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From ‘American Idol’ to American pie: Jordin Sparks starts her run in Broadway’s ‘Waitress’ tonight

Troy Jensen

Tonight, Jordin Sparks takes over lead role of Jenna in Sara Bareilles’ hit Broadway musical, Waitress.  This marks Jordin’s first time back on Broadway since 2010, when she starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical, In the Heights

Why return now? Jordin says basically, the stars aligned.

I was always asked after I did In the Heights, ‘Would you do Broadway again?'” Jordin tells ABC Radio. “And I always said, ‘Well, I would love to, ’cause I miss it every day. But it has to be the right timing and the right thing, ’cause it’s such a big commitment.’ And this happened to be it.”

While Jordin’s now a happily married wife and mother, she says she still relates to the character of Jenna, a pregnant waitress and expert pie baker who’s trapped in a loveless marriage and begins an ill-fated affair with her OB-GYN. 

“I relate to her on a whole bunch of different levels….emotionally, and in certain situations that she’s had to deal with, especially when she finally has the baby, and there’s that moment of realization like, ‘Wow, everything has completely changed,'” Jordin explains.

“But also in terms of what she’s been dealing with — the turmoil that she goes through — I’ve definitely had my fair share,” Jordin adds.

Though she was a Sara Bareilles fan before, Jordin says learning Sara’s score for Waitress has left her in awe of the “Brave” singer’s talent.

She gushes, “If you listen to the songs, they’re really fun and…really catchy, but when you have to learn them from the inside out, and you hear the intricacies, and the key changes and the lyrical aspects of everything…Sara Bareilles is a genius!”

Jordin will star in Waitress through October 27.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ally Brooke can’t wait to “literally shine on the stage” of ‘Dancing with the Stars’

ABC/Justin Stephens

Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke is one of the contestants on the new season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which premieres Monday night.  While the prospect of winning the coveted Mirror Ball trophy is the main objective, Ally says she’s really stoked about another aspect of the show: the fashions.

I am so excited for the costumes because they are so elaborate, so detailed, so intricate, and they’re so gorgeous, like, man! Every single costume that I’ve seen on that show is amazing!” Ally gushed.

Ally’s also psyched about wearing so many different costumes throughout the season.

There’s more of the sexy outfits and more those kinda, I guess, performance, showy outfits,” she explains. “But there’s also those outfits that are inspired by the theme — and you have Disney night and you get to dress as your favorite princess…there’s so many!”

“But my favorite thing is gonna be the sparkles, of course,” Ally laughs. “That is my literal dream and I can’t wait to literally shine on the stage!”

Ally is the second member of Fifth Harmony to compete on Dancing with the StarsNormani competed on the show in 2017 — she and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy reached the finals, finishing in third place.

In addition to Ally Brooke, this season of Dancing with the Stars will also see Christie Brinkley, Lamar Odom, James Van Der Beek, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Kate Flannery of The Office hit the ballroom.  The fun starts at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Post Malone’s ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ debuts atop ‘Billboard’ 200

Republic RecordsIt’s two in a row for Post MaloneHollywood’s Bleeding, his follow-up to his 2018 #1, beerbongs & bentleys,  just debuted atop the Billboard 200 all-genre album chart.

Hollywood’s Bleeding, which dropped September 6, moved 489,000 equivalent albums units in the sales week ending September 12, according to Nielsen Music figures reported by Billboard.  Of those, 200,000 were actual album sales. 

That overall number is the second-biggest sales week of the year for any album, after Taylor Swift‘s inaugural week for Lover, earlier this month.  It also beats the numbers for Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys, which debuted last year with 461,000 equivalent album units, 153,000 of them album sales. 

Hollywood’s Bleeding also scored the biggest streaming week of the year, beating the previous champ, Ariana Grande‘s Thank U, Next

Dialing in at 17 tracks, Hollywood’s Bleeding features a star-studded roster of guest spots from the likes of Da Baby, Halsey Future, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott, SZA and more.  

