North Korea says it’s willing to resume nuclear talks with US by end of September

WORLD NEWS North Korea says it's willing to resume nuclear talks with US by end of September

Oleksii Liskonih/iStock(WASHINGTON) — North Korea has said it was willing to meet with the U.S. in late September to resume talks focused on its nuclear weapons program — a move that President Donald Trump heralded as a “good thing” after weeks of quiet in the diplomatic process.

North Korea is willing “to sit with the U.S. side for comprehensive discussions of the issues we have so far taken up, at the time and place to be agreed late in September,” said the regime’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The potential offer comes nearly two months after the U.S. and North Korea were supposed to meet over the summer. After Trump and Kim Jong Un met at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea in late June, his administration said working-level talks would resume by mid-July. Those would be a critical set of meetings for the U.S. to hammer out an agreement on eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for United Nations sanctions relief after the two leaders failed to reach one in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February.

But for weeks now, those talks have not happened, despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeatedly saying they would in a “couple of weeks.”

Hopes that they could take place during the U.N. General Assembly later this month seemed dashed last week when North Korea announced its Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho would not be attending, instead sending a lower-level delegation. With Monday’s announcement, however, it seems the General Assembly in late September could be the moment after all.

“We’re hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks we will be back at the negotiating table with them,” Pompeo told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.

A State Department spokesperson told ABC News on Monday they don’t have “any meetings to announce at this time.”

But Trump welcomed North Korea’s statement with optimism.

“I have a very good relationship with Chairman Kim. … They would like to meet. We’ll see what happens. I always say having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he told reporters on the White House south lawn Monday afternoon.

To the North, however, the statement was a warning and an ultimatum, too, “If the U.S. side fingers again the worn-out scenario … the DPRK-U.S. dealings may come to an end.”

That appeared to be a reference to the U.S. demand in Hanoi that North Korea take steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons program before the U.N. sanctions were lifted.

Kim has rejected that sequencing, instead offering only to dismantle one key nuclear facility in exchange for all economic sanctions being lifted.

While the Trump administration says that demand has not changed, the North Korean vice foreign minister expressed optimism that “the U.S. side will come out with a proposal geared to the interests of the DPRK and the U.S. and based on the calculation method acceptable to us.”

U.S. special envoy Stephen Biegun, who has been tasked with leading working-level talks but only met one-on-one with the North Koreans right before the Hanoi summit, said last Friday the U.S. still hadn’t heard from the North Koreans about setting up a meeting, but reiterated that the door was open and they were ready to talk.

“We have made clear to North Korea that we are prepared to engage as soon as we hear from them. We are ready, but we cannot do this by ourselves,” Biegun said at the University of Michigan.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

Taylor Swift’s speech, success of ‘Pose’ prove “we’re on the right track” for true equality, says trans activist Jessy Dubai

Entertainment News  Taylor Swift's speech, success of 'Pose' prove "we're on the right track" for true equality, says trans activist Jessy Dubai


Photo courtesy Jessy Dubai(NEW YORK) — (NOTE LANGUAGE) According to USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 2018 saw a record number of Hollywood studio movies featuring leads who were either female or people of color — but people in the LGBTQ community were still being under-represented.

“Even though the path looks long and filled with obstacles…change is coming,” says trans model, activist, and adult performer Jessy Dubai to ABC Radio.

She points to the popularity of Taylor Swift’s “inclusive” video for “You Need to Calm Down,” and Taylor’s  acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards as an example. Swift called for the White House to support the Equality Act, which offers sweeping protections for people in the LGBTQ community.

“When someone famous uses their platform in order to make a positive impact, I think that’s something to praise them for,” Dubai tells ABC Radio. “So her knowing that she has this huge platform and she can do something about it which is positive? It’s something amazing.”

Dubai also points to the trailblazing success of Janet Mock, the best-selling author who brought the hit drama Pose to FX. Teaming with Netflix, Mock recently became the first openly trans woman to ink a multi-million dollar content deal.

“She[is] just amazing,” Jessy says of Mock, but notes that her success isn’t simply due to her sexual identity.

“It’s just her uniqueness charisma and talents…that made her who she is,” Jessy explains.

Mainstream opinions are changing, Dubai says, adding, “But, just like Rome wasn’t built [in a day], neither will this.” 

Dubai has channeled her life experience into the comedic and dramatic one-woman show Confessions of a W**re.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

New York Gov. Cuomo says he plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid vaping health concerns

Josie_Desmarais/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he wants to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid growing national health concerns about vaping.

The New York Department of Health is also launching an investigation into companies producing vaping substances and will require shops that sell e-cigarettes to post a warning to “let people know this is a risky endeavor,” he said.

