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Richie Sambora releases new EP, holiday single with Orianthi; is up for Rock Hall reunion with Bon Jovi

BMGJust days after getting the news that he’ll be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this April with his old band Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora has released a new duets EP called Making History with his musical and romantic partner Orianthi. The five-song recording is the second collaborative EP that Sambora and Orianthi have issued together under the RSO moniker, following Rise in September.

One of the new tracks, the twangy, upbeat “Walk with Me,” has gotten its exclusive premiere at Forbes.com.

Meanwhile, Sambora and Orianthi also released a holiday single today called “One Night of Peace.” The tune, which features backing vocals by the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts Choir, debuted today on Variety.com. Richie wrote the song many years ago after an emotional phone conversation with a friend who was being deployed during the United States’ first invasion of Iraq and who asked the rocker to take care of his family should he not return from the conflict.

The Making History EP and “One Night of Peace” are available digitally at iTunes and Amazon, and via select streaming services.

Meanwhile, Sambora says he plans to rejoin his old Bon Jovi bandmates at the 2018 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony on April 14 in Cleveland.

Richie tells Billboard that he expects the event to be “a joyous occasion,” noting, “I was there for 31 years and we sold 150 million records or something and we put a lot of asses in seats in stadiums around the world and made a lot of people happy…so, yeah, I’m showing up for that.”

He adds, “Everybody should have a smile on their face and a smile in their hearts and it should be a celebration of what we did.”

Here’s the Making History EP’s track list:

“Making History”
“We Are Magic”
“Walk with Me”
“Together on the Outside”
“I Don’t Want to Have to Need You Now”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jackson Browne releases new single, “The Dreamer,” recorded with Mexican-American musicians

Credit: Brandise DaneswichJackson Browne has teamed up with the Mexican-American roots band Los Cenzontles and Los Lobos singer/guitarist David Hidalgo to record a new song titled “The Dreamer” that was released as a single today. The tune, which is sung partly in Spanish, tells the story of a Mexican girl who comes to the U.S. to reunite with her father with hopes of finding a better life, but is in danger of being deported.

The track is available for purchase now as a digital download at iTunes and Amazon. Browne co-wrote “The Dreamer” with Los Cenzontles member Eugene Rodriguez.

The song was inspired by the plight of Dreamers, illegal immigrants who were protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), legislation created in 2012 by President Barack Obama that President Donald Trump has vowed to bring an end to in 2018.

You can watch an official video for “The Dreamer” now at Browne’s YouTube channel and at iTunes. The clip was directed by by Mark Kohr, whose credits include videos by Green Day, No Doubt, Primus and Shakira.

In other news, Browne recently announced dates for a spring U.S. tour that will feature him backed by a full band. The trek kicks off April 6 in Honolulu and is mapped out through a May 20 show in Westbury, New York. The acclaimed singer/songwriter also has scheduled a February 9 benefit concert in San Pedro, California, for the nonprofit Grand Vision Foundation and its youth music-education program, Meet the Music. Browne’s 2018 itinerary also includes a previously announced series of acoustic gigs in Georgia and Florida in January, and a March-April tour of Australia.

Here are all of Browne’s upcoming U.S. concerts:

12/17 — San Pedro, CA, Grand Annex
1/6/18 — Augusta, GA, William G. Bell Auditorium
1/7 — Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre
1/17 — Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live
1/18 — Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
1/20 — Melbourne, FL, King Center for the Performing Arts
1/23 — Orlando, FL, Walt Disney Theater – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
1/24 — Sarasota, FL, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
2/9 — San Pedro, CA, Warner Grand Theatre
4/6 — Honolulu, HI, Waikiki Shell
4/8 — Kahului, HI, Castle Theater
5/2 — Richmond, VA, Altria Theater
5/3 — Baltimore, MD, Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric
5/5 — Salamanca, NY, Seneca Allegany Casino
5/6 — Syracuse, NY, Landmark Theatre
5/9 — Providence, RI, Providence Performing Arts Center
5/10 — Wallingford, CT, Oakdale Theatre
5/12 — Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata Event Center
5/13 — Bethlehem, PA, Bethlehem Event Center
5/15 — Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
5/17 — New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
5/18 — New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
5/20 — Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alice Cooper releases video for ominous song “The Sound of A”; limited-edition single due in February

Credit: Robb FennAn official video for the Alice Cooper song “The Sound of A,” which closes out the shock rocker’s 2017 album Paranormal, has just premiered on the earMusic label’s YouTube channel.

