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MUSIC NEWS

Alessia Cara offers “relatable disappointments” in new video for “Rooting for You”

Walt Disney Television/Paula LoboAlessia Cara’s latest video, for “Rooting for You,” allows us all to nod our heads and say, “Yep, I’ve been there.”

The clip features Alessia singing and three cheerleaders doing a routine, cut with footage of people experiencing various “relatable disappointments.”

Among them: “when your hair has other plans,” “when the kiss does not have sparks,” “when everything is broken,” “when he shows up an hour late,” “when you realize you made a huge mistake” — depicted as waking up next to a less-than-desirable guy — and “when you ‘don’t need’ the recipe,” which results in burned cookies.

“Rooting for You” is from Alessia’s new EP, This Summer. As Billboard notes, John Mayer was such a fan of the track when it was released that he posted it on his Instagram Story and wrote, “Meanwhile, I only wish I had written this. Now that’s what I call a hook.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Liam Payne trained with Mark Wahlberg to prepare for underwear campaign

Jason HetheringtonLiam Payne has launched a new capsule clothing collection with Hugo Boss, but for his next fashion move, he’s saying “Strip It Down” — literally.

Liam also has a starring role in a new Hugo Boss underwear campaign, which will feature him posing practically naked. So how’d he get in shape for such revealing pics? He consulted the man who made half-naked underwear campaigns iconic: Mark Wahlberg.

Back in 1992, when the actor was a rapper known as Marky Mark, he dropped trou for a now-legendary Calvin Klein underwear campaign. Every campaign that’s come afterwards — including Justin Bieber‘s memorable Calvin ads — has been compared to Wahlberg’s.

Liam tells the New York Post that not only did he ask Wahlberg for advice while preparing for the “quite raunchy” shoot, he “even went in and trained with him.”

“The training part was a proper drag — can’t eat this, can’t eat that,” he adds. “But it was nice putting myself through that challenge, going into the gym with a motive.”

While we wait for that campaign to officially launch, Liam’s clothing collection is available, including t-shirts, pants, sweatshirts and sneakers, all decorated with chevrons, because Liam has them tattooed on his arm.  But he told the Post that he only discovered he’d gotten the tattoo when he woke up in bed one day with it after a drunken night out.

“I was literally still in bed Googling ‘tattoo removal.’ I really regretted it for a while — but I don’t know, with tattoos over time, I find that they just become part of you,” he explains.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

#LG6: Lady Gaga hasn’t forgotten about her new album

ABC/Rick RowellBack in March, Lady Gaga responded to rumors that she was pregnant by tweeting, “Yeah, I’m pregnant with #LG6″ — referring to what will be her sixth studio album. Fans thought that meant music was imminent, but so far, nothing has surfaced. But Gaga wants you to know she’s working on it.

The star shared a photo on her Instagram Story of herself standing in a recording studio, wearing a cheetah-print coat and dark glasses. The caption reads, “#LG6.”

When Gaga finally does release her new album, it’ll be the follow-up to 2016’s Joanne, which featured the hit song “Million Reasons.” Since then, she’s been busy branching out into acting and launching her new makeup line, Haus Laboratories.

In the new issue of People magazine, Gaga says, “We don’t care if you wear our makeup or not. What’s important to us is that you love yourself and spread that kind message around the world.”


Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Ahead of the Emmys on Sunday, ‘Pose’ stars explain why ground-breaking series “cannot be measured by an award”

Indya Moore – Eric Liebowitz/FX(LOS ANGELES) — Ahead of the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday night, Pose stars Dominique Jackson and Indya Moore are sharing their thoughts on what winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama series would mean to them.

When the series was first announced in 2017, it made history by casting five transgender actors in series regular roles. It also also had the largest LGBTQ presence on a prime time series.

“At this point in time, in our existence, if Pose were to receive an Emmy, that would be global validation,” Jackson, who plays Elektra, says. “Even if it’s just in the U.S.”

However, in deeper thought, Dominique says a win would actually be more than just validation.

“You’re saying to people that we recognize this story. We recognize and we acknowledge and we uplift,” she says. “Because… we don’t need validation.”

She continues, “We need you to see that we’re here, we need you to see that our stories are truth. And we’re going to need you to get off those stories and start helping to be able to live in spaces where we don’t have to fear for our lives.”

Her co-star Indya Moore, who plays Angel, agrees and adds that Pose‘s significance goes beyond the idea of winning an award.

