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MUSIC NEWS

Heart Singer Ann Wilson’s Husband Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting Nancy Wilson’s Twin Sons

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson‘s husband, Dean Wetter, was arrested early Saturday morning after he allegedly assaulted the twin teenage sons of guitarist Nancy Wilson after the band’s concert Friday at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington.

According to probable-cause documents procured by ABC Radio, the 65-year-old Wetter, who hasn’t been charged, is accused of roughing up the boys during an altercation that took place outside of Wilson’s tour bus.

The documents allege that the boys were walking by the bus and when they saw Wetter standing outside of it, they asked if they could look inside. Wetter told them they could, but warned them to watch the dogs that were in the vehicle. According to the report, when the boys exited the bus, they left the door open, which apparently angered Wetter, who allegedly yelled at the boys, called them names and then slapped one of them on the back of the head, punched him in the same spot and briefly grabbed him by the throat.

The report also claims that when the boy’s brother stepped in to help, Wetter also grabbed him by the throat “[a]nd squeezed to the point he could not breathe for about five seconds before letting go.” That boy “later complained of a sore, raspy throat, fear of dying and pain in his throat area.”

Following his arrest, Wetter was booked into King County Jail in Kent, Washington, and then made an appearance on Monday at the King County District Court. He was released from custody on Monday after posting a $10,000 bond. Wetter is due to make a followup court appearance Wednesday.

Wilson and Wetter were married in April 2015 after rekindling a brief romance they had during the 1980s.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monkees’ Michael Nesmith to Be Honored with Ernie Kovacs Award for His Innovative Video Work

Credit: Henry DiltzMonkees singer Michael Nesmith will be honored with the Ernie Kovacs Award at an October 1 ceremony held at Kessler Theater in Dallas, in conjunction with the Dallas VideoFest 29 event. Nesmith, a former Dallas resident, is being recognized for his innovative video work, as well as his accomplishments with The Monkees and as a songwriter and film producer.

The Ernie Kovacs Award honors entertainment figures whose visionary work has made an impact on television. The award is named for the late comic actor whose inventive and experimental TV performances influenced many popular programs, including Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Saturday Night Live.

Among Nesmith’s career highlights, he developed the 1980 show Pop Clips, which was a predecessor to MTV; and he won the first Video of the Year Grammy Award in 1981 for his irreverent home video Elephant Parts.

Dallas VideoFest director Bart Weiss says of Nesmith, “In looking back at the comedy of The Monkees and his other work, you can see the visual puns that came from Ernie Kovacs. More than that, he, like Kovacs, saw what video and television could be and took us to that new place.”

Tickets for the 2016 Ernie Kovacs Award ceremony are available now at Prekindle.com.

As previously reported, Nesmith will be rejoining his Monkees band mates Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork to perform at the band’s September 16 show at Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. He also is planning an early-2017 promotional tour in support of his upcoming book, Infinite Tuesday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Good “Fortune”: Blue Öyster Cult to Play Classic 1976 Album on Audience Network Special This Week

Aaron Farley/AT&T and AUDIENCE NetworkBlue Öyster Cult will be featured in a self-titled concert special that will premiere on Audience Network this Friday, September 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The veteran rockers will perform their classic 1976 album Agents of Fortune in its entirety on the program, which also will include an in-depth interview with some of the band’s longtime members.

Agents of Fortune features Blue Öyster Cult’s signature tune “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself went on to sell more than a million copies in the U.S.

In a preview clip from the show, founding Blue Öyster Cult singer Eric Bloom points out that some of the songs from Agents of Fortune had “never been performed, even back in those days.” He also explains that the program is special because the band’s current lineup was being joined by original Blue Öyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard.

The Blue Öyster Cult show was taped recently at Red Studios in Los Angeles. It can be viewed on DirecTV and AT&T U-verse TV.

