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Find out what U2, Michael Jackson, Madonna and “Weird Al” Yankovic have in common

ABC/Rick RowellAside from being hitmaking artists who’ve sold millions of records in their long careers, U2, Michael Jackson, Madonna and “Weird Al” Yankovic have something else in common: they’re the only artists who’ve scored at least one top-40 hit each decade since the ’80s.

As Billboard notes, U2 is the latest group to achieve this feat, thanks to the fact that they collaborated with rapper Kendrick Lamar on one of his new songs, “XXX.”  That song just charted at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100.  As a result, U2 has now scored six top-40 hits in the ’80s, seven in the ’90s, three from 2000 to 2010 and now one since 2010.

As for the late King of Pop, he scored 18 top-40 hits in the ’80s, 10 in the ’90s, and two each in the ’00s and ’10s.  His most recent hit came in 2014, with his posthumous virtual duet with Justin Timberlake, “Love Never Felt So Good.”

Madonna’s most recently top-40 hit was 2012’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’.”  She had 19 top-40 hits in the ’80s, 20 in the ’90s, nine in the ’00s and one in the ’10s.

And surprisingly, “Weird Al” is among these legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.  He has notched one top-40 hit per decade since the ’80s: “Eat It” in 1984, “Smells Like Nirvana” in 1992, “White & Nerdy” in 2006 and “Word Crimes” in 2014.  Those four songs were parodies of, respectively, “Beat It,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Ridin'” and “Blurred Lines.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Release date revealed for Prince ‘Purple Rain’ deluxe reissues

Warner Bros.We’ve finally got a release date for that massive Purple Rain reissue package we’ve been promised since last year. 

Warner Bros. and Prince‘s own NPG records revealed Friday that the late music legend’s album masterpiece will be re-released June 23, with pre-orders beginning today.  By the way, June 23 is just two days shy of June 25, 1984 album release date.

A lot’s been written already about the reissue.  There are two packages: Purple Rain Deluxe includes two CDs — the original album, and a second CD of ” From the Vault & Previously Unreleased” tracks.  Just as exciting — the original album is a long-promised remaster, which Prince himself oversaw and that was completed at Paisley Park in 2015.

The second package, dubbed Purple Rain Deluxe — Expanded Edition, includes the two Purple Rain Deluxe CDs, plus a third CD of single edits and B-sides.  There’s also a DVD of Prince & The Revolution on his Purple Rain tour, performing at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, on March 30, 1985.

If you pre-order either of the packages now, you’ll instantly receive the previously unreleased Prince track “Electric Intercourse,” a studio version he recorded in 1983 of a song he only ever performed live.

Both Purple Rain packages will be available from the usual online outlets but as of Friday morning, that pre-order availability was limited.  Hopefully that’ll be resolved soon.

Friday, April 21 marked one year since Prince’s death at age 57.  Billboard reports that according to Nielsen Music, Prince’s catalog, counting both albums and songs, sold 7.7 million copies in the U.S. since then, with “Purple Rain” the best-selling song, and Purple Rain the second-best-selling album, after The Very Best of Prince.

Here are the reissue track lists:

Purple Rain Deluxe
Disc One: Original Album (2015 Paisley Park Remaster)
1. “Let’s Go Crazy”
2. “Take Me with U”
3. “The Beautiful Ones”
4. “Computer Blue”
5. “Darling Nikki”
6. “When Doves Cry”
7. “I Would Die 4 U”
8. “Baby I’m a Star”
9. “Purple Rain”

Disc Two: From the Vault & Previously Unreleased
1. “The Dance Electric”
2. “Love and Sex”
3. “Computer Blue” (“Hallway Speech” version)
4. “Electric Intercourse” (studio)
5. “Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden”
6. “Possessed” (1983 version)
7. “Wonderful A**”
8. “Velvet Kitty Cat”
9. “Katrina’s Paper Dolls”
10. “We Can F***”
11. “Father’s Song”

Purple Rain Deluxe — Expanded Edition
Includes Purple Rain Deluxe Disc One and Disc Two, plus…

Disc Three: Single Edits & B-Sides
1. “When Doves Cry” (edit)
2. “17 Days”
3. “Let’s Go Crazy” (edit)
4. “Let’s Go Crazy” (Special Dance Mix)
5. “Erotic City”
6. “Erotic City” (“Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive”)
7. “Purple Rain” (edit)
8. “God”
9. “God” (Love Theme from Purple Rain)
10. “Another Lonely Christmas”
11. “Another Lonely Christmas” (extended version)
12. “I Would Die 4 U” (edit)
13. “I Would Die 4 U” (extended version)
14. “Baby I’m A Star” (edit)
15. “Take Me With U” (edit)

