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Pink, Dua, Kelly & Brandi: Female artists fangirl over each other

Jeff Spicer/Getty ImagesKelly Clarkson and Dua Lipa may be Grammy-winning global pop stars, but they’re not above turning into total fangirls when they encounter their favorite stars online or in real life.

At the BRIT Awards earlier this week, Best British Single winner Dua got a chance to meet her all-time idol, Pink, who was there to perform and receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award. 

Dua posted a photo of them together, and wrote, “I met my idol last night and it was nothing short of perfect. It’s so nice to meet someone you’ve always looked up to, who’s music has always been there for you and know they are everything you imagined. Thank you @Pink for being the realest. I feel so lucky.”

To which Pink replied, simply, “You’re the bestest!!!!”  She also posted Dua’s photo on Instagram and added, “This girl is the real f****** deal right here. I was so happy to meet her.”

Meanwhile, while on tour, Kelly Clarkson performed a cover version of “The Joke,” the Grammy-winning song by Brandi Carlile, which Brandi performed at the Grammys.  The song is quite difficult to sing, but Brandi gave the performance a thumbs-up. Retweeting an article about it, she wrote, “Nailed it!”

To which Kelly replied, “I didn’t nail it  BUT I tried and I love you and wish I could cover your songs every night #LookingOut has been my jam for years girl, along with most of your catalogue.”

By the way, Kelly’s not the only celebrity fan of Brandi Carlile. President Barack Obama famously include “The Joke” on a playlist of his favorite songs of 2017, and her songs have been covered by Adele, among others.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nick Jonas posts cover of “Shallow” ahead of the Oscars

ABC/Image Group LANick Jonas is getting into the Oscars spirit.

Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards this Sunday, the singer posted a snippet of his cover of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born.

The video, taken by his wife Priyanka Chopra, shows Nick strumming his guitar and singing his own rendition of Bradley’s first verse in the duet.

“In honor of Oscar weekend… such a beautiful song,” Nick captioned the post.

Gaga and Bradley will be performing the song at the Oscars ceremony, which airs Sunday night on ABC at 8 p.m ET/5 p.m. PT.

Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “Shallow,” which she performed during a tour stop earlier this month, has gone viral, racking up nearly three million views.

Last year, Nick was nominated for a Golden Globe for the song “Home,” which he wrote for the animated flick Ferdinand.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

O-Town teams up with “The Bachelor’s” Colton Underwood on new song, “Hello World”

Pacific RecordsRemember O-Town? The early 2000s boy band born out of ABC’s Making the Band is back with a new song…featuring this season’s Bachelor, Colton Underwood.

Colton – in his very first musical contribution — joins them on the track, “Hello World.”

So how did this seemingly random collaboration come about? Colton had reached out to his pal and O-Town member Jacob Underwood — no relation — about writing a song to help raise money and awareness for his charity, the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation.

Jacob wrote the track, then Colton was invited to record the song with them in San Diego. Colton ended up singing the line “I want to see you learn,” which the song samples after the second chorus.

All of the proceeds will go to Colton’s charity, which provides funds and support for people with cystic fibrosis.

“Very excited to be releasing ‘Hello World’ and grateful to O-TOWN for partnering up!” Colton says in a statement. “They are so great to be using this song to help raise funds for the Legacy Foundation and I know it’s going to be big!”

Jacob adds, “There’s nothing more rewarding than the opportunity to use our God-given gifts to help people in need. This song is very special to me, and I hope that it becomes an anthem not only for the kids effected by Cystic Fibrosis, but anyone who has chosen to live their best life in the face of pain and heartache.”

O-Town is preparing to release their fourth album, OWTN, which will be split into two EPs. They’ll be making select tour stops this year on the Pop 2000 tour.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Where’s the beef? Wolfgang Puck’s got it this Oscar Sunday

ABC(LOS ANGELES) — As sure as a winner will forget to thank their significant other on the podium, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will be running the kitchen for the famed Governors Ball after the Oscars Sunday night. 