Meanwhile, Blue Öyster Cult has more than 20 U.S. dates lined up through next March. Here are all of the band’s upcoming concerts, according to BlueOysterCult.com:

9/2 — Marshfield, WI, Central Wisconsin State Fair
9/3 — Virginia Beach, VA, American Music Festival
9/10 — Chesterfield, MO, Chesterfield Amphitheatre
9/11 — Oklahoma City, OK, Zoo Amphitheatre*
9/16 — Newton, NJ, Newton Theatre
9/17 — East Durham, NY, Catskill Mountain Thunder Festival
9/23 — Hogansburg, NY, Akwesasne Mohawk Casino
9/24 — Lake George, NY, Charles R. Wood Park – American Music Festival for the Lake
9/30 — Lakewood, NJ, First Energy Park – Rock Carnival
10/7 — Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
10/8 — Annapolis, MD, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
10/15 — Tyler, TX, Butler Square
10/28 — Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live
10/29 — Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse
11/4 — Jim Thorpe, PA, Penn’s Peak
11/11 — Hammond, IN, The Venue at Horseshoe Casino**
11/12 — Kansas City, MO, Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Kansas City
12/17 — Stateline, NV, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
1/19/17 — El Cajon, CA, Sycuan Casino
1/27 — Brooks, CA, Cache Creek Casino
1/28 — Everett, WA, Historic Everett Theatre
2/25 — Peekskill, NY, Paramount Hudson Valley
3/4 — Warren, PA, Struthers Library Theatre
3/18 — Sheboygan, WI, Weill Center for the Performing Arts

* = with Bad Company
** = with Jefferson Starship.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

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

James Corden Pays Tribute to “Magical” Gene Wilder

John Lamparski/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — On The Late Late Show Monday night, host James Corden shared some fond memories of Gene Wilder, who died Monday 83 of complications from Alzheimer’s. Corden explained Wilder once came to visit him backstage after watching a play in which Corden performed in New York City. 

“It was incredible…If anyone else came backstage, they’d stay for five, six, maybe 10 minutes, tops. He sat in my room for a half an hour…I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life…And all he wanted to talk about was…How my wife and son were adjusting in New York, and was it happy and was it fun.”

Corden said the pair exchanged emails, and sometime later James asked Wilder to appear in the first episode of Corden’s chat show, in a sketch that had Corden scoring a Wonka-like Golden Ticket, which meant he got to host the show.  But Wilder politely declined, Corden explained. 

“In the history of people saying no to things, it couldn’t have been nicer,” Corden said, then shared the email, “It just said, ‘Dearest James: I don’t do, or go, where you were hoping, but I’ll be looking for you with my love,’ Gene.”

“Even the way he said no was so poetic — even his emails sounded somehow like Willy Wonka,” said Corden. “He was just this magical person.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Police Reviewing Videos of Deadly Cornell Campus Stabbing

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) — Police in Ithaca, New York, are reviewing videos as they work to determine what led to the stabbing death of an Ithaca College sophomore on Cornell University’s campus early Sunday.

Nineteen-year-old Anthony Nazaire, who had just begun his sophomore year studying business administration at Ithaca College, was stabbed along with another Ithaca student during a “large fight” on the Cornell campus after a student-organized event, Ithaca College said in a statement.

The stabbing happened when “several fights broke out” shortly before 2 a.m., Cornell University said in a statement Monday.

“These events occurred after a party at Willard Straight Hall sponsored by a Cornell fraternity, Omega Psi Phi,” the statement said. “For several years the fraternity has hosted such an event during the first week of classes.”

Nazaire, of Brooklyn, New York, died from the stabbing, Ithaca College said. The other victim, whose name was not released, was treated and released from the hospital, Ithaca College and Cornell said.

No perpetrators have been apprehended or identified yet, Ithaca College said Sunday.

The Ithaca Police Department is investigating. Public Information Officer Jamie Williamson of the Ithaca police told ABC News that the department has received multiple videos that show several fights, but described the scene as chaotic and said it’s difficult to discern what was happening.

Williamson said police are still working to identify people seen in the videos and hope they can improve the quality of the images to get a better look at the scene.

The police are requesting more people step forward to submit videos from the incident.

Williamson told ABC affiliate WSYR-TV in Syracuse Monday that “video has helped us to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together, but not everything quite yet.”

Nazaire’s sister Kiara Nazaire told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that she heard from another student that a “bump” started the fight.

Anthony “was with his friend, his friend bumped the girl by accident and he apologized,” Kiara Nazaire said. “Both of them apologized, even my brother apologized and didn’t bump the girl.”