DVD:  Prince and The Revolution, Live at the Carrier Dome,  Syracuse, NY, March 30, 1985
1. “Let’s Go Crazy”
2. “Delirious”
3. “1999”
4. “Little Red Corvette”
5. “Take Me with U”
6. “Do Me, Baby”
7. “Irresistible B****”
8. “Possessed”
9. “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?”
10. “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”
11. “International Lover”
12. “God”
13. “Computer Blue”
14. “Darling Nikki”
15. “The Beautiful Ones”
16. “When Doves Cry”
17. “I Would Die 4 U”
18. “Baby I’m a Star”
19. “Purple Rain”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harry Styles to kick off world tour in September

Jamie-James MedinaHarry Styles is taking his new music to his fans, with a solo world tour starting September 19 in San Francisco.

The trek, simply titled Harry Styles Live on Tour, will include 13 cities in North America, wrapping up October 14 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Then, he’ll move on to Europe and Japan, with the entire trek mapped out through a December 8 date in Tokyo.

Tickets for Harry’s tour go on sale May 5, a week before his self-titled solo album arrives.  Fan registration for the North American shows is open right now via Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program.

As previously reported, Harry will do a week-long residency on CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden from May 15 through 18.

Here are Harry’s tour dates:

9/19 — San Francisco, CA, The Masonic
9/20 — Los Angeles, CA, The Greek Theatre
9/25 — Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
9/26 — Chicago, IL, The Chicago Theatre
9/28 — New York, NY, Radio City Music Hall
9/30 — Boston, MA, Wang Theatre
10/1 — Washington DC, DAR Constitution Hall
10/4 — Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
10/5 — Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theater
10/8 — Atlanta, GA, Roxy
10/10 — Irving, TX, The Pavilion at Irving Music Factory
10/11 — Austin, TX, ACL Live at The Moody Theater
10/14 — Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre
10/25 — Paris, France, L’Olympia
10/27 — Cologne, Germany, Palladium
10/29 — London, UK, Eventim Apollo
10/30 — London, UK, Eventim Apollo
11/1 — Manchester, UK, O2 Apollo Manchester
11/2 — Glasgow, UK, SEC Armadillo
11/5 — Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset
11/7 — Berlin, Germany, Tempodrome
11/8 — Amsterdam, Netherlands, AFAS Live
11/10 — Milan, Italy, Alcatraz
11/23 — Singapore, The Star Theatre
11/26 — Sydney, Australia, Enmore Theatre
11/30 — Australia, Melbourne, Forum Theatre
12/2 — Auckland, New Zealand, Spark Arena
12/7 — Tokyo, Japan, EX Theater
12/8 — Tokyo, Japan, EX Theater

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



“Scandal” Recap: “Mercy”

(NEW YORK) — On Thursday’s Scandal episode, “Mercy,” Olivia wakes up at the White House next to Fitz and then checks on her father who is being kept there in a secret chamber.

Frustrated by his confinement, Eli asks to be sent to another country where he’ll be safe, but is shut down by both Liv and the president.

Meanwhile Abby has a flashback to the recent events with Peus. She’s agitated by Peus’ control’s over the White House and so are the gladiators. 

In a remote location in the woods, Jake and David discuss Elizabeth’s murder and David is given the responsibility of keeping track of Ms. Ruland, Peus’ partner, who he’s dating. Mr. Peus shows up at Olivia’s office to demand that she make Jake resign from the vice presidency role — so he can take Jake’s place.

Liv tells Peus, “no,” but later tells Jake to step down for his safety. After going back and forth, Jake agrees and makes a public announcement that he’s resigning.

After Jake’s announcement, Ruland prepares to announce Mr. Peus as VP nominee. Unfortunately, on their way to the press room, the Secret Service locks down the White House because of a suspicious drone overhead. Ruland is taken into a holding room with Abby where they are stuck in a dead zone. Meanwhile, the president, Mellie and the gladiators, who are controlling the drone remotely, are brought to an open office where they meet to devise a plan to get Mellie back in control of her presidency.

