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2016 Kennedy Center Honors, Saluting the Eagles, James Taylor and Others, Takes Place Tonight

James Glader; Timothy WhiteThe 39th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony takes place tonight in Washington, D.C., and among the artists who will receive the prestigious award this year are The Eagles and James Taylor.

The Eagles originally were to have been saluted at the 2015 edition of the Kennedy Center Honors, but that was postponed because founding singer/guitarist Glenn Frey was experiencing serious health issues that sadly claimed his life this past January.

In a recent interview with ABC Radio, longtime Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit discussed the decision for the band to postpone the honor, noting, “We thought Glenn was gonna get better, obviously, and we knew what was happening before the public, but it was still really horrible, and it changed everything.” Schmit and fellow surviving Eagles Don Henley and Joe Walsh will attend the ceremony this Sunday, along with Frey’s wife, Cindy.

The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors also will salute gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples, Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino and classical pianist Martha Argerich. The event, which will be attended by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and will be held at the Kennedy Center Opera House, will features a series of tribute performances celebrating the artistic contributions of each honoree.

The gala will be recorded for a special scheduled to air December 27 on CBS at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Meanwhile, the Kennedy Center’s official Facebook page will offer live coverage of the pre-show red carpet this Sunday starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Out to the Ballpark: James Taylor Lines Up 2017 Concerts at Four Baseball Stadiums

Courtesy of James TaylorJames Taylor will combine his love of music and baseball by playing a series of four concerts next summer at ballparks in cities around the U.S. Opening for the legendary singer/songwriter and his band at the shows will be a fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Bonnie Raitt.

The concerts are scheduled for July 14 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.; July 17 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL; July 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco; and August 11 at Fenway Park in Boston. Taylor is a well-known fan of the Boston Red Sox and has played a number of shows at Fenway Park over the years, including one with Jackson Browne this past August. He and Browne also played together in June at Wrigley Field, the home of the world champion Chicago Cubs.

Tickets for the upcoming Chicago and Boston shows are already available, while tickets for the Washington, D.C., and San Francisco concerts will go on sale to the public on Friday, December 9, at 10 a.m. local time.

As previously reported, Taylor will be saluted at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington this Sunday, December 4, alongside The Eagles, Mavis Staples and others. James also will be featured on the 2016 National Christmas Tree Lighting special, airing on Monday, December 5, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on the Hallmark Channel.

Check out Taylor’s full upcoming schedule at JamesTaylor.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hollywood Vampires, Sammy Hagar Among Acts Performing at Alice Cooper’s 2016 Christmas Pudding Benefit Saturday

Credit: Ross HalfinAlice Cooper‘s 15th annual Christmas Pudding fundraising concert takes place on Saturday, December 3, at the historic Celebrity Theatre in the shock rocker’s hometown of Phoenix. The show will be headlined by the Cooper-fronted supergroup The Hollywood Vampires, which also features Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp, while other acts on the bill include Sammy Hagar, Korn and The Gin Blossoms.

Proceeds from the holiday extravaganza will benefit Alice’s Solid Rock Teen Center, a facility in Phoenix that provides free music lessons to local young people.

The event also will feature performances by illusionist and magician Murray SawChuck and the winners of this year’s edition of Cooper’s Proof Is in the Pudding talent contest, as well as some as-yet unannounced guests.

Tickets are can still be purchased for the show at the Celebrity Theatre box office and at CelebrityTheatre.com, or by calling 602-267-1600, extension 1.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

“Rocky”: Look Back at the Film on Its 40th Anniversary

United Artists/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Saturday, December 3, marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Rocky.

The 1976 film was made for around $1 million and ended up grossing $117 million domestically, taking home Best Picture at the Oscars the next year.  Not bad for Sylvester Stallone, a down-on-his-luck character actor with about $100 in the bank who wrote the movie in three days after watching a fight between Muhammad Ali and beleaguered brawler Chuck Wepner.

“I was watching the fight … and I said to myself, ‘Let’s talk about stifled ambition and broken dreams and people who sit on the curb looking at their dreams go down the drain,'” Stallone told The New York Times 40 years ago.

Studios wanted Rocky, but they didn’t want Stallone to headline the original underdog story. They offered him money, as much as $265,000 for just the script, yet he turned it down.

“I never would have sold it … I’d rather bury it in the backyard and let the caterpillars play Rocky. I would have hated myself for selling out,” he told The Times.

He finally got what he wanted though and put everything he and the crew had into the film.

