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MUSIC NEWS

Jimmy Buffett’s bounty of archival recordings, “Buried Treasure, Volume One,” arrives today

Mailboat RecordsThe archival Jimmy Buffett album Buried Treasure, Volume One, featuring a collection of recently rediscovered unreleased acoustic demos recorded during the late 1960s and early ’70s, hit stores today. The album features 11 tracks interspersed with narrated segments by Buffett.

The demos were culled from boxes of quarter-inch tapes that had been stored for decades in a Nashville studio once owned by producer/songwriter Buzz Cason, for whose publishing company Buffett worked early in his career. Included on the tapes were recordings Jimmy made in 1969 in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, as well as 125 tunes he subsequently recorded in Nashville while working for Cason.

While most of the songs on Buried Treasure are original Buffett compositions, the album also includes two Gordon Lightfoot covers — “The Gypsy” and “The Circle Is Small” — and a rendition of the Mamas and the Papas classic “California Dreamin’.” The latter tune was recorded at an event in Mobile celebrating the U.S. Junior Miss Pageant and features backing vocals from the pageant’s contestants.

Buried Treasure, Volume One is available as a standard CD packaged with a 28-page book, and a deluxe edition featuring a 40-page collector’s book and a bonus DVD containing a 20-minute documentary titled Buried Treasure — Mobile to Nashville that tells the story behind the recordings.

Additional albums featuring other recordings from the long-lost tapes will be released in the future.

In other news, Buffett will headline the “Tryin’ to Reason…” benefit concert this Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida, that’ll raise funds to aid communities in Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas affected by this year’s devastating hurricanes. Country stars Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Jake Owen also will perform at the sold-out show.

Here the full track list of Buried Treasure, Volume One:

“The Mobile Days” (narration)
“Don’t Bring Me Candy”
“Lightfoot” (narration)
“The Circle Is Small”
“Clunker Chord” (narration)
“Abandoned on Tuesday”
“Technology” (narration)
“I Can’t Be Your Hero Today”
“Blame It on New Orleans” (narration)
“Rickety Lane”
“Sgt. Pepper in the Gumbo Pot” (narration)
“The Wino Has Something to Say”
“Going Where the Wind Takes You” (narration)
“California Dreamin'”
“Nashville, Here We Come” (narration)
“The Gypsy”
“Hopelessly Gone” (narration)
“Hopelessly Gone”
“Simple Pleasures” (narration)
“Simple Pleasures”
“Close the World at Five” (narration)
“Close the World at Five”
“Thank You’s” (narration)

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Peter Frampton releasing Grammy-winning 2006 album “Fingerprints” on vinyl for first time

Phenix PhonographIn 2006, Peter Frampton released his first and only instrumental album, Fingerprints, a star-studded collection that won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album the following year. Now, the British guitar whiz has announced plans to reissue the album on January 26, making it available on vinyl for the first time on his own Phenix Phonograph imprint.

Fingerprints features guest appearances by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, ex-Stones bassist Bill Wyman, Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready and Matt Cameron, longtime Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, and Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett of the influential U.K. group The Shadows. The album includes 13 original songs, plus a cover of the Soundgarden classic “Black Hole Sun.”

Watts and Wyman team up to accompany Frampton on a tune called “Cornerstones,” while McCready and Cameron appear on Peter’s rendition of “Black Hole Sun” and a song titled “Blowin’ Smoke.”

Here is the full track list of Fingerprints:

“Boot It Up” — featuring Courtney Pine
“Ida y Vuelta (Out and Back)” — with Stanley Sheldon
“Black Hole Sun” — featuring Matt Cameron and Mike McCready
“Float” — featuring Gordon Kennedy
“My Cup of Tea” — featuring Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett
“Shewango Way”
“Blooze” — featuring Warren Haynes
“Cornerstones” — featuring Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman
“Grab a Chicken (Put It Back)”
“Double Nickels” — featuring Paul Franklin
“Smoky”
“Blowin’ Smoke” — featuring Matt Cameron and Mike McCready
“Oh When…”
“Souvenirs de Nos Pères (Memories of Our Fathers)” — featuring John Jorgenson

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Clive Davis talks new “Bodyguard” album and Whitney’s “deserved honor” at Sunday’s AMAs

Legacy RecordingsThis week marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Whitney Houston‘s soundtrack for The Bodyguard.  Today, to mark the occasion, Sony Legacy Records and Houston’s estate are releasing Whitney Houston — I Wish You Love: More from The Bodyguard.  And the original album’s producer, Clive Davis,  says this sequel is one that’s definitely warranted.

