White House decision looms as US military continues with Syria withdrawal plan

WORLD NEWS White House decision looms as US military continues with Syria withdrawal plan  https://linewsradio.com/white-house-decision-looms-as-us-military-continues-with-syria-withdrawal-plan/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

primipil/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. military is proceeding with its 120-day plan to pull all U.S. troops and equipment out of Syria by the end of April, although so far only equipment and supplies have been removed. However, U.S. officials say the White House will have to tell the military within a matter of weeks whether to proceed with the actual removal of troops.

Two U.S. officials say the U.S. military withdrawal plan is proceeding independently of the White House effort to get guarantees from Turkey not to attack America’s Kurdish allies after U.S. troops pull out. So far, Turkey has rejected U.S. proposals to make that happen.

As U.S. military equipment continues to flow out of Syria the officials say that in coming weeks the White House will have to make a decision about whether to begin the removal of U.S. troops.

That White House decision will be necessitated by the growing risk posed to troops in Syria as the withdrawal plan continues to remove gear and moves on to close U.S. bases.

The Pentagon continues to say there are no timelines associated with the removal of U.S. troops.

“We are not discussing the timeline of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria,” said Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman.

In mid-December President Trump made the surprise announcement that he was withdrawing the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria that have been advising and assisting the U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in its fight against Syria.

In the last month, more than 10 percent of the U.S. equipment and supplies in Syria have been removed from Syria, according to two U.S. officials.

Ironically, the U.S. troop presence in Syria has grown to 3,000 as additional military personnel have been brought in to prepare equipment and personnel to leave the country.

Earlier this week Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers that he had not been consulted about the decision.

What was initially a request for the American troops to withdraw in 30 days was adjusted to a more “deliberate” timeline of 120 days that would be completed by the end of April.

Operating under then-Defense Secretary James Mattis’ orders U.S. military planners crafted a withdrawal plan that would first take out equipment and supplies and then see the departure of U.S. troops.

As the withdrawal plan continues apace with the support of hundreds of U.S. airstrikes and support on the ground America’s Kurdish allies are on the verge of defeating the last remnants of ISIS fighters in Syria.

The last 1,000 ISIS holdouts are trapped in a small cluster of villages in eastern Syria no larger than a few square miles.

U.S. officials believe the SDF will be able to defeat those remaining ISIS fighters “in days” bringing to an end ISIS’s claim of a territorial caliphate.

But even after that victory, American troops will continue to work with the SDF to “back clear” desert areas where some ISIS fighters may have fled.

On Wednesday, President Trump told the 79 members of the anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Washington that the United States would continue to “destroy” any “remnants” of ISIS.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

‘Walking Dead’ star Danai Gurira says the survivors’ new enemies are the “scariest yet”

Entertainment News  'Walking Dead' star Danai Gurira says the survivors' new enemies are the "scariest yet" https://linewsradio.com/walking-dead-star-danai-gurira-says-the-survivors-new-enemies-are-the-scariest-yet/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

AMC(NEW YORK) — Danai Gurira is gearing up for the return of the second half of The Walking Dead‘s ninth season, which premieres Sunday night.

The series recently underwent major shifts in story development and cast, with actor Andrew Lincoln — and his hero Rick Grimes — leaving the post-apocalyptic drama.

“It’s been a big transition this year with the Rick character leaving and then we leaped six years forward, which was kind of thrilling to do,” Gurira told Good Morning America.

“But there’s a lot of information, a lot of mystery around what happened in those six years and we have a new enemy that’s kind of the scariest yet.

The ninth season ended halfway on a cliffhanger, with Gurira’s Michonne and the other heroes discovering — with near fatal results — a faction known as The Whisperers.

The baddies disguise themselves as walkers by wearing the faces of the undead as masks.

Danai said, “We can’t tell when they’re coming at us so it’s a whole new thing.”

Gurira, who also starred in the Oscar-nominated blockbuster Black Panther, said she’s excited about the movie’s upcoming appearance as a Best Picture nominee. “We just came into it really wanting to make something that was alive and resonate and we poured all we had into it,” Gurira said of the film. “We knew it was an unusual moment. It was a new platform to create something like this…we just committed every day fully and we were such a team, which was such a blessing. We became a family.”

