’t mince his words…I remember my first audition for him. He…looked like he had a lot on his mind. He sat down and didn’t look at me. I did the scene, and he was still looking down. And I sort of went, ‘Are we done?’ And he looked up and went, ‘What was your name again?’ And that was the first moment where I thought I might [have] a shot here.”

“Very many” followed, Egerton laughed. “He really put me through my paces.”

After getting the part, the new drama school grad had to act alongside Oscar-winners Michael Caine and Colin Firth, the latter playing the agent who recruits Egerton’s “street kid” to become a spy. “I was helped by…an amazingly gracious cast,” says Egerton. “Colin Firth, particularly…kind of holding my hand, and making me feel valid among these certified film stars.”

In the original, Egerton’s character saves the world from a murderous plot launched by a mad billionaire played by Samuel L. Jackson.  The sequel sees Eggsy unite with his agency’s American cousins, The Statesman, played by Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Channing Tatum, in order to topple another wannabe world dominator — played by yet another Oscar-winner, Julianne Moore.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is in theaters now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Star” leads Amiyah Scott and Jude Demorest share how the hit Fox series has changed their lives

Amiyah Scott – Fox/Jason Bell(NEW YORK) — Ahead of Star’s season two premiere next Wednesday, Amiyah Scott and Jude Demorest are revealing  how the hit Fox series has significantly changed their lives.

Scott says playing Cotton, a transgender woman like herself, has given her a new purpose in life.

“It’s giving a voice to the voiceless,” Scott tells ABC Radio. “I think that me growing up and transitioning, I didn’t have many role models. So to be able to possibly portray one, and to be able to have a role that is so rarely seen on television — has changed my life because it’s changed others lives as well.”

Her Star co-star Jude agrees.  “It changed our lives in every single way,” Demorest explains. “As an actress, Lee has pushed me in every single direction and I’ve learned so much. It’s been a crash course in using all of my skills.”

While Scott can draw on her personal experience to play her character, Jude says she’s “very different” than Star.

“The difference between her and is — where I have a very strong faith in God and I know that He can take care of me, she feels like she’s her own god and she can take care of herself,” Demorest says. “And that causes her to fall into a lot of pitfalls and to live a very defensive and aggressive life.”

Yet Demorest believes that even with her character’s flaws and the ongoing drama on the show, Star is still a noble series:  “It’s a good cautionary tale for every girl who watches it to see what happens when you chose fame over everything else.” 

The second season of Star premieres September 27 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Tennessee church shooting leaves one dead, six injured

iStock/Thinkstock(ANTIOCH, Tenn.) — One woman has been shot dead and six other churchgoers are wounded by a gunman who opened fire Sunday morning at a Tennessee church as services were ending, authorities said.

The shooting at Burnett Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, started in the church’s parking lot, according to police and the Nashville Fire Department.

Nashville Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said emergency calls came in around 11:15 a.m. as services were letting out.

The shooter arrived in the parking lot and first fatally fired at a woman walking to her car, Aaron said. The shooter then went inside the rear of the church and opened fire, setting off multiple rounds and wounding six people.

A church member who ran up and confronted the gunman was pistol-whipped by him, the police spokesman said. That church member then went to his car, where he got his weapon to confront the shooter again.

The gunman then shot himself. His wound is not life-threatening, police said.

All seven of the wounded, including the suspect, were taken to area hospitals — five of them to Vanderbilt Medical Center and one to Skyline Medical Center.

Police said they know the identity of the suspect and that he has no relationship to the congregation.

Vanderbilt Medical Center said in a statement after the shooting that its emergency medicine physicians and trauma center surgeons are caring for two critically injured gunshot victims and another four individuals who are currently in stable condition.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

#TakeTheKnee hashtag reveals sharp debate over NFL players’ kneeling

John Leyba/The Denver Post/ Getty Images(NEW YORK) — President Trump’s lashing out at NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem and the resulting backlash is playing out in part on social media, including under a Twitter hashtag trending Sunday morning, #TakeAKnee, and also another variation, #TakeTheKnee.

The hashtag drew sharp responses from people both opposed and supportive of players protesting by kneeling during the pregame national anthem, a practice that drew attention beginning in the 2016 preseason when Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, quietly knelt. Kaepernick told the press that he was protesting the treatment of blacks in the United States.

One supporter of the protests said critics should “wake up” because the players are exercising their rights.

Katie Hopkins, a controversial British columnist and a former reality star, focused her criticism on Kaepernick.

California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat who has been critical of Trump, said the president has “no moral standing” to call for NFL players to be fired for kneeling in protest.

Jack Posobiec, a right-wing activist who has promoted conspiracy theories such as “Pizzagate,” argued that 80 percent of Americans tuning into NFL football on Sunday would turn off the TV if players kneel during the anthem.

Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative political pundit, called for fellow opposers to “boo” the teams and players who refuse to stand during the anthem.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Maria weakens to Category 2; Puerto Rico dealing with threat of dam failure

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Fears in storm-battered Puerto Rico have shifted to a failing dam as the U.S. territory reels from the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria.

Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said failure of the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico is “imminent” and could cause “life-threatening flash flooding” downstream on the Guajataca River. Dam operators said it began to show signs of failing, causing flash flooding, on Friday around 2:10 p.m. ET.

“Move to higher ground now,” the National Weather Service urged residents in the area. “This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation.”

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said all available resources were sent to evacuate people near Lake Guajataca, where the dam at the northern end is in danger of breaking. The National Weather Service in San Juan tweeted that nearly 8,000 people who live in the area could be affected. The number previously given had been an estimated 70,000 people.

Maria weakened to a Category 2 hurricane on Sunday, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as of 5 a.m. ET. The storm at the time was moving toward the north at 9 mph, and its eye was located about 530 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is still projected to stay off the East Coast, but tropical storm or hurricane watches could be put in effect for the Carolina or Mid-Atlantic coasts on Sunday with tropical storm-force winds currently extending 240 miles from the eye.

The death toll in storm-hit areas is rising as Maria continued to barrel through the Caribbean on Saturday, three days after its landfall in Puerto Rico left the island in the dark.

At least 24 people have died in the storm, including 15 in Dominica, seven in Puerto Rico and two in Guadeloupe.

The hurricane came ashore in Puerto Rico early Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds — the first Category 4 to hit the island since 1932. The storm wiped out the island’s power grid and dumped 20 to 30 inches of rain in 24 hours, with some areas seeing 40 inches locally.

There is potential for the death toll in Puerto Rico to rise, the island’s secretary of the department of safety said on Friday.

Although Maria has hurtled past the island, Puerto Rico will see heavy rainfall through Saturday from the storm’s trailing rain bands, likely an additional 3 to 6 inches, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Water supplies on the island are lacking because of the lack of power, Rossello said. In addition, the water agency suffered “severe damage,” he said.

Rossello has also extended a curfew and ban on alcohol sales on the island from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET through Sunday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo departed for Puerto Rico on Friday to bring donated supplies to the island and assess the need, after Puerto Rico’s governor made a request for aid. Cuomo traveled with members of the National Guard as well as New York Congresswoman and Puerto Rico native Nydia Velázquez.

Residents of Puerto Rico’s hard-hit north coast were seen wading through floodwater inside what’s left of their homes.

ABC News correspondents observed widespread destruction in the town of Guaynabo, about 10 miles south of San Juan where trees and power lines were downed and storefronts and building facades had crumbled. Neighborhoods in Guaynabo were filled with waist-deep floodwaters and destroyed homes that were apparently not built to any kind of code.

Guaynabo resident Ramon Caldero and his family hunkered down in their kitchen during the storm, which caused part of the ceiling to collapse in his sister’s room.

“I was worried,” Caldero told ABC News. “My sister was screaming.”

Christy Caban of Nashville, Tennessee, rode out the storm with her husband and 13-month-old baby in their hotel room just east of San Juan.

“We don’t have power, we don’t have water,” Caban told ABC News.

Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency confirmed that 100 percent of the island had lost power by Wednesday afternoon, noting that anyone with electricity was using a generator.

Abner Gomez Cortes, executive director of the agency, told ABC News more than 12,000 people are currently in shelters, and hospitals are running on generators. Two hospitals — one in Caguas and one in Bayamon — were damaged in the storm.

A spokesperson with the Puerto Rico governor’s office confirmed to ABC News at least one person has died in the storm. The person was killed in Bayamon, just southwest of San Juan, after being hit in the head by a wooden panel.

Meanwhile, telecommunications throughout the island have “collapsed,” Cortes said, describing the storm as unprecedented.

Multiple transmission lines sustained damage, according to Ricardo Ramos, director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Ramos said he hopes to start launching helicopters by this weekend to begin inspecting the lines.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has imposed a curfew on the island Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET through Saturday.

Puerto Rico narrowly missed landfall by Hurricane Irma two weeks ago, with the Category 5 storm traveling just north of the U.S. territory. The island suffered heavy rain and wind, but nothing near the widespread damage incurred by Maria.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Thursday, President Donald Trump said Hurricane Maria “absolutely obliterated” the U.S. territory and “totally destroyed” its power grid, but that the recovery process will begin soon with “great gusto.”

Puerto Rico “got hit with winds, they say they’ve never seen winds like this anywhere,” Trump added.