“When we finally knew that Rocky was going to be made and I was going to play Rocky, I knew this wasn’t only my shot, this was my life. Everything had to be perfect. I was hard on the crew when we were shooting — they thought I was a miserable b****** — but I had to give the movie my best shot,” he told film critic Roger Ebert in 1976.

“People say Rocky is realistic, but I don’t want realism, I want romance,” Stallone told Ebert all those years back.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Holy “Thwip” — Fans Buzzing About Description of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” Footage

Marvel – 2016(SAN PAULO) — Although no footage has leaked, due to tight security, fans are buzzing about footage of Spider-Man: Homecoming that screened Friday at Brazil Comic-Con in San Paulo.

The snippet, said to be from the trailer that will first be seen officially running before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is being described by people who were there to witness it, including Ryan Penagos, the Vice President and Executive Editor, Marvel’s Digital Media Group, who tweeted about it. 

Tom Holland, introduced as Peter Parker/Spider Man in Captain America: Civil War, is said to be seen receiving a suitcase from Tony Stark’s bodyguard “Happy” Hogan, again played by Jon Favreau. 

The suitcase apparently contains another upgraded Spidey suit, courtesy of Robert Downey Jr.’s billionaire genius Stark/Iron Man, who appears in Homecoming, but apparently not the trailer.

The suit features a fan favorite feature — Spidey’s underarm “web wings,” which others report he’s seen using to fly through the air in an attack against The Vulture, the winged baddie played by Michael Keaton in the film. Penagos didn’t mention that, but allowed, “That classic underarm webbing look was just so rad.”

Spider-Man: Homecoming, which also stars Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, and Marisa Tomei, opens July 7, 2017.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Vin Diesel Calls the Years without “Brother” Paul Walker the “Hardest of My Life”

Getty Images/Jonathan Leibson(SAO PAULO) — Vin Diesel says he is still reeling, nearly three years to the day since he lost his dear friend Paul Walker. Walker died in a fiery car crash in 2013, a passenger in a Porsche driven by friend Roger Rodas, who also perished.   

“The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that,” Diesel told Entertainment Tonight about Walker.

In fact, he spoke to ET at Brazil Comic-Con and said being there felt wrong, being that, “both times that I’ve been here, I’ve always been with my brother, Pablo. It was a lot of tissues and it was a hard morning for me yesterday because I was here,” he said. 

“But the irony is the whole cast reached out and his daughter, Meadow, reached out and all that stuff helps you get through it.”

Diesel was in Brazil also promoting his new xXx movie, and said after finishing Furious 7 without Walker, this was a welcome change. Diesel had worked with Walker on the Furious franchise since it began 15 years ago.

“Never in my life did I need to do a movie where I could laugh and smile and enjoy myself more than right now, more than the time I made this movie,” he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Army Corps Will Not Grant Easement for Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MANDAN, N.D.) — The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced Sunday in a statement.

The Army claimed in a statement that Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy based her decision on a need to explore “alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing.”

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a statement in support of the decision, saying that the “thoughtful approach established by the Army Sunday ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts.”

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe also praised the decision, and thanked both the Obama administration and the many people who supported the effort to stop the pipeline from being built across Lake Oahe.

“We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.”

The news comes on a day when at least 2,000 U.S. military veterans have arrived at Standing Rock amid frigid cold to help battle against the construction of the pipeline.

The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force Sunday to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.

They joined the months-long demonstration at what felt like a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor had issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5.

But the evacuation order, which could have come with mass arrests, was made prior to Sunday’s statement by the Army.

Protesters and their supporters showed little inclination to back down, prior to the announcement this afternoon.

Donations to a GoFundMe account launched by Clark in support of Veterans for Standing Rock, a group he claimed would “assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation,” passed the $1 million dollar mark this morning, coming from more than 24,000 individual donors, according to a page promoting the cause.

Standing Rock protesters described the veterans’ mission as serving as a kind of “human shield” between peaceful demonstrators and police.

In addition to Clark’s “peaceful militia,” the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights told ABC News on Friday that it would send commissioners to North Dakota to monitor for any possible civil rights violations, as clashes between protesters and law enforcement have at times turned violent.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based company behind the Dakota Pipeline, has argued that concerns about its potential to pollute water are unfounded.

He also wrote in an internal memo to staff in September that “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route,” suggesting that the construction of the pipeline would not affect Native Americans who live in the area where it is being built.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

At Least 33 Bodies Recovered in Oakland Warehouse Fire; Search Continues

iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Searchers have recovered at least 33 bodies from a fire-ravaged warehouse in Oakland, California, that housed artist studios and was hosting a dance party when the deadly blaze broke out, officials said Sunday.

Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office warned that he anticipates that “the number of victims will rise” from a fire officials say may be the deadliest ever in Oakland. The search effort is expected to last for days, he said.

Kelly called the 30 deaths “astronomical.”

Authorities are also asking families with missing loved ones to preserve DNA samples as a way of confirming the identities of those who died in the horrific blaze.

The District Attorney’s Office has criminal investigation teams actively looking at the fire with the other law enforcement agencies involved in investigating the fire, according to a statement from the City of Oakland.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told ABC News that she has ordered an investigation into the building’s troubled history, including a complete review of all records of complaints. Libby also told ABC that she ordered an independent analysis into the city’s handling of this building and others like it.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at the warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said Ghost Ship appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists’ studio, as well as parties like the one that took place on Friday night.

It’s unclear if the building was equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton told ABC News that firefighters have been impacted emotionally by bodies found. She described the precarious scene firefighters have encountered inside of what is left of the warehouse, where the second floor is hanging just above the heads of search crews, with pianos, appliances and other materials dangling from above.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather an electrical fire. The power went out inside the building when the fire began and the flames blocked the building’s only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, an official briefed on the ongoing investigation told ABC News.

ABC Bay Area affiliate KGO-TV reported that Derick Ion, founded the Ghost Ship Artist Collective and ran it at the warehouse. ABC News reached out to Ion but did not immediately receive a response.

Ion appeared to address the fire in a Facebook post early on Saturday morning by saying that “everything I worked for is gone.”

“Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound… it’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope…. to be standing now in poverty of self worth,” he wrote.

Oakland’s warehouses have become hubs for artists and musicians in recent years.

The Oakland-based weekly newspaper Eastbay Express has attributed gentrification and rising rents in the Bay Area as putting the Northern California region’s counter-cultural arts scene in a crisis of space and money.

The Oakland Fire Department confirmed to the press that they are currently working with a variety of agencies in the aftermath of the tragedy, including the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, the Oakland Police Department, the Alameda County Search and Rescue, and the American Red Cross, among others.

Kelly asked the public to be patient as authorities look into the cause of the blaze, and continue to search for the missing and the dead.

“We will be here for days and days to come,” Kelly said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Massachusetts Firefighters Battle 10-Alarm Fire in Cambridge

iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — At least eight buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, were damaged by a 10-alarm fire, officials said Saturday.

About 140 firefighters were on the scene as of 6 p.m., the Cambridge Fire Department said.

There were three or four minor injuries as a result of the fire, according to fire officials, and 60 people were displaced. Shelters for those affected by the fire were said to be opening at a local recreation center.

According to ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, at least one building had collapsed in the massive fire. The building was under construction and officials believed it was where the fire started, WCVB-TV reported.

The Cambridge Fire Department said they were thankful the incident started early in the afternoon so people were awake and aware of the situation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Scoreboard Roundup — 12/3/16

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Milwaukee     112  Brooklyn      103
OT  Minnesota     125  Charlotte     120
Boston        107  Philadelphia  106
Toronto       128  Atlanta        84
Memphis       103  L.A. Lakers   100
Dallas        107  Chicago        82
Utah          105  Denver         98
Portland       99  Miami          92
Golden State  138  Phoenix       109

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
N-Y Rangers    4  Carolina     2
Boston         2  Buffalo      1
Philadelphia   3  Chicago      1
OT  New Jersey     5  Nashville    4
SO  Tampa Bay      2  Washington   1
OT  Winnipeg       3  St. Louis    2
SO  Vancouver      3  Toronto      2
Pittsburgh     5  Detroit      3
Ottawa         2  Florida      0
SO  Columbus       3  Arizona      2
Dallas         3  Colorado     0
OT  Edmonton       3  Anaheim      2

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(1) Alabama          54  (15) Florida         16
(3) Clemson          42  (19) Virginia Tech   35
(8) Penn St.         38  (6) Wisconsin        31
(7) Oklahoma         38  (11) Oklahoma St.    20
(14) West Virginia   24  Baylor               21
Temple               34  (20) Navy            10

