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MUSIC NEWS

Report: Kelly Clarkson buys modern Cali farmhouse for $8.5 million

ABC/Image Group LAKelly Clarkson has purchased a farmhouse-style home in Encino, California for $8.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The newly-built two-story home features eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and a chef’s kitchen – plenty of room for Kelly’s family including her two young kids, River Rose and Remy, and two stepchildren, Savannah and Seth, with husband Brandon Blackstock. The master suite has an oversized dressing room, a fireplace and a balcony overlooking the backyard.

The half-acre property also includes a wine cellar and a home theater, while the outdoor area is tricked out with a covered patio, a barbecue island and swimming pool.

Kelly also owns property in Nashville.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Meghan Trainor planning a “nice and cold” Christmas wedding

Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor has previously said that she wants to hold her upcoming wedding to actor Daryl Sabara in her backyard.  But now we know when she’s planning to tie the knot: in December.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Meghan says of her upcoming nuptials, “I’m thinking Christmas. Nice and cold so that when we dance and we get sweaty, we can, like, cool off, y’know?”  She insists that she still wants the event to take place in her backyard, though.

Meanwhile, Meghan says she’s thrilled for Ariana Grande, who recently got engaged to Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson.  While Meghan and Ariana are friendly, she hasn’t spoken to her since the engagement.  But she tells ET, “I’m so happy for them. They’re the cutest thing of all time!”

Meghan’s new album, Treat Myself, is due August 31.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bebe Rexha’s brand-new debut album has already gone gold: “It’s mind-blowing!”

ABC/Paula LoboBebe Rexha‘s debut album Expectations just came out today, but it’s already gone gold, thanks to the streaming success of its songs — especially “Meant to Be,” which alone has racked up over a billion streams. 

Friday, during Bebe’s performance in New York’s Central Park on ABC’s Good Morning America, her mom presented her with the gold album award plaque, and the singer was so happy, she cried.

“It’s amazing, and especially that my mom handed the plaque over to me was a really emotional moment,” Bebe told ABC Radio about her achievement right afterward.

“It’s just, it’s mind-blowing, I think it’s been a long time coming and it’s just…I dunno! It’s kinda, I dunno, it’s amazing, I don’t know how to put it in words!” she added.

It’s hard to believe that Bebe’s just releasing her debut album now, considering she’s been releasing songs since 2012, and before that, she had success as a behind-the-scenes songwriter.

“It’s a lot more pressure, y’know?” she explained. “When you’re a songwriter and you write songs for other artists, you kinda just give it to the artist and then however it goes, it goes. But then when it’s you…you’re nervous ’cause you wanna make sure people like it, and it does well.”

It doesn’t seem like Bebe’s going to have to worry too much about that — she’s already getting a lot of love.  In fact, on Friday, she was presented with two Radio Disney Music Awards — Freshest Best New Artist and Best Collaboration — ahead of the actual awards show, which takes place tonight.

“I think that seeing the reactions from the fans is so overwhelming and incredible,” she told ABC Radio. “So, it feels great so far!”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

“Queer Eye’s” fashion expert Tan France sparks a “French tuck” craze: “It’s everywhere!”

Courtesy Travelpro(NEW YORK) — On last season’s Queer Eye, the Internet went nuts over Antoni Porowski’s avocado obsession. Now, just a week after season two debuted on Netflix, Tan France’s love of the “French tuck” has gone viral.

France, the show’s fashion expert, teaches men on the show how to do the tuck — in which the shirt is tucked in the front but left loose in the back.  At a Travelpro event in New York City Tuesday, France told ABC Radio he’s shocked by fans’ response to the simple clothing trick.

“Oh my God! It became such a thing!” he says. “It’s only been five days. I’ve had literally thousands upon thousands of people tag me in a French tuck. Who knew?!”

Tan says he’s been rocking the style since he was a teen and thinks it’s “the perfect way to make you look slightly less sloppy.” It seems many people now agree.

“I’ve been to New York many times and I’ve always noticed that there aren’t that many French tucks around,” he says.  “[Now] it’s everywhere! And people keep stopping me in the street and saying, ‘I’m French tucking for you!’ I’m like, great! That feels wonderful!”

So should we start calling it the Tan France tuck instead? France says he will “happily accept” that change.

