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MUSIC NEWS

O-Town to debut music video for โ€œOffโ€ on Saturday

Walt Disney Television/Lou RoccoFollowing the release of their new album earlier this month, O-Town will be debuting the music video for the album’s lead single, “Off,” on Saturday.

The visual for the sexy dance track will have its live world premiere on MTV Live, MTVU and on the Times Square Viacom billboards. It’ll air starting at 6 a.m.

The O.T.W.N. Album is the band’s first full album in 18 years. The 12-track collection is available on Spotify and iTunes now.

The group – now a foursome comprised of Jacob Underwood, Trevor Penick, Dan Miller and Erik-Michael Estrada – was first formed on the TV show Making the Band in 2000.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift releases Lover track list, confirms collab with the Dixie Chicks

Valheria RochaShe wore a Dixie Chicks button on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and put a painting of them on the wall of her apartment in the ME! video.  Now, Taylor Swift has confirmed what fans have been speculating for months: The Dixie Chicks appear as guests on her new album Lover.

Taylor has posted the album’s track list on Instagram, and among the 18 tracks is one called “Soon You’ll Get Better,” featuring the Grammy-winning multi-platinum country group.   Taylor has cited the trio’s music and aesthetic as being a huge influence on her.

But despite what appeared to be various hints, there doesn’t seem to be any other special guests on the record, other than the Chicks and Taylor’s “ME!” duet partner Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco.

Another song, “Cruel Summer,” was an Easter egg in Taylor’s video for “You Need to Calm Down” — that’s the phrase that Adam Lambert is seen tattooing on Ellen DeGeneres‘ arm in the clip.

Taylor’s already revealed in her Vogue interview that the song “The Man” is about her imagining what it would be like to be a guy.  She’s told EW that some of her songs are political, so perhaps a track called “False God” refers to that.  The track called “London Boy” is no doubt about Taylor’s British boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.

As for the rest of the songs, there’s one called “It’s Nice to Have a Friend,” which Taylor may have hinted at by wearing buttons showing the faces of the cast of Friends on the cover of EW.  A track called “Cornelia Street” could refer to a street by that name in London, New York or both.

As for the rest, Taylor’s fans are trying to figure them out right now.  Lover comes out August 23.

“I Forgot that You Existed”
“Cruel Summer”
“Lover”
“The Man”
“The Archer”
“I Think He Knows”
“Miss America & the Heartbreak Prince”
“Paper Rings”
“Cornelia Street”
“Death by a Thousand Cuts”
“London Boy”
“Soon You’ll Get Better” (feat. Dixie Chicks)
“False God”
“You Need to Calm Down”
“Afterglow”
“ME!” featuring Brendon Urie
“It’s Nice to Have a Friend”
“Daylight”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ava Max will help kick off the MTV VMAs with two performances

Courtesy MTVAva Max will be helping to kick off the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards in two exciting ways.

The singer will be performing at the 2019 VMAs Kickoff Concert on Saturday, August 24, taking place at New York City’s Webster Hall. Then, she’ll be hitting the stage for the VMAs Pre-Show on Monday, August 26.

Ava, who’s up for Best New Artist at the VMAs, will be giving away tickets to the Kickoff Concert through her social media platforms. Fans can also pick up free tickets at Altice USA’s Optimum Experience Centers in the South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, New York and the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, from Friday, August 16  through Friday, August 23.

Meanwhile, this Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of Ava’s hit “Sweet but Psycho.”

“Reflecting on how crazy this year has been and how Saturday marks the 1 year anniversary of Sweet but Psycho,” Ava tweeted. “I cannot wait for this next chapter and to share new music with you!!!”

She’ll be sharing a brand new song, “Torn,” on Monday.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco, airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT Monday, August 26.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

“Easy Rider” star Peter Fonda, brother of Jane and son of Henry, dead at 79

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Writer, director and actor Peter Fonda, son of legendary actor Henry Fonda and brother of Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda, has died, ABC News has confirmed.  He was 79.

 

In a statement, Peter’s family said that he died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles of respiratory failure due to lung cancer.   “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts.  As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy,” the family noted.

 

The statement concluded, “And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

 

Variety reports that his sister Jane said in a statement, “I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

 

Fonda was just 22 when he co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Easy Rider, the 1969 film that would define his career. Fonda starred in the movie along with Dennis Hopper — who also co-wrote and directed the film — and Jack Nicholson, who received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.  

