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Taylor Swift’s turning her Instagram Story over to fans who vote

FilmMagic for dcp via ABC/Jeff Kravitz/AMA2018If the fact that Taylor Swift told you to go out and vote isn’t enough to make you fill out that absentee ballot or drag yourself down to your local polling place, maybe this is: You could be featured in her Instagram Story.

Taylor posted a photo of herself with an “I voted” sticker on her cheek, and captioned it, “If you just voted, take a pic and tag me with #justvoted. It may end up on my story.”

If you scroll through her IG story, you’ll see many pictures of young men and women who’ve taken her up on her offer.  Some are first-time voters, some are absentee-ballot voters, and some just captured the moment after they cast their ballots.

As previously reported, Taylor urged people to take advantage of early voting, writing, “It makes it so quick and easy to go and cast your vote before November 6.”

Taylor presumably had to vote early herself because she’s currently in Australia, performing on her Reputation tour. She’ll be there, as well as in New Zealand and Japan, through November 21. That’s also the reason she couldn’t attend her bestie Karlie Kloss‘ wedding.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Listen now: In new song, James Arthur can’t fill the “Empty Space”

Olaf HeineJames Arthur is having a tough time letting go of an old love in his new song, “Empty Space.”

The emotionally raw song starts off with James in denial over the pain he’s in, before the confessional chorus kicks in. “I’m alone in my head/Looking for love in a stranger’s bed/But I don’t think I’ll find it/’Cause only you could fill this empty space,” he sings.

“This song is for anyone who has ever deeply loved and lost someone dear to them, and is then faced with the struggle of trying to fill that void,” James says in a statement to Billboard. “It is about coming to terms with the fact that only that special person can truly fill the empty space.”

James is currently working on his upcoming album with Ryan Tedder and hitmaking songwriters Justin Tranter and Max Martin. A release date has yet to be announced.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“…Baby One More Time” 20th anniversary: Vinyl coming soon, new merch collection available now

Jive/Legacy RecordingsThis news might “drive you crazy” : October 23 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Britney Spears‘ debut single “…Baby One More Time.” To celebrate that milestone, there’s a bunch of new stuff to buy.

Britney’s debut album, also called …Baby One More Time, is being released on picture vinyl for the first time.  One side of the disc features the album cover, while the other has an image of Britney from an early photo shoot.  You can pre-order that now; it’ll be released on November 23.

While you’re waiting for that, a limited-edition “…Baby One More Time” line of merchandise is now available online now.  Among the goodies up for grabs: mugs, weekender bags, keychains, lithographs, t-shirts, hoodies and more. 

For $300, you’ll get all those things, plus the picture vinyl, a baseball cap and a framed and personalized 20th anniversary plaque.

Meanwhile, Britney’s newly-announced Las Vegas residency at the Park MGM, Domination, will open in February.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch John Stamos as a pot-smoking therapist on Sunday’s ‘You’

Courtesy of Lifetime(NEW YORK) — This Sunday, John Stamos joins the Lifetime thriller You for a four-episode arc in which he plays a therapist with some unconventional methods.

He plays Dr. Nicky, the therapist of Elizabeth Lail’s character Beck. Things get twisted when Beck’s stalker Joe, played by Penn Badgley, also begins seeing him.

“I saw the script and I said, ‘Oh, I like this character,’” Stamos says. “It’s just a layered character. There’s just a lot more going on than what you see. But I saw in the book that he smokes pot and he sort of uses that as part of his therapy. I said, ‘That’s interesting. Let’s put that in.’”

While he can’t reveal too much more about Dr. Nicky’s motives – or whether he might actually help Joe overcome some of his issues – he does say the role helped him explore his fascination with therapy.

“I go to a therapist…but I usually end up for 15 minutes asking him about him,” he says. “I just love it. If I had to do something else, I think I would be a therapist.” 

You airs Sunday on Lifetime at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Halloween’s’ Jamie Lee Curtis insists its not just another slasher movie

Andrew Eccles/Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — Probably one of the biggest horror movies to open this year — Halloween — opens nationwide on Friday. A direct sequel to the 1978 original, Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, still dealing with the violent attack she suffered 40 years earlier.