“Just to imagine how Pose influenced the way that people raise their children…or changing the ways they love their kids,” they say. “And that literally changes the future of your child’s life. The way that you love them, the way you make space for them. And to know something like Pose influences people and their hearts and their family dynamics this way. I mean it’s just something that cannot be measured by an award.” 

The 71st Emmy Awards will air this Sunday night on FOX.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Will the Emmys crown ‘Game of Thrones’ this Sunday night?

Helen Sloan/HBO(LOS ANGELES) — The 71st Emmy Awards will air this Sunday night on FOX, live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Despite its controversial final season, HBO’s Game of Thrones still leads all nominees with a record 32 nods, including Outstanding Drama Series.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon’s award-winning comedy series, is a distant second with 20 nominations, followed by HBO’s Chernobyl with 19. 

Saturday Night Live scored 18 nominations, one more than former cast member Bill Hader’s Barry, which earned 17, including an Outstanding Comedy Actor nod for Hader himself. 

While there’s no host this year, there will obviously be no shortage of star power at the podium. Anthony Anderson, Bill Hader, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Ben Stiller have been tapped to present, as have Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, Gwyneth Paltrow, RuPaul, Lilly Singh, Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and the cast of Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Here is the list of nominees in the major categories. The full list can be found here.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – Black-ish
Don Cheadle – Black Monday
Ted Danson – The Good Place
Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader – Barry
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Natasha Lyonne – Russian Doll
Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Laura Linney – Ozark
Mandy Moore –  This Is Us
Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman – Ozark
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
Kit Harington – Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Billy Porter – Pose
Milo Ventimiglia – This Is Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
Amy Adams – Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette – Escape at Dannemora
Connie Britton – Dirty John
Aunjanue Ellis – When They See Us
Joey King – The Act
Niecy Nash – When They See Us
Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
Mahershala Ali – True Detective
Benicio del Toro – Escape at Dannemora
Hugh Grant – A Very English Scandal
Jared Harris – Chernobyl
Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us
Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Bodyguard
Game of Thrones
Killing Eve
Ozark
Pose
Succession
This Is Us

Outstanding Comedy Series
Barry
Fleabag
The Good Place
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Russian Doll
Schitt’s Creek
Veep

Outstanding Limited Series
Chernobyl
Escape at Dannemora
Fosse/Verdon
Sharp Objects
When They See Us

Outstanding TV Movie
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Brexit
Deadwood: The Movie
King Lear
My Dinner with Hervé

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

As ‘Fosse/Verdon’ heads to the Emmys, co-star Jake Lacy looks back: “That’s as good as it gets”

Michael Parmalee/FX(NEW YORK) — The 71st Emmy Awards will air this Sunday night on Fox, and in the running in multiple categories is FX’s limited series Fosse/Verdon, starring Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams.

The series portrayed the tumultuous personal and professional relationship between legendary choreographer Bob Fosse and performer Gwen Verdon. Both Rockwell and Williams are nominated for playing the lead roles, and the show is nominated for an Outstanding Limited Series Emmy.

The Office alum Jake Lacy appears in Fosse/Verdon as Verdon’s boyfriend Ron.

“Man: the best!” Lacy said, summing up the experience for ABC Radio. “Sam — and Michelle as well. Just…warm and welcoming and talented for days and cool and chill and collaborative.”

He explained he came in halfway through the shoot, and credited the cast and crew with helping him “catch on and hang on” to the “moving train.”

“It’s just made all that easier when you have leads, and producers, and writers, and collaborators who are thoughtful…they’re just the coolest, man.”

Thanks to the nature of the relationship of Fosse and Verdon, Lacy got into some intense situations with Rockwell onscreen, but offscreen, Lacy says, he and Rockwell bonded.

“[There’s] this thing that’s like, ‘Don’t meet your heroes.’ And then, in the off chance that you…meet your hero and he’s actually the coolest guy — it like doesn’t get much better than that.”

“To just be like — they call ‘cut’ and [we’re] watching dumb YouTube videos, and Sam is trying to lasso a folding chair — it’s just the greatest, man…that’s as good as it gets.”  

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Antonio Brown, facing sexual assault allegations, cut by Patriots after 1 game

littleny/iStock(BOSTON) — Antonio Brown played just one game for the New England Patriots before the team released the star wide receiver, who’s facing multiple sexual assault allegations.

Brown seemed to confirm his release in a tweet, writing, “Thank you for the opportunity.”