“It is the best-selling soundtrack of all time,” the legendary music mogul tells ABC Radio. “The original is now [at] over 45 million copies worldwide…so that it should be celebrated and it should be re-explored. And this brand new album has all the brand new different versions of that great song in really an impeccable and indomitable way.”

“That great song” Davis is referring to is, of course, Whitney’s smash #1 hit “I Will Always Love You.”  But there’s a lot more as well.

This album brings in versions — film versions — of the songs,” explains Clive. “Remixes of it. You get the great Whitney performing the great material: ‘I Have Nothing,’ ‘Run to You’…’I’m Every Woman,’ ‘Queen of the Night,’ ‘Jesus Loves Me.'”

On Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Christina Aguilera will honor Whitney by doing a special performance of songs from the Bodyguard soundtrack.

“I’m thrilled…[that] there’s going to be a segment on the American Music Awards where she pays tribute to Whitney — a very deserved honor,” Davis says of Christina’s segment. “I think as more gets to be revealed — after the tabloid-al fever — you will get to see that other side of Whitney, which was so unique, so powerful.”

The 2017 American Music Awards airs this Sunday, November 19, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Ray Fisher says he was excited to play Cyborg because it gave him “a lot to chew on”

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/TM & © DC Comics(NEW YORK) — Ray Fisher plays Cyborg, the half-man, half-machine superhero in Justice League. Fisher, a newcomer to the DC Comics Universe, says when he landed the coveted role, his hope was to embody his character.

“Once I started testing for the role and found out what it was, that’s when I started doing as much research into the character [as possible],” Fisher tells ABC Radio. “And that’s when I saw a completely different side of Cyborg. And that’s the side that I actually fell in love with, which was a character that was very deep and grounded and had a lot of pathos in respect to his origin and his life circumstances.”

Those life circumstances, says Ray, include how he “lost his mother…[and] his body…through no fault of his own.”

Ray says to become Cyborg, DC Comics gave him all the tools he needed.

“Once I booked the role they sent me every Cyborg comic that ever existed,” Fisher says. “From the 1980s when he was created for the New Teen Titans all the way through The New 52 where Cyborg is introduced as a founding member of the Justice League. So I got a pretty expansive look at who he was. So when it came time to actually portray the character — you can pick and choose little bits from any version to sort of make it a cohesive whole.”

Now, with all those pieces together, Ray says he can focus on what’s important.

“What would it be like for an individual to go through this transformation?” Ray asks. “Dealing with that loss and having him being able to recover a piece of himself, a piece of his humanity… is something that as an actor was exciting to play with because it gives you a lot to chew on.”

Justice League opens today.


Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ray Fisher says he was excited to play Cyborg because it gave him “a lot to chew on”

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/TM & © DC Comics(NEW YORK) — Ray Fisher plays Cyborg, the half-man, half-machine superhero in Justice League. Fisher, a newcomer to the DC Comics Universe, says when he landed the coveted role, his hope was to embody his character.

“Once I started testing for the role and found out what it was, that’s when I started doing as much research into the character [as possible],” Fisher tells ABC Radio. “And that’s when I saw a completely different side of Cyborg. And that’s the side that I actually fell in love with, which was a character that was very deep and grounded and had a lot of pathos in respect to his origin and his life circumstances.”

Those life circumstances, says Ray, include how he “lost his mother…[and] his body…through no fault of his own.”

Ray says to become Cyborg, DC Comics gave him all the tools he needed.

“Once I booked the role they sent me every Cyborg comic that ever existed,” Fisher says. “From the 1980s when he was created for the New Teen Titans all the way through The New 52 where Cyborg is introduced as a founding member of the Justice League. So I got a pretty expansive look at who he was. So when it came time to actually portray the character — you can pick and choose little bits from any version to sort of make it a cohesive whole.”