Queer Eye season two is available on Netflix now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gabrielle Dennis dishes on her “Luke Cage” character and the critical decision she’ll have to make

Netflix/David LeeGabrielle Dennis will be one to watch on the second season of Marvel’s Luke Cage. The black superhero series, which officially launches today, will feature Dennis as Tilda Johnson, the estranged daughter of disgraced Harlem councilwoman Mariah Dillard, played by Alfre Woodard.

“She’s regal. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s just.. amazing,” Dennis tells ABC Radio of Woodard. “And when I found out I was playing her daughter, I was like, ‘What? What TV mother jackpot have I hit?’ You know, first I had Lorraine Toussaint on Rosewood and now Alfre Woodard and she’s just… great.”

Part of what makes Woodard so “great” is the Emmy-winner’s ability to captivate an audience. Dennis agrees.

“We have some very powerful scenes in the series. It was very exciting,” she says. “And just watching her work and her character is so dynamic and interesting this season. [Our] mother-daughter dynamic and like how we butt heads… it’s very interesting.”

While Woodard’s character faces some major challenges during Luke Cage‘s second season — including facing off with Cage himself, again played by Mike Colter, and dealing with a new and powerful opponent named Bushmaster — Dennis says her character will also undergo some life-changing experiences.

“So there’s all of these things that she’s learning about her family’s past that’s a little darker than she thought,” Dennis explains. “So it’s kind of like, ‘Is it that nurture versus nature? Are there things in her DNA… Or is she going to make a decision to do things or her own way?'”

Dennis continues, “So…a lot of the characters this season go to that point of like, ‘To get the good I have to do something bad?'”

Luke Cage season two is available today on Netflix.

 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Roseanne Barr reacts to spin-off show, “The Conners”

ABC/Adam Rose

(LOS ANGELES) — ABC on Thursday announced it would be moving forward with a Roseanne spin-off that excludes the show’s original star and namesake.

The network added that show regulars like John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman are all set to reprise their roles in the new sitcom, which has the tentative title The Conners.

While ABC says Barr will have no financial or creative involvement, the comedian did speak out about the spin-off, wishing the cast and crew “the best.”

“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne,” she told ABC News in a statement. “I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved.”

Terms of ABC’s settlement with Barr were also not disclosed.

Barr’s show was abruptly canceled after she sent a tweet likening Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to President Obama, to the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie Planet of the Apes. She later deleted the tweet and apologized.

ABC said The Conners will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and the, “spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.”

“We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience,” the statement added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SPORTS NEWS

Former all-star Ilya Kovalchuk returns to NHL with the Los Angeles Kings

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Former NHL all-star Ilya Kovalchuk, who left the league to play professionally in Russia, has agreed to join the Los Angeles Kings on a three-year deal, according to ESPN.

ESPN adds that Kovalchuk will receive $6.25 annually on the deal.

Kovalchuk left the NHL in 2013 to play for SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Kovalchuk’s services were in high demand upon announcing his interest in returning to the NHL. He led the KHL in points last year, according to ESPN, and was a top goal-scorer during his first 11 seasons in the NHL. He additionally was named MVP at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Vice president and general manager Rob Blake said in a statement “We are excited to add Ilya to the LA Kings organization. He gives us an added element of skill and scoring along with a desire to win. We will withhold further comment until July 1.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 6/22/18

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

INTERLEAGUE
Baltimore  10  Atlanta 7   F/15

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland   11  Chi White Sox   2
Cleveland   10  Detroit    0
Tampa Bay   2  N-Y Yankees   1
Boston    14  Seattle    10
Chi White Sox   6  Oakland   4
Texas   8  Minnesota   1
Kansas City  1  Houston    0
L-A Angels   2  Toronto    1
 
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia  12  Washington   2
Arizona    2  Pittsburgh   1    F/13
Cincinnati   6  Chi Cubs    3
L-A Dodgers   5  N-Y Mets    2
Milwaukee   2  St. Louis   1
Colorado   11  Miami     3
San Diego   6  San Francisco   2
 
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Giving Trump a pardon wish list won’t solve systemic criminal justice problems, NFL-er Malcolm Jenkins says

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is exploring better alternatives to creating change within the country’s criminal justice system than providing President Donald Trump with a “VIP” list of names, he told ABC News.

On Thursday, The New York Times published an op-ed by Jenkins and three other former and current NFL players in response to Trump’s suggestion earlier this month, asking NFL players who have been demonstrating during the national anthem to instead give to him a list of prisoners whom they believe were treated unfairly by the justice system.