The clip features close-up footage Cooper and various men, women and children sporting variations of his creepy black facial and eye makeup, lip-synching to the ominous-sounding tune.

A limited-edition single featuring “The Sound of A,” along with four previously unreleased live performances recorded at a May 2016 concert in Columbus, Ohio, will be issued on February 23 on CD and as a 10-inch white-vinyl disc. Alice will celebrate his 70th birthday February 4.

“The Sound of A” dates back to 1967, and was the first song Cooper ever wrote entirely by himself. Original Alice Cooper band bassist Dennis Dunaway brought an old tape of the tune to the sessions for Paranormal, and he and Alice reworked it and decided to include it on the album.

Here’s the track list of “The Sound of A” vinyl single:

Side A
“The Sound of A”
“The Black Widow”*

Side B
“Public Animal #9″*
“Is It My Body”*
“Cold Ethyl”*

* = previously unreleased live song recorded on May 6, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Spin Master’s BB-8 is the droid you’re looking for

Disney(LOS ANGELES) — If you can’t get enough of BB-8 — the rolling droid that first captured geeks’ hearts in The Force Awakens and returns in The Last Jedi — you’re in luck. 

The company Spin Master has created a nearly full-sized BB-8, which looks and acts as if it rolled right out of that galaxy far, far away. 

Even for the special effects wizards at Lucasfilm, getting the droid to roll and “act” on his own was once impossible. On The Force Awakens, it took a combination of puppeteering and other tricks to get him to move onscreen.  But after that movie was done, the special effects team managed to make a functioning BB that could roll around without wires or puppeteers.

The new and improved droid made a surprise debut at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2015: fans there, who assumed BB was a computer-generated character, flipped when a “practical” BB rolled out onstage.  Now, Spin Master has taken all that capability — and more — and crammed it into their nearly 1:1 scale Hero Droid BB-8.

Not only can the toy be driven with remote control, but it interacts with its surroundings, complete with the droid’s sounds and mannerisms from the movies.  There are even voice controls and a Follow Me mode, meaning the little droid can dutifully roll behind you on all your adventures, just like the one from the movies.

The Hero Droid BB-8 is now in stores, just in time for the holidays.

Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Director Rian Johnson says Carrie Fisher is “incredible” in “The Last Jedi”

Disney(LOS ANGELES) — The holidays are here for Star Wars fans: The Last Jedi, the latest film in the epic series, is in theaters now.

All eyes will be on the late Carrie Fisher in her final Star Wars performance as Princess-turned-General Leia. Fisher died last December shortly after completing work on the film.

“Oh, she’s incredible in the movie, man, she’s so good,” writer/director Rian Johnson says. “Her performance is so emotional, and there are some moments in it, obviously we didn’t know it was a farewell performance when we were filming it, but I think there are some moments that are going to mean a lot to fans.”

Actor Domhnall Gleeson tells ABC Radio that although Fisher is gone, she’s not forgotten.

“She was a wonderful – ah, was man, that’s sad. She was a wonderful woman,” he says. “And her work lives on and her spirit lives on with her daughter, and the good she did in the world. It’s amazing.”

While fans will have their eyes on Fisher, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger will have his eyes on something else also.

“I will be watching the box office constantly,” Iger tells ABC Radio. “Not nervously, ’cause I’m pretty convinced that it’s going to do extremely well…but I will be watching, it’s just that important to the company.”

You can understand why: Disney acquired the Star Wars creator George Lucas’ Lucasfilm company in 2012 for $4.05 billion and released The Force Awakens in 2015. That year, Variety reported The Force Awakens was the highest-grossing film in the history of Walt Disney Studios, domestically. The movie reportedly grossed $936.7 million in North America, and more than $2 billion total worldwide — and that doesn’t include the merchandising of everything from jewelry to toys to clothing, which raked in hundreds of billions since the Lucas deal was signed. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“None of us came here perfect”: Matt Damon urges caution in the wake of high-profile sex accusations

ABC Image Group LA(NEW YORK) — The last time Matt Damon spoke about Harvey Weinstein, he was criticized online for first claiming to be unaware of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, and then seemingly contradicting himself.

Well, Damon may once again face criticism over a new chat with ABC News’ Popcorn with Peter Travers.

In the interview with Travers, Damon celebrates the “wonderful,” “watershed moment” of women coming forward to confront their alleged abusers, but he’s urging caution. 

