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Unreleased Prince Music Coming Soon

NPG Records/Warner Bros. RecordsEver since Prince‘s death in April, fans have speculated about the future of the iconic singer’s fabled vault of unreleased music.  Well, it’s coming soon…some of it, anyway.

Two albums, one due next month and one due next year, will mark the first recordings released since the singer’s April 21 death. 

November 22 will bring Prince 4Ever, featuring 40, count ’em, 40 of the Purple One’s most beloved songs, from “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss,” to “1999” and “Little Red Corvette,” to “Sign o’ the Times” and “Batdance.” 

Also included: “Moonbeam Levels,” a previously-unreleased track originally recorded in 1982 during the 1999 sessions. It was later considered for inclusion another album that was never released.  A 12-page booklet of never-before-seen Herb Ritts photos of Prince round out the package.

Early next year, a remastered and deluxe version of Purple Rain will arrive, and it’s a project that Prince himself agreed to before his death.  It’ll come with a second disc of unreleased material, but details on that will be released later.

Here’s the track listing for Prince 4Ever:

1. “1999
2. “Little Red Corvette”
3. “When Doves Cry”
4. “Let’s Go Crazy”
5. “Raspberry Beret”
6. “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
7. “Soft and Wet”
8.  “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad”
9. “Uptown”
10. “When You Were Mine”
11. “Head”
12. “Gotta Stop (Messin’ About)”
13. “Controversy”
14. “Let’s Work”
15. “Delirious”
16. “I Would Die 4 U”
17. “Take Me With U”
18. “Paisley Park”
19. “Pop Life”
20. “Purple Rain”
21. “Kiss”
22. “Sign ‘O’ The Times”
23. “Alphabet Street”
24. “Batdance”
25. “Thieves In The Temple”
26. “Cream”
27. “Mountains”
28. “Girls & Boys”
29. “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
30. “U Got The Look”
31. “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man”
32. “Glam Slam”
33. “Moonbeam Levels”
34. “Diamonds and Pearls”
35. “Gett Off”
36. “Sexy MF”
37. “My Name Is Prince”
38. “7”
39. “Peach”
40. “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dee Snider Talks Twisted Sister’s Retirement as Band Prepares for Its Final Shows

Credit: Tim TronckoeTwisted Sister will play what currently is its final scheduled U.S. concert ever this Saturday at Badlands Pawn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The glam-metal legends also have one other gig on their itinerary, a November 12 performance at the Corona Northside Metal Meeting Fest in Monterey, Mexico, although frontman Dee Snider says “another show or two might pop up” before the end of the 2016.

Snider insists, however, that his group absolutely will be calling it quits after December 31.

“It’s not Ozzy [Osbourne‘s] No More Tours, people. This isn’t KISS, the 15-year farewell tour, or Scorpions, three-year farewell and we changed our mind,” Snider tells ABC Radio. “No, this is actually the end of Twisted Sister as you know it…[I] love the guys, love the band, proud of my legacy, but I am moving forward. I am moving on.”

To that end, Snider will be releasing a new solo album titled We Are the Ones on Friday, October 28. The singer will start promoting the project, which sees him exploring more alternative-rock sounds, in between his final commitments to Twisted Sister.

Snider also explains that he thinks this is a good time for Twisted Sister to retire, because the band is still pretty much at the top of its game.

“I’ve worked really hard, people, to hold it together. And I’m capable of thrashing and headbanging and doing all the crazy stuff I’ve always done,” the 61-year-old rocker maintains, “but I’m smart enough to know that nobody beats gravity. And I don’t want an audience to be watching when I have that Mike Tyson-crawling-around-on-all-fours-looking-for-his-mouthpiece moment…I want to leave an audience smiling and with a great memory, not a sad one.”