Curtis tells ABC Radio that the new film is more psychological thriller than slasher movie.

“What we’ve made is a movie about the generational aspects of trauma — how one generation’s trauma carries on into the next and into the next,” she explains. “And we explore it, and unpack it, and then we flip it and reverse it and face it.”

Adds the 59-year-old actress, an attack like the one she suffered in the first movie stays with its victim forever.

It’s a thief of your life. Violence against women, that kind of tremendous trauma that she suffered, it robs you of a life. You’re frozen in time. And this movie allows us to explore that in a very terrifying and interesting way.”

Written before the #MeToo movement began, Curtis says the film parallels what many women are going through today.

“Our movie is about PTSD and shame and no one coming to the aid with understanding. #MeToo is about shame, no one coming to the aid, no one standing up for ’em,” she says.

For Curtis, who’s known as the original Scream Queen, you might say scaring people is in her blood. She’s the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — whose character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho met her demise in the film’s classic shower murder scene. Truth is, Jamie Lee doesn’t like watching horror movies.

“I do not. There’s nothing– Aladdin was scary to me. I don’t watch– nothing,” she admits.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘The Hate U Give’ cast and director weigh in on the film’s significance and why it’s more than just a black film

L-R: Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Amandla Stenberg, and Common in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss.(NEW YORK) — With today’s release of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired-film, The Hate U Give, the director George Tillman, Jr. and some of its cast are weighing in on its significance and why the film is not just for black people.

“It’s really for everyone,” Regina Hall tells ABC Radio.

Hall — who plays Lisa Carter, Starr’s protective mother — continues, “Of course it’s based in the Black Lives Matter movement. But I think when people see it, they’ll realize it is for everyone.”

The film’s director agrees and adds that the adaptation also offers a “wide range of emotion.”

“There is humor there,” Tillman says. “There’s this wonderful family at the core… And then you’re going to be shocked at certain things. And that’s what I wanted to make as a film to have these emotions that keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Tillman says the film is also bound to make you think. He reveals that his hope was to have the audience “see [themselves] in all of these characters.”

“Somewhere in there, somebody could say, “I was Mav, or I was Haley, or I was Chris,” he says naming some of the characters. “‘How do I changed my perspective?’ ‘Oh, we need to listen to one another a little bit more and respect.'”

Meanwhile, for Russell Hornsby who plays Starr’s father Maverick — he sees a much deeper connection.

“When I was younger– there used to be a shirt… It said, ‘It’s a black thing you wouldn’t understand,’ he recalls. “And I’ll never forget my religion teacher…said, ‘No, it’s a black thing. Let me help you understand.’ And I think there’s a difference.”

“So I think what we’re trying to do with this film is bring something that audiences can feel about what our lives are. And I think we do a wonderful job.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup — 10/19/18

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

Milwaukee 7, L.A. Dodgers 2

Charlotte 120, Orlando 88
Brooklyn 107, N.Y. Knicks 105
Minnesota 131, Cleveland 123
Toronto 113, Boston 101
New Orleans 149, Sacramento 129
Memphis 131, Atlanta 117
Milwaukee 118, Indiana 101
Golden State 124, Utah 123
L.A. Clippers 108, Oklahoma City 92

SO Florida 6, Washington 5
Minnesota 3, Dallas 1
Nashville 5, Calgary 3

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Cleveland Browns trade running back Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville Jaguars

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Cleveland Browns are trading running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Hyde has rushed for 382 yards and five touchdown through Cleveland’s first six games. He will now help fill a hole for a Jacksonville team that has been without its star running back Leonard Fournette for much of the season.

Fournette has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. It will be the third consecutive game Fournette will not play.

The move will give Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb more opportunities to show his talent. Chubb has tallied 173 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 carries this season.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

LeBron James not worried despite loss in Los Angeles Lakers debut

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — After a hot start, LeBron James’ first game as a Los Angeles Laker ended in a loss, but not one that has the superstar worried.

James opened the game with a pair of jaw-dropping dunks in a 19-second span. And though he scored 26 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists, the Lakers dropped their season opener to the Portland Trail Blazers, 128-119. Asked how long it will take for the team’s chemistry to develop, James said simply “not as fast as you guys think  it’s going to happen.”