During this time, Eli is called in to help figure out a plan. Instead of helping, Eli causes contention by taking shots at Fitz for being weak. Eli then tells everyone to accept that they have failed against Peus.

As everyone takes a break, Cyrus brings Eli to a private cellar where they drink wine. Cyrus at first attempts to connect with Eli, but then tries to kill him because he is still upset that Eli killed Frankie Vargas. Eli blocks Cyrus’ attempt and the two separate.

Meanwhile, Jake feels they all should just fight back against Peus, but Liv tells Jake they must first protect Mellie. Marcus, on the other hand, offers encouraging words to Mellie to not to give up. This prompts Mellie to change her mind and to fight back by choosing another vice president: Frankie Vargas’ wife.

In the last few minutes of the show, Mellie announces her new vice president and Liv finally stands up to Ms. Ruland by having her arrested by the Secret Service.

Scandal returns next Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tonight: John Ridley examines what led up to the L.A. Riots in new doc, “Let It Fall”

ABC/Ryan Green(LOS ANGELES) — Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots on April 29, Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley is taking a deeper look into the series of events that led up to the violent incidents in his documentary Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 – 1992.

Ridley, who admits his doc was ten years in the making, says he specifically focused on sharing the real life and jarring experiences of those who were present during those six days in the spring of 1992.

“We really wanted to have individuals who personally were involved in the decision-making processes or events that happened to themselves [or] their family members,” Ridley tells ABC Radio. “There are any number of moments where individuals that you see on screen are able to say things like, ‘And then, I did this,’ or ‘This happened to me,’ or ‘I picked up the phone and a family member was telling me, “Look you’ve got to come here right away because something is happening.'”

Ridley’s film also taps into the origins of the riots and the various events that let up to it. According to the director, the chokehold and use of the baton to subdue alleged perpetrators, were catalysts to the eventual uprising.

“We wanted to really look at a ten-year period prior to that so we start our story in 1982 with events, with incidents, with people, with communities that initially may not seem related to what the people call, ‘The Rodney King Riots’ — but they really are,” Ridley explains. “And that’s very important as well for people to understand, that what happened, it wasn’t just one night, it wasn’t just one thing — it was something that was built up over time.”

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 – 1992 airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“The Circle” and “How to Be a Latin Lover” among this week’s new releases

Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment. Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

The Circle — After landing her dream job with a powerful tech company, a woman, played by Beauty and the Beast‘s Emma Watson, is encouraged by the company’s founder — portrayed by Tom Hanks — to join a groundbreaking experiment that crosses ethical boundaries, affecting the lives of her friends and family, and the entire human race. Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ John Boyega also stars. Rated PG-13.

How to Be a Latin Lover — Eugenio Derbez stars in this comedy about a man with a history of seducing older rich women, who finds himself dumped by his 80-year-old wife of 25 years and forced to move in with his estranged sister — portrayed by Salma Hayek. There, he learns the value of family. Also starring Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell. Rated PG-13.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup — 4/27/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

St. Louis 8, Toronto 4, 11 Innings
Toronto at St. Louis, postponed

Seattle 2, Detroit 1
Cleveland 4, Houston 3
N.Y. Yankees 3, Boston 0
L.A. Angels 2, Oakland 1

Philadelphia 3, Miami 2
Atlanta 7, N.Y. Mets 5
Washington 16, Colorado 5
L.A. Dodgers 5, San Francisco 1, 10 Innings
Arizona 6, San Diego 2


Toronto 92, Milwaukee 89
San Antonio 103, Memphis 96

Ottawa 2, N.Y. Rangers 1
Pittsburgh 3, Washington  2

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Browns select DE Garrett with first overall pick in NFL draft

Bob Levey/iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) – The Cleveland Browns selected former Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night in Philadelphia.

Garrett finished his college career with 31 sacks and 141 tackles. 8.5 of those sacks came in his final season, where he was bothered by an ankle injury.

Cleveland has not had a player record 10-plus sacks since Kamerion Wimbley in 2006.

Garrett, 21, did not attend the draft, opting instead for a watch party in Arlington, Texas.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. opens up about his retirement

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. spoke out about his retirement, saying, “I don’t want to let anybody down,” and opened up about his concussion and his relationship with his father in an interview with ABC News.

“I know people would love me to race forever,” Earnhardt, who announced earlier this week that he will retire at the end of this year, told ABC News. “But there comes a time when … you have to make certain tough decisions about your career, and your life, and when it’s time to make a change, it’s time to make a change.”