He later tweeted, “The marathon continues.”

“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.,” the Patriots said in a statement Friday.

Brown’s agent tweeted a message making it clear that they do not see this as the end of his time in the league, however.

“It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots. But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon,” Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus wrote on Twitter.

Just two days after the Patriots announced they’d signed Brown, the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver was accused of sexual assault and rape by his former trainer.

Britney Taylor, who accused Brown of sexual assault on multiple instances, had planned to meet with the NFL last week, sources told ABC News.

ABC News does not usually name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Taylor’s lawyer gave permission and reiterated the lawsuit was not filed anonymously.

Brown, through his attorney, denied all the allegations and suggested his accuser was just trying to extort him. He said the relationship was consensual.

“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement after the suit was filed. “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”

Brown was traded to Oakland from Pittsburgh in March and signed a three-year, $50 million extension, but after feuding with the NFL over his helmet type and with Raiders management, his contract was voided and he went on to sign with the Patriots.

He unsuccessfully filed multiple grievances with the NFL, who outlawed his type of helmet due to updates safety regulations.

Brown’s time in Oakland only grew more controversial after he secretly recorded and released a conversation with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. Following a reported practice field spat with Oakland General Manager Mike Mayock, Brown asked the Raiders to release him.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nike drops Antonio Brown amid sexual misconduct allegations

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) —  Nike has cut ties with Antonio Brown amid assault allegations against the Patriots wide receiver. The company hasn’t expounded on its decision to end the contract, but told The Boston Globe Thursday, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.”

Brown has spoken out for the first time since being signed by New England, but did not address the recent accusations leveled against him.

Watch the full report from ABC’s Good Morning America below:

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/19/19

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

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

Boston 5, San Francisco 4
Seattle 6, Pittsburgh 5 — 11 Innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NY Yankees 9, LA Angels 1
Toronto 8, Baltimore 4
Cleveland 7, Detroit 0
Minnesota 8, Kansas City 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 4
Milwaukee 5, San Diego 1
St. Louis 5, Chi Cubs 4 — 10 Innings

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Jacksonville 20, Tennessee 7

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Connecticut 94, Los Angeles 68
Washington 103, Las Vegas 91

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Reward for missing 5-year-old girl Dulce Maria Alavez up to $35,000

New Jersey State Police(BRIDGETON, N.J.) —  The search for 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez entered its fifth day Friday with no significant leads or suspects, as authorities increased the reward for any information on the missing New Jersey girl to $35,000.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll find Dulce alive because we have no physical evidence,” Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McCrae said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Bridgeton Chief of Police Michael Gaimari said at the same press conference there are no “strong suspects” at this time.

 Dulce was last seen Monday afternoon near City Park in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The FBI, state police, missing persons unit, helicopters and the downtown ship dive crew have been part of the search effort.

Dulce’s mother reported to authorities that she saw her daughter playing on the swings with her 3-year-old brother, about 30 yards away, while she remained in her car with an 8-year-old relative. The mother said the toddler returned to her car without his sister and she was unable to find her, according to a statement from the Bridgetown Police Department.

Gaimari said that authorities expanded the search area about a mile and a half in each direction around the park on Friday, to make sure that they had covered their tracks. He would not say what, if anything, was recovered.

Gaimari also addressed rumors that Dulce’s mother had been arrested, calling them “erroneous.”

The New Jersey State Police issued an Amber Alert for Dulce early Wednesday after investigators interviewed people who were in the area at the time she vanished. Based on those interviews, detectives believe Dulce was taken by an unidentified man, who was light-skinned and possibly Hispanic, wearing a black shirt and red pants with orange sneakers. He was described as being around 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and having a thin build, acne and no facial hair.

Webb-McCrae said the investigation has led them to a place where “we just want to talk to the man described.” They are looking into the possibility that the person who took Dulce could be in the state or somewhere else in the country.

She said the public should be aware of any behavioral changes they observe in those close to them, including any sudden changes in appearances, plans, or vehicles.

Webb-McCrae emphasized that state police, her office and the FBI were not concerned with anyone’s immigration status if they did come forward with information.

On Friday, local authorities announced that the reward money for any information had been increased from $25,000.

The FBI, the prosecutor’s office, and the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association are each contributing $5,000. Two local businesses, Tortilleria El Paisano and Newfield National Bank, are each offering $10,000.

Dulce’s grandmother addressed the public on Thursday, begging anyone with information to come forward.