The Walking Dead returns Sunday night at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

André Holland shares his solution to lack of black NBA ownership in ‘High Flying Bird’

Entertainment News  André Holland shares his solution to lack of black NBA ownership in 'High Flying Bird' https://linewsradio.com/andr-holland-shares-his-solution-to-lack-of-black-nba-ownership-in-high-flying-bird/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Netflix/Peter Andrews(NEW YORK) — André Holland had one burning question on his mind when he approached his new Netflix sports-drama, High Flying Bird.

The actor, who also serves as an executive producer on the film, plays Ray, a sports agent who has a bold solution during an NBA lockout. Holland tells ABC Radio his intention was to explore the idea of black ownership and what it would mean if black athletes took back the sport they made so popular.

“I think the big question that we asked ourselves is, ‘What would it be like if all the black players in the NBA got together and said, ‘You know what, we’re going to start our own league’?” says Holland.

Holland also says the film is a response to the rhetoric aimed at NFL players who take a knee in protest of unarmed black shootings.

“‘What would it be like if NFL players got together and said the same thing?'” he says. “‘Will we still be arguing about the national anthem protests, or would there be space for that to exist?’ You hear things coming out of a White House, or out of offices — ‘Get those S.O.B.s off the field’ and ‘Shut up and dribble.’ All these other things that to me feel wrong. That was the sort of question that we asked.”

Holland says High Flying Bird has been a long time coming.

“Every time a lockout happens, as I found out through talking to different sports agents, there are always a group of people who say that, ‘Well, what if we just started our own thing?'” he says. “Eventually people find their way back to the table before that idea really gets too far.” 

High Flying Bird, also staring Zazie Beetz, is now available.

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

IVF coverage by employers on the rise? How to know what your company offers

posteriori/iStock(NEW YORK) — Infertility coverage is the in-demand benefit of the moment for women and more companies are stepping up to offer to help pay for treatments like in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Over 400 U.S. companies offer benefits for fertility treatments, according to data collected by Fertility IQ, a fertility information website.

Starbucks offers one of the best company benefits, with part-time employees receiving infertility coverage after just one month on the job. Companies including Bank of America, Tesla and Spotify offer unlimited IVF coverage to their workers.

Even with some employers adding infertility benefits, the majority of IVF patients treated last year paid for all or some of their treatment out-of-pocket, according to Fertility IQ.

A single round of in-vitro fertilization can cost upwards of $20,000 and often requires more than one try. More than seven million women in the U.S. have used infertility services, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Haley Burns, 29, began to research companies that offered IVF when she realized she would need the treatment. After doing research, she discovered that the health care company she worked for offered a good fertility plan.

“It’s obviously a company that cares about their employees,” Burns told “Good Morning America.” “Finding out that my company and what they offered was so much better than their competitors out there made a difference and made me stay with the company.”

More than 70 percent of Fertility IQ survey respondents said their company did not do a good job of making employees aware of fertility benefits, while a majority reported a “greater sense of loyalty and commitment” to employers who offer benefits.

Employees unsure of their benefits can turn to their human resources representative for help or do their own research, whether by talking to colleagues, reading the fine print in paperwork or going online.

Fertility-focused organizations have also begun to offer tips for employees who want to ask their employers for IVF benefits.

ABC News chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis is pregnant with her first child thanks to the help of infertility treatments, she said on “GMA.”

She shared these four tips to help women try to lower the cost of infertility treatments.

1. Call your insurance provider: [Call] whatever insurance you’re getting through your company and ask them what fertility benefits they offer. Typically it’s the insurance providers themselves that can explain which benefits you’re eligible for.

Also, ask insurance provider about different plans – sometimes it’s different coverage depending on which plan you’re on and it might make sense to switch.

2. Look at your partner’s insurance: In some cases that’s going to be a bigger benefit than the one you’re getting from your company.

3. Negotiate: “When you’re going out and talking to these various fertility providers, negotiate. Caution against just making choice on cheapest option. If they’re not the strongest provider, you could be setting yourself up for multiple rounds of treatment which becomes more expensive.

[And] look at the [fertility] drug prices because different pharmacies offer different drug prices and they can get upwards of thousands of dollars.”

4. Find grants and scholarships: “There are a number of organizations that offer grants and scholarships.” The Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation in Chicago, for example, offers grants to cover the medical costs of IVF treatments. Other resources include the Kyle Busch Foundation, the Baby Quest Foundation and the Cade Foundation.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Liam Hemsworth talks about his “special” wedding with Miley Cyrus, who invited Rebel Wilson on their Valentine’s Day date

Entertainment News  Liam Hemsworth talks about his "special" wedding with Miley Cyrus, who invited Rebel Wilson on their Valentine's Day date https://linewsradio.com/liam-hemsworth-talks-about-his-special-wedding-with-miley-cyrus-who-invited-rebel-wilson-on-their-valentines-day-date/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth co-star in the new rom-com, Isn’t It Romantic, but the pair might re-team again — for a triple date on Hemsworth’s first Valentine’s Day with his new wife Miley Cyrus.