It’s the 25th year that Puck’s been crafting A-list edibles for A-list guests at the official after-party of the Academy Awards, and once again, he caught up with ABC Radio to talk about the most indulgent items on the menu this year.

“We all know black truffles are expensive, we have 30 pounds of that,” he explains. “You know, caviar is not cheap, either. We brought in enough Miyazaki beef, and you know, that’s expensive. It cost as much as a Mercedes with all the beef we got.”

Puck also explained some of his inspiration for one of Sunday night’s delicacies, Spanish ham, came from a Best Picture nominee — accidentally.

“The inspiration for the ham started really when I saw Roma, the movie, where they spoke Spanish. And I was thinking right away of Spain,” Punk explains. “But then afterwards, I found out that [director Alfonso Cuaron] is from Mexico and it’s actually a Mexican movie!”

Puck laughed, “But I said, you know, I love the ham so much I don’t care — I’m going to serve it.” 

Tune in to ABC on Sunday night to see the nominees and winners at the Academy Awards — before they descend on the Governors Ball and start stuffing their faces.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘A Star Is Born’ co-star Anthony Ramos would rather the film change a life than win awards

L-R; Lady Gaga, Anthony Ramos; Clay Enos/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — A Star Is Born is up for eight Academy Awards this Sunday, including Best Picture, but for one of the movie’s stars, winning isn’t everything.

Anthony Ramos, who plays the best friend of Lady Gaga’s character Ally, tells ABC Radio that the film’s effect on audiences matters more to him than any trophy.

“I think at the end of the day…you can win the most awards — I mean, you could win every award — but if people connect to it and people feel, that’s what matters the most, honestly,” the former Hamilton star says.

Ramos adds, “I’d rather win no awards and somebody’s life get changed than me win a million and it just be, like, an Oscar-winning movie, you know what I mean?”

Maybe he won’t have to choose one or the other. Tune in to the Academy Awards ABC Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET to see if A Star Is Born can be both a life-changing and Oscar-winning film.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Now this is a story…” Will Smith to revive ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ character in children’s book series ‘Fresh Princess’

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Will Smith is bringing something extremely fresh to the children’s book world.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Smith has partnered with HarperCollins and author Denene Miller for a new book series called Fresh Princess.

Inspired by Smith’s character from his iconic ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the three-part picture book series will follow Destiny, “a cool, energetic, and strong-willed girl who approaches every day with her own signature style.”

That is, until she moves to a new neighborhood where nothing is “quite the same.” But Destiny reacts by putting a plan into motion that finds her bringing “the fun to any situation.”

“I couldn’t be more excited that the character I played for so long could inspire such a fun and empowering book for kids everywhere,” Smith said in a statement.

“I know all of my children would have loved Fresh Princess growing up, and being a father who raised a strong daughter, I know how important it is to see that type of strength depicted in stories.”

He continued, “It’s what [my wife] Jada and I have always championed and shown our kids throughout their lives. I’m down to follow Destiny through her growth and adventures just as I had experienced the journey of the young ‘Will Smith’ as he danced, laughed, made mistakes, and created memorable moments on his road to becoming the Fresh Prince.”

Fresh Princess will be available on April 2 and is now available for pre-order.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Kyler Murray reaffirms commitment to playing football

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NORMAN, Okla.) — Former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray is committed to pursuing a career in the NFL over Major League Baseball, he said on Saturday.

Murray was honored during the first half of the Sooners’ basketball game against Texas on Saturday.

“For me, it was something I’ve known for a while,” he said about his plans to play football professionally. Murray was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2018, but the baseball team allowed him to play one more season of college football.

During that season, Murray won the Heisman Trophy and became a likely first-round NFL Draft pick.

“That organization, being with the A’s, was the best possible situation for me,” Murray said Saturday. “Just because they were so great throughout the football season, kind of leaving me alone and letting me do my own thing, and at the same time letting me know how much I meant to them and that type of stuff.”

Because of that, Murray says, “telling them was tough.”

