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Tori Kelly may “tease new songs” on Hiding Place tour, kicking off tonight

ABC/Paula LoboAfter scoring a #1 debut on the gospel chart with her new album Hiding Place, Tori Kelly launches a tour in support of the project tonight in Atlanta, Georgia. But if you’re a fan of Tori’s pop songs, don’t worry — you’ll be hearing those songs and more, too.

“I’ll definitely be playing some other stuff too,” she tells ABC Radio. “I might even tease some new songs, we’ll see, but [I’m] definitely gonna play the gospel stuff, and some of the older stuff.”

“I want people to still feel like they’re at a Tori Kelly concert so it’s just gonna be me,” she explains. “I don’t wanna overthink it too much with the different styles. I think it’s gonna be fun to try to weave everything together and really experiment — that’s what I do on tour.”

Tori says the audience will be a big part of her shows as well.

“I feed off of them too, so whatever they’re giving me I’ll kinda give back to them,” she says.

One interesting aspect of the tour is that some of the shows will take place in landmark churches, or landmark buildings that used to be churches. For example, her show tonight is at The Tabernacle, a concert venue more than 100 years old that used to be a church.

“It’s not a full tour of churches but it’s all like historical buildings and just beautiful venues,” she says. “It’ll be cool to have these amazing backdrops and just all the history that’s in the building. That’ll be something I’m looking forward to for sure.” 

Tori has said that she has a pop project coming “soon,” but there’s no release date on that yet.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran among leading nominees for “Billboard” Live Music Awards

Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesPals Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran each spent most of this year touring stadiums around the world, and now all that work has paid off in nominations for the Billboard Live Music Awards.

Both Taylor and Ed are nominated for Top World Tour, Top U.S. Tour, Top Draw and Top Boxscore at the awards, which will be handed out November 13 in Beverly Hills. The Daily Show‘s Roy Wood Jr. will host the festivities.

The Top Tour is for the highest-grossing tour of the year, while the Top Draw award is for the best-attended tour of the year — meaning the one that sold the most actual tickets. The Top Boxscore Award is for the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist: In Ed’s case, it’s his four shows at London’s Wembley Stadium; in Taylor’s, it’s her two shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Awkwardly, one of Taylor’s reported ex-boyfriends, John Mayer, is being honored at the ceremony with the prestigious Legend of Live Award. On the other hand, her friend Shawn Mendes is also being honored that night with the Artist of the Year Award — so whether or not she’ll attend the ceremony appears to be a toss-up.

Here are the nominees:

Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift
Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift
Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift

Ed Sheeran
Wembley Stadium, London
June 14 – 17, 2018 (4 shows)
Taylor Swift
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
July 20 – 22, 2018 (2 shows)
Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Oct. 19 – 25, 2018 (4 shows)

Cardi B    
Post Malone

Life is Beautiful Festival
Lollapalooza Brazil
Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

Travis Scott x Red Bull, Lyft, Snapchat + American Express for the ASTROWORLD Album & Tour Launch    
Marshmello x Bumble    
Khalid x Hollister    

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sam Smith teams with singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile for charity single “Party of One”

Matt HayslettSam Smith is using his voice for a good cause.

The British star has teamed up with acclaimed singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile for a duet version of Brandi’s song “Party of One.”  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Children in Conflict, via Brandi’s own Looking Out Foundation.   Children in Conflict’s current campaign seeks to raise $1 million to help children who are impacted by war.

In a statement, Sam says, “I am so excited for everyone to have this song in their ears and hearts. Working with Brandi Carlile is truly one of the highlights of my career. Her voice and songwriting get me through the dark days. Brandi is a mentor to me and now a friend and I’m so thankful she asked me to feature on her single.”

He adds, “I hope you all love this as much as I do. And I hope this raises as much support as possible to the incredible charity Children in Conflict and its partner, War Child U.K., of which I’m a global ambassador. Thank you for listening.”

Brandi, meanwhile, says, “I’m beyond proud to have collaborated with the incredible Sam Smith. There is no one quite like him and I’ve never heard a voice like his before. He’s an absolute gentleman and a sweetheart.”

She adds, “We hope the vulnerability of this song reflects the fragility of [the children’s] situation and compels people to support our cause.”

“Party of One,” and its video, are both out now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


‘Westworld’ stars score big pay bumps

Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood; John P. Johnson/HBO(LOS ANGELES) — The lead actors of HBO’s existential sci-fi drama Westworld will all be getting raises in advance of the Emmy-winning series’ third season.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton — who reportedly earn in the $100,000-$150,000 per episode range — will each make $250,000 an episode.