About his December 2018 wedding to Cyrus, Hemsworth said on Good Morning America that it was very “intimate,” adding, “It was a really special day.”

But Cyrus isn’t apparently the jealous type: he invited Wilson along on their first V-Day date as a married couple, seeing as how well Rebel got on with Hemsworth on set.

In the film, Wilson’s character hits her head and wakes up to discover that she’s playing the leading lady in a romantic comedy with Hemsworth as her love interest.

“I don’t think I could’ve got anyone better,” Wilson said of her co-star. “Liam, not only is he just such a lovely guy, he’s so funny in the film and he sings and dances in the film too.”

In fact, one scene — which had to be performed over and over, thanks to the movie’s Groundhog Day-like plot — has a shirtless Hemsworth repeatedly diving on Wilson, who’s in bed.

“What was going on with me during that day, is two of my toenails had come off, and we were supergluing them under the bedsheets,” Wilson confessed. The injury was from a stunt gone wrong on set, the actress told Hemsworth, adding, “I didn’t want to tell you because it was such a sexy scene.”

As for that “triple date”? It was Miley’s idea. “I think she should’ve asked Liam before,” the single actress said, laughing. “If I get desperate, great option.”

Hemsworth chimed in, “I’m all for it. Absolutely.”

Isn’t It Romantic hits theaters February 13.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

Real-life sisters Jemima and Lola Kirke come together in ‘Untogether’, from first-time director Emma Forrest

Entertainment News  Real-life sisters Jemima and Lola Kirke come together in 'Untogether', from first-time director Emma Forrest https://linewsradio.com/real-life-sisters-jemima-and-lola-kirke-come-together-in-untogether-from-first-time-director-emma-forrest/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

(L-R) Jemima Kirke, Emma Forrest, Lola Kirke (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) — Untogether, the directorial debut from writer Emma Forrest, stars real-life sisters Jemima and Lola Kirke in their first on-screen appearance together.

Jemima and Lola play Andrea and Tara, respectively, in the indie flick about two sisters dealing with messy relationships. Although most people know Jemima for her role as Jessa on Girls, Forrest says this film is her real acting debut.

“What she did in Girls was definitely a version of herself and this character was much more of a stretch and took a lot of digging and a lot of work,” Forrest tells ABC Radio. “She went to a really, really vulnerable place, so I think she also feels like this is her first true acting role.”

As for the two sisters working together, Forrest admits it may not have been the first opportunity they’d gotten — just the first time they’d agreed to it.

“We all joke…it’s like Fleetwood Mac making Rumours where the backstage relationships are so complex and painful and what ends up on the album is really beautiful,” she says. “And we love our film and we think that we did the same.”

It was a very female-centric set, with all of the film’s department heads being women. But it also features supporting turns from “male allies” Jamie Dornan and Forrest’s then-husband, Ben Mendelsohn.

“[In] their league of highly coveted male actors, they were the only ones who were prepared to play second fiddle to female leads,” Forrest says. “And it’s tricky to get male actors to even read a script where they’re not the lead, when they get to a certain level. So…that’s something A-List actors could think about.” 

Untogether is in theaters and on demand today.

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

‘Little’ mogul – ‘black-ish’ star Marsai Martin signs first-look deal with Universal

Entertainment News  'Little' mogul - 'black-ish' star Marsai Martin signs first-look deal with Universal https://linewsradio.com/little-mogul-black-ish-star-marsai-martin-signs-first-look-deal-with-universal/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Marsai Martin is making history at the tender age of 14.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the black-ish star has inked a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures under her company, Genius Productions. As part of the new agreement, Martin will help to develop new scripted projects for the studio.

When the ink dried, Martin became not only the youngest person to get a first-look deal at Universal, but the youngest person to get a deal at any studio in recent memory. The new arrangement comes ahead of the release of her new Universal film Little, in which Martin co-created, stars in, and executive produced.

“I am so excited for the magic I’ll be able to create and produce with Universal,” said Martin in a statement. “My goal is to show young women and girls that our voices and ideas matter and you are never too young to dream BIG!”