 

Easy Rider and its rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack came to embody the counterculture, and marked a changing of the guard in Hollywood.  In 1998, the movie was added to the National Film Registry, having been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

 

While Fonda continued to work steadily through the next five decades in both TV and film, Variety notes, “The astonishing career that some predicted for [him] in the wake of Easy Rider never came to pass.”

 

Finally, in 1997, he received an Oscar nomination, for his role as a beekeeper in the movie Ulee’s Gold — ironically, he lost to his Easy Rider co-star Nicholson.

 

Fonda’s filmography included a wide variety of films, from The Cannonball Run and Escape from L.A., to Thomas and the Magic Railroad and Wild Hogs, to 3:10 to Yuma and Ghost Rider.  On TV, he appeared in episodes of CSI: NY, The Blacklist, ER, Californication and the reboot of Hawaii Five-O.

 

It appears that Fonda’s final role will be in an upcoming war drama called The Last Full Measure, which is due to hit theaters in October.

 

Fonda is survived by his daughter, actress Bridget Fonda; his son, Justin; and his third wife, whom he married in 2011.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Netflix announces release date for Michael B. Jordan superhero drama ‘Raising Dion’

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — Netflix has officially set a release date for Michael B. Jordan’s highly anticipated super hero drama Raising Dion.

The streamer announced on Friday that the series, which will have nine one-hour episodes, will launch on October 4.

Based on Dennis Liu‘s short film and comic book of the same name, the series follows a recently widowed mother who discovers her young son, Dion, has supernatural abilities.

Jordan, who will executive produce the project through his Outlier Society production company, will also appear as Dion’s dead father. Meanwhile, newcomer Ja’Siah Young will play Dion Reese, “a curious, playful, and intelligent seven-year-old boy” who learns he can move things with his mind. Dion’s mother, Nicole, will be played by Alisha Wainwright.

Raising Dion will also star Jason Ritter and Jazmyn Simon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Preacher’ star Dominic Cooper says fourth and final season is “out of control”

Lachlan Moore/AMC/Sony Pictures (LOS ANGELES) — Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s popular 1990s comic book franchise of the same name, Preacher is currently in its fourth and final season on AMC.

The supernatural series stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a crook-turned very imperfect Texas preacher who inherits the voice of God — which means he can make people do whatever he wants. Together with his girlfriend and former partner in crime Tulip — played by Ruth Negga — and Joe Gilgun as their Irish vampire pal Cassidy, the trio are literally looking for God, who’s currently MIA.

Seth Rogen and his lifelong pal and producing partner Evan Goldberg are the co-creators of the show, and Cooper gives them credit for bringing Preacher to the small screen.

“It says everything that…people were trying to make [Preacher] for 15 years and failing because…[t]hey couldn’t understand how to translate it,” the actor says. “It’s down to [Seth and Evan] because they were huge fans of the comic and they understood who these people were.”

Calling the source material “brilliant,” Cooper says of the supernaturally absurd show, “It’s such a wonderful piece of work in terms of the opportunities that we have as actors to do every single genre in a space of a episode. You’re doing comedy one moment…and then you’re doing a huge fire sequence that would take weeks on a film, and then you’re doing a very dramatic emotional scene at the end of the day.” 

Cooper and company were grateful they got to go all out for the show’s final season.

“Credit to everyone…[who said] ‘You can take this further. Keep going,'”  says Cooper. “This is out of control, what we get up to…I always turn up to set going, ‘Are we really gonna to do this?’ — as I’m…wading through the innards of a very large man.”

One example of this season leaving nothing on the table is a marathon fight scene in last Sunday’s episode — a one-take wonder in which Jesse takes on a hallway full of dozens and dozens of clients of a perverted sex club: “I learned that entire sequence, and we made sure that we were shot in one take — which was genius! I’ve never seen a fight like that,” Cooper enthuses. 

The next episode of Preacher airs Sunday at 10:10 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

3 dead in soccer riot in Honduras as opposing fans attack team bus

iStock(NEW YORK) — Three people were killed during riots before a soccer match in Honduras late Saturday when opposing fans attacked a team bus and chaos broke out between spectators and police. At least 10 other people were injured, some seriously, according to the Honduran Red Cross.

The game between Motagua and Olimpia was called off due to the riots.