Now, with all those pieces together, Ray says he can focus on what’s important.

“What would it be like for an individual to go through this transformation?” Ray asks. “Dealing with that loss and having him being able to recover a piece of himself, a piece of his humanity… is something that as an actor was exciting to play with because it gives you a lot to chew on.”

Justice League opens today.


Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Catching up with Marg Helgenberger: Actress talks cancer awareness, gender equality and Taylor Swift

Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Marg Helgenberger wants to remind everyone that the season of giving is upon us. As a Stand Up to Cancer ambassador, the actress is raising awareness for the organization’s campaign with CVS called The Value of a Dollar.

Through this weekend, CVS shoppers have the opportunity to donate $1, $3 or more to Stand Up to Cancer when they check out at their local pharmacy.

Helgenberger tells ABC Radio she was inspired to get involved after her mother was diagnosed with cancer in the 1980s. Her mother, her sister and many of her friends are now among the survivors.

“Everyone in the world has someone in their family [who’s been touched] by some type of cancer,” she says. “So I think that it’s something that everybody would be willing to spend a little money to help be a part of the solution.”

When she’s not working in support of cancer research, you can find Helgenberger on stage, in the Off-Broadway show What We’re Up Against. The timely story is about gender politics in the workplace and Helgenberger says she can relate to the misogyny her character experiences.

“Lots of dismissiveness and mansplaining, my God!” she says of the things she’s experienced on the job. “And just being literally sort of ignored.” 

She recounts a story where her director was only relaying direction to her male co-star. She finally had to remind the director that she was in the scene too.

Other on-set memories were more fun, however — like the time when Taylor Swift — a self-proclaimed obsessed fan of CSI — made her acting debut on a 2009 episode of the show. Though Taylor never named one of her cats after Helgenberger’s character, the actress says the singer couldn’t have been nicer to the cast and crew.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Following Whitefish controversy, embattled Puerto Rico power authority director resigns

DC Productions/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — The embattled head of Puerto Rico’s power authority is stepping down, ABC News has confirmed.

PREPA executive director Ricardo Ramos presented his letter of resignation to the agency’s governing board on Friday.

“There were a series of distractions, and he made the decision to go in a different direction,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told reporters in Spanish. “My job now is to restore the electric
system.”

The island’s power grid has struggled since Hurricane Maria made landfall 58 days ago. Currently, fewer than 45 percent of customers have power.

Ramos had faced backlash since he approved a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a tiny, Montana-based energy company with just two full-time employees, to repair downed transmission lines
crisscrossing the mountains, rather than requesting mutual aid from other public utility companies.

Critics, including lawmakers and FEMA, questioned the procurement process and whether the rates were “reasonable.” PREPA abruptly moved to cancel the contract late last month.

Less than two weeks later, the grid suffered a major setback when the failure of a previously repaired power line plunged millions back into darkness, reducing coverage from 43 percent to just 18
in a matter of minutes.

The lack of power isn’t the only issue plaguing the island.

Cellphone connectivity remains spotty, prompting AT&T to launch a drone — dubbed the “Flying COW,” or cell on wings — to provide temporary wireless connectivity. The drone, fitted with LTE radios
and antennas, hovers 200 feet in the air and can cover 40 square miles at a time.

Worse still, a small percentage of residents still don’t have access to clean drinking water. A boil water advisory remains in effect.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Western storms bring snow, winds through the weekend as they move east

Michael Blann/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — More than a dozen states are under snow and wind alerts as the storms that brought moderate snowfall to the West Coast continue to move eastward.

On Friday afternoon, winter storm warnings and advisories were still in effect across the northern and central Rocky Mountains as snow continued to fall.

Over a dozen states are under snow and wind alerts from the Rockies to the Ohio Valley as the storm moves east.

Snowfall in the Rockies will begin to diminish Friday evening as the storm pushes toward the Central Plains and into the Great Lakes region.