Visit to keep track of the latest news about the band’s farewell shows.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carlos Santana on Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protests: “I Love It”

Paras Griffin/Getty ImagesSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received a mix of criticism and praise for his controversial decision to kneel during the national anthem at his team’s games this season in protest of the recent spate of police shootings of black people. Now, another Bay Area celebrity, rock legend Carlos Santana, has revealed that he gives Kaepernick his full support.

“I love it,” the guitar great tells Billboard. “I think he stepped up. I salute my brother because it takes a lot of balls to go against people who will say, ‘Oh, you’re not patriotic’ and all that.'”

Santana continues, “You can’t salute a flag that is blind to so many black and brown people being killed without a trial. The beautiful thing about living in America is you have to question authority if it’s not enlightened by God.”

The 69-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer adds, “[T]here’s no equality, fairness and justice until every police [officer] that shoots another person today or tomorrow is accountable…Something needs to change…So for [Kaepernick] to put one knee down and other people are copying him, I think it’s wonderful.”

Santana also draws a connection between Kaepernick’s protest and the peaceful message that he and many of his favorite music artists have included in their work.

“I think musicians and artists should be the spokesmen, with wisdom and gentleness and clarity, about how we can all achieve the highest good for everyone,” he tells Billboard. “What I want is the same thing that John Lennon and Bob Marley wanted — beauty, grace, equality, fairness and justice…So if we can help accelerate and bring it, then it’s our duty to speak out against injustice and against inequality and unfairness.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


“Doctor Strange” Premieres in Hollywood

Marvel – 2016(LOS ANGELES) — The premiere of the latest Marvel movie, Doctor Strange, took over Hollywood Boulevard Thursday night. Based on the comic book character that debuted in 1963, Dr. Strange is a surgeon who falls from grace who later becomes a sorcerer and master of the mystic arts.

The movie version of the comic book stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular hero, along with Tilda Swinton,Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Benjamin Bratt.

Director Scott Derrickson told ABC Radio he’s loved all the Marvel movies so far, but he’s glad he got to helmDoctor Strange, which is a much different entry into the Marvel Universe than say Captain America or Iron Man.

“I was ready for it to switch up, I was ready for some left turns,” the director said. “Guardians of the Galaxy was a hard left turn. Ant-Man was even a bit of a left turn. Like, I was satisfied that they were doing some things that were slightly unexpected. But as a fan I thought we need a hard left turn. We need some weirdness in here, you know? And Doctor Strange is the perfect comic for that.”

Tilda Swinton said making the trippy flick was like nothing she’s ever experienced.

“This really is insane,” she said. “They’ll sort of say, ‘Okay, look up there at that tiny piece of sticky tape. That is a planet, and when you move this piece of, kind of, plywood, it’s gonna move.’ So you say, ‘Okay!’ like a six-year-old.”

Benedict Wong was a huge comic book fan as a kid but didn’t know Doctor Strange.

“No I didn’t. I mean, I was always a Spider-Man comic fan as a teenager… It’s just amazing just to be a part of this.”

Doctor Strange opens nationwide November 3.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Jack Reacher” and “Ouija” Sequels; “A Madea Halloween” Among Weekend’s New Films

L-R: Tom Cruise, Judd Lormand and Jason Douglas; Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back — Tom Cruise reprises the titular role from the 2012 original. In this sequel, Jack tries to prove the innocence of the Army major who leads his old investigative unit and is accused of treason. Cobie Smulders also stars in the movie, which is based on the Lee Child book of the same name. Rated PG-13.

Ouija: Origin of Evil — In 1965 Los Angeles, a young girl is possessed by a spirit, and her family tries to save her from it. This is a sequel to the 2014 horror hit based on the spirit board. Rated PG-13.

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween — Tyler Perry brings Madea back to the big screen. This time, the hilarious elderly woman is haunted by ghosts and more during Halloween time. Rated PG-13.