“Please, if you have any information help us find my granddaughter, do not be afraid of the police,” she said in Spanish at a press conference. “We have not been able to eat or sleep. You can’t imagine what we are going through. We are very sad.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Car crashes into mall near Chicago, suspect in custody: Officials

WLS-TV(CHICAGO) — A suspect is in custody after allegedly crashing a car into a mall in a Chicago suburb on Friday, officials said.

No injuries were reported in the incident at the Woodfield Mall, according to officials with the Village of Schaumburg, Illinois, which is 30 miles outside of Chicago.

Photos show the door to Sears shattered. The mall has been evacuated, officials said.

Lauren Potts Carney had just parked at the mall when she heard the crash and was shocked to see shoppers fleeing from the building.

Carney told ABC Chicago station WLS she’s now overcome with relief that no one seems to be hurt.

FBI Chicago officials said there’s no threat to public safety.



Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Botched’ Area 51 event draws only around 100 people

miroslav_1/iStock(RACHEL, Nev.) — The drama of the Area 51 event was meant to be out of this world, but the lack of humans brought it back to reality.

After more than two million people responded on Facebook that they would attend the “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” event, just about 75 actually showed up as of Friday morning.

None made it past the first gate at the site.

The event itself had changed course after the original organizer, 20-year-old college student Matty Roberts, who started the Facebook page as a joke, pulled out fearing a “humanitarian disaster in the works.”

The town of Rachel, Nevada, still scrambled to get its own AlienStock event to move forward but called it “botched.”

“Law enforcement clearly outnumbers visitors. There are no vendors and not much of an infrastructure,” according to a post on the town’s official website Thursday night. “A makeshift stage was set up on a dusty dirt lot and a few campers are parked around the area. This has very clearly become Fyre Fest 2.0 after the creator of the Storm Area 51 movement pulled out and the organizers started suing each other.”

Roberts sent Connie West, the owner of Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel and event co-partner, a cease-and-desist letter to cancel her extraterrestrial event plans, according to ABC Las Vegas affiliate KTNV-TV.

West ignored the letter, according to the town’s website.

The town urged anyone still planning to come to Rachel for AlienStock to be prepared with their own food, water, gas and a place to sleep.

As for entertainment, “occasionally music can be heard from a makeshift stage on a dusty dirt lot.”

Samantha Travis, the manager of the inn, previously told ABC News that 20 musical acts and two comedians had been booked for the Sept. 19-21 festival.

“We’re still gonna do our best to throw a sweet party and keep everyone safe,” Travis said.

Numerous calls to West, Travis and the Little A’Le’Inn were not returned.

The actual location of Area 51, the highly-classified government facility located near Rachel, will be guarded by the Air Force and various local and federal law enforcement, the town said.

At least two people were detained by local sheriff’s deputies early Friday, according to the Associated Press, but it was not clear what the offense was. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

One AlienStock attendee, named Jeffrey, told ABC News police were laughing and having fun with the visitors until a teenager ducked under the gate for a moment and was subsequently grabbed, scolded and let go. Jeffrey said he also saw a man detained after he urinated on the fence, but has not seen him since.

Area 51 has long been a source of conspiracy theories involving extraterrestrial beings. Revelers are allowed to go up to the gate but cannot actually enter the government site.

Another event, located about in the next nearest town of Hiko, seems to be going more smoothly with plans for music, movies and discussions about aliens.

George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center, said his event even has a replica of the Area 51 back gate.

“‘Storming’ Area 51 started as a prank. We want everyone to be safe and enjoy their visit. Neither the Lincoln County Sheriff or the United States Military will tolerate any illegal activity,” Harris said on his website. “So, in simple terms, check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Both the Rachel and Hiko events will run through Sunday for the hundreds of people who actually showed.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

How Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal may hurt his re-election — or not

alexsl/iStock(TORONTO) — For some politicians, being photographed dressing in black or brown face multiple times would be automatically devastating to a political campaign.

Some Canadian experts say that might not be the case for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however.

As Trudeau continues to wage his re-election bid amid a scandal surrounding three known incidents where he made himself appear as a different race, experts are evaluating how much of an impact they will have on his campaign. For the most part, many expect it to be damaging but not disastrous.

“This blackface brown face scandal goes to issues of credibility with him and issues of perceptions in the Canadian population also about his priorities,” Drew Fagan, a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, told ABC News, pointing to some alleged criticisms among some Canadians that Trudeau has prioritized global issues rather than domestic ones during his tenure.