The first film in development under Martin’s new pact is the forthcoming comedy StepMonster. It follows a teenage girl, played by Martin, who is “adjusting to life with a new stepmother.”

Little, starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae, hits theaters April 12, 2019.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

Section of Italy’s collapsed Genoa bridge being removed

WORLD NEWS Section of Italy's collapsed Genoa bridge being removed  https://linewsradio.com/section-of-italys-collapsed-genoa-bridge-being-removed/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Luca Reina Mafaraci/iStock(ROME) — Nearly six months after the deadly collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, the demolition of the remainder of the span began in earnest Friday.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Danilo Toninelli, the country’s minister of infrastructure and transport, and other officials — donning hard hats — listened as the chief engineers explained how a 36-meter portion of the bridge was going to be slowly detached.

“In the days following the tragedy we often repeated a phrase, ‘Genoa in our hearts,'” Conte tweeted on Thursday ahead of his visit. “Tomorrow I go back to Genoa, which has never left my thoughts or heart.”

Using four steel jacks — the same as those used to right the Costa Concordia cruise ship, another recent Italian engineering feat — workers plan to carefully lower the sections over the course of about eight hours, engineers told officials.

A 200-meter portion of the viaduct in the large port city collapsed in August during busy lunchtime traffic. The accident, due to structural failure, caused dozens of vehicles to plummet to the ground.

The collapse killed 43 people and injured dozens of others.

A judicial investigation is still underway to determine the cause and accountability.

Following the tragedy, about 600 people, who had been living in buildings under the flyover viaduct, had only a few hours to leave their homes and find alternative housing.

Marco Bucci, Genoa’s mayor and commissioner in charge of the bridge’s reconstruction, said the removal of an 800-ton portion of the bridge is only part of the job because there is still much to be done, according to RAINNews24 tv. He did tell the station, however, that approximately 3,000 tons of material have already been removed over the last few months.

Giovanni Totti, the governor for the region, said the demolition was a “symbolic moment,” and that “all Italians will finally be able to see a dramatic change to the bridge’s skyline,” according to RAINNews24 tv.

Conte, meanwhile, added he would return regularly to see the bridge’s reconstruction and that the new bridge must be inaugurated as soon as possible.

The reconstruction of the bridge will begin on March 31 while the demolition is still underway.

Toninelli reiterated that the new bridge should be inaugurated next year and said that the new viaduct will be “the image of the revival of the country,” according to Italian Tv Tgcom24.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

‘Tom Jones’, ‘Erin Brockovich’ star Albert Finney dead at 82

Entertainment News  'Tom Jones', 'Erin Brockovich' star Albert Finney dead at 82 https://linewsradio.com/tom-jones-erin-brockovich-star-albert-finney-dead-at-82/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc(LONDON) — Academy Award-nominated British actor Albert Finney has died at the age of 82.

The U.K. Mirror reports the actor, who early in his career gained fame with films like 1963’s Tom Jones, and in later years starred in movies like Erin Brockovich, two of the entries in the Jason Bourne series, and the 2012 James Bond thriller Skyfall, passed away from a chest infection at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital.  

Over the years, Finney earned five Academy Award nominations, the first in the Best Actor category for Tom Jones, which took home the Best Picture trophy that year.

Others followed for 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express, 1983’s The Dresser, 1984’s Under the Volcano and 2000’s Erin Brockovich, the film that earned his co-star Julia Roberts her Best Actress Oscar.
 
Finney famously never attend the ceremony in person, noting, according to the  Mirror, “It’s a long way to go just to sit in a non-drinking, non-smoking environment on the off-chance your name is called.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019

Anthony Davis will be allowed to play remainder of season with Pelicans

Sports News Anthony Davis will be allowed to play remainder of season with Pelicans https://linewsradio.com/anthony-davis-will-be-allowed-to-play-remainder-of-season-with-pelicans/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Harry How/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — Anthony Davis will soon be back on the court in a New Orleans Pelicans uniform.

The team’s general manager, Dell Demps, announced in a statement Thursday evening that the center “will play the remainder of the 2018-19 season for the New Orleans Pelicans.”

The news comes after Davis, 25, informed the Pelicans nearly two weeks ago that he wanted to be traded and would leave as a free agent next year. Sources told ESPN that New Orleans had been considering keeping him on the bench in order to preserve his health as a trade asset.

“Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games,” Demps said in his statement. “Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans.”

“We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon,” he added.

Davis had been sidelined with a finger injury, causing him to miss nine games, but he has since been cleared to practice.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Feb 2019