Wind advisories for gusts between 30 and 50 mph are expected tonight into Saturday in areas further east that are still ahead of the storm, such as the Northern Plains and Ohio Valley.

On Saturday afternoon, a cold front will be moving across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, which could produce some strong storms with possible hail and damaging winds that afternoon and evening.

As the storm moves into the Northeast, it will bring heavy rain and windy conditions from Washington, D.C., to Boston Saturday evening into Sunday morning. Travelers can expect flight delays during
this time frame.

Parts of the Northeast will experience showers Sunday morning as the front lingers along the coast, but they will clear out completely by the afternoon.

After the rain comes the colder air, which could bring lake-effect snow as well as snow in high elevations from Michigan to the western New York and down to the Appalachian Mountains.

On Monday morning, the cold air will reach the east, with winds chills in the 20s and teens expected across the Midwest and Northeast.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Three inmates break out of Florida jail through library ceiling: Sheriff’s office

moodboard/Thinkstock(CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla.) — Three inmates are at large after they broke out of a Florida jail, apparently by exiting through the ceiling of the jail’s law library, the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office said.

The three inmates — Joel Teraill Cooper, Donald James Cotterman and Casey Martina Brandon — escaped from the Wakulla County jail in the Florida Panhandle at 12:09 a.m. today, the sheriff’s office said.

“We have no indication that these individuals are armed but because they are escaped inmates they are considered dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said.

While the investigation into the escape is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said “preliminary evidence shows that the inmates were able to gain access through a breach of the ceiling in our Law Library.”

The inmates then apparently “made their way across the building above the ceiling to an exit point where they made their escape,” the sheriff’s office said.

Cotterman, 44, is a registered sex offender, who is charged with burglary, criminal mischief and weapon possession, the sheriff’s office said. Brandon, 25, is charged with burglary, theft, vehicle theft and criminal mischief. Cooper, 43, is charged with burglary of a business, the sheriff’s office said.

“We have a large force working non-stop until we locate these escaped inmates,” the sheriff’s office said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 850-745-7100 or 850-926-0800.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

South Carolina women decline White House invite

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(WASHINGTON) — On Friday, President Donald Trump is hosting the collegiate sports champions of the past year at the White House. The South Carolina women’s basketball team, however, will not be in attendance.

“We did hear from the White House about attending [Friday’s] event, but we will not be able to attend,” Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley said in a statement. “As I’ve been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”

When South Carolina won its first ever national championship back in April, Staley said her team would go to the White House because of what it stood for, and it’s what national champions before her team did. However, as of September the team had not received an invite to go to the White House, and Staley said she was unsure she would accept an invite given recent events that had transpired.

The White House did not provide a list of the teams that will be attending Friday’s reception. The 2017 national champion North Carolina men’s basketball team will also not be in attendance, but said earlier in the year they could not agree on a date for a visit. President Trump previously hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers in June.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Paralympic gold medalist Victoria Arlen discusses how her time as an athlete helped her succeed on “Dancing with the Stars”

Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Victoria Arlen is just 23-years-old and has already checked some major goals off her bucket list, all while serving as an inspiration to so many.

When Arlen was 11, she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which took away her ability to speak, eat, and walk for years.

After a miraculous recovery, she won a gold medal in swimming at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, was hired by ESPN as an on-air talent, and most recently made it to Week 9 of “Dancing with the Stars” alongside her dancing partner Val Chmerkovskiy.

Chmerkovskiy and Arlen performed the Charleston, and completed a contemporary routine dedicated to her parents based on Arlen’s recovery from her illness. They finished the latter performance with a score of 27, failing to advance past the semifinals.

Arlen and Chmerkovskiy recently spoke with ABC Radio about their performance on “Dancing with the Stars,” saying her time as an Olympic athlete contributed to her success on the show.

“My swim coach was very tough on me and I respond well to that training… being pushed to my limit,” Arlen says, discussing how Chmerkovskiy pushed her to perfect her dance routine.

Arlen dedicated a lot of time to learning her new craft—approximately four to five hours a day—saying she took the discipline that she had as an athlete and applied it to dancing.