But the situation seemed to escalate. In an attempt to avoid further conflict, Anthony and his friend “walked away,” she said.

“These cowards followed them and hit his friend,” Kiara Nazaire added. “Anthony tried to help his friend but he was hit, too.”

Ithaca police told ABC News they have heard about the potential reason for the altercation and are looking into it.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Anthony Nazaire,” Ithaca College President Tom Rochon said. “He graduated from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, and at IC he was a member of the executive board of Brothers4Brothers, a student organization dedicated to empowering men of color on our campus.”

“I don’t understand how someone could just take someone’s life away like that,” Kiara Nazaire told WABC. “I would see killings all over the news … I never knew that it would have to be me crying over someone so close.”

“I just hope my brother finds justice,” she added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

911 Calls from Pulse Nightclub Shooting Released

Loren Elliott/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Officials released 911 calls from the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, for the first time Tuesday.

Forty-nine people were killed in the June 12 massacre and dozens of others were injured.

In one call, a female dispatcher says, “You say you heard gunshots?”

A male caller replies, “As soon as I heard … we ran. … Gunshots were going like crazy.”

In another 911 call, a man says his girlfriend is at Pulse, where she is hiding in a bathroom.

“There’s like 18 people, two are dead, they’re in the bathroom,” the man says. “They’re all scared to death, they all think they’re gonna die.”

He says his girlfriend is texting him because she’s afraid the shooter will hear.

“She saying the shooters are here. So I don’t know if they’re in the bathroom with her now or just in the club,” the man tells 911.

At one point, he tells the dispatcher his girlfriend is not responding.

“It’s OK, she might be with the deputies or she might be just trying not to let the light come out,” the dispatcher replies. “I’m gonna stay on the phone with you.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harrowing Dashcam Footage of 10-Car Crash Shows People Rescuing Woman from Burning Car

Courtesy City of Binghamton(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — The mayor of Binghamton, New York, has released dashcam footage of a 10-car pileup on Highway 17 last week in an attempt to find and honor the bystanders who can be seen on camera rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle.

Good Samaritan Jay Zemotel said he was among those at the scene of the crash, which he said, “words can’t describe,” and helped rescue a paralyzed woman and others who were trapped in their vehicles.

“It was just amazing; a big cloud of dust. And when it settled it was just car parts and shrapnel everywhere. It was unexplainable,” Zemotel told ABC News Tuesday.

“It was a pretty traumatic event. I haven’t really slept well since. You just replay the accident in your head,” Zemotel said of the accident. “It was just kind of strange because I totally missed the accident. It was literally like feet in front of me.”

Zemotel said he was pulling a man from his vehicle when he noticed a woman calling for help in her vehicle behind them. “Then I saw she was in a wheelchair, and then I saw the other car on fire, and I was like, ‘OK, we have got to get you out of here.'”

“It was like I was trapped in a movie. You see a car on fire you think it’s going to blow up. I was kind of fearing for my life, but I wasn’t going to leave her there. There’s just no way,” Zemotel said.

He added that he was just happy that no one died in the crash.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David said in a Facebook post that “miraculously,” there were no fatalities, and praised the “brave individuals” who stepped up to help.

“Dramatic dash camera video of last week’s 10-vehicle pileup on Route 17 in the City of Binghamton. It captures the chilling first moments of the crash and the actions of bystanders who pulled a woman from a burning vehicle. In a time of crisis, these brave individuals navigated through flames and broken glass to save a stranger’s life,” the mayor wrote in a Facebook post.

“The woman suffered only minor cuts and bruises. Miraculously, the crash resulted in no fatalities. We’re still attempting to identify those seen on video so they can be recognized for their efforts. On behalf of our entire community, I commend these unsung heroes as well as our local police, fire and EMS first responders. Binghamton is safer because of you.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Ryan Lochte Made a ‘Very Big Mistake’ in Rio Robbery Claim, Moving Forward on “Dancing With the Stars”

ABC News(NEW YORK) — U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte said he made a “big mistake” when he claimed to have been held up at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics but that he thinks the reaction to the scandal that also implicated three of his U.S. Swimming teammates is “everyone blowing this way out of proportion.”