James Marsden and Tessa Thompson, who have prime roles in the drama, weren’t included in the salary negotiations, suggesting their futures on the series may be up in the air.

Westworld is set in a fictional resort where android “hosts” indistringuishable from humans play Wild West characters that interact with paying human visitors.  The problems begin when some androids become self-aware and question their existence.

Westworld wrapped up its second season in June, a month ater being renewed for a third season.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Westworld’ stars score big pay bumps

Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood; John P. Johnson/HBO(LOS ANGELES) — The lead actors of HBO’s existential sci-fi drama Westworld will all be getting raises in advance of the Emmy-winning series’ third season.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton — who reportedly earn in the $100,000-$150,000 per episode range — will each make $250,000 an episode.

James Marsden and Tessa Thompson, who have prime roles in the drama, weren’t included in the salary negotiations, suggesting their futures on the series may be up in the air.

Westworld is set in a fictional resort where android “hosts” indistringuishable from humans play Wild West characters that interact with paying human visitors.  The problems begin when some androids become self-aware and question their existence.

Westworld wrapped up its second season in June, a month ater being renewed for a third season.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Anthony Mackie breaks down the “amazing story” of ‘The Hate U Give’ and why he “wanted” to be in the film

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) — Ahead of its release on Friday, Anthony Mackie is breaking down The Hate U Give and it’s “amazing story.”

“[The film is] about this young lady who witnesses her boyfriend, best friend, being murdered by the police,” Mackie tells ABC Radio. “And she has to make an interesting decision. Does she basically snitch, and tell the story of what happens and go against the police as well as the community and deal with the ramifications and the fallout of that? Or, does she keep her mouth shut like everybody is telling her to do?”

The Avengers star says the film is much more than just a Black Lives Matter narrative, it’s a “coming of age story.”

“[It’s about] a young woman coming to power and coming to her personal independence of speaking her mind and being honest,” he explains.

In the film Mackie plays King, a local drug dealer and former associate of Starr’s father Maverick. Mackie, who’s been a staple in the Avengers franchise playing the superhero Falcon, says he was quick to jump on the project.

“I wanted to do it, because it’s very important,” he says. “I’ve worked with George Tillman [director] three times now and seeing a young woman find her voice and get an opportunity as the star of a studio movie is few and far between. So, when I read the script I felt like… It was– if I have any little bit of star to add to that, to make sure that that story is told, I would add that star to that.” 

The Hate U Give, also starring Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby, hits theaters nationwide on Friday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Steve Penny, former USA Gymnastics president, arrested for allegedly tampering with evidence in Larry Nassar case

U.S. Marshals Service(GATLINBURG, Tenn.) — Steve Penny, former president of USA Gymnastics, was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly tampering with evidence in the case of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar.

Penny was arrested by the U.S. Marshals service in Tennessee on a warrant issued by the state of Texas. He was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of tampering with evidence, a felony, on Sept. 28.

He allegedly removed documents from the Karolyi Ranch, the U.S. gymnastics’ training facility in Huntsville, Texas, related to Nassar’s activity at the gym.

“The indictment further alleges that the removal of the documents was done for the purpose of impairing the ongoing investigation by destroying or hiding the documents,” the U.S. Marshals said in a press release. He allegedly ordered the documents be sent to him at USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis. Those documents have never been recovered, authorities said.

Penny was taken into custody at a cabin in rural Gatlinburg, Tennessee, by the U.S. Marshals and Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force, according to authorities. He is awaiting extradition to Texas.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

The Karolyi Ranch was operated by Bela Karolyi and wife Marta Karolyi, the two people tasked with selecting and developing athletes for the U.S. national team. It served as the national team’s training facility from 2001 until earlier this year. Nassar worked at the facility and several of his accusers said they were abused by him at the facility.

Penny resigned as USA Gymnastics president in March 2017 amid allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar. Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of child molestation, but more than 130 women and girls, including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, have accused him of assaulting them. Many of those accusers testified at a hearing in January when he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in two other cases — one pertaining to assault and another possession of child pornography — as well.

Rhonda Faehn, Penny’s former deputy, testified to the Senate in June that she brought up allegations of misconduct to him and she was told to keep quiet. Penny, who appeared before the same committee, chose to plead the Fifth and not testify.