Keeping Up with the Joneses —  A suburban couple welcome new neighbors — the Joneses — who turn out to be covert operatives. Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot star. Rated PG-13.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Review: “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (PG-13)

Cobie Smulders and Tom Cruise; Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) — In this story, former military police commander Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) gets embroiled in an unimaginative and predictable caper with trite dialogue when Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), the woman who took over his job, is arrested for espionage.

You see, Reacher has a crush on Turner and returns to Washington, D.C. to take her on a date. When he shows up at her office and finds out she’s been arrested and replaced, it’s time for Reacher to take action.

Further complicating matters: it seems Reacher may or may not have a daughter named Samantha (Danika Yarosh). We’re then treated to a cat-and-mouse game between Reacher and The Hunter (Patrick Heusinger), a former military specialist-turned-assassin and handsome cliché.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back isn’t just a title.  It’s a command to moviegoers, as in never go back to the theater to see another Jack Reacher movie.

I’m a fan of Tom Cruise. I liked the first Jack Reacher movie. But this one has to be, in my opinion, one of Tom Cruise’s worst movies, though I’m not sure Tom Cruise fans that aren’t movie critics are going to care. There are actually better and more original action sequences in a comedy coming out this weekend titled Keeping Up with the Joneses. But like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, that’s not a good movie either.

One-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Police Arrest Two in San Francisco High School Shooting

KGO-TV(SAN FRANCISCO) — Two people have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s shooting incident outside a pair of San Francisco high schools which left four students injured, police said Thursday evening.

“#SFPD has made two arrests in connection to the #JuneJordan High School shooting incident. This is an active & ongoing investigation,” the San Francisco Police Department tweeted.

The shooting incident occurred Tuesday around 3:15 p.m., when four teenage students were shot in the shared parking lot of two San Francisco high schools, the June Jordan School for Equity and City Arts and Technology High School.

The shooting left one of the injured, a female student, in critical condition. Police said she may have been targeted, adding that the incident was “not a random shooting.”

Police did not release any further details about the arrests, but according to ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco, one of the suspects was arrested Thursday in Fairfield, a city located about 50 miles northeast from where the shooting happened. The second suspect was arrested Tuesday night, according to KGO-TV.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Video of DC Metro Police Arrest Stirs Controversy

ABC News(WASHINGTON) —  Metro Transit Police in Washington, D.C., are under fire after a video surfaced on social media of an officer tripping a detained woman when she refused orders to sit down at the Columbia Heights station.

According to Metro Transit police, the confrontation began when an officer with the Metro Transit Police Department asked a woman on the paid side of the fare gates to put her bag of potato chips away. According to the Metro, riders cannot “eat, drink, smoke or litter on Metro vehicles or in stations. Metro Transit Police issue citations or make arrests to enforce the law.”

 The woman, according to the police report, refused to put away her food.

An officer then tells the woman, who is not named, that if she does not put her food away, she would need to leave the station, according to the police. She responded, “No, I’m not going anywhere!”

A video of the encounter, shot by a bystander and posted on YouTube on Oct. 18 by an “April Goggans,” contains a description that says the woman was walking with a bag of chips and a lollipop. The video shows a small crowd gathering around a handcuffed woman and a few officers. An officer is seen tripping the woman after she refuses two orders to sit down.

The woman then attempts to stand up. The officer, who had tripped her moments before, puts his hand on the woman’s shoulder, pushing her back to the ground.

Moments later, the video shows a police officer going through a backpack next to the woman, who is seated and handcuffed. The woman is heard asking why the officer is going through her belongings. The police report obtained by ABC News does not mention the officer’s search.

A second video shows the woman, who police say is 18 years old, appearing to resist at times while the police escort her out of the Metro station.

 When the officers arrive at the police vehicle, the woman is seen on video struggling with officers. One officer repeatedly orders the woman to “get off my hand” and “let me do my job.” The arrested woman continues to scream and curse at the officers, complaining that her face had been “slapped against the (expletive) car.”