Post’s Runaway Tour kicked off this weekend. He’s also preparing for his annual Posty Fest.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


‘It: Chapter Two’ repeats at #1 with $40.7 million; ‘Hustlers’ beats expectations

Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment(NEW YORK) — It: Chapter Two topped the box office for the second straight week, grabbing an estimated 40.7 million. The second film in the It franchise has earned more than $153 million stateside and has delivered an estimated $323.3 globally. The two films have collectively earned $1.02 billion worldwide.

There was good and bad news for the weekend’s two new major releases. Hustlers, the drama based on the true story of strippers who fleece their wealthy patrons, starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Cardi B, finished in second place, exceeding expectations with an estimated $33.2 million. Hustlers marks the biggest opening for STX films, topping Bad Moms‘ $23.8 million in 2016. It’s also the best live-action debut for Lopez, topping 2005’s Monster-in-Law, which earned $23.1 million.

On the other hand, The Goldfinch, led by Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson and Nicole Kidman, delivered one of the worst openings ever for a major movie. only managing to scrounge up an estimated $2.6 million for an eighth-place finish.

Third place belonged to the action drama Angel Has Fallen, delivering an estimated $4.4 million in its fourth week of release. The raunchy comedy Good Boys dropped a spot to fourth place with an estimated $4.26 million.

Rounding out the top five is Disney’s The Lion King, adding an estimated $3.5 million to its domestic haul, which now stands at $533.9 million. This makes it the 12th-largest domestic release of all-time, edging past 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which earned $532.177 million.

Internationally, The Lion King ha taken in $1.617 billion. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

In limited release, The Sound of Silence, starring Peter Sarsgaard, earned an estimated $6,148 from two locations.

Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. It Chapter Two, $40.7 million
2. Hustlers, $33.2 million
3. Angel Has Fallen, $4.4 million
4. Good Boys, $4.26 million
5. The Lion King, $3.5 million
6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, $2.8 million
7. Overcomer, $2.7 million
8. The Goldfinch, $2.6 million
9. The Peanut Butter Falcon, $1.9 million
10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold, $1.9 million

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Friends’ co-creator talks titles, pants, and “PIVOT”

A “Friends” fan PIVOTS at Friends25 popup in NYC/ABC Radio(NEW YORK) — With the upcoming 25th anniversary of Friends, Entertainment Weekly‘s new issue is looking back at the sitcom with co-creator David Crane.

“We always felt that the strength of the show was that it wasn’t just jokes,” Crane says. “It was really about caring about these six people in an emotional way, even when it was funny. If it were just really good jokes, I don’t think we would have been there as long as we were.”

Fans of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey know every show for 10 seasons had a pretty self-explanatory title, like “The One Where No One’s Ready,” which now comes in pretty handy when trying to find that special episode for streaming. 

Of course, streaming back then was for liquid, not TV shows. Crane had a simpler explanation: “Let’s cut to the chase.”

As with many shows, Friends‘ writers found their lives being adapted for the gang’s goings on. For example, writer Adam Chase made the mistake of buying a pair of leather pants.

“The rest of us took it from there after giving him a really hard time about his leather pants,” Crane recalls; that grief was transferred to David Schwimmer’s Ross. 

One moment the show’s fans loved was Ross’ yelling “PIVOT!” as he, Chandler, and Rachel struggled to lift a couch up a narrow staircase. While the apartments on Friends were impossibly spacious for 20-somethings in Manhattan, the staircase WAS Big Apple accurate.

“They all lived in those apartments, but try to get a couch up a flight of stairs!” Crane says. “That’s where we captured the New York we actually lived in.”

The scene was so memorable that the designers of the Friends25 pop-up experience recreated the staircase and couch, so fans can Instagram their own “PIVOT!” moments.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Felicity Huffman gets 14 days, $30K fine in Varsity Blues college scandal

Paul Marotta/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for federal crimes stemming from the massive “Varsity Blues” college entrance scam.