“I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal,” James continued. “It is not that fast. It takes a while to get to where you can close your eyes and know exactly where your guys are.”

James is no stranger to teams that take time to gel. When he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, Miami struggled to a 9-8 start despite three of the league’s best players. And his return to Cleveland in 2014 saw the Cavaliers open the season by losing 20 of their first 39 games.

James’ teams made the NBA Finals in each of the last eight seasons — including his first years in Miami and his return to Cleveland.

The Lakers don’t catch a break in game two, facing the Houston Rockets and James Harden.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Florida city official charged with murder after shooting alleged shoplifter

Lakeland Police Department(LAKELAND, Fla.) — The Florida city commissioner who confronted and shot an alleged shoplifter at a military surplus store earlier this month was charged with murder on Friday.

Michael Dunn, who serves as Lakeland’s city commissioner for the Southwest District, was confronting a man police said had taken a hatchet from the store he owns when he shot and killed him. Surveillance footage from the incident, which took place Oct. 3, was released on Monday.

Christobal Lopez, 50, was killed in the shooting.

Dunn was charged with second-degree murder on Friday. If convicted, he could spend up to life in prison.

The 47-year-old Dunn had claimed he acted in self-defense, knowing the man was in possession of a hatchet, and cited the state’s “stand your ground” law. The state attorney for Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit said otherwise.

“I have determined that this case and the actions of Mr. Dunn fall outside the protection of the ‘stand your ground’ law,” Polk State Attorney Brian Haas said at a news conference Friday night.

According to an affidavit and the store surveillance footage, Dunn left his office at the Vets Army Navy Surplus store when he saw Lopez take a hatchet from a shelf and stick it in the waistband of his pants. Dunn grabbed a handgun, stuck it in his waistband and cut off Lopez from leaving the store. The two got into an argument, according to the affidavit, before the hatchet fell out of Lopez’s pant leg and onto the floor.

Lopez said he would pay for the hatchet and moved back to the counter, before “hastily attempting to leave the business with the hatchet in hand,” according to the affidavit. Dunn is seen grabbing Lopez’s shirt to prevent him from leaving. He then loses his grip on the shirt and raised his gun to “eye level” and fired two shots.

One shot struck Lopez in the left upper torso and another hit him in his back, according to the affidavit. He died on the scene. Dunn did not attempt to “render aid to the victim,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit also includes statements to police from Dunn after being read his Miranda rights: “The suspect stated he was in fear, but when he was asked what would have happened if he let go of the victim, the suspect replied, ‘It might be fair to say that if I just stepped back and let somebody come in and take what they want, that there would be no issue.”

Rusty Franklin, Dunn’s lawyer, told ABC News on Monday — prior to his client’s arrest — that “all legal defenses are under analysis and will be pursued.”

Franklin later said at a press conference Monday that Dunn “acted responsibly and legally.”

Dunn is currently being held in Polk County Jail, and an arraignment date has yet to be set.

The charge is the second example in three months in the state in which a prosecutor did not accept a “stand your ground” defense. Michael Drejka was charged with manslaughter after shooting a man outside a Clearwater convenience store in August. Security footage in that incident showed Markeis McGlockton pushing Drejka to the ground after he confronted his fiancé outside the gas station. Drejka shot and killed McGlockton.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law came to national prominence in 2012 with the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. The law says a person “does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Texas facing flood threat; cold weather moving into Northeast, Midwest

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Another blast of cold air is in the forecast for the eastern half of the nation — and this blast is a little stronger than the wave of cold that hit much of the central and eastern U.S. earlier this week.

Wind chills will be in the 20s across parts of the Midwest on Sunday, and wind chills in the 30s are possible for major cities in the Northeast.

On Monday, the cold air really grips the eastern U.S., with wind chills in the 20s across much of the Northeast and low 30s from New York City to Washington, D.C.

The cold air reaches even farther south, with wind chills in the low 40s all the way to Georgia and South Carolina. Even coastal regions — such as Wilmington, North Carolina, which was hit by Hurricane Florence just a little over a month ago — will see wind chill temperatures below 40.