He called the night he was drafted by the Athletics “a great day of my life,” but said “I didn’t know how the NFL felt about me before this season because I hadn’t played.”

So he used his junior year at Oklahoma to “put myself in the best position possible. Obviously, when you win, good things happen. A lot of good stuff happened this year.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Phillies owner in Las Vegas to meet with free agent Bryce Harper

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(LAS VEGAS) — Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton was in Las Vegas on Friday night to meet with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, sources told ESPN.

The two sides were not expected to reach a contract agreement during the meeting. But the Phillies have been considered one of the most likely landing spots for the 26-year-old star.

Harper and the Phillies also met in Las Vegas, Harper’s hometown, in January.

The Phillies have been active this offseason, trading for infielder Jean Segura and catcher J.T. Realmuto to bolster their lineup. Middleton said early in the offseason that the team was ready to spend money, “and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.”

The team was believed to be interested in both Harper and infielder Manny Machado, but the latter player signed a 10-year contract worth $300 million with the San Diego Padres this week.

Other teams believed to be in the running for Harper include the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago White Sox. The Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Harper’s former team the Washington Nationals are also considered possible landing spots.

Harper is reportedly seeking a deal worth more than the 10 years and $300 million that the Nationals offered him at the end of the 2018 season.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup – 2/22/19

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

Boston 6, Northeastern University 0 (7 Innings)
Philadelphia 3, Tampa Bay 2
Detroit 12, Southeastern University 2

Seattle 8, Oakland 1

Chicago 110, Orlando 109
Toronto 120, San Antonio 117
Charlotte 123, Washington 110
Indiana 126, New Orleans 111
Minnesota 115, N-Y Knicks 104
Detroit 125, Atlanta 122
L.A. Clippers 112, Memphis 106
Denver 114, Dallas 104
Oklahoma City 148, Utah 147 (2OT)
Columbus 3, Ottawa 0
Minnesota 3, Detroit 2
Colorado 5, Chicago 3
Calgary 2, Anaheim 1
Winnipeg 6, Vegas 3

(21) Iowa 76, Indiana 70 (OT)
(25) Buffalo 80, Kent St. 57

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


California governor orders new DNA testing in 35-year-old murder case that put inmate on death row at San Quentin

MivPiv/iStock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California’s governor has ordered new DNA tests on evidence from a death row inmate’s 35-year-old murder conviction — which the inmate has said will exonerate him. The inmate maintains he was framed in the 1980s by homicide investigators.

Before he left office in December, former California Governor Edmund Brown Jr., ordered the tests on four items related to the 1983 murders of four people, including two children, in Chino Hills.

Brown Jr. issued the directive after receiving a clemency application from inmate Kevin Cooper — who was convicted in 1985 for the vicious killing spree in which an 8-year-old boy was the sole survivor.

Cooper, now 61, has maintained his innocence from a death row prison cell in San Quentin State Prison. In his clemency petition, Cooper requested further forensic testing of four piece of evidence: a tan t-shirt, an orange towel, a hatchet handle and a hatchet sheath, according to Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order issued on Friday.

“The purpose of testing these evidentiary items … is to determine whether Kevin Cooper’s DNA, another suspected person’s DNA, and/or the DNA of any other identifiable suspect based on a match in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, is present on the items tested,” Newsom wrote in the executive order.

Newsom ordered new DNA tests on additional items of evidence — some of which were initially tested and others that were never tested — including a green button, fingernail scrapings from the victims and more, in order to have the “most scientifically reliable DNA collection and analysis methodologies,” the order read.

The case attracted national interest after New York Times‘ columnist Nicholas Kristof, Sen. Kamala Harris and Kim Kardashian urged officials to allow retesting.

Almost 500 cases have been vacated across the country based on evidence that includes DNA, according to The Nation Registry of Exonerations.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

R. Kelly bail set at $1 million for sex abuse charges

(Chicago Police Department) R. Kelly, seen in his mugshot after surrendering to Chicago police on Feb. 22, 2019, has been indicted on 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse. (CHICAGO) — A Chicago judge ordered $1 million bond for R. Kelly on Saturday after the singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse.

Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. also ordered Kelly to turn in his passport and forbade contact with the singer’s alleged victims. Kelly was indicted on Friday for a decade of sexual assault and abuse against four victims, three of whom were under the age of 17. Bail was set for $250,000 for each case.

Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg told ABC News outside of the courtroom that his client is strapped for cash and cannot afford the $100,000 bond to get out this weekend.

Kelly did not react during the hearing. He sat with a straight look on his face, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with his hands crossed behind his back throughout the hearing. Kelly only spoke with his lawyer while Lyke reviewed the charges, calling the prosecutors’ claims “disturbing.”

Greenberg told the judge his client wasn’t a flight risk because “contrary to the song [‘I Believe I Can Fly’], he doesn’t like to fly” Greenberg added: “He can’t go anywhere anyways. He’s a recognizable person.”

Kelly’s “finances are a mess,” citing a child support judgement and no ability to generate residuals, said Greenberg. He’s expected back in court on Feb. 25.

The 52-year old embattled star, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, had turned himself into Chicago police late Friday. A booking photo showed Kelly in a black hooded sweatshirt sporting a salt-and-pepper beard.

Kelly’s supporters Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, who are living with the singer, attended the hearing. Parents of both women, claimed in the Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly, that Kelly is holding their daughters against the women’s will. The three-part documentary chronicled decades of troubling allegations and brought renewed media attention and scrutiny on the singer.

The women initially sat one row in front of Azriel’s father, Angelo Clary, who tried to speak with them. They both ignored him, never acknowledging him or even turning around. Then they changed seats, moving one row ahead to avoid him. Avenatti, who said he has six clients related to Kelly, comforted Azriel’s mother after they were rejected by their daughter.

Several other people — men and women — stood in the last two rows in support of Kelly.

Jerhonda Pace — one of Kelly’s accusers -— was also in attendance.

The alleged criminal behavior dates back to May 1998 and continued until January 2010, Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx announced at a press conference on Friday. The indictment details accounts of vaginal and oral penetration of and ejaculation onto the victims by the singer.

“Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of 3-7 years and is probationable,” Foxx’s office wrote in a statement.

Michael Avenatti, left the courthouse in a black SUV seeming optimistic that Kelly will “spend the rest of his life” in prison.

“With a conviction in this case, he is never going to walk free another day of his life especially with a mandatory minimum sentence,” said Avenatti.

Late Friday, Kelly’s lawyer called the accusers liars.

“I think all the women are lying,” Greenberg told reporters at a press conference. “This has become, ‘Hey, R. Kelly — I can say R. Kelly did something’ — boom.”

Greenberg also said that in indicting Kelly, Foxx caved into public pressure.

“I had a discussion with the state’s attorney’s office earlier this week [and] we were supposed to meet next week and have a discussion about what they had,” he said. “I was gonna be allowed to address what they had, then they just decided to indict him today for whatever reason. I suspect this is succumbing to public pressure.”

Greenberg also claimed one of the victims is the same person in a 2003 child pornography case in which Kelly was acquitted in 2008.

“One of the cases seems to be a rehash he was acquitted for. Double jeopardy should apply to everyone,” Greenberg said.

During the hearing prosecutors told the judge there is no case of double jeopardy involving the victim from Kelly’s previous acquittal because “it is not the same video.”

Kelly is also facing at least three different federal investigations including at least one focusing on his alleged relationships with underage girls, who may have been trafficked, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the IRS have opened investigations after Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime starting Jan. 3.

All three agencies declined to comment.

HSI is looking at potential crimes involving sex trafficking and child exploitation. The investigations were first reported in The New Yorker, by Jim DeRogatis, who has been reporting on R. Kelly for almost 20 years.

On Thursday, two more women, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington, said they were victims of R. Kelly. Their attorney, Gloria Allred, said the women spoke with federal prosecutors.

“Yesterday, I indicated that my two clients who held a press conference here in New York would be speaking to law enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and they did in fact have that interview,” Allred told WABC.