The two-time Daytona 500 champion thanked his fans for the “overwhelmingly positive” response to his announcement, adding that he hopes he can give them a “few more things to celebrate before it’s all over with.”

The 42-year-old driver also opened up about the fear he felt following the concussion he sustained last summer after he crashed during a competition, saying that he “had a lot of worry that I would never go back in the car again.”

“There were times during the illness when the symptoms were very severe that I obviously had a lot of doubt as to how well you’ll heal, if you’ll be well enough and have the reaction skills and all the skills that you obtained before … you don’t know whether those are going to recover,” the driver said of his health scare.

“Missing all the races, going through the recovery, that certainly gave me an opportunity to just sit back and think about my priorities,” Earnhardt added. “I had a new perspective on my entire life. I got married this off-season. That certainly changes the way you think about things.”

While Earnhardt admits that the injury caused him to reassess his priorities, he adds that it was not a “major deciding factor” in his retirement.

Earnhardt told ABC News that if he could say anything to his father, the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr., “I would ask him what he thought about Amy, my wife.”

“I think he’d be pleased with the person I am, the person I’ve become over the last several years. I know he would be excited about my marriage, happy with a lot of the personal decisions that I’ve made,” Earnhardt added of his father.

“But with all that said, I mean he would be equally as critical of everything, because that’s how Dads are you know, he would he would tell you how it is,” Earnhardt said. “Even though I know he would be really proud, you know, I think the criticism is really what I miss the most, just knowing exactly where I stood with him all the time.”

“Racing is one thing and something we shared and had in common, but when we had conversations, it was always about personal things in life, and are your morals where they need to be? Are you doing the right thing? Treating somebody right? Are you acting right?” he remembered of his father. “It was never about how to drive a car.”

Following 18 seasons and more than 600 races, Earnhardt will end his long-running career as a NASCAR driver at the end of 2017. In addition to racing, Earnhardt has also made his mark advocating for concussion research, and he has pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, according to ESPN.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Reporter’s notebook: How LA rose from the ashes of the riots 25 years ago

Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — John Martin, a retired ABC News national correspondent, is a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. This is his first-person essay written for ABC News reflecting on his experiences covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots:

On that morning 25 years ago, smoke still hung in the air from the looting and fires the day before, but it seemed the nighttime curfew had worked. Streets were largely deserted, boulevards eerily quiet.

The big white stock exchange building was open but almost nobody came to trade. Universities were closed, USC postponed final exams. Workers stayed home.

As an ABC News national correspondent walking the streets with a camera crew, I spent 10 days looking for signs of revival and hope. At first, I didn’t see many.

“I don’t believe it had anything to do with Rodney King,” said a black woman in front of her looted shop. “I think it had to do with people’s greed.”

At a post office, hundreds of people lined up for Social Security checks and monthly welfare assistance.

“These are not the people who bombed and looted and destroyed the stores,” said a 20-ish black woman in a bright orange jersey. “These people,” she said, “want get their money.”

Meanwhile National Guard troops began streaming off buses. The mayor seemed relieved. “We are going to insure the safety of this city,” said Tom Bradley, a black man and former police officer. “And we are going to take back the streets.”

But what would Los Angeles do with its streets? There were 10,000 looted and burned businesses, at least 200 families homeless, food shelves empty, banks littered with ashes, a doctor’s office choked with debris.

“The evil act is done,” said Dr. Gerald Fradkoff, an internist who devoted his practice to the aged poor and low-income immigrants.

Dropping his singed paper records into a brown cardboard box, the doctor said he would try to renegotiate a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration.

“I have to heal, the city has to heal, and we have to come back together.”

Then, suddenly, it started, we began to see a remarkable amount of effort. It was heartening.

In Hollywood, volunteers streamed along the sidewalks and in passing trucks, helping wherever they were needed to sweep and clean.

In South Central, merchants opened a makeshift store in the parking lot of a burned out supermarket, calling it “Rebuilding Starts Now.”

In the city center, 14 architects and lawyers met to plan ways to construct small shopping districts in riot areas to provide food and retail services.

“The immediate solution we’ve come up with is temporary structures that will have a lifespan of perhaps one year,” said Roland Wiley, a young black architect.

But they needed city building permits and faced a bureaucratic maze.

A white-haired white lawyer, Richard Riordan, had a solution:

“If you go to them with a concept you will get jerked around for a year or so,” said Riordan. “Go in with a set plan. I will guarantee you…we’ll get that through within a few days.”