The rioting broke out after a group of Olimpia fans allegedly attacked the team bus carrying Motagua players at the stadium. Three players suffered minor injuries, according to the team.

The club tweeted photos of their bus with holes in the windows from objects being thrown threw them.

“Motagua Soccer Club will not be present for the match against Olimpia due to the acts of vandalism that our team suffered by fans of the Ultra Faithful on their way to the national stadium, where we have several players injured by glass,” the team wrote on Twitter in Spanish.

Defender Roberto Moreira, goalkeeper Jonathan Rougier and winger Emilio Izaguirre were the three players injured by broken glass, the team said. The club shared photos of them in a local hospital being treated for cuts from the glass shards.

Riot police were forced to fire off tear gas to subdue the fans who were fighting inside and outside the stadium.

Liga SalvaVida, the Honduran league both clubs compete in, apologized for the incident.

“La Liga SalvaVida condemns the deplorable acts of violence that took place tonight between fans of Club Deportiva Olimpia and Futbol Club Motagua on the outskirts of the national stadium of Tegucigalpa and in which, according to information from the capital’s medical centers, there have been victims and those seriously injured,” the league said in a statement translated from Spanish.

Motague is refusing to play a makeup game against Olimpia and wants the team sanctioned by the league, ESPN reported.

“La Liga SalvaVida strongly expresses its repudiation of violence inside and outside the stadium, because football must be and will be the passion that unites the Honduran family. To the families of the victims, our sincere condolences and solidarity in these moments,” the league added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane bounced at least twice before ‘coming down hard’ in fiery crash: NTSB

guvendemir/iStock(ELIZABETHON, Tenn.) — NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane bounced at least twice before “coming down hard” on the right main landing gear resulting in Thursday’s fiery crash, officials said Friday.

Earnhardt, his wife and their 1-year-old daughter were on board with two pilots during the accident and they all escaped without serious injuries, officials said.

The Cessna Citation took off from Statesville, North Carolina, for a 20-minute afternoon flight before it crashed while landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, Ralph Hicks of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said at a news conference on Friday.

The crash was captured on surveillance video, Hicks said, which showed the plane bounce “at least twice before coming down hard on the right main landing gear.”

“You can actually see the right main landing gear collapsing on the video,” he said.

The plane then continued down the runway, went through a fence, and came to a stop on a highway, Hicks said.

The Earnhardts were able to evacuate before the plane erupted in flames, Hicks said, adding that the fire appeared to start after the crash.

Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier attributed the blaze to fuel from the aircraft.

The former race car driver was taken to Johnson City Medical Center with cuts and abrasions. He was the only person on board who was hospitalized, according to the sheriff.

A spokesman for NBC Sports, where Earnhardt works as a NASCAR analyst, later said that Earnhardt was discharged from the hospital.

Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander said it’s extremely lucky that no cars were involved in the accident.

“We’re just happy everyone walked away and no one on the ground was injured as well,” Alexander said at Friday’s news conference.

Both pilots on board were professionally-trained, Hicks said, and when interviewed by the NTSB they provided information consistent with the surveillance video.

The Earnhardts were interviewed and their comments were also consistent with the video, said Hicks.

The surveillance footage of the accident will eventually be released to the public, he added.

The plane had a cockpit voice recorder which will be sent to NTSB headquarters in Washington, DC., Hicks said.

Earnhardt’s family and employees expressed their relief after the crash.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of concern and support. Everyone is doing well enough. Lots of hugs. Lots of prayers to the Good Lord,” tweeted Mike Davis, a spokesman for the former NASCAR star.

Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt, added on Twitter: “Thank you to God, the angels among us, our pilots, first responders, medical staff, our NASCAR family and everyone that has reached out in whatever way to support us all.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Army allows West Point graduate to sign with Philadelphia Eagles

skynesher/iStock(NEW YORK) —  A former West Point offensive tackle has been granted an exception by the Army in order to sign a three-year deal to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN.

Brett Toth, an Army second lieutenant, graduated from West Point as a nuclear engineer in May 2018 and has fulfilled his first year of active duty service. But an executive order from President Donald Trump has now allowed him to be recruited by the Eagles.

On June 26, Trump issued an executive order that directed the Pentagon to develop a policy that authorizes new graduates of the service academies and ROTC programs to pursue professional sports immediately following graduation but prior to completing their service requirement.