On the forecast track

Maria is expected to turn toward the north-northwest later Friday, then turn toward the north by late Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. That means the storm’s core will move away from Turks and Caicos on Friday and pass near the Southeast Bahamas through Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center on Friday warned a “dangerous storm surge” coupled with “large and destructive waves” will raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal tide levels in parts of Turks and Caicos and the Southeast Bahamas. And through Saturday, Maria is expected to produce up to 20 inches of rain in parts of Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos.

But Maria is forecast to gradually weaken during the next 48 hours and beyond due to higher wind shear as the hurricane moves into the cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The diminishing storm will move between Bermuda and the eastern coast of the United States before heading further east and out to sea sometime next week, according to the latest forecast models.

The storm’s path is still expected to steer clear of the U.S. mainland.

“At this point, I don’t think Maria will have any major impacts to the mainland besides the high surf and rip currents,” ABC News senior meteorologist Max Golembo said Friday morning.

Other Caribbean islands devastated

Maria also did severe damage to other Caribbean islands without making landfall.

Dominica’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, told ABS Television on Thursday that at least 15 people have died and many homes are destroyed beyond repair. The death toll in the island nation is likely to rise and search and rescue missions are ongoing. At least 16 additional people are missing in some communities, he said.

“We have many deaths, but it is a miracle that we do not have hundreds of deaths in the country,” Skerrit told ABS Television.

According to Skerrit, the island has no electricity and only limited telecommunications have been restored since the storm. Some villages are now only accessible by sea or via helicopter

The prime minister told ABS Television that his home’s roof was ripped off during the storm and he had to take cover under a bed to protect himself from falling debris.

While wiping away tears during the emotional interview, Skerrit issued an urgent appeal for desperately needed aid, namely water, tarps and baby supplies.

“It’s going to take us a very long time to get back,” he said.

Hartley Henry, an adviser to Dominica’s prime minister, told reporters via WhatsApp on Wednesday that his country has suffered a “tremendous loss of housing and public buildings” since the storm hit, ripping off roofs and tearing doors from hinges. Dominica’s main general hospital “took a beating” and “patient care has been compromised,” he said.

“The country is in a daze — no electricity, no running water,” Henry said via a WhatsApp message. “In summary, the island has been devastated.”

The Ross University School of Medicine, based in Portsmouth, Dominica, announced Wednesday on Facebook that it is attempting to make contact with all of its students. More than 1,400 students and faculty have signed the registration sheet so far, and the school has reached out to the family members of more than 700 others, who informed them that they are safe.

In Guadeloupe, officials announced Wednesday two people were killed and two others were missing in the storm’s wake.

France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said some 80,000 people in Guadeloupe — around 40 percent of the population — were without electricity Wednesday. Many roads there are impassible due to flooding and French Navy planes have not been able to assess the damage on the island due to bad weather conditions.

In Martinique, about 70,000 homes were without electricity and 50,000 homes did not have access to safe drinking water Wednesday. Fallen trees and downed power poles have blocked many roads there, Collomb said.

Police and soldiers have been deployed in both Martinique and Guadeloupe to ensure security. More than 3,000 first responders are on the French Caribbean islands, according to Collomb.

The U.S. Department of State sent a message of solidarity Wednesday to the people of Dominica and all across the Caribbean who were affected by Maria.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


NFL players kneel, lock arms in solidarity during national anthem before London game

Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images(LONDON) — In defiance of President Trump’s recent statement and tweets regarding professional athletes protesting before games, a host of players in London took a knee and locked arms together as the United States national anthem was performed.

Sunday’s game played across the Atlantic at Wembley Stadium in London is a match-up between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens. Among the players and coaches locking arms with players during the protest over the “Star Spangled Banner” was Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.

The team’s official Twitter account posted a one-word tweet “Unity” to capture the moment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/23/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

Boston 5, Cincinnati 0

Houston 6, L.A. Angels 2
N.Y. Yankees 5, Toronto 1
Cleveland 11, Seattle 4
Minnesota 10, Detroit 4
Tampa Bay 9, Baltimore 6
Kansas City 8, Chicago White Sox 2
Oakland 1, Texas 0

Milwaukee 4, Chicago Cubs 3, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 11, St. Louis 6
Washington 4, N.Y. Mets 3, 10 Innings
Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 2
Miami 12, Arizona 6
San Diego 5, Colorado 0
San Francisco 2, L.A. Dodgers 1

L.A. Kings 4, Vancouver 3
Minnesota 2, Colorado 1
New Jersey 2, N.Y. Rangers 1
Detroit 5, Boston 1
Carolina 4, Washington 1
Toronto 3, Buffalo 1
Ottawa 5, Montreal 1
Dallas 4, St. Louis 0
Columbus 3, Chicago 2
Edmonton 6, Winnipeg 2
San Jose 5, Arizona 4