“[Y]ou know, there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Damon said. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

The actor added, “We’re so energized to kind of get retribution, I think. And we live in this culture of outrage and injury, and we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’ Like, what’s the point of us being here if not to improve, you know?”

As an example, Damon cited Louis C.K., who confirmed accusations he’d pleasured himself in front of various women.

“I don’t know all the details,” Damon admitted, “but I did see his statement…he said, ‘I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.’ And I just remember thinking, ‘Well…we can work with that,'” you know what I mean?”

In October, Damon told Good Morning America that he knew Weinstein was a bully, but claimed not to know of the serious assault accusations against the producer.  However, during the same interview, he said he’d heard years ago that Weinstein allegedly repeatedly tried to pressure Gwyneth Paltrow into sex.

“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck], because he was with her…” Damon said. 

Though a rep, Weinstein denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ICE detention facilities had insufficient protection of detainee basic rights, says IG report

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Multiple Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities were found to have problems with basic detainee rights, humane treatment and health and safety, according to a report released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security.

The violations varied from facility to facility, but included underutilized language services, lack of respect and professionalism, potentially unsafe and unhealthy detention conditions and, at one facility, all detainees were strip-searched when they entered.

“Overall, the problems we identified undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment,” reads the report.

The watchdog made unannounced visits to six faculties used to house ICE detainees and based its findings on observations, interviews with detainees and staff, and a review of documents.

The inspector general found “significant issues” at four of the five facilities, which raised concerns about the treatment and care of ICE detainees. Only the Laredo Processing Center “modeled quality operations,” during inspections.

One of the facilities was reviewed earlier this year in a “management alert,” which is used to inform senior DHS leadership when the IG believes there is an “immediate and serious” threat of waste, fraud and abuse.

After that report was issued in March, the sheriff’s office that runs the facility, said that all of the concerns alleged by the inspector general “have been addressed.”

This new report focuses on five additional facilities.

At one detention center, staff misclassified some detainees with high-risk criminal convictions and housed them with low-risk detainees. At others, language assistance was not always provided to detainees, even though it’s required. And detainees at some facilities reported long waits for medical care, including instances of detainees with painful conditions, such as infected teeth and a knee injury, waiting days for medical intervention, reported the IG.

According to ICE, the agency ensures that detention facilities comply with detention standards through an aggressive inspections program.

For example, the custody management division schedules and oversees formal facility inspections, the majority of which are conducted by a third-party contractor.

Facilities that receive a less than acceptable rating must be scheduled for a follow-up inspection within six months, according to ICE.

If a facility receives two consecutive final ratings of less than acceptable, ICE must discontinue use of the facility.

“Based on multi-layered, rigorous inspections and oversight programs, ICE is confident in conditions and high standards of care at its detention facilities. To ensure the safety and well-being of those in our custody, we work regularly with contracted consultants and a variety of external stakeholders to review and improve detention conditions at ICE facilities. As such, ICE concurs with the IG’s recommendation to further enhance compliance monitoring as part of our already robust inspections program,” said a spokesperson for ICE in a statement.

This report comes at a time when apprehensions at the southwest border are at all-time lows, but immigration arrests by ICE throughout the U.S. are up 30 percent over last year – a three-year high.

Immigration enforcement has been a top priority for the Trump administration and its been largely carried out by the agents and immigration officers at ICE.

ICE detainees are held in civil, not criminal, custody, which is not supposed to be punitive.

Based on hotline tips, open-source reporting and professional judgment, the inspectors made unannounced visits to: Hudson County Jail, Laredo Processing Center, Otero County Processing Center, Santa Ana City Jail, Stewart Detention Center, and Theo Lacy Facility.

These locations are state and local facilities operating under an agreement with ICE to hold only ICE detainees. Some of the facilities also house non-ICE inmates.

At the Santa Ana City Jail, staff confirmed detainee reports of personnel strip searching all detainees upon admission, which they did not document in detainee files as required, according to the inspector general.

ICE discontinued its contract with the Santa Ana City Jail in early 2017 and will no longer house detainees in this facility, according to the report.

The Santa Ana City Jail did not respond to a phone call requesting comment on the report.

CoreCivic, a private company which manages two of the centers that were inspected, provides its detainees with access to services such as medical vaccinations, legal assistance and even educational opportunities, according to a spokesperson for the company.