More rain in Texas

After several rounds of drenching rain in Texas this week, showers are expected to become less widespread through the weekend in much of Texas. The rounds of heavy rain have left the ground saturated, and some rivers and lakes in the area are in flood stage.

The Colorado River at Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, is still well into major flood stage. At about 704 feet, the gauge is within a Top 5 crest in history, and it is at its highest point since 1997 when the gauge was at more than 705 feet.

The lake will rise several more feet on Saturday, and officials are considering opening more flood gates on the Mansfield Dam on Lake Travis, according to Austin ABC affiliate KVUE-TV. The opening of additional flood gates would cause problems for homeowners downstream in the region.

Showers stretch from Texas into the Northeast on Saturday morning. Most of the rain is being caused by moisture interacting with a strong cold front moving through the central U.S.

No additional widespread flash flooding is expected with these rain showers.

Along Texas’ Gulf Coast, moisture is interacting with a stationary front and causing locally enhanced downpours along the immediate coastline.

Most of hard-hit areas in Texas will not see additional rain over the weekend. However, parts of the Gulf Coast — especially extreme southern Texas, near Brownsville and Corpus Christi — will see enhanced rainfall that could cause flash flooding. Localized rainfall totals of over 4 inches are possible.

After a brief break from the drenching rain, some of the heavier rainfall may make its way further into hard-hit central Texas by Monday. Another shot of locally heavy rain is possible for much of Texas and parts of the Southern Plains by Wednesday. Through the upcoming work week, rainfall totals over 2 inches will be possible in parts of Texas.

Unfortunately, this could aggravate any ongoing flooding in Texas that has not had the time to recede.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two members of far right group arrested after New York City brawl

zocik/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two members of the far-right group the Proud Boys have been arrested after allegedly brawling after a political event in Manhattan last week.

New York Police Department officials confirmed the arrests of Geoffrey Young and Jay Kinsman in connection to a clash that took place near an event involving the Proud Boys.

The leader of the Proud Boys, a far right group that call themselves “western chauvinists,” but deny that they are racists or white nationalists, gave a speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan on Oct. 12.

Police said that an altercation occurred between protesters who were dressed in all black and members of the Proud Boys group.

Police held a news conference on Monday about the then-ongoing investigation, calling for the public’s help in identifying suspects who were caught on camera.

Young, 38, was arrested Thursday and is charged with riot and attempted assault. He has not yet entered a plea.

The second arrest came Friday, when Kinsman, 39, was taken into custody. He is facing charges of attempted gang assault, attempted assault, riot, and criminal possession of a weapon. He has not yet entered a plea.

Police officials said that Gavin McInnes, the head of the Proud Boys, who gave the speech at the Metropolitan Club, told police that he would facilitate the surrender of at least two others.

In a video posted to the group’s website McInnes — who was one of the co-founders of Vice Media before leaving the organization years ago — the Proud Boys are a “multi-racial group made up of straight guys — there’re some homos in there, there are plenty of Jews.”

“The only prerequisite is that you’re a dude — born a dude — and you accept the West as the best,” he said in the video.

The group has gained national attention in the past for their involvement in violent clashes. There are videos online that purport to show members of the Proud Boys punching members of the left-wing antifa, or anti-fascist groups, at various protests in the past year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Top US general’s close call in Afghanistan insider attack

PeterHermesFurian/iStock/Thinkstock(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) — New details show how close the top U.S. general in Afghanistan was to Thursday’s violent insider attack in Kandahar that killed two senior Afghan security officials and wounded the province’s governor. Gen. Austin Scott Miller told Friday he believes the attacker was targeting the Afghan officials and expressed confidence that despite the attack Afghan forces will be able to ensure security for key parliamentary elections on Saturday.

The attack killed Gen. Abdul Raziq, the well-known police chief in Kandahar, and Gen. Abdul Mohmin, the top intelligence official in the province. Kandahar’s governor Zalmai Wessa was wounded along with three others, including an American service member and an American civilian employee.

On Friday, Miller told the Tolo News Agency that he believes that “what happened in Kandahar was an attack on the security forces.”

“My assessment is that I was not the target,” Miller said. “It was a very close confined space. But I don’t assess that I was the target.”