Fagan said those concerns are not the ones that would be revived as a result of the photo and video scandal, however.

“Where this issue is a chink in the armor for him is a sense that some of the population has that he’s hypocritical,” he said, noting how Trudeau has been quick to admonish his peers and fellow politicians about missteps and pointing out how his party has allegedly been digging up old videos of opponents as well.

Comparisons between Trudeau and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who was at the center of his own blackface photo scandal earlier this year, have been plentiful, but Fagan said the two cases are “a little bit different because of the different historical context.”

Dr. Charmaine Nelson is an art history professor at McGill University in Montreal. She said that “as a black woman who teaches Canadian slavery and histories of black representation in western art and popular culture, I am profoundly aware of blackface minstrelsy as a Canadian practice and also aware of how frequently white Canadians deny such histories by shifting them onto the U.S.A.”

Nelson told ABC News via email that she believes that many Canadians “know little about” their country’s history of slavery under the French and British until 1833, “and instead we routinely celebrate the Underground Railroad (1833-1861) and embrace curriculum and narratives that position us simply as a multicultural and color-blind society.”

“But the lived reality for black, Indigenous and people of color Canadians is different from the rhetoric of racial inclusivity,” Nelson wrote.

Shama Rangwala, a faculty lecturer at the University of Alberta, told ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast that the scandal is quite significant because “Canadians like to be pretty smug about being nice and everyone gets along.”

“I think a lot of people who experience racism in Canada are maybe not surprised, but I think that Canadian liberals who have this mythologized, idealized version of Canada are really feeling their world shaken by this,” Rangwala said.

However, she said she was “not sure how much it will affect the election itself.”

Fagan seemed to agree, saying, “I don’t think it will be a deciding factor.”

“I think the liberals still have an advantage, but it’s a fairly slight one. It’s more of a battle than many people thought there should have been. It certainly has knocked his campaign off stride,” Fagan said.

Nelson said that there are different reasons why “Trudeau’s clearly racist behavior” will not change people’s minds about him.

“For many white Canadians, they simply do not see his acts as racist at all or as racist enough for them to change their vote. While for many black Canadians, we understand that we can’t afford to vote for a party like the Conservatives who have never acknowledged the reality of Canada as a nation with a problem of deep-seated systemic and institutional racism and bias, at a moment when too many of the world’s western governments are moving to the far right,” Nelson said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Amnesty International accuses Hong Kong police of beating, torturing protesters

LewisTsePuiLung/iStock(HONG KONG) — Amnesty International has documented “reckless and indiscriminate tactics” used by the Hong Kong police in responding to 15 weeks of anti-government protests.

The London-based human rights group claims detained protesters have been tortured, too.

“The Hong Kong police’s heavy-handed crowd-control response on the streets has been live-streamed for the world to see. Much less visible is the plethora of police abuses against protesters that take place out of sight,” Amnesty’s East Asia Director Nicholas Bequelin said in a report.

“The evidence leaves little room for doubt – in an apparent thirst for retaliation, Hong Kong’s security forces have engaged in a disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics against people during the protests,” the report read. “This has included arbitrary arrests and retaliatory violence against arrested persons in custody, some of which has amounted to torture.”

Amnesty International is calling for an independent investigation after interviewing nearly two dozen people who were arrested, along with lawyers, health workers and others.

Most of the detainees who spoke came forward requested anonymity because they “fear reprisals from the authorities amid a climate of impunity,” the group said.

In a statement to the Reuters news agency, responding to the report, police said they have respected the “privacy, dignity and rights” of those in custody and allowed those detained to be in contact with lawyers and their families.

“The force to be used by police shall be the minimum force necessary for achieving a lawful purpose,” police said, according to Reuters.

The protests began June 9, when hundreds of thousands of mostly young people marched against a proposed extradition bill that would have allowed individuals to be sent from semi-autonomous Hong Kong to mainland China for trial. Hong Kong executive leader Carrie Lam has since pulled the bill from consideration, but the movement has continued and protesters’ demands have expanded to include a call for an investigation into police brutality and universal suffrage.

Amnesty said that more than 1,300 people have been arrested since the protests began.

The group said it had documented cases of people being beaten in custody. One man who was detained at a police station following a protest in August told Amnesty he was severely beaten and told that if he tried to protect himself, police would break his hands, according to the report.