She looks to perform at the highest possible level in whatever she tries, and “when [she doesn’t] meet that goal, it’s devastating.”

Chmerkovskiy realized what he was working with in Arlen: an athletic dancer with a commitment to excellence.

“Athletes don’t take the process personally, and that makes it awesome… They’re coachable,” says Chmerkovskiy, who had previously danced with another Olympian, Laurie Hernandez. He adds, “Their competitive nature was secondary to their humility and them as people.”

Chmerkovskiy also praised Arlen’s character, saying, “This is the next million dollar baby story. There’s an Oscar in her future.”

Arlen told ABC News that she is open to whatever opportunity life presents next, whether or not that includes dancing. Next year, she will check another box off her bucket list when she becomes an author, as she is set to release a new book.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 11/16/17

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores from today’s sports events:
 
   NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
 Final  Boston    92  Golden State   88
 Final  Houston  142  Phoenix       116
 
   NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
 Final OT  Toronto         1  New Jersey     0
 Final  N-Y Islanders   6  Carolina       4
 Final  Pittsburgh      3  Ottawa         1
 Final  Tampa Bay       6  Dallas         1
 Final  Arizona         5  Montreal       4
 Final SO  Winnipeg        3  Philadelphia   2
 Final  Minnesota       6  Nashville      4
 Final  St. Louis       4  Edmonton       1
 Final  Colorado        6  Washington     2
 Final  Vegas           5  Vancouver      2
 Final  Florida         2  San Jose       0
 Final  Boston          2  L.A. Kings     1
 
   TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
 Final  (23) South Florida   27  Tulsa   20
 
   NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
 Final  Pittsburgh   40  Tennessee   17

   TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
 Final  (3) Arizona       91  CS Bakersfield   59
 Final  (8) Florida      108  North Florida    68
 Final  (11) Miami        90  Florida A&M      59
 Final  (12) Cincinnati   97  Coppin St.       54
 Final  (13) Notre Dame  105  Chicago St.      66
 Final  (15) Xavier       80  Wisconsin        70

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Argentine Navy loses communication with submarine carrying crew of 44

MR1805/iStock/Thinkstock(BUENOS AIRES) — The Argentine Navy confirmed today that it has lost communication with one of its submarines.

According to the Navy, the submarine’s last-known position in the area of operations was near the San Jorge Gulf, about 240 nautical miles from the country’s southern shore. Communications were
reportedly lost Wednesday.

The missing watercraft — the ARA San Juan — is a German-built TR 1700 class diesel-electric submarine, the Navy said.

The Navy said that ships and planes were searching for the missing submarine, as well as land-based communications stations, which are listening to all possible frequencies of transmission in case
the vessel is trying to send a message.

The Submarine Force Command has been in touch with the relatives of the 44 on board to keep them informed of developments.

According to the Navy, a Turbo Tracker aircraft and a B-200 aircraft had made flights Thursday on Friday morning.

Both the naval destroyer ARA Sarandi with a helicopter on board and the corvette ARA Rosales had also been sent to the area. Additionally, the Navy said the ARA corvette Drummond was expected to
arrive and get in position today around 6 p.m. local time.

Steve Ganyard, an ABC News contributor and a former deputy assistant secretary of state, said the San Juan was almost 35 years old but had undergone a “midlife upgrade” in 2013.

The U.S. Southern Command said it was monitoring the situation closely.

“We are coordinating closely with the U.S. State Department and our chain of command to be ready to assist, if asked. As of this email, U.S. Southern Command does not have a role in the ongoing
search and rescue effort. We join the international community in hoping for an outcome involving no loss of life or injuries to personnel.”

The Argentine Foreign Ministry said that the governments of Chile, U.S. and U.K. had offered logistical support and information in the search for the missing submarine.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe appears in public 1st time since apparent military coup

iStock/Thinkstock(HARARE, Zimbabwe) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe showed no signs of loosening his iron grip on power Friday as he appeared in public for the first time since the military apparently took
control this week.

Clad in blue and yellow academic robes with a cap, the 93-year-old leader presided over and delivered a speech at a university graduation ceremony in the country’s capital, Harare.