Under the old policy crafted by former defense secretary James Mattis, graduates were required to fulfill two years of commissioned service in the military before pursuing a professional sports career.

“Such cadets and midshipmen have a short window of time to take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible,” Trump said in the executive order. “At the same time, these student-athletes should honor the commitment they made to serve in the Armed Forces in exchange for the extraordinary benefits afforded to them at taxpayer expense at the Academies or ROTC programs. A revised policy will benefit the student-athletes, the Academies and ROTC programs, and the Armed Forces.”

The executive order gave the Pentagon 120 days to develop the new policy, which has yet to be implemented. But based on the directive, two military services have gone ahead and granted exceptions allowing their graduates to go pro.

Prior to Toth’s exception, the Air Force last month signed an exception for long snapper Austin Cutting, a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFL draft.

Army officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the exception signed for Toth.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

East Coast, Midwest brace for storms while dangerous summer heat makes its return to the South

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A stalled weather system that has been bringing rain to parts of the Southeast will begin to slide northward over the next day bringing with it pop up thunderstorms and heavy downpours up and down much of the east coast and to parts of the Midwest.

The result of this weather pattern means that 1 to 3 inches of rain and possible flash flooding could affect regions in New York and Pennsylvania, parts of Illinois and Indiana, and northern Florida and southern Indiana.

As a cold front slides eastward and interacts with tropical moisture, it will likely cause pop up thunderstorms in parts of the northeast on Monday, with locally heavy downpours possible.

Meanwhile, the Midwest had over 150 reports of severe weather on Saturday including 114 reports of strong winds. The severe weather occurred in parts of the Northeast, parts of the upper Midwest, and parts of the central plains.

An intense weather system is also expected to move across southeast Kansas and into parts of Missouri, Arkansas, and northeast Oklahoma today.

It is in this area that a Severe Thunderstorm Watch will remain in effect until 10AM CDT with damaging winds being the main threat along with heavy rainfall of up to 1 to 2 inches per hour which could cause flash flooding as well.

A similar – but less intense – system is also expected to move through parts of Minnesota and Iowa with the possibility of heavy rain and localized flash flooding.

Dangerous summer heat will be making its return to much of the country over the next few days as well.

Temperatures in parts of the northeast will get into the 90’s again, including Philadelphia, where a heat advisory has been issued. Luckily this stretch of heat doesn’t look as pronounced or as long as some of the periods of heat the region had in July.

Meanwhile, in the southern states it will be another hot day with heat indices well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

In the west the heat will increase once again this upcoming week with temperatures approaching 115 or higher in Death Valley and Palm Springs by Wednesday.

In Phoenix temperatures could reach as high as 112 on Wednesday and Las Vegas will be near 109 by Thursday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ohio white nationalist, anti-Semite arrested for threatening to shoot up Jewish community center, police say

Mahoning County Jail(NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio) — An Ohio man has been arrested for making threats toward a local Jewish community center in New Middletown.

James Reardon Jr., 20, has been charged with telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing and is being held in the Mahoning County Jail on $250,000 bond with a court hearing planned for Monday morning.

On Friday, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided Reardon’s house and seized a cache of weapons and ammunition, including dozens of round of ammo, multiple semi-automatic weapons, a gas mask and bulletproof armor.

“Grateful for the work of the FBI, local law enforcement and our community partners in the Youngstown Jewish community. We will continue to employ all our resources to stop the spread of white nationalism and violent extremism,” the Anti-Defamation League in Cleveland tweeted.

Police initially became aware of Reardon on July 11 when he posted a video on Instagram of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with sirens and screams in the background. He tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown in the post.

“That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation, because of the way the world is,” New Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio told Youngstown ABC affiliate WYTV.

Reardon is an avowed anti-Semite and white nationalist and attended the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, according to WYTV. During the raid on his house on Friday police also discovered anti-Semitic and white nationalist propaganda.

Extra security was given to the community during the police investigation, which will remain in place for the near future, police said. But even though the active threat has ceased, there is still active concern among some in the community.

“I’m confident that we are doing what we need to do at this point, but the world has changed and we always have to assess what we are doing moving forward,” said Andrew Lipkin, from the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.

A man killed 11 people when he opened fire on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, only an hour southeast of Youngstown, last October.