USA Gymnastics has been in near-constant turmoil since the Indianapolis Star broke the story in September 2016 of Nassar’s abuse of gymnasts under his care, both with the U.S. national team, where he was the team doctor, and at Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member. Nassar had been dismissed from his job with the U.S. national team in 2015, but only said it was done due to “athlete concerns.”

After Penny’s departure in March 2017, he was replaced by Kerry Perry in November 2017. But Perry’s tenure was marked by consistent criticism over the handling of the Nassar scandal as well. She resigned less than a year after being named as Penny’s replacement.

Perry was criticized by stars, like Raisman, over her lack of transparency about how the organization planned to protect athletes going forward. She resigned days after she hired Mary Lee Tracy, in part to replace the Karolyis, as the sport’s top coach. The hiring of Tracy received condemnation from athletes because she supported Nassar in the immediate wake of accusations against him.

But the neverending parade of presidents didn’t end with Perry’s ouster.

Just this week, former Congresswoman Mary Bono, who was tasked with replacing Perry as interim president of USA Gymnastics, was forced out for a pair of scandals — less than a week since her hiring. A day after her hiring, Biles criticized Bono, a Republican, for a photo posted on Twitter in which she was shown blacking out a Nike logo over the company’s hiring of Colin Kaepernick as spokesperson. She publicly apologized for the photo.

A few days later, Raisman joined calls for Bono’s ouster after discovering that Bono worked for the same law firm that worked with USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal and crafted excuses for his absences.

Bono was not directly involved in the law firm’s representation of USA Gymnastics, but she stepped down nonetheless on Tuesday.

Penny is one of at least three people arrested in connection with the handling of the Nassar scandal. Debbie Van Horn, a trainer who worked with Nassar, was arrested last month in Walker County, Texas. She has denied charges, according to her lawyer, who spoke to the Houston Chronicle.

William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State University’s osteopathic medical school and boss of Larry Nassar while he was a sports doctor there, was charged March 27 with neglect of duty and criminal sexual conduct. His case will go to trial at a yet-to-be-scheduled date.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A collar might help prevent concussions in sports like soccer: Study

iStock/ThinkstockBY: DR. TAMBETTA OJONG

(NEW YORK) — Team sports build character, teach discipline and keep your kids healthy, but for some sports, like soccer and football, they could also increase their risk of brain injuries. Helping to prevent these injuries, a new neck collar has shown promising results in protecting the brain.

The specialized collar, developed by researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, applies pressure to the back of the neck. This pressure allows the artery in the neck to safely backfill the brain with blood, turning the blood into a cushion that makes it less likely for the brain to move upon impact.

The idea for the collar was born out of “biological mimicry,” Dr. David Smith, a visiting research scientist at the Children’s Hospital who led a study that tested the collar, told ABC News.

Essentially, Smith and his colleagues looked to nature to solve a medical issue. “If a woodpecker could repeatedly hit its head and not sustain any head injury, why couldn’t this be applied to humans,” Smith said.

The study involved 75 teen girls ages 14 to 18 who played for two local high school soccer teams. Only one team received the collars, and then they played soccer. Both teams were asked to undergo brain scans at the beginning and end of the season, as well as during the off-season.

The scans showed that while the brains of the team that hadn’t worn the collars showed signs of damage from head impacts, the brains of the team that had worn the collars remained the same.

The results are encouraging considering that even minor impacts over the course of an athlete’s career can have long-lasting effects on their cognitive functioning.

Concussions have emerged as a major health concern across the United States, according to the American Academy of Physicians. Emergency departments report more than a million visits annually for traumatic brain injuries, most of which are concussions.

Women’s soccer is the third most common cause of concussion in the U.S., and it’s estimated that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year.

There is a debate as to whether the changes shown in the brain scans can result in long-term cognitive decline. However, the areas of the brain that were affected in this study are involved in behavior, personality, expression, decision-making, and long-term memory.

The Academy of Family Physicians states that a concussion is a functional injury rather than a structural one, meaning that it can correlate with symptoms such as changes in sleep, confusion, depression, inability to focus and headache, to name a few. If you’ve experienced a blow to the head and feel some of these symptoms, then see a doctor and ask about concussion.

The study did not account for hormonal fluctuations in the girls, which could affect intracranial pressure. It also didn’t look more deeply into whether or not the observed in the brain led to behavioral or physical symptoms.