Zimbabwe’s military told the state-owned Herald newspaper on Friday that it is “engaging with the commander-in-chief President Robert Mugabe on the way forward and will advise the nation of the
outcome as soon as possible.”

The military added that “significant progress has been made in their operation to weed out criminals around President Mugabe.” Those sought had been “committing crimes that were causing social and
economic suffering in Zimbabwe.” Some have been arrested while others remained at large, the military told the newspaper.

Life seemed to carry on as usual in downtown Harare, with the exception of increased military presence. Residents there told ABC News that businesses were open and the streets were calm, though
soldiers were stationed in certain areas and tanks blocked some roads on the outskirts of the city center.

An American citizen, who lives in Harare and spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity, said she still feels safe in her neighborhood. In fact, she discerns an overall sense of “subdued
excitement” from Zimbabweans and other residents about the potential military intervention, she said.

“If you mention this to anyone in passing, there’s a smile that creeps on their face and a little giggling maybe too,” she told ABC News in a telephone interview Thursday night. “People are hopeful
that finally, after all these years, Mugabe will be at the end of his reign.”

The first signs of a military takeover emerged Tuesday as armored vehicles were deployed near the capital, one week after Mugabe fired his deputy and longtime ally, Vice President Emmerson
Mnangagwa, and accused him of scheming to take power, including through witchcraft.

An established Zimbabwean journalist, who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, said members of the military marched inside the state broadcaster’s headquarters and told
employees there to not be afraid, that “we are here to protect you” and to continue their work as usual.

The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe issued an advisory Tuesday night, urging all employees to stay home the following day and warning American citizens in the southern African nation to shelter in place
“as a result of the ongoing political uncertainty.”

Zimbabwe’s army addressed the country on state-run media Wednesday morning, vehemently denying speculation this was a coup d’etat and assuring citizens the president and his family are “safe and
sound.”

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have
accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,” Maj. Gen. S.B. Moyo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, said in a statement on the state broadcaster.

“To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defense Forces is doing is to pacify
a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict,” he added.

Moyo urged other security services to “cooperate” with the army “for the good of the country,” and warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

As the political turmoil continued to unfold, it remained unclear whether Mugabe was still in power.

The president of neighboring South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said he spoke with Mugabe on Wednesday morning, who told him he was “confined to his home but said that he was fine.” Zuma is sending “special
envoys” to meet with Mugabe and the Zimbabwean army “in light of the unfolding situation,” according to a press release from the South African presidency.

The whereabouts of Mugabe’s wife were still unknown Friday; though journalists told ABC News she’s believed to be with her husband under house arrest at the presidential palace in Harare.

It’s uncharted territory for Zimbabweans. Mugabe has led the country since its independence in 1980, making him the world’s oldest head of state. In December last year, Zimbabwe’s ruling party
ZANU-PF confirmed Mugabe as its sole candidate for the 2018 election, despite concerns over his age and health.

Mugabe is still revered by some Zimbabweans as a liberation war hero; though many have come to view him as an avaricious autocrat who turned Zimbabwe from being the “breadbasket of Africa to the
basket case of Africa,” said Alex Rossi, senior correspondent at Sky News

Zimbabweans have seen the economy expand and contract under Mugabe’s rule. In recent years, the economy has suffered from rampant corruption, mounting debt, food shortages, a collapsed currency and
a deteriorating investment climate.

“Some people you speak to are quite optimistic, they’ll be quite glad to have a change,” Rossi told ABC News in a telephone interview from Harare. “So people are kind of optimistic that this may
actually transition into something that delivers a better deal economically for them and their families.”

While hosting discussions with African foreign ministers and their representatives in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday described the potential transition “an
opportunity” for Zimbabweans.

“Zimbabwe has an opportunity to set itself on a new path –- one that must include democratic elections and respect for human rights,” Tillerson said. “Ultimately, the people of Zimbabwe must choose
their government. In our conversations today, we have an opportunity to discuss concrete ways that we could help them through this transition.”

With demonstrations set to take place in Harare over the weekend, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe continued to urge American citizens there to “remain safely at home or in your accommodations as much
as possible.”