“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated, friends of theirs or people that they know about and I’m going to take a look at those applications,” Trump said on June 8, adding that if he finds that they were “unfairly treated,” he will “pardon them or at least let them out.”

Jenkins told ABC News that submitting a list of names to the president is a good way to help the people he knows “directly,” but won’t do much for the “thousands of people” that were imprisoned for nonviolent offenses and don’t have “the luxury of havin’ a celebrity as a friend.”

In addition, the list doesn’t change the system that “wrongfully put them there or put them there for too long” and doesn’t address the growing population of elderly prisoners, the majority of whom aren’t being released despite posing no threat to society, Jenkins said.

Instead of providing a list to Trump, Jenkins expressed a need to “address the systemic issues” within the policing culture in order to change it.

Jenkins mentioned Kim Kardashian and the successful effort she made when asking Trump to grant clemency to Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence on drug charges.

Johnson was reunited with her family earlier this month.

“I think what Kim Kardashian did was great, because you get a person out,” he said. “But like I said, it doesn’t change what — you have that person there who’s doin’ a life sentence for a first-time drug offense.”

Jenkins said he and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin started the NFL Players Coalition, an organization with about 100 former and current players that focuses on eradicating social and racial injustices, specially surrounding police brutality, mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.

“The biggest thing is, we wanted to create an environment where guys can — as safe as possible — get involved in social activism and creating real change in their communities,” he said. “We also wanted to give them the tools to know how to get involved.”

The coalition has met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “many times,” which has included taking him to different cities to meet with grassroots organizations and police departments to show him the work players have been doing in their communities, Jenkins said.

“It has everything to do with our communities, the systemic racial injustices that take part on a day-to-day-to-day basis that have been in place for centuries,” he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATIONAL NEWS

Suspect dead, 2 officers hospitalized after San Diego shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — Two San Diego police officers were shot late Saturday and hospitalized responding to an incident they first thought may be an apartment fire.

The suspect who allegedly shot the two officers was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is not yet known.

One officer was last reported in stable condition and the other was in serious but stable condition, police said.

When police first arrived on scene, they observed and smelled what appeared to be a fire and called the fire department. When authorities tried to open the door to the apartment, they were met with gunfire. One officer shot back.

The firefighter attempting to enter the structure along with the police officers ended up in an adjoining apartment, out of the way of the shooter, authorities said. The firefighter was extracted from that apartment by a SWAT team and didn’t suffer any significant injuries.

Police said they don’t know what type of weapon the suspect used or whether he was wearing any type of body armor. Police have not yet entered the apartment and wouldn’t confirm whether a robot was used to investigate.

Authorities don’t have a motive for the suspect at this time.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Minneapolis police shoot, kill armed suspect

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota) — Officers on Saturday shot and killed a suspect in Minneapolis who allegedly was firing a gun into the air and into the ground while walking down the street.

Minneapolis Police Department personnel responded after an anonymous 911 caller at 5:26 p.m. local time told authorities a man was walking around firing a handgun, police said in a statement, adding: “That caller provided a very detailed description of the suspect and his clothing.”

A second call to 911 said the suspect was shooting a silver 9-millimeter handgun, police said.

Officers said they fired on the man following a foot chase. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not been released.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, per protocol, has been alerted and will investigate the incident.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement he hoped to “offer words that can help ease the pain that people in every neighborhood of our city feel tonight. But at the same time, I must recognize that whatever words I come up with will fall short of that goal.”

“Too many times,” he added, “people from across Minneapolis and the Twin Cities have been stung by the pain of a life lost in the course of an encounter with law enforcement. Regardless of what happened tonight — the historical trauma inflicted on communities of color is never far from nearly every facet of our lives.”

As of 11:30 p.m., there had been no reported violence or arrests linked to the earlier shooting of the suspect.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Navy pilot dies in ‘mishap’ at New Mexico base

iStock/Thinkstock(OTERO COUNTY, New Mexico) — A pilot “involved in a mishap” at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico died on Friday, the Navy said.

Lt. Christopher Carey Short, from Canandaigua, New York, died in a crash involving the A-29 he was piloting, the Navy said in a statement on Saturday.

He was on a mission over the Red Rio Bombing Range, which is part of White Sands Missile Range, north of the base, the Navy said.

The incident is being investigated.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WORLD NEWS

Turkey heads to polls for 2nd time since Erdogan imposed emergency rule

iStock/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) — Turkey’s voters will go to the polls Sunday for the country’s second election since emergency rule was imposed after the 2016 attempted coup.