That said, if wearing the specialized collar can protect the brain from injuries while athletes continue to enjoy competitive sports, it may be a small price to pay for long-term protection. In the near future, a neck collar may be just another part of your child’s uniform along with cleats and knee pads.

Dr. Tambetta Ojong is a family medicine resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Meet the internet’s newest adorable sensation: LeBron James’ daughter Zhuri

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — She’s only 3 years old, but LeBron James’ daughter Zhuri is already making a name for herself online.

The King has been posting about her a lot recently, whether it be style, her ability to be sassy, or just her doing a “Frozen” duet with dear-old dad.

On Tuesday, the NBA Champion and all-time great wrote, “She controls the music when she rides with me. The Boss aka Baby ‘Love is an Open Door’ from Frozen soundtrack #MyPrincess.”

In the ridiculously adorable clip, little Zhuri sings along with the soundtrack, while dad bobs his head and smiles.

In just about a day, it’s gotten more than 5 million views.

But she’s not just a good singer! Zhuri wowed at the “Smallfoot” premiere last month, rocking a denim dress on the blue carpet.

Around the same time, James added another post, boasting about his little girl.

“How is my 3 year old this fashionable though?!?! She asked if she could dress herself today for school. Man what!! She’s AMAZING!! #PrincessZ,” he wrote.

He’s right, how is a 3-year-old so fashionable? Someone call “Project Runway.”

Zhuri isn’t new to the spotlight though. In 2016, after James won the NBA Finals, he brought her to the media room and the reporters saw how much of a doting father he was.

It’s very reminiscent of Riley Curry’s rise to fame.

So, while their dads battle it out on the court, Riley and Zhuri will just be hanging out, bringing the cute comic relief.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Flooding concerns stretch into another day in central Texas

ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) — Rain hasn’t stopped all week in Texas and flooding concerns are stretching into another day in center of the state.

The Colorado River, near Lake Travis outside of Austin, is still in a major flood stage, and will continue to be, according to the National Weather Service.

The Trinity River north of Houston will continue to rise and be in a major flood stage this weekend.

Unfortunately, more rain is in the forecast for central Texas. Flood watches and warnings remain in place for central and northern Texas on Thursday due to more rain in the forecast.

Central and northern Texas could see as much as 4 inches of additional rain through Saturday.

Coldest air of the season

The coldest air of the season has arrived in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley.

Frost and freeze alerts stretch over 17 states from Missouri to Vermont on Thursday morning.

Not only is it chilly Thursday morning, but it is also windy in the Northeast. The wind chill temperatures are dropping into the 10s and 20s for some regions.

Another blast of cold air is on the way this weekend for the Midwest and the Northeast. The coldest air mass will arrive in the Midwest on Saturday and Sunday and move into the Northeast on Sunday into Monday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harvey Weinstein prosecution suffers second significant blow in a week

Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images For TWC(NEW YORK) — The Manhattan District Attorney’s office this afternoon issued a pre-emptive notice to Harvey Weinstein’s defense team, alerting them to yet another potentially serious problem connected with the investigation that led to criminal charges against the disgraced movie mogul.

The assistant district attorney handling the case told Weinstein’s team that one of the alleged victims was told by NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio, the lead detective in the case to delete from her phones any information she didn’t want prosecutors to see when she turned the devices over to them.

According to the letter, the detective said “we just won’t tell Joan,” referring to Manhattan assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.

The district attorney’s office insists that the case is still moving forward, and provided no comment beyond the letter.

Weinstein’s lead defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said Wednesday’s admission is more evidence of what he described as a “deeply flawed” case against his client.

“This new development even further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed Indictment of Mr. Weinstein,” Brafman said in a statement emailed to ABC News.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of rape and sexual assault that have been made against him both in court and in the media.

Less than a week ago, the judge in the case dismissed one of six counts against Weinstein — at the district attorney’s request — after prosecutors discovered a written account from alleged victim Lucia Evans which suggested her sexual encounter with Weinstein was consensual. Evans has accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

Wednesday’s letter refers to one of the two remaining accusers in the case, given that Evans accusation against Weinstein was dropped last week with the dismissal of the sixth count.

Both Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office and the New York Police Department (NYPD) are reviewing the detective’s work on the case.

In court last Thursday, Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge that the case against Weinstein is still moving forward.

The Manhattan prosecution of Weinstein represents the only criminal case to be filed against him to date. Investigation elsewhere –- including in Los Angeles and London –- have not led to criminal charges.