The woman was arrested for unlawful entry and was not injured from the arrest, according to police. Prosecutors have decided not to charge the woman, according to a statement today from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“Prohibitions on eating, drinking, smoking, playing music without headphones, etc. have been in place since Metro opened in 1976 and are criminal statutes in each of the jurisdictions. In other words, these are not Metro rules or policies, they are ordinances,” the statement read. “Metro does not receive any revenue as a result of fines; that goes to the jurisdictions. It is correct that the prohibition on eating reduces rodents, pests, unsanitary conditions and unpleasant smells.”

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority spokesperson Dan Stessel said MTPD command staff “are reviewing the handling of this arrest, which is standard when there is a public question about use of force.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman Killed by NYPD Had Written About ‘Problems’ on How Police Deal With the Mentally Ill

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) —   The 66-year-old woman with schizophrenia who was killed by an NYPD sergeant Tuesday had written a poignant essay in 2012 about living with mental illness in which she expressed that police are ill-equipped to deal with the mentally ill.

In the six-page essay titled “Living With Schizophrenia,” Deborah Danner wrote about a 1984 police encounter eerily similar to the way in which she eventually died. A Bronx woman named Eleanor Bumpurs, whom Danner mistakenly characterized as “Gompers,” was fatally shot after she waved a knife at officers who were evicting her from her apartment, according to The Associated Press. The officer who fired the fatal shot was acquitted of all charges and the city paid her family.

Police shot Bumpurs because she was “a threat to the safety of several grown men who are also police officers,” Danner wrote. “They used deadly force to subdue her because they were not trained sufficiently [on] how to engage the mentally ill in crisis.”

Like Danner, Bumpurs was a black woman in her 60s with a history of mental illness, The New York Times reported. Danner said Bumpurs’ case was “not an isolated incident.” ABC News reached out to the NYPD for comment on Danners’ claim the police officers involved with Bumpurs were insufficiently trained to deal with the mentally ill in crisis, but the NYPD did not respond.

A uniformed NYPD sergeant shot Danner twice Tuesday as she attempted to strike him with a baseball bat, police said. Danner first brandished a pair of scissors at him, but the officer, Sgt. Hugh Barry, was able to convince her to put them down, police said.

On July 7, shortly after the police-involved shooting deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Danner expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter and accused police of targeting people based on the color of their skin.

Police have a “very difficult job to do” when they intervene in situations involving a mentally ill person, said Michael B. Friedman, a professor of mental health policy at Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

While Friedman said it’s necessary to continue to improve training for all police officers on how to deal with an emotionally disturbed or psychotic person, he added that it may be better to have crisis teams specifically trained to effectively deal with the mentally ill.

“There is no question that people with serious mental illnesses sometimes suffer in our society in ways that they shouldn’t suffer,” Friedman said. “Sometimes they have encounters with people from law enforcement that are not well done.”

 Most medium- to large-sized police departments have some sort of mental health training for their officers, said Dr. Laurence Miller, a clinical and forensic psychologist in South Florida. But, while the training is “good in the abstract,” it may not prevent a tragedy from happening when dealing with a mentally ill person.

“Mental illness can make the situation more dangerous,” Miller said, adding an emotionally disturbed person can be unpredictable or unstable, and may not obey typical commands.

Miller said ordinary household items such as a knife, club, brick, lamp or potted plant could become a deadly weapon in the hands of a mentally ill person, and Friedman cautioned the public from rushing to judgment on whether the police officer in question was justified in his use of force before the investigation is complete.

In a press conference Wednesday, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the NYPD “failed” Danner when they responded to a neighbor’s 911 call for a “person in crisis.”

“That’s not how it’s supposed to go,” O’Neill said. “It’s not how we train. Our first obligation is to preserve life — not to take a life when it can be avoided.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio corroborated O’Neill’s statement, saying that Barry did not follow his police training.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association said: “Being forced to shoot a civilian under any circumstances is traumatic for police officers, but to be immediately vilified based on innuendo and the social and political climate only compounds the tragedy.”