(1) Alabama 59, Vanderbilt 0
(2) Clemson 34, Boston 7
(3) Oklahoma 49, Baylor 41
(4) Penn St. 21, Iowa 19
(5) Southern Cal, 30 California 20
(16) TCU 44, (6) Oklahoma St. 31
(7) Washington 37, Colorado 10
(8) Michigan 28, Purdue 10
(10) Ohio St. 54, UNLV 21
(11) Georgia 31, (17) Mississippi St. 3
NC State 27, (12) Florida St. 21
(13) Virginia Tech 38, Old Dominion 0
(14) Miami 52, Toledo 30
(15) Auburn 51, Missouri 14
(18) Washington St. 45, Nevada 7
(19) Louisville 42, Kent St. 3
(20) Florida 28, Kentucky 27
(22) San Diego St. 28, Air Force 24
Arizona St. 37, (24) Oregon 35
(25) LSU 35, Syracuse 26

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oakland’s Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during anthem

iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) —  Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics has become the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.

Maxwell dropped to a knee just outside Oakland’s dugout on Saturday, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. Maxwell’s teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell’s shoulders.

The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they “respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Maxwell’s protest comes after President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Merkel wins fourth term as German far-right party makes gains

Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images(BERLIN) — German voters rewarded Angela Merkel’s center-right party in national elections on Sunday, sending the chancellor to a record fourth term as one of Europe’s key leaders.

Germany’s far right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, however, scored higher than expected, with dozens of lawmakers from the party voted into the country’s national Parliament, or Bundestag. The gains could potentially be disruptive to politics in Germany, the largest economy in Europe.

Exit polls conducted for public television channels ARD and ZDF suggest Merkel’s conservative bloc finished first in Germany’s election, with between 32.5 and 33.5 percent in Sunday’s vote.

Polling indicates challenger Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats trailed in second place, with between 20 and 21 percent support. The polls also suggested that the anti-migrant, nationalist AfD party will enter the national parliament — for the first time — with 13 to 13.5 percent support.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Eyes on nationalist right as Germans head to polls

Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images(BERLIN) — Some 60 million Germans are making their way to polling stations on Sunday as Europe’s most powerful country looks set to re-elect Angela Merkel as chancellor for an historic fourth term.

Major western democracies have delivered unpredictable election results recently, including in the United States, the United Kingdom and France. But German polls have been historically accurate, and Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) looks set to be the biggest party, although they would still likely need a coalition with smaller parties to form a government.

The polls also predict that Germany’s right-wing, nationalist and anti-immigration party — Alternate for Deutschland (AfD) — will enter the Bundestag, or Germany’s parliament. They are polling as high as 10 to 13 percent, making them potentially the third-largest party.

This would be the first time an ultra-nationalist party was elected to seats in the German Bundestag in over 50 years, reflecting the fears and anxieties of a German population that has had to absorb more than a million refugees since Merkel opened her country’s doors to those fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere. Their nationalist platform has raised many of the ghosts of Germany’s Nazi past.

Merkel has managed, by and large, to ensure Germany has successfully absorbed those refugees, with the emergent right the only worrisome result.

Merkel has campaigned on the slogan “Wir Schaffen Das,” meaning, “We will make it happen.”

The chancellor has become a key figure on the world stage and a partner for the U.S. in global affairs during a turbulent time.

She has urged restraint with North Korea and said she favors dialogue to solve the crisis, and she remains the western leader with the closest connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She is also a firm advocate of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US flies bombers off North Korean coast to send message on America’s ‘military options’

South Korean Defense Ministry/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. flew bombers and fighter jets along the North Korean coast Saturday to send a message about the “military options” open to America in dealing with Kim Jong Un’s regime, the Pentagon said.

U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter jets from Okinawa, Japan, joined in the exercise, which was in international airspace to the east of North Korea.

“This is the farthest north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft has flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take DPRK’s reckless behavior,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The show of strength comes days after President Donald Trump increased economic sanctions and threatened military action against the regime.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump told the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

Saturday’s flight off the North Korean coast is a “demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” the Pentagon said, adding, “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”

Kim Jong Un fired back in a statement Thursday responding to Trump’s U.N. address. He called Trump “mentally deranged” and said the president was “playing with fire.” The North Korean leader said Trump’s speech convinced him that he’s leading his nation down the right path.

“Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history,” Kim said.

Trump’s executive order, issued Thursday, expanded the authority to target individuals and companies that finance or facilitate trade with North Korea — a move the U.S. president said will disrupt critical North Korean shipping and trade networks.

The North Korean regime has conducted 14 ballistic missile tests and one underground nuclear test since the beginning of the year.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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