The plan worked. (So did Riordan’s get-it-done attitude. A year later, he was elected mayor).

Meanwhile, a giant drugstore chain offered more hope.

Even though it had 19 stores looted and four burned to the ground, a Thrifty executive promised the firm would not abandon the stores that were looted.

Still, there was plenty of despair.

Richard Kim, owner of a family electronics business, found that looters had stolen 20 percent of his audio equipment and television sets. Fire had destroyed a million dollars of his inventory.

“We’re already leveraged out like a lot of businesses in the area,” he said, “We cannot take out any more loans. If the insurance does not cover it, we cannot rebuild.”

An insurance official stepped forward, surveying the shop’s damage, and said the industry would not abandon firms like Kim’s.

“The evidence is absolutely clear,” he said, “So we’re going to pay it off.”

At each step, it seemed, roadblocks were slowly melting. The city would need a lot more cooperation — federal, state, local, and private — but it was a start.

One day, the state sought out big national firms which had not been in the area. Would they develop South Central Los Angeles?

Gov. Pete Wilson met for three hours with a roomful of corporate executives. He emerged and said they had attached conditions to their involvement.

“They’re willing to take a certain amount on faith, but what I’m saying is that neighborhoods really have to respond or there’s an end to that faith.”

No one seemed able to assure outside corporations their businesses would not be burned and looted, least of all Paul Hudson, whose family owned a burned-out bank for 45 years.

“The governor was wrong to seek assurances,” said Hudson.

While his accountant examined records, salvage crews looked for a vault.

Hudson smiled wanly. “When you start hedging your bets and you start talking about, ‘We need assurances, we need some guarantees, we need to know somebody else is going to reinvest with us,’ all that starts to qualify the investment potential and the commitment of this community to rebuild.”

Another day, a group of bankers, black and white, toured the riot zones. Some said big corporations should disregard the risks that they can make a profit, but there was uncertainty.

A black banker, Winston Miller, wondered: “The insurance companies, how willing are they going to be to come in and commit also?”

A white savings and loan executive, Jeffrey Hobbs, seemed certain: “The large businessmen, I think, they’ll all be here and some already are.”

But when we talked to Woodley Lewis, a black businessman, he frowned. “Why would they want to come in the heart of the black community and take a chance? Because they can spend their money someplace else and the risk is not as great.”

Each business seemed to confront its own special problem.

Eric Holoman, the black owner of a restaurant chain, wanted to rebuild.

“The problem is I lease it from a white developer,” Holoman said. “I spoke to him a minute before we convened here; he says, ‘I don’t know.’”

By the time I left on May 10, the trust needed to bring business and commerce back to life was still hard to find, but those searching for it refused to give up. Two steps forward, half a step back. In those painful moments, Los Angeles, a giant metropolis, was gathering strength and getting back on its feet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Arkansas executes fourth prisoner in eight days

Arkansas Department of Correction(VARMER, Ark.) — Arkansas executed its fourth prisoner in eight days on Thursday night, within an hour of the U.S. Supreme Court denying a motion for a stay of execution.

Kenneth Williams, a 38-year-old man convicted of two murders, was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 7 p.m. local time at a correctional facility in Varmer, but the execution was delayed so that the Supreme Court could resolve a handful of other cases before considering Williams’ fate.

The execution comes as one of the trio of drugs it uses in lethal injections is due to expire at the end of the month.

It is not known how Arkansas will carry out future executions after the drug expires.

Williams was serving life in prison for the murder of 19-year-old Dominique Hurd when he escaped in 1999 and killed Cecil Boren. His capture resulted in another man’s death, Michael Greenwood, who was killed in a vehicle crash with Williams.

“The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a statement. “Carrying out the penalty of the jury in the Kenneth Williams case was necessary. There has never been a question of guilt.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tad Cummins slept with teen student, his wife says

Siskiyou County Sheriff(NEW YORK) — The wife of the former Tennessee teacher who was discovered last week in a rural cabin after over a month on the run with his 15-year-old student, said that he told her that he slept with the teen.

Jill Cummins spoke out about 50-year-old Tad Cummins’ alleged relationship with Elizabeth Thomas in an exclusive interview with Inside Edition, saying that she asked him, “‘Did you sleep with her?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I did,’ and so I did not want any details.”