“Like I said, I did lie about that one part,” Lochte, 32, said Tuesday on Good Morning America, referring to his claim that a gun was held to his head. “I take full responsibility. I’m human. I made a mistake. A very big mistake.”

“It’s something that I learned from and I know that will never happen again,” he said.

Lochte was dropped by four sponsors in the aftermath of the scandal, including Ralph Lauren and Speedo.

Lochte is now turning his attention outside the pool, announcing Tuesday that he will be a celebrity competitor on Season 23 of Dancing With the Stars.

“I’m never one to dwell on the past. I just want to move forward,” he said. “Everyone has got to be sick and tired about hearing about this. I just want to move forward.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Olympian Reunites with Girl Who Returned Stolen Gold Medal

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — The young girl who found and returned a stolen Olympic gold medal got to meet its rightful owner on Monday, reports WSB-TV Atlanta, a local ABC affiliate.

Seven-year-old Chloe Smith found the medal in a pile of trash while out walking with her father and returned it to Olympic canoe racer Joe Jacobi.

Jacobi won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Spain but lost it back in June after a thief broke into his car and stole it.

He promised he would visit Chloe’s classroom in Atlanta to thank her for returning his prized possession.

“(Chloe asked), ‘Mom when is Joe coming to school?’ She was very excited. She couldn’t wait,” Chloe’s mother, Charlmonique Smith, told WSB-TV.

Speaking in front of her her first grade class, Jacobi praised the young girl’s selfless decision.

“It’s the idea of choosing to do the right thing, and so Chloe, I thank you for good character and doing the right thing. And to her parents and her family, I thank you guys,” Jacobi said.

Jacobi called it a lesson that we can all learn from.

“I think sometimes we don’t give a 7-year-old child enough credit for the choices they can make and the influence and power of one choice on an entire community,” he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fails Post-Race Inspection

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Penalties are expected Wednesday after Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford failed NASCAR’s post-race laser inspection Sunday.

Keselowski finished third at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Previous Laser Inspection System violations have resulted in 15-point deductions in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and P3-grade penalties, reports NASCAR.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Newborn Twins Among Thousands Rescued in the Mediterranean

MSF(TRIPOLI, Libya) — Twins who were only five days old and born prematurely were among the thousands of migrants who were rescued on Monday in the Mediterranean, according to a humanitarian group.

The mother was traveling alone with her two infant boys. One of the babies was sick — he was vomiting and had a dangerously low body temperature, according to Doctors Without Borders, an international nonprofit agency also known by its French acronym, MSF.

“After a first triage, our medical team decided to request an evacuation due to the fact that his health was so fragile that he would not have survived the long journey to Italy in our boat. We transferred both mother and twins to another vessel that could evacuate them to shore,” Antonia Zemp, medical team leader with Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.

Around 6,500 migrants were rescued on Monday in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya’s coast in 40 rescue operations, according to the Italian coastguard, making it one of the largest numbers of people rescued in a single day. Doctors Without Borders assisted in rescues of 3,000 people in one day, among them the twins and their mother, the group said.

People who were rescued and treated were experiencing health issues such as bloody diarrhea, dehydration, fever, hypothermia, skin diseases and exhaustion, according to Doctors Without Borders. One boat called Dignity I, carried 435 people — among them 92 unaccompanied minors and 13 children under the age of 5.

Last year, more than 1 million migrants, many fleeing the war in Syria, arrived in Europe, igniting an unprecedented migration crisis. In 2015 and in the first half of 2016, over 6,600 refugees and migrants drowned or went missing in the Mediterranean after their boats capsized while trying to reach Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration. Many of the bodies have not been identified, and families at home might never find out what happened to their loved ones, according to a new report by the IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Center in Berlin, the University of York and the City University London.

“Behind the visible catastrophe of shipwrecks and deaths in the Mediterranean is an invisible catastrophe in which bodies are found and not enough is done to identify them and inform their families,” Dr. Simon Robins, lead author of the report and a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, said in a statement.