Barry has been put on administrative leave while the NYPD conducts an internal investigation into why he used deadly force rather than deploying a Taser.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Charlie Sheen Offers to Throw First Pitch at World Series

Diamond Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Will Wild Thing take the mound in the World Series?

Charlie Sheen played Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, a glasses-wearing, hard-throwing pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, in the beloved 1989 movie Major League.

Since the real-life Indians advanced to the World Series on Wednesday, fans have been pushing on social media for Sheen to throw out the first pitch before one of the games in the Fall Classic.

Sheen is certainly game. On Thursday he posted a photo of himself as Vaughn, and wrote, “Major League continues to be the gift that keeps on giving! if called upon, I’d be honored.”

It remains to be seen whether the Indians will hand the ball to Sheen during the World Series. The American League team will take on the winner of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Tuesday.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York Giants’ Josh Brown Admitted in Journal Entries That He Abused His Wife

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The NFL said it is reopening its investigation into New York Giants kicker Josh Brown after documents were released Wednesday in which the player admitted to abusing his former wife, Molly Brown.

In March 2013, Josh Brown signed a “Contract for Change” from a counseling and consulting firm in Oregon, saying he would try to set things right with his wife. In the contract, he wrote, “I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife Molly.” The contract also stated that he “controlled” her by “making her feel less human than me.”

As part of the contract, Josh Brown agreed to “journal” at least four times a week. The documents released include Josh Brown’s handwritten journal entries, which feature a list of reasons why he resents his wife, to-do lists and an admission that he “may need an anger counselor.”

In a letter to loved ones, Josh Brown wrote that he had been “a liar” for most of his life and began to abuse women at the age of 7. He also wrote that he abused his wife due to underlying issues he never addressed.

“I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave,” Josh Brown wrote. “I carried an overwhelming sense of entitlement because I put money higher than God and I used it as a power tool.”

Josh Brown was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault in May 2015 after an incident with his wife, according to a police report from the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State. It appears Brown is no longer facing charges.

The Giants knew about the arrest but still signed him to a 2-year, $4 million contract.

In a victim’s statement provided to authorities, Molly Brown said he became “super angry” because he claimed she had disrespected him and “he’s the man of the house.” She then said that she was afraid that Brown would hurt her 16-year-old son and that she called 911.

Molly Brown told police that she estimated that Josh Brown had gotten physical with her more than 10 times since they had gotten married. The victim’s statement details several instances in which Josh Brown allegedly lost his temper with her, including an incident in which he allegedly called police to tell them that she was trying to kill herself after she had spilled coffee on herself during an argument.

The documents also include photos showing a large bruise on Molly Brown’s upper leg. The King County Sheriff’s Office and King County prosecutors initially decided to postpone the filing of charges pending further investigation, ESPN reported. As of now, no charges have been filed.

Josh Brown will not be traveling with the Giants to London for their game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the team announced Thursday afternoon, acknowledging that Josh Brown is “working” on “issues in his life” through therapy and counseling, and that the team remains supportive of his efforts.

“In light of the news reports regarding the documents released by the State of Washington yesterday, we think it makes sense to review this newly disclosed information and to revisit this issue following our trip to London,” the team said. “The Giants do not condone any form of domestic violence.”espn

Giants quarterback Eli Manning briefly commented on the situation during a press conference in London on Friday.

“I don’t know what went on behind the scenes. All I can do is support my teammates and the organization,” Manning told reporters.

The NFL had already conducted its own investigation earlier this year and suspended Josh Brown for one game for violation of the league’s conduct policy, ESPN reported.

In a statement, the NFL said it “made repeated attempts” to obtain “any and all evidence and relevant information” regarding Josh Brown’s case from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Each of those requests was denied, according to the NFL. ABC News reached out to the King County Sheriff’s Office to confirm this but did not immediately hear back.