“I knew the truth, I just wanted to hear it from him,” she added.

“He kept saying, ‘I love you,’ but I said ‘I’m sorry, but I am not going to say that back,'” Jill Cummins said, adding that he begged her for forgiveness after he was taken into custody by authorities on April 20.

Tad Cummins led investigators on a cross-country journey that lasted over a month before he was arrested in Northern California, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“It was very hard to hear his voice after all this time, not knowing if I was going to hear it again, but he told me he was sorry,” Jill Cummins told Inside Edition. “He told me that he loved me and … please forgive him.”

“I told him I wouldn’t be answering the phone anymore,” she added.

Jill Cummins told ABC News in a previous interview that she had filed for divorce from Tad Cummins, after more than 30 years of marriage.

Tad Cummins faces charges in Siskiyou County, California, for kidnapping and possession of stolen property, according to the sheriff’s office. The charges are pending review by Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus.

In Lawrence County, Tennessee, Cummins faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, said Attorney General Brent Cooper.

The U.S. State Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee also filed a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines with intent of having criminal sexual intercourse against Cummins, said U.S. attorney Jack Smith. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The 15-year-old victim’s father, Anthony Thomas, told ABC News that his daughter’s appearance changed during the time she was missing.

“She had lost some weight for sure,” Anthony Thomas said. “He had not been feeding her. … She said they had been eating flowers and things.”

Elizabeth is currently spending time with her family and a trauma team to help her cope and heal.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Pope Francis travels to Egypt amid heightened security

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) — Pope Francis is heading to Egypt on Friday to visit Christian and Muslim communities.

His trip comes after the bombing of two churches in the country on Palm Sunday.

Watch the video below to learn more about the pope’s trip from ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran:

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A look at every North Korean missile test this year

3D_generator/iStock/Thinkstock(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — North Korea has launched five missile tests so far in 2017. The latest launch in mid-April, though assessed as a failure, came hours after North Korea rolled out
intercontinental ballistic missiles and other military hardware at a big parade to celebrate the birthday of the country’s late founder, Kim Il Sung, a grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

The festivities took place amid concerns that North Korea is possibly preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a significant rocket launch, such as its first test flight of an intercontinental
ballistic missile, or ICBM.

Here’s what to know about each of the five tests that have already occurred this year.

Feb. 12

In February, North Korea successfully tested a land-based KN-15 missile, a new solid-fuel intermediate-range missile, which traveled 310 miles into the Sea of Japan.

Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told a congressional panel Tuesday that the February launch marked a significant advancement for North Korea because it was its first
successful solid-fueled missile fired from a mobile launcher.

Mobile-launched missiles are harder to track and can be fired at short notice.

Hyten labeled the launch of what is now believed to have been a KN-15 missile as “a major advancement” by North Korea because it was “a new solid medium range ballistic missile off a new
transporter erector launcher.”

The February launch occurred as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida over the weekend.

Photos taken by the club’s patrons and later posted on Facebook captured Japanese and U.S. officials responding in real-time to the incident, sparking criticism about why such important meetings
were not conducted in a more secure location.

March 6

In early March, North Korea launched five medium-range Scud-type missiles. Four traveled more than 600 miles, the upper limit of their range, into the Sea of Japan. The fifth took off, but later


Three of missiles landed in waters in Japan’s economic exclusion zone, which extends 200 miles from its shoreline.

Shortly after this test occurred, the U.S. delivered the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea, a process which the U.S. started working on with its ally
after the flurry of North Korean missile tests in 2016.

THAAD is a missile defense shield designed to intercept short and medium range missiles.

March 21

Later in the month, North Korea tested a mobile-launched missile which exploded “within seconds of launch,” according to U.S. Pacific Command.

The launch was near Kalma in eastern Wonsan province, where North Korea previously attempted to test its mobile-launched Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile. Last year, North Korea test-
fired eight Musudan rockets, but only one was considered a success.

U.S. officials have not identified what type of missile was tested on March 21 since it exploded so soon after launch.

April 4

On April 4, a KN-17 missile launch came just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, during which the pair discussed how to curb North Korea’s missile and
nuclear programs.

The Trump administration is hoping China will exert its economic influence over North Korea since the country controls eighty percent of all foreign trade with the reclusive regime.