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(11) UCLA            97  (1) Kentucky        92
(2) Villanova        88  Saint Joseph’s      57
(4) Kansas           89  Stanford            74
(5) Duke             94  Maine               55
(25) West Virginia   66  (6) Virginia        57
(9) Baylor           76  (7) Xavier          61
(8) Gonzaga          69  (16) Arizona        62
(10) Creighton       82  Akron               70
(14) Louisville      79  Grand Canyon        70
(15) Purdue          90  Morehead St.        56
(17) Wisconsin       90  Oklahoma            70
(18) Butler          82  Cent. Arkansas      58
Providence           63  (21) Rhode Island   60
(22) Syracuse        77  North Florida       71
(23) Oregon         128  Savannah St.        59

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Patriots’ Rob Gronkowksi Out for the Season

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) – The Patriots expected the worst when tight end Rob Gronkowski went down with a back injury, and the bad news became a reality Saturday. The team placed the tight end on injured reserve following back surgery in Los Angeles on Friday, ending his season.

Gronkowksi has had a rough season injury-wise, playing in only eight games due to hamstring and lung injuries. He only caught 25 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns in those games.

Gronkowski’s injury was traced to the big hit he absorbed from Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas on Nov. 13. Running back DJ Foster will take Gronkowski’s spot on the 53-man roster.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Beltran, Astros Agree to One-Year Deal

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(HOUSTON) — According to multiple reports, free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran and the Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year $16 million deal.  The deal also includes a no-trade clause, according to ESPN.

Beltran, 39, was a top free agent on the market after a stellar 2015-16 campaign. He started the season off with the Yankees, leading them with a .304 batting average, 22 homers and 64 RBIs, and finished the year with 29 homers, 93 RBIs and 163 hits as a member of the Texas Rangers.

This will be Beltran’s second stint with Houston, after being traded there from Kansas City in June of 2004. The nine-time All Star is still searching for his first World Series title. Meanwhile, the Astros have bolstered their lineup this offseason, acquiring catcher Brian McCann from the Yankees in a trade and free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick to a four-year, $52 million deal.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Italian PM Matteo Renzi to Resign After Referendum Defeat

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Sunday he will resign after a referendum defeat.

Italians voted on a proposal that would attempt to streamline Italy’s lawmaking process by reducing the powers of the Senate. Renzi had said the reforms would have cut the country’s bureaucracy, but many saw the vote as a referendum on the prime minister’s centrist government.

Renzi said he would offer his resignation on Monday at a cabinet meeting.

“Good luck to us all,” he said according to BBC.

The Italian prime minister’s resignation mirrors the exit of David Cameron, the former prime minister of United Kingdom, who stepped down when British voters decided in a referendum to leave the European Union. Cameron had heavily campaigned to remain in the EU.

The result of Italy’s referendum also comes amid the rise of anti-establishment sentiment in the world. Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S. nearly a month ago and France’s anti-immigration and anti-European Union National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen is gaining support in her country.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What’s Next for Cuba Following the Death of Fidel Castro

iStock/Thinkstock(HAVANA) — With the death of Fidel Castro, the father of the Cuban revolution, many questions hang over the future of Cuba. President Raul Castro, Fidel’s 85-year-old brother, has been leading the country since 2008 when Fidel stepped down. With the assistance of the Vatican and Canada, Raul Castro and President Obama announced negotiations toward thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba in 2014.

But with only a year left in Raul Castro’s presidency, what happens next for the island only 90 miles from the U.S.?

Immediately

Not much is expected to change immediately for Cuba.

“Raul has been a reformist, pushing pragmatically for slow but steady change — ‘without haste, but without pause,’ as he likes to say,” Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive and expert on Cuba, told ABC News. “There are others in the Communist Party politburo who oppose the range of his efforts to privatize and modernize the economy.”

President-elect Donald Trump looms over whatever the future will look like. Whether he shuts down the island to business again, or allows more openings can play into the hands of Cuba’s reformists or hardliners.

“If Trump pursues an arrogant imperial and threatening policy toward Cuba, the leadership will gravitate toward hardline security officials who will focus on national security,” Kornbluh explains.

John Kavulich, president of the U.S. Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a private, not-for-profit, membership-based corporation, said it is “delusional thinking” that everything will immediately change with the death of Fidel Castro.

“The next months will be focused upon confirming for the 11.3 million citizens of Cuba that the ‘Revolution’ was not because of one man or only endured with that one man,” he said. “It is the fabric that wraps the country and there will be no holes in that fabric.”

Possible Election

The real change is expected come February 24, 2018 — the day a Castro will no longer be running Cuba.

Raul Castro announced in 2013 that it would be his last five-year term as president. Come February 2018, it will be the first time since the revolution that a Castro will not be in power.