In addition, Huffman will have to pay a $30,000 fine and complete 200 hours of community service.

Huffman learned her fate Friday during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston before Judge Indira Talwani, to whom she had pleaded for leniency.

Earlier this month, Huffman’s lawyers asked Talwani to not send the Oscar-nominated actress to prison, writing that “nothing about her history and characteristics require a prison sentence.”

Instead, they requested a one-year probation term, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine.

“She is remorseful — indeed, deeply ashamed — about what she did,” Huffman’s lawyers stated in court documents.

However, in court documents filed last week, federal prosecutors demanded that Huffman serve prison time, arguing that “neither probation nor home confinement (in a large home in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool) would constitute meaningful punishment or deter others from committing similar crimes.”

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Huffman to one month of incarceration, followed by 12 months of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.

On March 13, a federal indictment was unsealed, charging Huffman and more than 30 other wealthy parents, in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The indictment alleges the parents paid bribes to William “Rick” Singer, a college-entrance tutor guru whom prosecutors identified as the ringleader of the nationwide scam, to get their children into elite colleges.

Huffman pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud and admitted that she paid Singer $15,000 to falsify her daughter Sophia’s SAT score.

In a statement, Huffman said, “I accept the court’s decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.”

She added, “I have learned a lot over the last six months about my flaws as a person. My goal now is to serve the sentence that the court has given me….I can promise you that in the months and years to come that I will try and live a more honest life, serve as a better role model for my daughters and family and continue to contribute my time and energies wherever I am needed.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup — 9/15/19

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


Boston 6, Philadelphia 3
Toronto 6, NY Yankees 4
Cleveland 7, Minnesota 5
Baltimore 8, Detroit 2
Houston 12, Kansas City 3
Oakland 6, Texas 1
LA Angels 6, Tampa Bay 4
Seattle 11, Chi White Sox 10

Washington 7, Atlanta 0
Milwaukee 7, St. Louis 6
Chi Cubs 16, Pittsburgh 6
Colorado 10, San Diego 5
San Francisco 2, Miami 1
Cincinnati 3, Arizona 1
LA Dodgers 3, NY Mets 2

Detroit 13, LA Chargers 10
Indianapolis 19, Tennessee 17
Dallas 31, Washington 21
Seattle 28, Pittsburgh 26
Green Bay 21, Minnesota 16
Buffalo 28, NY Giants 14
Houston 13, Jacksonville 12
Baltimore 23, Arizona 17
San Francisco 41, Cincinnati 17
New England 43, Miami 0
Kansas City 28, Oakland 10
Chicago 16, Denver 14
LA Rams 27, New Orleans 9
Atlanta 24, Philadelphia 20

Los Angeles 92, Seattle 69
Las Vegas 93, Chicago 92

DC United 1, Portland 0
Toronto FC 3, Colorado 2
Minnesota 3, Real Salt Lake 1
Seattle 4, New York 2
LA Galaxy 7, Sporting Kansas City 2

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Antonio Brown accuser to meet with NFL, originally requested $10M settlement: Sources

zorandimzr/iStock(NEW YORK) —  Britney Taylor, who has accused NFL star Antonio Brown of three separate instances of sexual assault, is scheduled to meet with the NFL on Monday, sources confirm to ABC News.

The athletic trainer and former college gymnast filed a civil suit against the New England Patriots receiver on Tuesday after Brown declined to sign a settlement agreement, sources said. A source told ABC News that several offers and deadlines were given over the course of months of conversation between Brown and Taylor’s representatives.

The initial request for a settlement from Taylor’s lawyers was for over $10 million, according to a source.

The suit was filed two days after Brown declined to sign a $2 million settlement. It is not clear how much Taylor is asking for in damages from the lawsuit.