“This is devastating for their families back home. They likened it to a form of torture where they are caught between hope and despair, not knowing whether they would ever see their loved one again, not knowing if they should give up hope and focus on the rest of their lives,” Robins added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What You Need to Know About Cuba Travel as Scheduled US Flights Begin

iStock/Thinkstock(HAVANA) — The first scheduled U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in more than 50 years takes off this week.

The JetBlue flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Santa Clara, Cuba, departs Wednesday morning. The new flights make it easier than ever to get to the Communist-run island.

Here is everything you need to know about making the trip.

How Do I Get There?

Book a flight or take a cruise.

JetBlue will eventually offer seven daily flights between the two countries.

Overall, 90 daily round-trip flights will pick up slowly over the next few months to nine different Cuban cities, for which six U.S. airlines were initially approved. American Airlines, which has facilitated charter flights to Cuba for years, begins its scheduled service Sept. 7.

And while dates for the start of the 20-daily round-trip flights from the United States to Havana have yet to be set, the U.S. government has now approved 10 total airlines for those flights, but Cuba must sign off.

Charter service is also still available, so if you have your heart set on the capital city, you can still fly there directly. It just may cost more.

After all the approvals are in place, 10 U.S. airlines will travel to 10 Cuban cities from 13 U.S. cities.

But if flying isn’t your thing, cruise on over to the island, only 90 miles away from Florida.

Carnival Cruise Line launched its first trip to the island earlier this summer. Fathom cruise line’s seven-day trips take you to Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

And ferry service is also in the works, meaning travelers would be able to make the quick hop from Florida for day trips.

Can I Go as a Tourist?

No, you still cannot travel to Cuba as a tourist. That means no “sun-and-sand” vacations to those white sand beaches.

In order to go to Cuba, you must verify that you meet one of the 12 pre-approved categories allowed by the U.S. government. This includes family visits and research, journalistic, religious or educational activities.

The most common form of travel is “people-to people.” That is a term for cultural exchanges: meeting the Cuban people in their everyday life, seeing schools or community projects and museums, maybe even take in a favorite Cuban (and American) pastime, baseball. But you must keep records of your activities while there.

You used to have to do this as part of a tour group, but President Obama changed that requirement earlier this year. And pre-approval is no longer necessary from the U.S. government.

“That’s why we’re encouraging travel — which will build bridges between our people, and bring more revenue to those Cuban small businesses,” Obama said while traveling in Cuba earlier this year.

Do I Need a Visa?

You do need a Cuban visa to visit. But Cuba does not issue visas that match perfectly the requirements of the 12-categories approved by the U.S. government for travel.

That means if you are traveling for a “people-to-people” cultural exchange, you would still get a tourist visa from Cuba.

The Cuban government issues five main types of visas — family, press, business, tourist and “other” — that include student or event visas.

If you travel via air and fall into one of the categories for a Cuban Tourist Visa, like a “people-to-people” trip, airlines are making it possible to purchase directly from them at the airport. Such requests don’t need to be made in advance and you can work through the charter companies or airlines, the Cuban embassy told ABC News.

It is best to check with your airline or cruise ship, though, and make sure they will provide this at time of booking.

Where Do I Stay?

Cuba has roughly 60,000 hotel rooms, which is below the number of visitors they host.

Starwood announced a deal earlier this year to become the first U.S. hotel chain to operate on the island in decades. Their first Havana location, Four Points by Sheraton, opened in June at the former site of the Hotel Quinta Avenida in the Miramar District.

Starwood plans to convert two other Cuban hotels into its property brands.

Another popular option is to stay at what is known as “Casa Particulares,” which are similar to a bed and breakfast.

Airbnb has partnered with many home owners as a way to make it easier for Americans — and other travelers — to book stays on the island.

Tourism in Cuba is still growing; a nearly 12 percent increase in the first half of 2016 when compared to the same time last year.

What About the Embargo?

That is still in effect, and don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.

Obama called on Congress to lift the embargo when he was in Cuba earlier this year, going so far as to say, “The embargo’s going to end. When, I can’t be entirely sure.”

And “when” still remains the big question.

Can I Bring Back Cigars?

Yeah, we know! You just want to go to Cuba to try those famous cigars and rum. And while in Cuba enjoy it. But what you can bring back still faces limits.