U.S. officials said the missile spun out of control and landed in the Sea of Japan after traveling 34 miles. It was being assessed as an in-flight failure.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a terse statement following Tuesday’s test, saying, “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has
spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

The KN-17 is a new mobile-launched, single-stage missile that uses liquid fuel. It has not been successfully tested by North Korea, so it’s difficult to assess its full range.

April 16

Less than two weeks later, North Korea launched another KN-17 that exploded shortly after launch.

“The launch failed very early on, so that makes it harder to know exactly what they were trying to do,” Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said
days later. “But I think that our understanding is that it was not one of the longer-range missiles that they were trying to test there; it was something like a medium-range ballistic missile.”

Vice President Mike Pence was briefed on the failed missile launch en route to South Korea on Air Force 2.

While speaking with U.S. members of the military in Seoul, Pence described it as a “provocation.”

“This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of
America in this part of the world,” Pence said. “Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear inspires our nation and inspires the world, and it’s an honor for us to share
this meal with you today.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Brave’ Syrian women answer call to make their voices heard in Washington

the_guitar_mann/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Ahed Festuk stood outside the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Dick Durbin, D- Ill., waiting for an aide to come and collect her. With her long blond hair, black jeans and flowered
scarf, she looked very much like any other millennial living in her adopted home of Brooklyn, New York.

But Festuk was nervous. Along with four other Syrian women, she was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to share the reality on the ground in the city that is truly her home: Aleppo.

“I feel I have a big responsibility,” Festuk, 30, said. “Even if they only listen to me five percent, it’s a big responsibility.”

Festuk said she was among the first people to protest against Syria’s authoritarian leader, Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo in 2011. But much has changed in Syria for her since those first moments of
the revolution.

The uprising, now a full-blown civil war, has killed more than half a million people and displaced 5 million others over the past six years. Since December 2015, when she was granted political
asylum, Festuk has been living in the United States on her own, learning English and trying to advocate for her country.

“I love to tell people I’m from Syria. Some people say, ‘You’re not scared to say that?’ But why should I be scared? I’m brave to be from Syria and be part of the Syrian revolution,” she said.

It’s that pride, and optimism for Syria’s future, that brought Festuk and the four other Syrian women to Washington this week. Since President Trump launched an airstrike against the Syrian
military April 7 and his secretary of state declared that “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,” the future of Syria is being discussed around the world.

But Festuk and the other women from her delegation said the voices of Syrian women have been noticeably absent from those discussions.

“It’s probably 95 percent Western men, and then the other 5 percent are Syrian men, and then us,” Noha Alkamcha, who works with Syrian local councils and civil society organizations, said.

Alkamcha, 32, said there are “a million women behind the scenes doing the actual work,” but few are quoted in the international press and even fewer have seats at the negotiating table.

The women’s tour is helping to change that. Along with Festuk and Alkamcha, three other women — Zaina Erhaim, Yasmin Kayali and a woman who asked that her identity not be revealed for safety
reasons — met with congressional staff from the offices of Durbin and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and international organizations this week.

Erhaim, a journalist and the Syria coordinator at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, helped organize the delegation.

“We are really here to promote Syrian civil society, to promote Syrians’ rights and to promote the fact that Syrians are people, they are faces and human beings, they are not just numbers you see
on the news,” Erhaim, 32, said. “Not all Syrians are Assadis or ISIS.”

But that fact has been lost in much of the media coverage and political discourse around Syria, experts say.

Some of that is because of Assad’s own strategy, said Ibrahim al-Assil, a fellow at the Middle East Institute. Weakening or silencing civil society organizations like the ones these women represent
helps Assad stay in power, he said.

“Assad controls only some territories inside Syria but, at the same time, the regime is not allowing any kind of work for civil society or local governments in the territories outside its control,”
al-Assil said. “They want to make it clear that it’s either the regime — or that the other option will be just chaos. They don’t want another alternative to emerge.”

But building alternatives is crucial to eventually rebuilding Syria, the women said, even if how Syria transitions to a democracy is unclear.

And they have been on the forefront of that work for years. Alkamcha said she helped organize more than 300 civil society organizations to define their vision in 2016 before the Geneva peace talks.

Kayali, 35, founded Basmeh and Zeitooneh, a humanitarian organization that works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey.

“Today, this conflict has so many different international players and so many different geopolitical levels that it is very difficult to answer how it will end,” Kayali said. “I’m sure the end is
going to surprise us all, but regardless of how it ends, we need to prepare for that end and we need to prepare for the day after.”