Taylor alleges in the lawsuit that Brown sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 while she was working as his trainer, and a third time after a night out in Miami in May 2018.

Brown repeatedly exposed himself to Taylor and sent graphic text messages, according to the lawsuit, which includes texts allegedly from Brown. After the two were at a strip club in Miami last May, Taylor alleges in the lawsuit they went back to Brown’s hotel room and he raped her despite crying and screaming for him to stop.

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 has vigorously denied any of the instances took place and said the motivation on the accuser’s part was solely about money.

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

Brown engaged in a very public battle with Oakland Raiders management during the offseason, and was eventually released just days before the season opener. He was traded to Oakland from Pittsburgh in March and immediately signed a three-year, $50 million extension. But when he was cut, after feuding with the NFL over the type of helmet he wanted to use and with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock over disciplinary fines, the team voided his contract.

He signed with the New England Patriots last week. He has not faced any disciplinary measures from the league, and made his season debut on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown finished with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots blew out the lowly Dolphins, 43-0.

Both the Patriots and Raiders say they were unaware of Taylor’s allegations before the lawsuit was filed.

Brown said the two had a consensual sexual relationship.

The meeting between Taylor and NFL investigators on Monday is part of an investigation into the allegations by the league. While Brown has not yet been placed on an exempt list, that decision could still be made pending investigation by the league.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘I almost died’: David Ortiz gives 1st interview after being shot

fstop123/iStock(BOSTON) — Boston Red Sox legend and three-time World Series champion David Ortiz gave his first interview after being shot in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

The retired slugger known as “Big Papi” was shot at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on June 9. In the interview, he described the moment as surreal and said he wondered if he was going to see the next day.

“For the first five seconds, I thought I was having a nightmare … I was feeling something that I had never felt before in my life, and that was to try to stay alive,” Ortiz told Univision in an exclusive interview Friday.

Ortiz was temporarily in a coma following complications from the shooting, and he remained in the hospital for nearly two months, undergoing three surgeries. His gunshot wounds caused damage to his liver and his small and large intestine.

Ortiz told Univision he’s still trying to process the shooting, and why he, as someone who always tried to get along with everyone, could get caught up in something like that.

“I am someone who likes to make friends, I like to be someone who is kind,” Ortiz said. “Someone that gets along with everyone – I am not [a] problematic person. I don’t like problems.”

Authorities said Ortiz’s friend, Sixto David Fernandez, was the target — and not Ortiz — but the gunman allegedly told police he got the two confused. The cousin of Fernandez, Victor Hugo Gomez, was arrested on June 28 in the Dominican Republic as the mastermind of the shooting. Hugo Gomez reportedly denied any wrongdoing in July, after a video of him surfaced. Dominican National Police said the investigation is in the “secret phase,” in June but have not provided any recent updates on the case against Huge Gomez.

Ortiz said he’s trying to get past the incident.

“The only thing that concerned me is that my country advances. That love that people have for you there. It is not a lie,” Ortiz told Univision.

Earlier this week Ortiz brought the home crowd at Fenway Park to its feet as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch against his long-time nemesis, the New York Yankees.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Texas girl fights for her life after contracting brain-eating amoeba

kdshutterman/iStock(FORT WORTH, Texas) — A 10-year-old girl is fighting for her life at a Texas hospital after contracting a rare brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a river.

Lily Mae Avant spent Labor Day weekend with her family swimming in the Brazos River, which winds through their backyard in Whitney, Texas, a small city near Waco. She came down with a headache and fever soon after, on Sept. 8. Over the following days, she began acting strangely, according to her family.

Lily, who had become incoherent and unresponsive, was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth last Tuesday. Doctors say she contracted Naegleria fowleri, a rare but deadly amoeba that lives in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs. The single-celled organism typically infects swimmers by travelling through the nose and into the brain.