President Recep Erdogan has since the attempted coup acted to reassert his position and his power, including through the imposition of emergency law that enables him to pass legislation without parliamentary scrutiny or intervention from the judiciary.

In addition, the government has imprisoned more than 140 journalists and dismissed or suspended from duty more than 100,000 public servants, according to Human Rights Watch. Around 28,000 of these dismissed public employees are teachers whom the government says are supporters of exiled dissident Fethullah Gulen.

Why is Turkey going to the polls again?

Citing economic challenges and a growing military campaign in Syria, Erdogan announced this snap election — its fourth election in six years — more than a year before it is due. When it was announced, the opposition had barely two months to organize a campaign. Some international observers raise concerns about whether a fair election is possible considering Erdogan has almost complete control of domestic media, including newspapers that account for around 90 percent of overall circulation.

The voting process

More than 50 million voters will head to the polls on Sunday to choose both the president and representatives to the Parliament. There are also 3 million expatriates eligible to vote, some of whom started voting early this month. If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the election moves to a runoff vote in early July.

Who is the opposition?

The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party is led by Muharrem Ince. Conservative but secular, this party is opposed to Erdogan’s conservative party, accusing it of promoting a creeping Islamisation of country.

Nationalist candidate Meral Aksener, nicknamed the “she-wolf” by her admirers, leads the Iyi party and is seen by many as the only viable alternative to Erdogan in a country that is becoming increasingly conservative. She is targeting voters in Erdogan’s party who are unhappy with corruption allegations, as well as others who are growing frustrated with the inability of other opposition parties to take control.

There is also a Kurdish presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, who is running from behind bars after being imprisoned in November 2016 as part of the purge following the attempted coup. He won almost 10 percent of the vote in the last election, and if he were to get a bigger percentage this time, the ruling coalition may lose its majority. However there are widespread fears of vote-rigging and intimidation of voters, particularly in areas heavily populated by Kurds in the southeast of the country.

What happens after the vote?

If Erdogan wins both the presidency and control of Parliament, observers worry that Turkey could continue a slide from authoritarianism to outright dictatorship. Most analysts believe, however, that Erdogan will take the presidency but lose a majority in Parliament, which could lead to turbulent political times ahead for Turkey and possibly force another election if political gridlock ensues.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saudi women get behind the wheel of a car for the first time in history

iStock/Thinkstock(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, women in Saudi Arabia got behind the wheels of their cars and drove in the streets of the conservative capital Riyadh, a daily mundane act everywhere else but here. They marked the historic end to a ban on women driving, the culmination of more than three decades of activism.

Women, with beaming husbands and male relatives by their side in the passenger seats, appeared on Saudi television and on social media platforms driving in the streets of the kingdom. One addressed her fellow women from behind the wheel, “The sky’s the limit. Nothing can stop you.”

Traffic policemen were photographed handing out roses to female drivers, an extremely unusual act in a conservative, gender-segregated society where strict rules govern male-female interactions.

While some women had been hesitant to drive as soon as the ban lifted — preferring to wait and see how it goes — the first hours of Sunday in Saudi still saw an enthusiastic number of women driving.

One woman even reportedly got a speeding ticket, seemingly fitting in nicely with her countrymen’s taste for speed. Her husband playfully reported on Twitter that his wife was probably the first woman to be fined for speeding, driving 70 in a 55 mph zone. The tweet has since been deleted.

Yet not every woman who’s been eager to drive was able to. Some of the women who have been advocating for decades for this very right were still in jail after being detained at the end of May. They were not forgotten in this historic moment though. Fellow activist Manal al-Sharif, who lives in exile, tweeted an announcement of a new campaign channeling the miles women will now be able to drive; to obtain the release of the detained activists; and continue to push for the end of male guardianship laws, the next frontier in women empowerment in Saudi Arabia.

Excitement has been steadily building since the king announced the lifting of the ban on women driving last September. Over the past few months, women have enthusiastically gone to auto shows specifically geared toward them, signed up for driving lessons and traded in their foreign licenses for Saudi ones.

Pictures of women proudly holding their licenses have abounded on social media and have made the cover of one of the leading Arab women’s magazines, Sayidati.

Many Saudi women drive abroad, including in neighboring conservative Arab countries such as Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates. As such, 21 centers were set up to exchange foreign-issued driver licenses for Saudi ones across the provinces of the kingdom. And the first licenses were delivered at the beginning of the month.