You can only return “with up to $100 worth of alcohol or tobacco or a combination of both,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

You can bring back other mementos from your trip but no more than $400, according to CBP.

Don’t Forget Your Cash

Major credit cards like Amex and MasterCard are approved for use in Cuba. But that doesn’t mean you should plan on using them. Most Cuban businesses aren’t prepared or set up to accept them.

The U.S. Embassy reminds all citizens traveling to “arrive with enough cash to last you through the end of your trip.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pentagon Calls on Turkey to Stop Fighting Kurds

Olivier Douliery/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon is calling on Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies to stop fighting America’s Syrian Kurdish allies in northern Syrian because it is taking attention away from the fight against ISIS.

The United States has called on Turkey to “stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian defense forces,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a Pentagon news conference Monday, using an alternate name for ISIS.

He said there had been various senior-level contacts in recent days with Turkey to make that point and that he would do the same in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart next week.

Last week’s Turkish offensive that captured the ISIS-held border town of Jarabulus has resulted in a chaotic situation where various Syrian and Kurdish rebel groups supported and trained by the United States have clashed in battle because of pre-existing animosities.

The Turkish force that retook Jarabulus also includes a Syrian rebel force previously trained by the Pentagon to fight ISIS. They have pushed south of Jarabulus to take on Kurdish fighters aligned with the Syrian Democratic Forces who have pushed north from the recently captured city of Manbij.

“We call on both sides to not fight with one another to continue to focus the fight on ISIL that’s the basis of our cooperation with both of them,” Carter said.

The push south of Jarabulus by Turkey and its rebel allies seems intended to prevent Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces from pushing northward and creating a Kurdish buffer zone along the border with Turkey.

In its fight against ISIS, the United States has had to walk the fine line of training, advising and assisting the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has become its strongest partner in the fight against ISIS in eastern and northern Syria, while giving strong concern to Turkish concerns about the group.

A large number of the Syrian Democratic Forces come from what is known as the YPG, an acronym for Self Protection Units in Kurdish, a group that Turkey says is aligned with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) that conducts terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

An earlier statement Monday from Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, called the fighting south of Jarabulus “unacceptable” and labeled them “a source of deep concern.”

“This is an already crowded battle space,” Cook said. “Accordingly, we are calling on all armed actors to stand down immediately and take appropriate measures to de-conflict.”

Carter said one of the things the United States is talking to Turkey about is clarifying where different elements of the SDF are in the area, particularly those belonging to the YPG.

“We do understand that they have historical differences with one another, but American interests are quite clear we, like they, want to combat ISIL,” Carter said. “We’re calling on all involved, let’s keep our priorities clear in helping them to de-conflict, so to speak on the battlefield.”

Carter called on the Turks to keep prior commitments that they would not engage the Syrian Democratic Forces and remain only north and west of Jarabulus. He called on the Syrian Kurds to keep their commitment that they would move east back across the Euphrates once the Manbij operation is fully over.

The Kurds are moving across the Euphrates, according to Carter.

“They are doing that, yes,” he said. “But that’s the understanding we have with them and we want to make sure that they continue that commitment.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day comes from a one hit wonder…and that may be because the sound of the song was nothing like the sound of the group – they wanted to be a beatlesque band but their new bassist added a Motown-like bass line to the song which gave it a funky feel and they’d take it to number one.  read more…

WIN TWO TICKETS TO THE LAS CRUCES BEER FESTIVAL

Today’s 101 #1 Song of the Day was written by a duo while they were vacationing in Brazil over New Year’s to ring in 1969. One of them said it was originally meant to be a real Hank Williams/ Jimmie Rodgers 1930’s country song – but he said their newest member gave it a different feel; threw it off the wall the other way.  The new member was Mick Taylor and he admitted adding something to the song but said it was mostly finished by the time he came along including one of its most distinctive traits – the COWBELL…the writers were Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and Honky Tonk Women is your 101 #1 Song of the Day.

 

 

Win Beer Fest tickets

The 101 number one song of the day was written specifically for the British market but actually did better in the U.S. – probably because it was about an American city although the group ended up getting a rather rude reception from the mayor of that city. read more…

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