Last week, after Illuzzi-Orbon informed the court that she would drop count six of the indictment against Weinstein, Evans’ lawyer blasted the move, saying in a statement that the district attorney’s office made the decision to “abandon” her client.

“Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client’s sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein’s guilt or innocence,” said attorney Carrie Goldberg.

“Nor does it reflect on Lucia’s consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein,” he continued. “It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.”

Prosecutors said in a Sept. 12 letter to the defense unsealed last week that they discovered an account after Weinstein’s arrest that could suggest the encounter was consensual.

“According to the Witness…the Complainant [Evans] told the Witness that…the Complainant had gone to the defendant’s office, where the Defendant told her, in substance, that he would arrange for the Complainant to receive an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex upon him,” the letter said. “According to the Witness, the Complainant told her that she thereupon performed oral sex on the defendant.”

The letter goes on to say that during this discussion Evans “appeared to be upset, embarrassed and shaking.”

Weinstein defense attorney Benjamin Brafman accused Evans of committing perjury when she testified to the grand jury.

“Sexual assault is a serious crime but falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime,” Brafman said outside court last week.

Brafman said prosecutors discovered Evans’ written account about her encounter with Weinstein from a fact-checker with The New Yorker, and said he would subpoena the magazine.

“When you do your homework after the arrest, bad things happen,” Brafman noted.

In a statement, a spokesperson for The New Yorker said that the magazine stands by their reporting and fact-checking process, adding that “[a]ny assertion by lawyers for Harvey Weinstein that The New Yorker had information that contradicted Lucia Evans’s account is patently incorrect.”

Weinstein’s defense team called the case “permanently and irreparably damaged” and Brafman said he would use the development to seek the dismissal of the whole case.

Illuzzi-Orbon, however, said last week that the rest of the case is “full steam ahead.”

“Nothing in the disclosure relating to count six impacts the strength of the remaining case and the remaining counts in the indictment, all five of them, including predatory sexual assault,” she said.

Evans is one of three women whose allegations form the backbone of the criminal case.

Defense attorneys also said they would subpoena police interview records after claiming that an NYPD detective “may have unfairly tainted these proceedings” when he prepared Evans for her testimony.

The detective has been removed from the case, Brafman said.

NYPD officials have said they stand by the criminal case against Weinstein, but have not to date directly addressed the alleged conduct of the investigator, Detective DiGaudio.

But the president of the NYPD detectives union vigorously defended the embattled DiGuardio.

“The Manhattan DA’s office needs to enter the 21st century,” Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino said in a statement. “This is the age of technology. People keep loads of personal info on their phones that they prefer remains confidential.”

“A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator,” Palladino continued in the statement. “That’s being victimized twice. Detective DiGaudio was sensitive to that.

Weinstein is due back in court on Dec. 20.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Salmonella outbreak tied to raw chicken products sickens 92 people in 29 states: CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An outbreak of salmonella connected to raw chicken products and resistant to some antibiotics has infected 92 people in 29 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said on Wednesday that 21 people had been hospitalized but no deaths had yet been reported.

An investigation into the outbreak indicated that raw chicken products from “a variety of sources” had been contaminated with salmonella, according to the CDC.

The CDC identified the particular strain as salmonella infantis but said it had not yet linked the raw chicken products or live chickens to one lone supplier.

The salmonella infantis was present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, the CDC said.

People who got sick reported eating different brands of chicken products purchased from many different locations, leading the CDC to say that the outbreak “might be widespread in the chicken industry” in a statement.

The agency said the outbreak strain had been identified in samples “taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens.”

New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have had the most reported cases of salmonella, according to a chart released by the CDC.

The agency said antibiotic-resistance testing on the salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people showed the outbreak strain was resistant to multiple antibiotics.

The CDC said it was working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and representatives from the chicken industry to discuss steps that they might take to reduce Salmonella contamination.

In the last several months, several outbreaks of salmonella linked to turkey, beef and eggs have been reported across the U.S.

Earlier this month, at least 57 people in at least 16 states reported salmonella infections after consuming some of more than 6.5 million pounds of contaminated beef produced by an Arizona company.

In September, the CDC said that a multistate outbreak linked to eggs from an Alabama farm was even larger than expected, with 135 people infected across 36 states.

In July, a salmonella outbreak that infected 90 people across 26 states was connected to raw turkey products.