In addition, Michael Avenatti, who is representing two alleged victims of Kelly, said he gave Cook County prosecutors a video depicting the singer allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old.

“Earlier this month we uncovered and recovered a video tape of over 40 minutes in length,” Avenatti said at a press conference Friday. “We promptly brought it to the attention of Ms. Foxx and others in her office. This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl. The tape was shot in the late ’90s, approximately 1999, [and] it depicts two separate scenes shot on two separate days within Mr. Kelly’s residence at the time.”

“Repeatedly on the video both the victim and Mr. Kelly refer to the victim’s age as being 14,” Avenatti said. “That occurs in excess of 10 separate times on the video, both the victim and Mr. Kelly can be heard referencing her age.”

Greenberg said he hadn’t seen the video, but denied the allegation.

“Unfortunately, the state’s attorney now succumbed to public pressure, to pressure from grandstanders like Michael Avenatti,” Greenberg said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Suspect surrenders after allegedly kidnapping woman, shooting man in South Carolina

(Catawba County Sheriff’s Office) Andrew Moser is pictured in this undated photo released by Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. (NEW YORK) — A North Carolina man is facing up to 15 years behind bars for allegedly kidnapping a woman after shooting a man during a heated dispute, police said Saturday.

Derek Andrew Moser turned himself into the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office hours after allegedly opening fire on 29-year-old Armando Jimenez and fleeing the scene in a 2006 Buick Rendezvous with 22-year-old Alexa Marie Cruz, police said.

Photographs of Moser and Cruz were released to the media Friday as police carried out a desperate search for them.

“If you encounter Derek Andrew Moser, call 911. Do NOT approach the suspect, he is considered armed and dangerous,” according to a press release issued by police.

Though it’s unclear what sparked the shooting, police said, Moser, Cruz and Jimenez know each other. Authorities were still investigating the extent of their relationship.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Moser surrendered and was arraigned for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, second-degree kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle charges.

Bond was set at $145,000 for Moser, who is currently held in Catawba County Detention Center, police said.

If convicted for the top charge, Moser faces between five and 15 years in prison.

Cruz is safe and cooperating with authorities; Jimenez was treated and released from the hospital, police said.

Police and the Newton Fire Department are also investigating a fire at a neighboring residence to see if it’s connected to the shooting.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Humanitarian aid crosses into Venezuela as protesters clash, military defects

LorenzoT81/iStock(CARACAS) — As peaceful aid workers started up trucks that would carry humanitarian aid across Venezuela’s borders with Brazil and Colombia on Saturday, thousands of Venezuelans in need of food and medical supplies took to the streets to pressure the military to allow the much-needed aid into the country.

The confrontations, most of which have occurred on the Venezuelan side of the borders, turned violent in many instances, threatening to further embroil the country into chaos.

On the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, which crosses into the country from Colombia, Venezuelan authorities unleashed tear gas to disperse crowds, who had begun forming human chains in an effort to cross the aid on their own.

Venezuelans knocked down barricades and threw them into the river from the Bolivar bridge. In a separate incident there, three defecting members of the Venezuelan National Guard drove their armored vehicle over the bridge in an apparent attempt to escape the country.

Other military personnel defecting from Venezuela also crossed the bridges into Colombia throughout the day.

In all, at least 23 members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces fled to Colombia, according to that country’s migration agency.

Two trucks carrying humanitarian vehicles were burned on the bridge, according to the migration agency.

Venezuela has become an international flashpoint since January, when the United States and 50 other countries recognized Juan Guaido, the leader of the country’s opposition party, as its interim president. Led by President Donald Trump, the collection of countries has called on Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, to resign.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “God Bless the people of Venezuela!”

The latest point of contention between the two sides has been the entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela — Guaido and his supporters pushing to allowing it in, while Maduro and his security forces resisting the help from the U.S. and other countries.