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Chicago Cubs Head Home, One Win from World Series

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(LOS ANGLES) — The Chicago Cubs are one step closer to the World Series. After beating the Dodgers 8-4 in game 5 of the National League Championship Series Thursday night, the Cubs now lead the series 3-2.

The Cubs and Dodgers play game 6 of the NLCS Saturday night at Wrigley Field. If the Cubs win Saturday, they’ll face the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

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ISIS Strikes Iraqi City of Kirkuk in Daring Pre-Dawn Assault

iStock/Thinkstock(KIRKUK, Iraq) — ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen attacked several key targets in and around the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Friday, in a daring pre-dawn assault that is testing the Iraqi security forces’ ability to respond on multiple fronts as the government concentrates its efforts on seizing the city of Mosul.

The ISIS militants struck three police stations, the headquarters of a Kurdish political party, and a power plant. Security forces continued to battle the attackers late into the morning.

Kirkuk sits about 100 miles southeast of Mosul, were 28,000 Iraqi troops are battling to take control of the city more that two years after it was overrun by ISIS.

ISIS said it was behind the attack in Kirkuk, claiming its fighters had broken into the headquarters of the PUK, a Kurdish political party, and taken control of a hotel. A curfew has been imposed in Kirkuk “until further notice,” Iraqi media said. A local TV channel showed footage of black smoke rising over the Kirkuk, with automatic gunfire audible.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Security Forces continued to press closer to Mosul on Friday, taking control of the village of Nanaah, south of the city.

ISIS fighters were reported to have set fire to a chemical plant south of Mosul as they were retreating on Thursday. Sources say they started the fire at the sulfur plant in al-Mishraq deliberately when they were being pushed out of the area by the Iraqi security services during the ongoing offensive.

On Thursday, a U.S. service member was killed when the armored vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an IED and rolled over. He was traveling with Iraqi special forces northeast of Mosul. He was sent to Erbil for treatment and died of his injuries. The service member’s name and branch of service has not yet been released as family is being notified.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Duterte: Philippines Separating From ‘Discourteous’ US, Turning to China

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  After weeks of controversial comments about President Obama, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that his country would separate itself from the United States and turn toward China and possibly Russia instead, sparking puzzlement from U.S. officials.

Duterte criticized the U.S.’s economy, military and general “discourteous” behavior in a meeting Thursday.

“Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also, America has lost,” he said to the crowd of over 200, later adding, “There are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.”

“I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there. So time to say goodbye my friend,” he declared.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. was “baffled” by Duterte’s declaration: “It’s not clear what [the separation] means in all its ramifications.”

He later backtracked, explaining, “I wasn’t trying to say we were surprised by these comments.”

Kirby said Daniel Russel, a U.S. diplomat for East Asian and Pacific affairs, will move ahead with long-scheduled plans to travel to Manila this weekend and meet with government officials.

The State Department isn’t panicking yet, Kirby said, adding that the alliance between the U.S. and the Philippines is “some 70 years old [and] has weathered all kinds of storms.”

“We remain rock solid in our commitment in the mutual defense treaty that we have with the Philippines,” he said.

The White House has taken a similar stance. “We have not received any official requests from Filipino officials to alter any of our many issues where we bilaterally cooperate,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Thursday.

Duterte has been a subject of criticism in recent weeks for calling President Obama “son of a b—-” and telling him to “go to hell.” Most recently, he’s the subject of criticisms about possible human rights violations in his war on drugs via extrajudicial killings of Filipino drug addicts and dealers. Last week, the International Crime Court in The Hague announced that it would be closely monitoring the Philippines and that it was considering launching a full investigation.

What Does This Mean for U.S. Foreign Policy?

A prominent marker of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy has been the “Asia Pivot” – a shift from a focus on Middle Eastern and European foreign policy to one on East Asian and Southeast Asian policy. The Philippines, particularly Manila, has been key in this strategy.