“I felt my legs hit with something really hard,” Amnesty quoted him as saying. “Then one [officer] flipped me over and put his knees on my chest. I felt the pain in my bones and couldn’t breathe. I tried to shout but I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t talk.”

The group said he was then hospitalized for several days with a bone fracture and internal bleeding.

Amnesty also highlighted the case of another protester who said she was being clubbed with a police baton as she ran from officers. She accused police of continuing to beat her even after she was put in restraints, according to the group.

 “Time and again, police officers meted out violence prior to and during arrests, even when the individual had been restrained or detained. The use of force was therefore clearly excessive, violating international human rights law,” Bequelin said.

“Given the pervasiveness of the abuses we found, it is clear that the Hong Kong Police Force is no longer in a position to investigate itself and remedy the widespread unlawful suppression of protesters. Amnesty International is urgently calling for an independent, impartial investigation aimed at delivering prosecutions, justice and reparation, as there is little trust in existing internal mechanisms such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC),” he added.

On Tuesday, three pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong will address the U.S. Congress, as it weighs two pieces of legislation to boost the protest movement.

Both bills have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

The PROTECT Hong Kong Act would prohibit U.S. exports of police equipment there, including tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and more. The second bill, called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, requires the administration to produce reports on the status of human rights and rule of law and of export controls in Hong Kong, requests that the State Department not deny visas to Hong Kongers for being arrested for protesting, and requires sanctions on those “responsible for the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and serious abuses of human rights.”

Joshua Wong, one of the 2014 Umbrella Movement leaders who was recently arrested for his role in the current protests, will testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, along with pro-democracy activist Denise Ho and student group spokesperson Sunny Cheung. Wong will urge lawmakers to pass the legislation, arguing it has “broad support” in Hong Kong, according to prepared remarks obtained by ABC News.

The legislation would be the most significant show of external support the demonstrators have received, but one that China has blasted and warned the U.S. not to take.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

British military rugby team apologizes after visiting controversial shrine for war criminals in Japan

Ismailciydem/iStock(TOKYO) — A British military rugby team on tour in Japan has apologized for visiting a controversial military shrine honoring Japanese soldiers, among them war criminals.

The U.K. Armed Forces Rugby team is in Japan for the 3rd International Defence Force Rugby Cup, which overlaps with the Rugby World Cup.

The team has been keeping their fans updated on their progress in the tournament with photos and videos on social media but it was a photo of one of their down-time activities posted on their Twitter account that caused the backlash.

The posts in question have now been taken down, but not before the British Ambassador to Japan intervened, according to the Times, which first reported the story.

 “It was very, very naive,” Commander Arty Shaw, who organized the visit, told the Times. “The ambassador had a word or two, so we’ve been told not to visit any more shrines, just in case.”

The team went on a “cultural visit” to Tokyo Tower and the Yasukuni shrine, on Sept. 13 according to a Twitter post from a member of the team which has since been taken offline. The photos show the team posing in front of the complex’s main Yasukuni Shrine.

Some Twitter users were positive, and one even thanked the rugby team for their trip, but others were less positive. “Are you aware of the Yasukuni shrine controversy?” asked one. “Did anyone inform you that Class A war criminals from WW2 have been enshrined there and it’s now the symbol of far-right historical revisionists denying war crimes such as Nanjing Massacre?”

“Are you aware of the Yasukuni shrine controversy? Did anyone inform you that Class A war criminals from WW2 have been enshrined there and it’s now the symbol of far-right historical revisionists denying war crimes such as Nanjing Massacre?”

The current shrine was established towards the end of the 19th century to “commemorate and honor the achievements of those who dedicated their precious lives to their country,” according to the shrine’s website. The souls of 2,466,000 people are honored in the complex, where they are treated as “divinities.”

But among these are 14 Japanese soldiers convicted of war crimes by the International Tribunal for the Far East following World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe skipped a visit to the shrine this year on the anniversary of the Japanese surrender. Visits by previous prime ministers have provoked angry reactions from South Korea and China.

“What the museum can offer on a personal level is a fascinating journey from their military history to where they are now,” Commander Shaw told the Times. “But we didn’t realize the sensitivity [for] specific nations in particular. We know now.”

The British team beat France on Sept. 19 to make it into the finals of the world cup. They will play the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Rugby Team on Monday, Sept. 23.

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence describes the competition between various countries’ military teams as a way to “facilitate mutual understanding and exchange among armed forces.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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