Tons of food and medical supplies, such as medication, wheelchairs, crutches and bandages, have been stockpiled on the Colombian and Brazilian sides of the Venezuela border for weeks, awaiting safe passage into the country, including more than 200 tons in Cucuta, Colombia, alone.

For just as long, Maduro had ordered military personnel to block access into Venezuela and placed containers on the bridge to block the trucks from passing over. On Thursday, Maduro ordered the border crossings closed and blasted the U.S. for using aid to undermine him.

On the Simon Bolivar, Urena and Tienditas bridges, confrontations have continued since early Saturday. In some cases, both the military and Venezuelan citizens have thrown rocks.

Amid the violence, some of the aid is finding its way across the various border crossings into Venezuela. Guaido said the first shipment of aid had passed through Venezuela’s border with Brazil.

A couple hours later, he announced that the trucks carrying aid from Colombia had also crossed the Venezuelan border, but said Maduro’s “regime” was impeding its passage.

Meanwhile, Maduro called on Venezuelans to “defend our independence.”

“Here, peace will triumph,” he wrote in Spanish in a tweet.

Maduro also called Colombian President Ivan Duque “the devil” in a speech Saturday morning and announced that he was breaking off diplomatic ties with that country. He gave Colombian diplomats 24 hours to leave Venezuela.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begins long journey to Vietnam ahead of 2nd summit with President Donald Trump

Linh Pham/Getty Images(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un began an extended trek to Vietnam Saturday ahead of a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

Trump, who is set to depart the U.S. late Monday for the long flight, will meet with Kim on Feb. 27 and 28. Trump will arrive in the Vietnamese capital on Tuesday morning Eastern time.

Trump will make the nearly 20-hour trip on Air Force One; Kim, meanwhile, will arrive by his preferred method of travel: train.

“It may be difficult for the outside world to comprehend why he would take a train for days instead of a couple hour plane ride,” Yuhwan Koh, professor of North Korean Studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, told ABC News. “It’s for domestic propaganda.”

The trip, from Pyongyang to Hanoi, will take approximately 60 hours. Kim is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

South Korean media reported that Kim’s train was spotted crossing the China border just after 8 a.m. ET.

The North Korean leader is retracing the footsteps of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and the founder of North Korea, to boost significance to this trip, Koh said. Kim Il Sung visited Vietnam in 1958 by taking a train from Pyongyang to Guangzhou, and then traveling by plane to Hanoi.

“Train diplomacy” has always been North Korea’s way of dealing with the outside world and “succession of tradition is important to North Korean people,” said Koh.

But the more realistic reason for the choice of train rather than plane is that Kim may have decided it is unsafe to travel on his Soviet-era passenger aircraft, which is not equipped to fly long distances.

He had taken a China Air 747 Boeing, similar to Air Force One, to meet Trump in Singapore last June. China had offered it to Kim with a fighter jet escort from Pyongyang to Singapore.

“It’s a matter of national pride. He would be losing face to have to ask China again,” Koh explained.

The distance south to the Vietnam-China border is thousands of miles and would take at least two full days, according to analysts. Kim is likely to disembark at the border station of Dong Dang, and then travel 105 miles to Hanoi by car.

Authorities were spotted at the station nearest the Vietnamese border adding security measures on Friday. Traffic on the route to Hanoi will be partially banned until 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 and fully banned from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 26, according the ruling Communist Party’s Nhan Dan paper.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

El Chapo to seek new trial after juror says in news interview panelists repeatedly violated judge’s orders

Vladstudioraw/iStock(NEW YORK) — Attorneys for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman said the convicted drug kingpin will seek a new trial in light of an interview in which one of the jurors who convicted the notorious Mexican cartel leader admitted ignoring the judge’s orders not to read media reports about the case.

“Mr. Guzman intends to file a motion for a new trial based on the disclosures in the article and to request and evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the misconduct,” Guzman attorneys said in a letter to the court on Friday.

The juror, who has not been identified, told VICE News in an exclusive interview that at least five members of the panel reviewed and discussed news reports and social media posts about the case during the trial and jury deliberations.