The attack occurred shortly after Miller had participated in a meeting with the top civilian and military officials in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

The American general and the Afghan officials had moved to an area outside of the governor’s residence to await the arrival of the military helicopter that would transport Miller and his staff, according to Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Resolute Support, the NATO training mission in Afghanistan.

The group was talking among themselves waiting for Miller’s helicopter when, Butler said, a gunman wearing some type of Afghan security uniform opened fire on them with an automatic weapon.

Butler stressed that Miller was not in the shooter’s line of fire and was firing at the Afghan officials.

The gunman was shot immediately. “It was over in seconds,” said Butler.

Miller, like the other U.S. personnel around him, pulled out his handgun, which is standard practice in such a situation.

“When there’s a threat, we will draw our weapons,” said Butler. “That’s what we’re trained to do and Gen. Miller is no exception.”

What followed was a combination of U.S. and Afghan forces securing the area and tending to the wounded.

Miller had some of the wounded transported aboard his helicopter so they could quickly receive medical treatment.

On Friday, in a hospital bedside interview with Afghan reporters Wessa said his health was improving and described the attack as an act of terror.

The attack led to a one-week postponement of parliamentary elections in Kandahar that were scheduled for Saturday.

A day after the attack in Kandahar, Miller was seen on the streets of Kabul greeting Afghan security personnel ahead of Saturday’s key parliamentary elections.

Butler said Miller’s visit with Afghan forces was intended “to provide some confidence to the Afghan people and security forces.”

Miller expressed confidence that with U.S. and NATO support Afghan security forces will do a good job of providing security for Saturday’s election in the rest of the country.

“We will continue our support. My message to the people of Afghanistan has been very consistent: you have every right to be proud of your security forces and the preparations that made for this election despite this unfortunate event, tragic event down in Kandahar,” he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

18 Saudi citizens detained in connection with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: Report

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images(NEW YORK) —  Eighteen Saudi citizens have been detained in connection with the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency.

Khashoggi disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

An initial investigation has revealed that discussions between Khashoggi and the individuals who met with him at the consulate led to an argument and a fist fight — which resulted in the journalist’s death — Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said in a statement, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Investigators are working to hold those involved with Khashoggi’s death responsible, according to the statement.

Turkish officials have claimed that a group of 15 Saudi men flew to Istanbul at the time of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

At least one of the suspects traveled to Istanbul for the purpose of meeting with Khashoggi, according to a statement from the Saudi Press Agency. The suspects then attempted to “conceal and cover” what happened, the statement read.

Khashoggi, an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, has written critically of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government.

The White House acknowledged the Saudis’ announcement, stating that it would “continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process.

“We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in the statement.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump cautioned against blaming Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s disappearance but told reporters Thursday that “it certainly looks like” he was dead.

Saudi Arabia had denied news reports that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, but pressure has been building on the Saudi government more than two weeks to explain what happened to him after he entered the consulate earlier this month.

On Friday evening, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – a key ally of President Donald Trump – posted a tweet registering his skepticism of the Saudi government’s latest account of what happened to Khashoggi.

“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement. First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince.”

Khashoggi had warned of renewed efforts to silence free press in the Middle East, and his final column, titled, “What the Arab world needs most is free expression,” was published on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

F-16 accidentally blown up by Belgian Air Force mechanic

swind/iStock/Thinkstock(FLORENNE, Belgium) — When it was over, an F-16 lay burnt to a crisp on a tarmac in Belgium.

The pictures tell the story: Mechanics at an Air Force base in Florenne were working on a nearby F-16 last Thursday and accidentally triggered that jet’s cannon, which fired at the other plane.

Those rounds struck the recently fueled F-16, which exploded into a fireball. A source told the Belgian broadcaster VRT that one of the mechanics had accidentally fired rounds from the jet’s 20-milimeter multi-barrel cannon.

The Belgian Air Force said another F-16 also suffered collateral damage from the rounds.

The two mechanics involved in the incident were treated at the scene for potential hearing loss.

“You can’t help thinking of what a disaster this could have been,” Col. Didier Polome told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

The Belgian Air Force said the bizarre incident is being investigated by Belgium’s Air Safety Directorate.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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