The world’s most profitable oil company, Saudi Aramco, employing more than 60,000 people in the kingdom and running city-sized compounds, set up a driving school to train thousands of its female employees and female descendants of its employees. One of those brought in to oversee the effort was California driving instructor Norma Adrianzen, who moved to the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran two months ago, along with a Canadian and a British colleague. She has found her Saudi driving students exactly the same as the students she teaches in California, except for one difference: They are very cognizant of the historic nature of their undertaking.

“I really felt it became real for them the day they applied for their licenses. They all went quiet in the room. It was surreal and very emotional,” Adrianzen told ABC News.

The ages of the students at the school range from 18 to 50. Some already drive abroad; others are first-time drivers.

She expects to be in the country over the next two years, with thousands of eager students to teach. And her Canadian colleague Deborah Sherwood would even like to train some of the men in Saudi, known for their love of speed. “They could definitely use some of our training,” she told ABC News in jest. A woman training a man on how to drive in the conservative kingdom might still be a step too far even amid the liberalizing reforms underway.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing though. On June 19, a news item circulated on Saudi Twitter saying that in the eastern province of Saudi, only 67 out of 13,000 female candidates passed the driving tests required, drawing the ire of some in the hyperactive Saudi Twittersphere.

Nevertheless, those who have gotten their Saudi driver’s license have described the moment as “surreal.”

Well-respected Saudi scholar Hatoon Ajwad Al- Fassi told local newspaper Arab News, “It is as if I have been recognized as an equal citizen. … I felt strange going in the front door of the main traffic department, one of the taboo places for women in Saudi Arabia.”

Yet this change has come at a steep price for others.

The activists who had become the faces of the decadeslong struggle to secure the right to drive were abruptly detained at the end of May. Though they had seemingly contributed to bringing about that change, they had quickly moved on to advocate for an end to the male guardianship law that compels women to seek the permission of their male relatives for traveling, conducting official business or undergoing certain medical procedures.

They had also recently started advocating for victims of domestic violence.

Their advocacy may not have played in their favor in a deeply patriarchal country — a country still ruled by an all-powerful monarch, where political dissent is not tolerated.

Four women and five men are in custody after being referred to the Specialized Criminal Court to be, per Saudi paper Okaz, all for allegedly conspiring against the national security of Saudi Arabia on behalf of foreign entities.

And in recent days, Human Rights Watch reported the arrest of two additional female activists who had publicly decried the earlier arrests.

The arrests puzzled many who had been enthused by the social reforms put in place by the powerful young prince. He is seen as the impetus behind the lifting of the driving ban as well as the return of cinemas to the kingdom and a relaxing of gender segregation in the workplace.

Nevertheless, Twitter has been alight with comments using a hashtag that translates to #Women_Driving_Cars. Some, like prominent Saudi television journalist Muna Abusulayman, tweeted lyrics from The Pointer Sisters’ 1980s hit “I’m So Excited.”

Others were more hesitant.

Some, mainly men, poked fun, tweeting memes showing children and a husband fighting over the backseat.

Or tweeted sexist advice urging women not to “put makeup while driving.”

Though some men were supportive, even pointing out how dismal and dangerous Saudi male driving is.

“Seeing a lot of commentary ridiculing and fear-mongering about women driving, but I’d like to show you a video I shot this morning from my car, this is how men drive, women won’t be worse!” one Twitter user wrote.

In addition to setting up driving schools and driving simulators, a special parking section for ladies only has already been set up in one of the most popular shopping malls in Riyadh.

Some slots formerly reserved for drivers with disabilities have been superseded by a newer pink stamp in the shape of a woman.

While some were delighted to see the signs, Haya AlNaeemi, a Saudi woman, commented that these measures “give the idea that the Saudi woman needs special attention and isn’t equal to the man, and will reinforce gender segregation in contrast to the mixing of the sexes while driving or at work.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia on June 24

iStock/Thinkstock(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — Women in Saudi Arabia will be able to drive for the first time on June 24, ending a long-standing rule in the country. King Salman declared last September that the country would end its ban on women driving a vehicle.

According to BBC News, women were first issued licenses earlier this months.

The move comes after years of protest and pushback against the ban, with several women having been arrested in 1990 in the country’s capital Riyadh.

Over the past decade, some Saudi women have posted videos of themselves driving even though the ban was still in place.

Women will be able to drive in the country on June 24 at midnight local time.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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