“You know how we were told we can’t look at the media during the trial? Well, we did. Jurors did,” the juror told VICE.

Guzman lawyers noted in the letter that “in that story, the author claims to have spoken for over two hours with a juror in Mr. Guzman’s trail.”

“The article states that multiple jurors engaged in misconduct by intentionally violating the Court’s direction to ‘stay … away from media coverage, not doing any research on the internet or otherwise and [to not] communicate anything about the case to anyone.'”

Federal prosecutors did not immediately submit a response to the court to the defense attorneys’ letter.

The panelist went on to tell a VICE reporter who covered the 44-day trial and jury deliberations that resulted in Guzman’s conviction, “We would constantly go to your media, your Twitter … I personally and some other jurors that I knew.”

After six days of deliberations, the New York federal court jury found Guzman guilty on 10 charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, money laundering, and multiple counts of distributing heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine.

Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25 and is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“Obviously we’re deeply concerned that the jury may have utterly ignored the judge’s daily admonitions against reviewing the unprecedented press in the case,” one of Guzman’s defense lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman, said in a statement released after the article’s publication this week.

“More disturbing is the revelation that the jury may have lied to the court about having seen some deeply prejudicial, uncorroborated and inadmissible allegations against Mr. Guzman on the eve of jury deliberations.”

Eduardo Balarezo, another attorney for “El Chapo,” said that, if true, the juror’s admissions in the VICE interview indicates Guzman “did not get a fair trial.”

“The information apparently accessed by the jury is highly prejudicial, uncorroborated and inadmissible — all reasons why the Court repeatedly warned the jury against using social media and the internet to investigate the case,” Balarezo said in a statement.

Balarezo said he and other members of Guzman’s defense team “will review all available options before deciding on a course of action.”

The U.S. Department of Justice for the Eastern District of New York had no immediate comment.

Guzman’s legal team had already said it will appeal the conviction before the juror was interviewed by VICE.

Throughout the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan admonished the panel daily to avoid news coverage and social media of the case, and not to discuss the case with each other until they began deliberations.

Before dismissing the jurors, Cogan said they were free to speak to the media, but advised them not to.

The juror who spoke to VICE is the first member of the jury to publicly speak of the trial.

VICE reported that the juror reached out to the news organization and agreed to be interviewed on grounds the identity of the juror remain anonymous.

To protect the safety of the jurors, the judge made all of their identities anonymous during the trial.

The juror, who spoke to VICE, said the panelists were even anonymous to each other throughout the criminal proceedings and referred to one another by their juror numbers or nicknames that included, “Pookie,” “Mountain Dew,” “Doc,” “Crash” and “Starbucks.”

“We were saying how we should have our own reality TV show, like ‘The Jurors on MTV’ or something like that,” the juror told VICE.

The juror said the deliberations went on for six days largely because of a single holdout and said some jurors expressed concern about Guzman being held in solitary confinement for the rest of his life if they found him guilty.

“A lot of people were having difficulty thinking about him being in solitary confinement, because, well, you know, we’re all human beings, people make mistakes, et cetera,” the juror told VICE.

Guzman, 61, was the leader of Sinaloa cartel, one of the most ruthless drug-smuggling organizations in Mexico. He has previously staged two elaborate escapes from Mexican prisons.

During the trial, the prosecution called more than 50 witnesses who described all aspects of Guzman’s life, from brutal murders, a naked journey he took through a secret tunnel, plastic bananas filled with cocaine and spied-on mistresses.

Following Guzman’s conviction, Ray Donovan, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, described El Chapo as a “ruthless killer” who was “responsible for unthinkable amounts of death and destruction” in the U.S. and Mexico.

“He was the man behind the curtain — he pulled all the strings,” Donovan said.

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Magic104.9’s Top Tracks







  1. Panic! At The Disco-“High Hopes”
  2. Marshmello feat. Bastille-“Happier”
  3. Halsey-“Without Me”
  4. Dean Lewis-“Be Alright”
  5. Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B-“Girls Like You”

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