The fatality rate for Naegleria fowleri infections is over 97%. Only four out of 145 known-infected individuals in the United States have survived since the amoeba was first identified in the 1960s, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Texas Department of State Health Services did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Monday morning.

Lily was given an amoeba-fighting pill and was placed in a medically-induced coma in what has become the fight of her life.

“She’s a fighter,” Lily’s stepfather, John Crawson, told Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in an interview Friday night. “And she’s stronger than anyone I know.”

Although the odds are stacked against her, Lily’s family is holding out hope that she will be the fifth person to survive.

“She is still here with us,” her aunt, Loni Yadon, told WFAA, “and we are still fighting.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Carolina woman forced to be sex slave, tortured in front of her children

vmargineanu/iStock(PINEVILLE, N.C.) — A North Carolina woman was held as a sex slave and repeatedly beaten and tortured in front of her two children.

The woman — who remains unnamed — was allegedly held against her will at two separate hotels in Pineville, North Carolina where police say “she was forced into sexual acts with random men,” according to a statement from the Pineville Police Department.

The suspects, Thomas Antoine Miller and Shakeeta Lasha Adams, then allegedly physically and mentally punished the woman if she did not meet certain financial quotas.

“The punishments range from verbal abuse, to beatings with a belt, being held under water/ice bath in a bathtub while being strangled, and burned/branded with a hot wire coat hanger. This violence was done in front of her two children and they were beaten as well with a belt at times,” read the police statement.

The Pineville Police opened up an “extensive criminal investigation” over a three-week period into human trafficking through interviews, undercover surveillance and search warrants at area hotels when the victim came forward during the investigation asking for help for her and her two children.

Miller and Adams were arrested for their involvement in the case. Miller, 26, was charged with human trafficking of an adult victim, sexual servitude of an adult victim, assault by strangulation, assault on a child under 12, assault on a female and communicating threats, according to the Charlotte Observer. Adams, 25, was charged with simple assault and is free on bail pending trial.

Police are still concerned that other victims of Miller and Adams could still be out there.

“We want those victims to come forward to us. We also want them to know that there is help out there for them,” the police statement said.

“Our victim in this case and her children had a long road of physical and mental recovery ahead of them. Our victim has been very brave in coming forward and we hope that if there are more victims out there, then they too will be inspired to come forward,” the statement continued.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Resident Evil” stunt woman felt abandoned by producers after losing arm

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — A Hollywood stunt double who lost her arm while filming one of the Resident Evil movies said she thought the production company would take care of her, but now she’s suing the producers of the film, hoping to make her nightmare the last for stunt workers.

Olivia Jackson sued the producers of Resident Evil: The Last Chapter last week, claiming they left her on her own as she racked up medical bills after the career-ending accident.

Jackson has performed in several blockbuster films throughout her career, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but she said no film could ever prepare her for the trauma she suffered after the 2015 accident.

“It’s something you always hear happening to someone else and you think, ‘Oh dear that’s horrible,’ but you never think its gonna be you,” Jackson said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America airing Monday. “I thought the production would take care of me for a number of reasons.”

Jackson was performing as a stunt double for Milla Jovovich on Resident Evil: The Last Chapter when she was injured in a motorcycle crash that resulted in her arm being amputated after being placed in a medically induced coma.

Jackson said she was initially slated to film a fight scene on the day of the crash, but in a “last-minute change, she was asked to perform a dangerous and technically complex motorcycle scene in adverse weather,” according to her lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles.

The scene Involved her speeding toward a camera that was supposed to lift over her head before she reached it. But the “haphazardly planned stunt went terribly wrong,” the lawsuit said, and Jackson collided with the camera at full speed.

“It went straight into my left arm, my head and my shoulder,” Jackson told GMA. “The next thing I remember, I woke up three weeks later, [after] being in a coma, and then saw my family.”

“I had numerous injuries, brain bleed, brain swelling, it hit the left-hand side of my face and all along here was — it’s called de-gloving — where it’s all pulled-back flesh. … You could see my teeth through my cheek,” she added.