According to the CDC, there are four quick steps that can help keep people safe from food poisoning at home when it comes to preparing food: “clean, separate, cook and chill.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Mad cow disease strikes in Scotland; officials say no outbreak is imminent

iStock/Thinkstock(ABERDEENSHIRE, Scotland) — A case of mad cow disease has been reported at a farm in Scotland.

Authorities have been quick to calm fears prompted by the outbreak of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) — more widely-known as mad cow disease — after movement restrictions were placed on animals at an unidentified farm in Aberdeenshire, meaning the animals cannot be moved to other farms.

“While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the disease’s origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working,” Fergus Ewing, the Scottish government’s Rural Economy Secretary, said in a statement sent to ABC News.

Officials also stressed that consumers should not yet be worried by the case because the disease did not enter the human food chain.

Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Sheila Voas, said that “it was too early to tell where the disease came from,” but urged any farmers with concerns to immediately come forward and seek advice.

The disease was discovered in a routine check on the Aberdeenshire farm, in northeastern Scotland. As a standard practice, all cows over four years of age that die are tested for BSE, and if the test comes back positive, all the animal’s offspring are isolated and later destroyed to comply with European Union (EU) requirements.

An investigation has been launched by the Animal Health Agency.

In the 1990s, a mass outbreak of BSE resulted in a ten year ban instituted by the EU on importing British beef, which began in 1996. The industry had been worth more than $653 million a year before the ban, which was lifted in 2006, according to the BBC.

Mad cow disease reached its peak in the U.K. in 1992-3, when more than 100,000 confirmed cases of mad cow disease were reported, sparking widespread panic, according to The Guardian.

National Health Service guidelines state that mad cow disease is likely to cause Variant CJD, a rare and fatal condition that affects the brain, when infected meat is eaten by humans.

Dr. Jude Capper, an animal scientist and expert on U.K. livestock, told ABC News that the government has learned the lessons of thirty years ago.

“The BSE outbreak in the late [1980s] had a devastating impact on the UK cattle industry, yet it provided some extremely valuable insights into how to deal with future disease issues,” she said. “The UK veterinary service and cattle industry have many more mechanisms in place to identify, contain and control disease.”

“There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity,” said Ian McWatt, the Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland. “Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place.”

In the U.S., the last verified case of mad cow disease was in Florida in August, according to Reuters.

This is the first case of BSE on U.K. soil since 2015, according to the BBC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

South Korean president shares invitation to North Korea with Pope Francis

iStock/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) — During a visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican, South Korean President Moon Jae-in shared a message from Kim Jong Un: Please come to North Korea.

Moon and the pope met behind closed doors in the Apostolic Palace, with South Korean priest Han Hyun-taek serving as an interpreter, shortly after noon local time.

After their meeting on Thursday, the office of the South Korean president said in a statement that a formal invitation to Pyongyang from Kim would follow the more informal message delivered by Moon.

“If the invitation comes, I will surely respond to it, and I can possibly go,” the pope responded, according to the South Koreans.

Moon’s seeking a papal endorsement of the continued efforts to achieve peace on the peninsula. The South Korean president also met with the Vatican’s chief diplomat, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to whom Moon reiterated his desire for a peaceful resolution.

Parolin on Wednesday celebrated with a “Mass for Peace” at St. Peter’s Basilica where the leaders prayed for the “gift of peace after years of tension and divisions,” South Korean media reported.

Moon spoke at the end of the service, saying the prayers offered at the mass would be welcomed.

The South Korean president has helped spearhead an accelerated effort to normalize relations between the two Koreas, meeting with Kim three times this year, including at a summit in Pyongyang.

Kim told Moon during their most recent meeting that he wished for the pope to visit North Korea, according to the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential office and residence.

The Vatican previously has said a papal trip to North Korea may first require the nation to incorporate changes such as allowing for freedom of religion.

The pope has visited South Korea, but no pontiff has ever been to North Korea, which has very few practicing Christians. Pope Francis also is planning to visit Japan early next year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US general was target of Taliban attack that killed 3 top Afghan officials, wounded 2 US soldiers

iStock/rThinkstock(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) — Three top officials in Kandahar, Afghanistan, were killed and two U.S. soldiers wounded in an attack by the officials’ own guards.

The province’s governor, its police chief and its intelligence chief were all killed in the attack Thursday inside the governor’s compound in Kandahar.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, and a Taliban spokesman said U.S. Gen. Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, was the target.

Miller was in Kandahar on Thursday but was not wounded in the incident.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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