Reardon had publicly stated before that he wanted to see a homeland established for white people when he was interviewed for a documentary, according to D’Egidio. Police also discovered that his social media feed was filled with racial slurs and derogatory statements about minorities.

“This is a person that has declared himself as a white nationalist. With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.

The FBI has not yet announced whether they will pursue federal charges against Reardon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Plane crashes into home in upstate New York, killing 1 on board and 1 on ground

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Two people are dead after a small plane crashed into a home in upstate New York on Saturday. A person on the plane was killed as well as one person on the ground, officials said.

The Cessna 303 aircraft crashed into the home at about 4:30 p.m. in Union Vale, New York, near Poughkeepsie. There were three people on board the plane, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and three people in the house, New York State Police Capt. Paul DeQuarto said.

“The aircraft departed from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y., and was headed to Sky Acres Airport in LaGrangeville, N.Y.,” a statement from the FAA said.

Two people on the plane survived the crash, but one on board was killed, according to officials.

“I saw the house completely engulfed in flames,” neighbor Rick Plambeck said. “There was a woman in the house and she jumped out of the window onto a ladder with her dog and she told us that there was a man in the house, which was her father. But we didn’t know, or see him at all.

“The plane was in the back of the house, on the back porch.”

DeQuarto initially said there were three people inside the house, with one uninjured, one suffering life-threatening injuries and another that was unaccounted for. Hours later, a New York State Police spokesperson said one of the people inside the house had died.

The spokesperson was unsure if it was the person with life-threatening injuries or the missing person who was dead.

The FAA is investigating the accident, while the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Explosion at wedding in Afghanistan kills 63 and injures 182

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) — An explosion at a wedding hall in the city of Kabul has killed 63 people and wounded 182, according Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson for the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior Affairs.

The blast happened at the Dubai City Wedding Hall in western Kabul as it was packed with revelers enjoying a wedding, many of whom were women and children.

The cause of the explosion remains unknown, but it took place in a part of Kabul where many people of the Shiite Hazara community call home.

The Islamic State’s arm in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack, The Associated Press reported. The Taliban released a statement shortly after the explosion condemning the bombing and denying any involvement.

Just yesterday President Donald Trump met with his Afghanistan envoy, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence, at his golf club in New Jersey and hinted that the U.S. might be close to a deal with the Taliban.

He tweeted, “Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19 year old war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!”

An Afghan official told ABC News, “Terrorists once again targeted civilians. They cannot face ANDSF (Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces) in the battle field hence conduct these cowardly attacks.”

Images of the wedding hall after the explosion showed several enormous holes were left in the walls and ceiling of the building and dozens of shoes piled up from victims that were caught in the blast. Hospital corridors were also lined with victims who were waiting to receive treatment — some who had lost limbs.

The timing of the explosion shattered more than a week of calm in the Afghan capital.

A Taliban car bomb allegedly targeting Afghan security forces ripped through a busy west Kabul neighborhood on the same road as the wedding explosion 10 days ago, killing 14 people and wounding 145 — most of them women and children.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Latest North Korea launch unlikely to break stalemate in US diplomatic talks

MicroStockHub/iStock(NEW YORK) — North Korea fired two short-range projectiles into the Sea of Japan early Friday morning according to South Korea’s military, marking North Korea’s sixth round of short-range missile testing in less than a month.

The launch began just hours after North Korea rejected further dialogue with Seoul, citing its frustration with joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the region. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were launched into the Sea of Japan at around 8:01 and 8:16 a.m. local time, and both flew about 143 miles at an altitude of 18 miles.

The officials did not confirm whether the projectiles were rockets or ballistic missiles, and President Donald Trump did not immediately acknowledge this latest launch.

Despite the ongoing missile testing, Trump last week boasted about his most recent letter from Kim Jong Un, calling it “beautiful’ and “positive” and claiming that Kim offered a “small apology” for the continued launches. Trump told reporters that Kim was fed up with the joint US-South Korean military exercises he calls “war games.”

“He wasn’t happy with the war games … I’ve never liked [the exercises], either,” Trump said. “You know why? I don’t like paying for it.”

Trump has continuously downplayed North Korea’s launches and touted the success of his relationship with Kim.

Last week, the president told reporters that “there have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range, no ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles.” However, U.S. officials have confirmed North Korea is testing short range ballistic missile tests that violate U.N. Security Council sanctions and continue to pose a threat to U.S. allies, as well as the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.