Rossi told ABC News the coming hours and days will be “crucial” in how the political uncertainty in Zimbabwe will ultimately unfold.

“I think what is increasingly clear is that Robert Mugabe’s 37 years of controlling this country with an iron fist have come to an end. The question is, how will it end?” Rossi told ABC News. “Will
it end in a peaceful, bloodless coup or will it morph into something much worse, and we just don’t know that at the moment.

“The more that clock ticks round, the darker things look,” he added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Does hunting elephants help conserve the species?

Ingram/Thinkstock(HARARE, Zimbabwe) — The Trump administration will start accepting permits for hunters to bring trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia into the United States, saying that new information shows that the practice of trophy hunting actually helps the survival of the endangered species in the wild.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and hunting advocates say that hunting big animals like elephants and lions brings in money that countries use for conservation and anti-poaching programs and that wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe provided enough information to support reversing the 2014 ban.

“The Service will continue to monitor the status of the elephant population, the management program for elephants in the country to ensure that the program is promoting the conservation of the species, and whether the participation of U.S. hunters in the program provides a clear benefit to the species,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife says in the official notice.

The announcement that U.S. Fish and Wildlife would start granting permits to import elephant trophies again was made by U.S. officials at a conservation conference in Tanzania hosted by Safari Club International, a hunting and conservation advocacy group.

“These positive findings for Zimbabwe and Zambia demonstrate that the Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes that hunting is beneficial to wildlife and that these range countries know how to manage their elephant populations,” said the organization’s president, Paul Babaz in a Safari Club blog post.“We appreciate the efforts of the Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior to remove barriers to sustainable use conservation for African wildlife.”

The Safari Club filed a lawsuit with the National Rifle Association of America to block the ban on elephant trophy imports when it was announced in 2014, according to the blog post.

Hunting excursions in Zimbabwe can cost more than $37,000 and hunters also have to pay up to $14,500 for each elephant killed, according to safari hunting websites. A portion of the cost of a hunting trip led by guides includes goes to that country’s government to be used for conservation. The ivory from an elephant’s tusks is estimated to be worth $21,000.

Another argument in favor of trophy hunting is that allowing people to hunt animals makes them more valuable and gives local farmers or land owners a reason to care for them.

In 2015 Melville Saayman, a tourism and economics professor from North-West University in South Africa wrote that wildlife populations actually increased in countries that allow hunting like South Africa and Namibia and face more threats from poaching in areas where hunting is not allowed.

“From a conservation point of view wildlife is not doing well and one of the reasons for this is because hunting creates huge value. People protect what is valuable to them. And if hunting helps them get money and other goods from the animal, it is certainly in their best interests to look after the animals,” Saayman wrote.

But conservation advocates say that elephants bring in much more revenue from tourists who want to see them alive. A report from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust estimates that an elephant brings in $23,000 a year, or $1.6 million over its lifetime.

Animal advocates also say that hunting endangered species is unethical and shouldn’t be used to generate money for the government.

“It’s impossible to sustainably harvest a species that’s declining,” Sebastian Troeng, executive vice president of Conservation International said. “The notion that killing elephants is helping elephants doesn’t hold water,”

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of United States, says using conservation to support hunting doesn’t make any sense because people travel to these countries to see live animals in the wild.

“You shouldn’t be conducting unethical activities to create commerce,” Pacelle said Thursday, adding that other countries like Kenya have banned sports hunting completely.

He also said that he thinks the argument that money from hunting is used for conservation doesn’t hold up, giving the example that Zimbabwe’s government has struggled with corruption for years and is in the middle of a volatile political situation.

“It’s laughable to think that somehow they have strict controls in Zimbabwe,” Pacelle said.

Savanna elephant populations declined by 30 percent across 18 countries in Africa from 2007 to 2014, according to the Great Elephant Census published last year, which put their remaining numbers at just over 350,000.

The elephant population declined 6 percent overall in Zimbabwe but dropped by 74 percent within one specific region. Elephants saw “substantial declines along the Zambezi River,” in Zambia while other areas of that country were stable, according to the census.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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