“We were pleased that the OIG found no issues with our Laredo Processing Center, which the report said ‘modeled quality operations.’ We believe the issues identified at Stewart Detention Center can be quickly and effectively remedied,” CoreCivic spokesman Jonathan Burns said in a statement to ABC News.

ICE concurred with all of the inspector general recommendations and has begun corrective action to address the findings, according to the report.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Family of 13-year-old bullied girl to file wrongful death lawsuit against school

Courtesy Brian Claypool(CALIMESA, Calif.) — The family of a 13-year-old California girl who committed suicide plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district, accusing the girl’s middle school of failing to stop the bullying that the family says led to her death.

On Nov. 28, Rosalie Avila hanged herself in her bedroom “following months of relentless verbal abuse and bullying from classmates,” a press release from the family’s attorney, Brian Claypool, states.

Avila attended Mesa View Middle School in Calimesa in Southern California, ABC Los Angeles stationKABC reported. There, classmates would taunt her and call her names, including “whore” and “slut,” Claypool said. Avila’s peers would also call her ugly, tell her she had ugly teeth and sexually transmitted diseases, Claypool alleges.

In addition to the verbal abuse, classmates doctored a video “portraying what an ugly girl looked like and what a pretty girl looked like,” using Avila’s photo to represent the ugly girl, Claypool said in the press release, claiming that the video went viral.

“In her suicide note, Rosalie apologized to her parents for being ugly,” the press release states.

Earlier this month, Avila’s mother, Charlene Avila, told KABC that her daughter kept a list in her journal of people who hurt her, called her ugly or put her down.

Avila’s father, Fred Avila, told KABC that she would come home and complain that kids were “calling her names about her teeth.” When he would remind her that her braces would come off one day, she responded, “Yeah, but my teeth are straight and they’re still making fun of me,” Fred Avila said.

In October, Avila began cutting herself, Claypool said. The family’s attorney claims the school did not intervene despite allegedly knowing of the struggles Avila was facing.

“The school was not only aware of the bullying, but also of Rosalie cutting herself and did nothing,” according to the press release.

Claypool will announce the filing of the lawsuit on behalf of Avila’s parents during a press conference Monday. He alleges that the school was negligent in its “failure to take appropriate measures to safeguard Rosalie as a victim of bullying and ensure her safety” as well as its failure to “take action against the bullies.”

In an initial statement on Dec. 1, the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District said it was “saddened” by Avila’s death and that crisis counselors were available to students.

“The communities of Yucaipa and Calimesa have proven to be caring, united, active, supportive communities in all manner of events, whether joyful or sorrowful,” the initial statement read. “The District earnestly believes and hopes that those qualities will continue to come to bear here as we are all committed to the well-being and support of everyone in the YCJUSD family.”

Days later, on Dec. 4, the school district released another statement saying that it was cooperating with investigators over the bullying allegations. The school district also said that “false” information had spread in response to the news of Avila’s death.

“Sadly, as the public learns about this tragedy, false rumors and social media posts disrespecting Rosalie and her family have begun to spread,” the statement read. “These posts are being handled by the appropriate authority.”

In the second statement, the school district also emphasized that it is “committed to maintaining a positive, inclusive school culture that enables our students to grow academically and socially. This issue requires all of us to work together, to watch for signs and intervene when we see problems. It is more essential than ever that we all come together, united in our commitment for the safety and well-being of our children.”

Links to suicide prevention awareness and the school district’s bullying policy are now featured prominently on the school district’s website.

Claypool and Avila’s family plan to propose new legislation called Rosie’s law that will advocate for stricter bullying laws to treat verbal abuse in the same manner as physical abuse “so that school districts will begin having harsher punishments for the perpetrators of bullying rather than shielding the bullies.”

In a statement to ABC News, Claypool said that words can be “lethal weapons.”

“Until school districts nationwide step up and implement legitimate anti-bullying programs and on-campus suicide prevention programs, rampant bullying and suicide will worsen,” Claypool said. “Public image is more important to many school districts than student safety. Current anti-bullying laws and policies often protect the bully more so than the victim.“

A community vigil in Avila’s honor will be held on Monday evening.

Neither the school district nor the San Bernardino Police Department, which is handling the case, immediately responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Five injured in Pennsylvania ski lift mishap

Courtesy Alpha Fire Company and Boalsburg Fire Company(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — Five people were injured at a Pennsylvania ski resort Saturday when a chair on the ski lift slid backward into the chair behind it, setting off a chain reaction that involved a total of five chairs, officials said.