In an interview Thursday with Voice of America, National Security Advisor John Bolton called the launches “troubling.”

“We think the range could probably hit all of South Korea and parts of Japan. That of course would endanger our deployed forces as well. These resolutions violate U.N. Security Council sanctions, and they don’t violate the pledge that Kim Jong Un made to President Trump, that’s true, but they are troubling for everybody watching the peninsula,” said Bolton.

Bolton also highlighted the stalemate in negotiations between the two nations since Trump and Kim’s historic meeting at the DMZ in late June. Citing North Korea’s failure to fully commit to denuclearization, Bolton told VOA: “We haven’t had really any substantive negotiations, at the working level with North Korea since the president met with Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone … The door is open for them … but they need to walk through it and they haven’t done that yet.”

Although Kim appears to be seeking attention from the U.S with these short-range tests, Trump has largely ignored the launches and they are unlikely to affect future relations between the U.S. and North Korea, according to Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. Easley said that although the launch “makes it exceedingly difficult to build trust” with North Korea, negotiations are still possible.

“Working-level negotiations with North Korea are still worth pursuing, but those diplomatic efforts should be backed up by the preparation of additional sanctions and renewed U.S.-Japan-South Korea military cooperation if Pyongyang continues to violate UN resolutions and threaten its neighbors,” Easley said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘There is no turning back’: Another weekend of protests kick off in Hong Kong

LewisTsePuiLung/iStock(HONG KONG) — Thousands of people stood elbow to elbow chanting “Power to the People!” on a humid night in central Hong Kong on Friday, as anti-government protests that began here in early June and led to a shutdown of the city’s busy international airport this week showed no signs of slowing down.

In the first of several protests planned for this weekend, demonstrators chanted “Stand with Hong Hong,” a message they said was directed at the United States and the United Kingdom, the city’s former colonial power which passed control of the city to China in 1997.

Police denied permission for a rally that was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday, but protesters are expected to go ahead with it anyway.

“I will sacrifice my life for this movement because we are protecting our home,” one of the protesters, Keith Fong, 20, told ABC News earlier in the day.

Another protester, 19-year-old Zoey Leung, said she worries about the safety of her friends and loved ones amid the demonstrations, and the increasingly violent police crackdown, but had no intention of backing down.

“Chasing democracy and freedom is the nature of humans,” she said. “There is no turning back for Hong Kongers nowadays.”

Protests erupted on the island 10 weeks ago over a controversial bill that would have allowed accused criminals to be extradited to countries where Hong Kong does not have an existing arrangement. That would have included mainland China, sparking concern over potential human rights abuses, and unearthing a deep-seated distrust for many in Hong Kong. Its embattled and deeply unpopular leader, Carrie Lam, suspended work on the bill but has refused to legally withdraw it.

The activists have also called on Lam to resign.

Lam has condemned the protests and said the marchers were using opposition to the extradition bill as an excuse to undermine Beijing’s sovereignty in Hong Kong to “destroy the way of life cherished by the 7 million [residents].”

On Monday, thousands of protesters rallied and held sit-ins at Hong Kong’s international airport, a main hub for business travelers in Asia and among the busiest airports in the world. The protests were broken up by riot police and planes were grounded for the better part of two days.

On Friday, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways announced the resignation of two of its top officials, including its CEO Rupert Hogg, following reports that airline employees had joined in with the protests.

In a statement posted on Friday, the airline said that “recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure.” The statement said the airline is “fully committed to Hong Kong under the principal of ‘One Country Two Systems,'” which refers to China’s pledge to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and way of life when it resumed control of the city.

Also on Friday, Alain Robert, a Frenchman whose reputation for scaling skyscrapers has earned him the nickname Spiderman, scaled Hong Kong’s 62-story Cheung Kong Centre and unveiled a banner a banner with the flags of both China and Hong Kong, the BBC reported.

“Perhaps what I do can lower the temperature and maybe raise a smile. That’s my hope anyway,” Mr Robert said in a media statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Magic104.9’s Top Tracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Panic! At The Disco-“High Hopes”
  2. Marshmello feat. Bastille-“Happier”
  3. Halsey-“Without Me”
  4. Dean Lewis-“Be Alright”
  5. Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B-“Girls Like You”

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