“President-elect Trump is focusing upon the requirements of the Libertad Act of 1996, which created conditions for the resumption of full commercial, economic and political relations with Cuba,” Kavulich said. “President-elect Trump is sharing that he desires a ‘better deal.’ He may get one — on 24 February 2018 when President Raul Castro retires and he will be the first United States president in 59 years to welcome a ‘post-Castro Cuba’ and preside during a ‘post-Castro Cuba.’ A provision of the Libertad Act requires that neither Fidel Castro nor Raul Castro be in government.”

The Libertad Act is also known as Helms-Burton Act, which states the embargo can be removed when Cuba holds “free and fair” elections and a Castro is not in power.

The expected successor is current vice-president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, 56, appointed by Raul Castro in 2013. He is the highest ranking Cuban politician born after the revolution. Díaz-Canel is an engineer by training and according to Americas Quarterly has spoken for an open press and more Internet access.

“Today, news from all sides —- good or bad, manipulated and true -— gets to people. They know [what’s going on],” Díaz-Canel told a higher education conference, according to Americas Quarterly. “And what is worse, then? Silence?”

He would become the first civilian leader of Cuba since the revolution, but how he will come to power is still a question.

“Leadership has never been put to the people in Cuba. I’d be very surprised if that were to change,” Ted Piccone, a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings Institute told ABC News. “We’d certainly not see elections as anything we would recognize. There would be a formal appointment coming out of the national assembly.”

The Cuban government has taken steps toward more open elections, such as allowing two independents to run in the last election, and promises to decentralize the government and has an electoral law reform pending, Piccone said.

“Key question is his legitimacy and his platform. We’ve had the Castro regime had the revolution to empower them all these years,” he said. “When the Castros are gone that generation is gone. What is their legitimacy? He’d have to deliver of economic quality of life reforms. That’s what they are going to be judged on by the Cuban people because they weren’t fighting in the mountains for the revolution … he was born after the revolution.”

Future

What the future will hold for Cuba is dependent on whether Trump allows the relaxation and easing of relations to continue, according to Piccone.

“Whether or not you like the Castros or not, the Cubans are very proud, nationalist people and they will survive,” Piccone said. “Trump is taking a completely backward approach. He’d just provoke them and hardliners in Cuba to repress people rather than open up.”

It will also depend on whether Raul Castro will fully remove himself from power.

While he will step down as president, the question remains if he will exit entirely from government.

“They’ve talked about separating the roles of party leader and government leader so would have Raul in theory, as head of the party and Diaz-Canal as head of government for the more day to day activities of running the government,” Piccone explained. “With Fidel gone and Raul in the background I think you have much more burden on the new generation to move ahead with reforms because the current status quo program is not going to lead them to economic growth.

“If they position Diaz-Canal as the face of the Cuban government to the world and the people and if Raul has been playing the role Fidel has the past eight years (a monthly column or photo opp with a visiting dignitary), if Raul steps back as far as Fidel has stepped back then I would say it’s the end of the Castro era.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Vice President-elect Pence Says Trump’s Phone Call With Taiwan ‘Just A Courtesy Call’

State of Indiana(NEW YORK) —  President-elect Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan was “nothing more than taking a courtesy call,” according to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

“Its’ a little mystifying to me that President Obama can reach out to a murdering dictator in Cuba in the last year and be hailed as a hero for doing it and President-elect Donald Trump takes a courtesy call from the democratically-elected leader of Taiwan, and it’s become something of a controversy,” Pence told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week on Sunday morning.

When asked whether the Trump administration would continue the “one China” foreign policy of the U.S. since 1979, Pence said, “We’ll deal with policy after January 20.”

Trump’s phone conversation Friday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen broke nearly four decades of sensitive U.S. policy toward China.

Although Taiwan has held that it is an independent nation since it split from the Chinese mainland in a 1949 civil war, the U.S. established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979, and has since not recognized Taiwan as its own country but rather as a part of China.

Since 1979, no phone calls between a U.S. president-elect and a Taiwanese leader have been publicly reported, according to Center for Strategic and International Studies China expert Bonnie Glaser.

Pence told Stephanopoulos that Taiwan’s leader called Trump. “They reached out to offer congratulations as leaders around the world have,” he said. “He took the call, accepted her congratulations and good wishes.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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The 101 number one song of the day was a mixed blessing for the one time bar band that got its start at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. People who liked the song usually didn’t like the concert the group performed. read more…

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If you missed any of the clues so far, here they are:

 

7:20     Lagoon

10:20   Utopia

2:20     Imagination

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