Now, unable to work, Jackson says she’s still fighting for proper compensation. Her lawsuit, which names producer Jeremy Bolton and producer/director Paul W.S. Anderson as defendants, said the crash was the result of the production team “elevating financial considerations over safety.”

She said the movie’s producers misled her into believing that their insurance would cover any potential injuries sustained during on the job. Jackson claims the producers “abandoned” her and took out an insurance policy that only covered $33,000 of her medical expenses. After the accident, she said she was paid $990 in lost earnings despite the film’s blockbuster success and gross of more than $300 million.

“They admitted they had very limited insurance, but they promised they would take care of me and make sure I came back to health,” Jackson told GMA. “When they stopped paying for the medical bills I think I was just really hurt and really scared because I was stuck. … I was really hurt and really scared because now I was stuck on my own.”

Thankfully, members of the stunt actors community and movie lovers from around the world gathered to raise funds to help her have the surgeries she required, Jackson said.

The lawsuit did not list a specific amount in damages, but Jackson said she’s seeking compensation to “take care of myself for the rest of my life and pay for all the extensive medical bills that are ongoing.”

She also wants to raise awareness for cases like hers and hopefully inspire actors to be advocates for their own safety.

“I would really like to make the world aware that things like this happen and make sure there is safety and insurance in place for the crews that make these films and give their lives, 16 hours a day, working to make these films,” Jackson told GMA. “A lot of the things with the insurance, those were hidden from me. It’s hard really to learn from it, when you sign a contract that says the production has insurance, but you don’t really know, every crew member on a film doesn’t know to ask them for their insurance papers.”

Representatives for Anderson, Bolt and their respective companies did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Iran fired cruise missiles in attack on Saudi oil facility: Senior US official

JeanUrsula/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.

It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.

President Donald Trump warned the U.S. was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack on Sunday, waiting for verification of who was responsible and for word from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.

The Trump administration, in particular Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has blamed Iran for the attack since Saturday, but so far, there’s been no public accusation that Iran launched missiles.

The Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed responsibility for the assault, which hit one of the world’s largest oil processing facilities, hundreds of miles from the Yemen-Saudi border, and sharply impacted global oil supplies.

But a senior U.S. official told ABC News Saturday that was false: “It was Iran. The Houthis are claiming credit for something they did not do.”

Pompeo tweeted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

The attack on the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco also included more than 20 drones, the official said.

Iran has denied responsibility for the attack, accusing Pompeo of “max deceit,” as the country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Saturday.

In a Sunday evening tweet, Trump did not share the definitive accusation against Iran, instead saying the U.S. had “reason to believe that we know the culprit … but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack.”

The senior official told ABC News the president is fully aware that Iran is responsible, but he wants the Saudis to acknowledge it if they want U.S. help.

Trump promised the U.S. was “locked and loaded depending on verification” and waiting for the Saudis to say “under what terms we would proceed!”

Critics condemned Trump’s threat to act, especially at the Saudis’ behest. Rep. Justin Amash, of Michigan, a former Republican and now Independent, tweeted, “Under our Constitution, the power to commence war lies with Congress, not the president and certainly not Saudi Arabia. We don’t take orders from foreign powers.”

The attack and ensuing threats of retaliation had the region on edge Sunday, with heightened fears of a conflict — Iran and its proxies against the Saudis and U.S.

Tensions have been high since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and strictly reimposed sanctions, including on Iran’s oil industry — its economic lifeblood.

In an escalating series of moves, Tehran has sought to counter or undermine those sanctions — attacking a handful of oil tankers, seizing others and their crews and assaulting Saudi oil facilities, according to U.S. officials.

The risk of conflict seemed lower less than a week ago, with the departure of hNational Security Adviser John Bolton and Trump seeming to embrace the possibility of talks with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly later this month in New York. Pompeo said Tuesday that Trump was “prepared to meet with no preconditions.”