Around 10 a.m., a “malfunction” on a section of the chair lift cut the first car loose, sending it sliding down the rope into another chair and causing a “chain reaction” that sent four slipped chairs sliding into a fifth, the Tussey Mountain ski resort said in a statement.

The State College, Pennsylvania, police said there were five minor injuries in the pile-up, none life-threatening.

“We take the safety of our guests very seriously, and are saddened to learn that there were non-life threatening injuries as a result of this accident,” a statement on the Tussey Mountain Facebook page said.

Police said it took 90 minutes to evacuate the chair lift, including people who were stranded aloft when the lift was stopped.

Tussey Mountain, which closed after the mishap, said the lift had been inspected by state safety officials and had received a passing grade.

“[W]e have begun taking the necessary steps to ensure a situation like this will never happen again,” Tussey Mountain’s statement said. “We have contacted the manufacturer of the lift to diagnose what caused the malfunction, as well as the appropriate state agencies prior to re-opening.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Slain former NBA player’s ex-wife arrested in connection to his murder

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright was arrested Friday night in connection to his 2010 murder, authorities said.

Sherra Wright-Robinson, 46, was taken into custody in California’s Riverside County around 8:30 p.m. local time on Friday. She was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on a fugitive warrant for murder, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Further details surrounding her arrest were not immediately available.

She is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court at Riverside Hall of Justice on Monday, according to jail records.

Wright-Robinson’s arrest comes more than seven years after her ex-husband’s body was discovered in a field in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. The 34-year-old basketball star, who played for five NBA teams over 13 seasons from 1996 to 2009, was reported missing 10 days prior. Wright was shot multiple times and his body was severely decomposed, according to the Memphis Police Department.

There was a break in the unsolved case last month when police found a gun they say was used in the killing in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi, about 75 miles from Memphis. Then, on Dec. 5, Billy R. Turner was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in connection to Wright’s death.

Turner, 46, is being held on $1 million bond. He has pleaded not guilty.

At a press conference Saturday, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said Wright-Robinson has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her ex-husband. Rallings wouldn’t provide specific details on what led to her arrest, but he said the murder weapon was key.

Rallings also wouldn’t discuss the connection between Wright-Robinson and Turner, but he said investigators were confident they knew each other.

Assistant Chief Deputy D. Scott Wright of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said at the press conference Saturday that they are working with authorities in California to have Wright-Robinson extradited back to Tennessee.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 12/15/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:

Miami 104, Charlotte 98
Detroit 104, Indiana 98
3OT Oklahoma City 119, Philadelphia 117
Portland 95, Orlando 88
Washington 100, L.A. Clippers 91
Utah 107, Boston 95
Toronto 120, Brooklyn 87
Memphis 96, Atlanta 94
Chicago 115, Milwaukee 109
OT Denver 117, New Orleans 111
Houston 124, San Antonio 109

New Jersey 5, Dallas 2
OT Carolina 5, Buffalo 4
N.Y. Rangers 4, L.A. Kings 2
Detroit 3, Toronto 1
OT Vancouver 4, San Jose 3

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Carolina Panthers linebacker donates $15,000 for high school football championship rings

Photodisc/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis picked up the ball for high school football players who couldn’t afford state championship rings, according to a ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV.

Davis heard Harding University H.S. coach Sam Greiner say on the radio that the team needed to raise $20,000 to buy championship rings for team members who didn’t have the funds and the linebacker called in to the radio station and promised to help the cause.

Davis promised $15,000, which along with GoFundMe exceeding $7,000, meets the funding needs for the North Carolina champs’ rings

The team’s quarterback, Braheam Murphy, expressed gratitude towards Davis, according to ABC’s local affiliate station WSOC-TV.

“Our family, we don’t have a lot of money for people to help out. It is really a blessing,” Murphy said.

WSOC-TV reported that the students were fitted for the $400 rings Friday morning.

Greiner told the television station that many of the student football players do not have money for their day-to-day needs, let alone a championship ring.

“We have kids on our rosters that don’t really have homes. They really don’t know what they’re going to eat (from) day to day,” Greiner said.

As for team finances, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools only pays for game officials, security and coaching stipends, according to WSOC-TV.

Despite financial hardship, the team has had a winning 14-1 season, sending the school to its first state championship since 1953.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Family of billionaire Barry Sherman doubts murder-suicide reports

David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images(TORONTO) — Responding to media reports on the manner of death of their parents, the family of Canadian drug billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey Sherman said they believe the “rumors regrettably circulated” to be untrue.