“The work that we are doing on the ground is to be able to later rebuild Syria,” she added.

Barry Pavel, senior vice president at the Atlantic Council who worked on defense policy for both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, said Trump’s recent airstrikes gave the United States
new leverage in helping end the conflict in Syria. But he stressed that ensuring that there is a “very robust and resilient plan for a political transition” is crucial to the country’s future.

He also said the United States has much to learn from its policies in Iraq.

“It’s not about the days after, it’s about the years after Assad goes,” Pavel said. “We want to make sure the situation isn’t more dangerous than it was than before he went.

“There has to be a structured, deliberate diplomatic plan that moves Syria toward a new future,” he added.

Alkamcha said Syrian women are eager to be part of that plan.

“The U.S. does not have any successful story of intervention in history — that we are very familiar with,” she said. “When Tillerson says this is the end of Assad’s era, we 100 percent support
that … But with a clear strategy for political transition and who will be the alternative for Assad.

“Definitely, the civil society and opposition will be an alternative, but we want to be involved in that decision-making by the U.S.”

As Kayali waited for a meeting with staffers from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to begin, she watched a video of her 5-year-old son that had been sent via WhatsApp from her family in
Jordan. Although her children missed her, she said, she felt she had an obligation to share what was happening more than 5,700 miles away in their homeland.

“I believe that this is my duty to my people,” Kayali said. “I believe I am fortunate to be able to move around because of the passport I have and because of my ability to speak the English
language. I think I owe it to my people to give them a voice.”

For Festuk, it’s also about giving voice to protesters who lost their lives opposing Assad.

She said she remembers attending her first demonstration in the early days of the uprising in 2011. The protest lasted only five minutes but felt “like five hours,” she said, before the protesters
were chased off by police and soldiers.

But those five minutes with a few people swelled within months to more than 10,000 people protesting in Aleppo, she said. Despite the fact that it was dangerous, they kept protesting, sure that a
better future was within reach.

“It was really an amazing feeling,” she said. “At that time, I felt that soon we would be successful, soon we would take the Assad regime out, and that soon we would overthrow them and their

She paused, looking out the window of the Hart Office Building toward the manicured lawns of D.C. and the vast marble steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“But it doesn’t work like that. Actually, the whole world supported [the regime] and left us behind. No one listened to us,” she said.

“When I remember those days and how we lost amazing people,” she said, stopping in mid-sentence as tears came to her eyes.

Still, Festuk said, she would go back to Syria the “next day” if Assad were removed from power.

“I love my country, I love Syria, and especially Aleppo,” she said. “I will go immediately.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Magic104.9’s Top Tracks







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  2. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” by Zayn feat. Taylor Swift
  3. “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
  4. “This Town” by Niall Horan
  5. “Water Under The Bridge” by Adele

Meet Spangle, Your Magic104.9 Pet of The Week!

Find Spangle at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, 3551 Bataan Memorial West. Open Monday through Friday Noon – 6pm and Weekends Noon to 5pm.  This silly goofy looking girl is kind, sweet, and a loving girl. She does well on the leash, sits on command, and loves to snuggle up against you. Spangle arrived at ASCM January 2015, she was just three months old, it’s time to find her furever home! read more…

Meet Ricky, Your Magic104.9 Pet of The Week!

Find Ricky at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, 3551 Bataan Memorial West. Open Monday through Friday Noon – 6pm and Weekends Noon to 5pm.  With those big bright beautiful yellow eyes, that soft cuddly coat ,and spunk; Ricky asks himself why he has not found his forever  home.  This purring feline loves sunbathing and looking out into the world. Ricky has been at our shelter for over three months, won’t you give him his forever home? read more…

Magic104.9’s Top Tracks







  1. “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran
  2. “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
  3. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” by Zayn feat. Taylor Swift
  4. “Water Under The Bridge” by Adele
  5. “This Town” by Niall Horan

Meet Little Bit, Your Magic104.9 Pet of The Week!

Find Little Bit at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla, 3551 Bataan Memorial West. Open Monday through Friday Noon – 6pm and Weekends Noon to 5pm. Little Bit is a sweet 7 ½ year-old with a calm demeanor and a curious mind, but he’s been passed over for adoption for more than a year. He already knows commands like ‘sit,’ ‘lie down’ and ‘stay’ – and he’d love to demonstrate them for you! Come down and meet him at the shelter today or at Petco on Saturday. read more…

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