But in a reversal Sunday, Trump tweeted it was “incorrect” to say he was willing to meet without conditions, blaming the “fake news” despite his repeated statements saying so.

In July 2018, the president first said “no preconditions … If they want to meet, I’ll meet — anytime they want.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

3 migrants killed, 11 detained after boat sinks in Caribbean: CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection(NEW YORK) — Three people were killed and 11 were detained on Saturday night when a makeshift boat capsized in the Caribbean, authorities said.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in the Caribbean bureau said the makeshift vessel, called a “yola,” went under Saturday night with “approximately” 38 undocumented immigrants on board, according to a statement. Three drowned and 11 were detained by the Ramey Border Patrol, the CBP stated via the agency’s verified Twitter account. It is unclear what the status is of the other migrants.

Officials tweeted images from the scene Sunday evening, showing agents as they examined the damaged vessel on the shore. It was painted blue and appeared to be made of wood.

There was no word on where the boat departed from or where it may have been headed. Officials said they would release more information when available.

The CPB’s Caribbean bureau is responsible for the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thousands of climate change activists block entrance to Frankfurt auto show

iStock/VanderWolf-Images(FRANKFURT, Germany) — Thousands of climate-change activists formed a human roadblock on Sunday to the Frankfurt auto show, one of the largest car industry showcases in the world.

Protesters, many wearing surgical masks and white hazmat suits, blocked the entrance to Germany’s 68th annual International Auto Show, demanding German lawmakers to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and some calling for a ban on gas-guzzling SUVs.

“The automotive industry makes money by destroying the environment,” Marion Tiemann of the environmental activist group Greenpeace, one of the organizers of the protest, told demonstrators. “We’re in the midst of a climate crisis.”

It was the second day of mass protests at the auto show, where inside some 800 auto manufacturers showed off their latest models.

Protesters launched their attempt to disrupt the show on Saturday, when tens of thousands of demonstrators, including several thousand on bicycles, clogged major roads leading to the auto exhibition.

On Sunday, protesters returned to the Frankfurt show, blocking the entrance and holding banners that said, “Make love not CO2.” Others called for an outright ban on SUVs.

The four-day show — which included the latest vehicles from iconic German automakers Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Volkswagen — began on Thursday with a speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which she challenged the auto industry to the “Herculean task” of coming up with “climate-friendly” vehicles.

“High mobility will have its price, if more efficient, climate-friendly vehicles are not manufactured,” Merkel said in her speech.

She added that “no reduction in CO2 from the total volume of traffic has been achieved” since 1990.

“We are still a long way from having 100 percent renewable energy,” said Merkel, who is scheduled to chair the first meeting of her high-level climate cabinet on Sept. 20.

Germany has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.

Some German car manufacturers are using the show to debut their latest electric and hybrid models, including Porsche’s rollout of its all-electric $150,000 Taycan.

Bernhard Mattes, the president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, also spoke at the show, telling manufacturers they are facing the “most profound transformation our industry has ever had to overcome.”

“Yes, too many vehicles in a city affects our quality of life through noise, fumes, and by taking up space,” Mattes said.

But Mattes went on to say that imposing more climate regulations and banning SUVs will not help the industry meet goals of cutting carbon emissions and traffic. He emphasized that innovation will produce a greener auto industry.

The protests over the weekend in Germany came just days after 16-year-old Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg led a large protest outside the White House and called on Congress and President Donald Trump to take action on the climate crisis.

Thunberg, who gained notoriety last month by sailing to the United States from Europe as an alternative to air travel, encouraged young people to participate in Global Climate Strikes on Sept. 20 that are planned for major cities around the world.

“I am so incredibly grateful for every single one of you and I’m so proud of you who have come here,” Thunberg told the crowd gathered on Friday in a park across the street from the White House. “Never give up, we will continue and see you next week on Sept. 20.”

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