News outlets in Canada and the United States have termed the deaths as a possible murder-suicide and several Canadian news organizations, citing police sources, said the couple was found on Friday hanged in the basement of their plush home on Old Colony Road in the North York area of Toronto.

A Toronto police official on Friday called the deaths “suspicious” but said the department was not searching for suspects in the case.

In a statement released Saturday by Apotex Inc., the company founded by Barry Sherman, the family urged the media to stand down from further reporting on the deaths until the completion of the investigation, which they hoped would be “thorough, intensive and objective.”

“Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumors regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” the statement says. “We are shocked and think it’s irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true.”

The couple, whose wealth was estimated at $3.2 billion, wasamong Canada’s richest families and its most generous philanthropists.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Billionaire Barry Sherman, wife found dead in their Toronto mansion, officials say

Dick Loek/Toronto Star/Getty Images(TORONTO) — Canadian billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, have been found dead in their Toronto mansion, officials said.

Two bodies were found at 50 Old Colony Road in the North York area of the Canadian city on Friday after police received a call around 11:45 a.m. detailing a medical incident at the home, Toronto Police Constable David Hopkinson said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Investigators described the deaths as “suspicious” but said it is too early to deem them homicides, Hopkinson said. The homicide unit has not yet been called in, he added.

While police did not release the identities of the bodies found, Dr. Eric Hoskins, the province of Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was first to confirm the couple’s deaths on Twitter, describing Barry and Honey Sherman as “dear friends.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences Friday night, tweeting “Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit.”

Barry Sherman founded Toronto-based pharmaceutical company Apotex Inc. His estimated net worth is $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Apotex tweeted Friday night, “We’ve been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away. All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”

Apotex posted a lengthier statement on its website Saturday morning.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our founder, Dr. Bernard C. Sherman, Chairman of the Board of the Apotex Group of Companies, at the age of 75, and his wife Honey Sherman,” the company said. “Dr. Sherman gave his life to the singular purpose of our organization – innovating for patient affordability. Patients around the world live healthier and more fulfilled lives thanks to his life’s work, and his significant impact on healthcare and healthcare sustainability will have an enduring impact for many years to come. As employees, we are proud of his tremendous accomplishments, honored to have known him, and vow to carry on with the Apotex purpose in his honor.”

Honey Sherman was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation — the fundraising arm of a research and teaching hospital for the elderly in Toronto — as well as the York University Foundation. She also served on the boards of Mount Sinai’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the International American Joint Distribution Committee, according to ABC’s Canadian partner, CTV News.

The Shermans were among Canada’s most generous philanthropists, making several numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities.

A University of Toronto website lists the Apotex Foundation and the Shermans as donors in the range of $10 million to $25 million during 1995 and 2003. They also donated about $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal, CTV News reported.

The couple had recently placed their 12,440 square foot home for sale, listing the modern home — located within the city limits of Toronto — for nearly $7 million, according to realtor.ca.

Further details on their deaths were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two South Korean journalists beaten by Chinese guards in Beijing

iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) — Two South Korean photojournalists in China to cover a state visit of their country’s president were beaten by Chinese security guards in Beijing, according to media reports and sources.

The violence occurred at a trade show called the South Korea-China Economic and Trade Partnership as press were trying to get a closer photo of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to journalists who were present and press reports.

After members of the media reportedly complained that excessive protection was blocking their access to President Moon, a group of Chinese guards started pushing, punching and kicking a photojournalist who had fallen to the ground, according to media reports and a journalist at the event who spoke to ABC News.

Another South Korean journalist was also injured by Chinese guards at the event, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

A 56-second video shot by the press pool and provided to ABC News shows a man yelling in Korean to the Chinese guards, “Don’t touch,” and “Stop.”

Someone at the scene is also heard calling out, “Do not kick him.”

Both of the injured photojournalists required medical treatment.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha delivered a formal complaint on the incident to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry noted that South Korea as the host of the trade show had arranged to have Chinese guards at the event.

“Although it was organized by South Korea, [the incident] took place in China, so we are paying it major attention,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu-Kang said at a regular briefing on Friday.

Some South Korean civic organizations including media-related associations are calling for an investigation of the incident.

President Moon was attending the event to foster trade relations between the two countries during his 4-day state visit.

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