In the struggle over the South China Sea, Manila’s proximity has made it an ideal hub for U.S. military operations. The U.S. has constantly used it for this reason in times of conflict, as in the Vietnam War, and in 2013 when it asked to base drone operations there in air strikes against Syria (and was denied).

“No other country in the region is willing to allow the basing rights the administration spent years negotiating,” according to Steve Ganyard, a former deputy assistant secretary of state and ABC News consultant.

Ganyard also highlights the critical implications the move could have for the next presidential administration.

“Clinton will likely use the Philippines as an impetus to quickly set out her own differentiated Asia-Pacific policy early in her term,” he said. “It will be much tougher than Obama’s and include confronting China’s aggressive and illegal regional behavior.”

For China, a New Brotherhood

China and the Philippines seem firmly pleased with the decision.

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed the Philippine leader today with a marching band and an elaborate ceremony, calling Duterte his “brother.”

In the business forum that was the focus of Duterte’s visit, China agreed to loan $9 billion to the Philippines, and 13 pacts were signed between the two nations, marking partnerships on maritime cooperation, financing, transport, drug-busting and more. Jinping has previously said that he admires Duterte’s drug-fighting tactics.

In contrast, Jinping’s meetings with Obama are markedly less cordial. Obama was denied his usual red carpet arrival when Air Force One touched down in Beijing for the G20 Summit last month after Chinese and U.S. officials argued over which stairs the president would descend from. Obama ended up having to use a smaller door in the belly of Air Force One, while most other leaders arriving for the G20 Summit did not share the experience.

While there, White House press corps members were roped off and blocked from recording Obama’s arrival. The U.S. called the affair an accident and denied notions that it was a “snub,” while the Chinese media declared that U.S. media had dramatized the interaction.

Despite subtle terseness and tension between the U.S. and China, U.S. officials “welcome a closer relationship between the Philippines and China,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

American Dies in Northern Iraq in Offensive Against ISIS

cnrn/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — An American service member died Thursday from wounds sustained in an IED explosion in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said. Further information was not immediately available.

Thursday marked the fourth day of the operation to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State group’s control. About 18,000 Iraqi forces, 10,000 Kurdish forces known as peshmerga and a few thousand Iraqi federal police launched the massive military offensive on Monday. Roughly 100 American advisers are also involved in the mission, which is divided into two fronts — one west of the Great Zab River and the other just north of Qayyarah.

Only a “small number” of the nearly 5,000 American troops stationed in Iraq could find themselves in what a Pentagon spokesman called “a combat environment” while they advise the Iraqi and Kurdish forces involved in the operation.

“Early indications are that Iraqi forces have met their objectives so far and that they are ahead of schedule for this first day,” said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook at a briefing Monday. “This is going according to the Iraqi plan, but again, it’s early and the enemy gets a vote here. We will see whether ISIL stands and fights.”

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the operation is advancing “more quickly” than expected, as an Iraqi-led coalition of forces captured several more villages around Mosul today.

According to Kurdish peshmerga commanders, their forces have so far taken the towns of Barima, North Smaqa, South Smaqa, Fazilya, Nawaran, Imam Razil and the village of Dere. The troops are working to clear booby traps and IEDs from all the settlements under ISIS rule.

The peshmerga commanders told ABC News that Thursday morning’s operation aimed to clear more of the outlying villages around Mosul and to tighten the noose around the Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

Meanwhile, to the south of Mosul, the Iraqi army is carefully pushing forward today while encountering booby-trapped explosives and fierce resistance from ISIS militants in some villages on the outskirts.

Iraqi special forces joined the fight for Mosul this morning. Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saadi said the elite troops, also known as counterterrorism forces, advanced on the town of Bartella with the aid of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and heavy artillery. The special forces are expected to carefully lead the way into Mosul.

“God willing, we will take this town today,” he said of Bartella, which ISIS seized in 2014.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Win 2 La Vina tickets

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Win 2 La Vina tickets

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Win 2 La Vina tickets

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