“This is a frightening public health phenomenon,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

As part of the investigation, Cuomo said subpoenas will be issued to learn more about the chemical makeup of vaping products.

He added that “common sense” would suggest that “if you don’t know what you are smoking, don’t smoke it, and right now we don’t know.”

The investigation by the health department “could very well lead to the banning of all products” relating to vaping, he noted, but the state “can’t ban that which the federal government approves.”

“We don’t know what a lot of these substances are and you have an alarming rate of illness,” Cuomo said.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the commissioner of Health for New York State, said there have been 41 patients in New York with lung illnesses after vaping. Samples were collected from eight of the patients and most of them had “high levels of vitamin e acetate” which can damage lungs, he said. All of the New York cases have been tied to black market cannabis vaping pens.

“We should stop vaping until we have more information about this,” Zucker said, echoing the governor.

This move in New York comes after several other states and the Food and Drug Administration have launched similar investigations into e-cigarette usage.

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Teens who don’t date may be more well-adjusted and less depressed, new study finds

oatawa/iStock(NEW YORK) — When it comes to teen dating, a new study found that students not in a romantic relationship had stronger social skills and were less depressed than their peers.

The Journal of School Health published a study from survey-based research of 594 students in the 10th grade and concluded that students who weren’t dating had significantly higher teacher ratings of social skills and leadership.

Additionally, it found that those students also had lower ratings of depression compared to peers who were dating.

All students had similar scores of positive relationships with friends and showed no difference in frequency of suicidal thoughts.

The majority of adolescents who were involved in romantic relationships by middle adolescence, used a broad definition that included spending time with or going out with someone for more than a month.

This study confirmed that teens who don’t conform to dating in adolescence end up faring well, and perhaps better than their peers in romantic relationships.

The authors of the study explain that dating in adolescence is considered normative behavior and that these relationships could provide a valuable opportunity for important developmental tasks like identity formation and experimentation with sexuality.

Dr. Lauren Kelly, who is part of the ABC News medical unit, says the study raises concerns about relationships that may leave adolescents at higher risk for depression and may promote problem behaviors like substance abuse and risky sex.

The authors suggest that teen health promotion should focus on non-dating as another option for healthy development, Kelly said.

“Students who don’t date might feel like they’re not on track, but this study shows us that kids who aren’t dating may be more well-adjusted than those who are,” she added.

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Tiffany Haddish has good news about Kevin Hart: “He’s already walking. He’s good.”

Entertainment News  Tiffany Haddish has good news about Kevin Hart: “He’s already walking. He’s good.”


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — As Kevin Hart recovers from back surgery following his September 1 car accident in Los Angeles, his longtime friend Tiffany Haddish has good news about his condition.

“He’s doing fine, Haddish tells Entertainment Tonight. “We’re gonna be starring in movies together. He’ll be back up and at ‘em. He’s already walking. He’s good.” 

The comedians have known each other over a decade and have appeared in three films together: Night School, School Dance, and The Secret Life of Pets 2. Haddish is forever grateful to Hart for giving her financial help when she was homeless and living in her car.

Now that both are very successful, they both love teasing each other.

“He was making fun of me cause I tore my meniscus when we was doing press for Secret Life Of Pets 2. I had a sleeve on my leg,” Haddish remembers.

“He’s making fun of me, talking about ‘Tiff, you ain’t gonna get no man. Ain’t no man gonna want you with no brace on your leg,’” she says. “’You need to go get the surgery!’ And I said, ‘You know what, I’m not, I don’t have time to get surgery. I’m gonna let my body do what it do and heal itself.'”

“And look, I’m rocking high heels and I’m walking,” Haddish she laughs. “Now I’m about to make fun of you. When you get back moving good, Kevin, I’m coming for you. I’m coming for your back!”

Hart reportedly suffered three fractures in his back when his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, in which he was a passenger, crashed on Mulholland Highway in L.A. He is expected to make a full recovery.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

Former 007 Pierce Brosnan says, “Get out of the way, guys;” says it would be “exciting” to see a female James Bond

Entertainment News  Former 007 Pierce Brosnan says, "Get out of the way, guys;" says it would be "exciting" to see a female James Bond


MGM/EON Productions(LOS ANGELES) — Pierce Brosnan, who wore the tuxedo through James Bond movies, has something to say about who should play the next Bond: “Get out of the way, guys.”

Brosnan is largely credited with reinvigorating the franchise, first playing Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye, followed by Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997, The World Is Not Enough in 1999, and 2002’s Die Another Day.

The actor tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years. Get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”

As we previously reported, Lashana Lynch will reportedly take over the “007” designation, at least, in the forthcoming James Bond franchise film, No Time To Die. Daniel Craig will still play James Bond, however.

Idris Elba, an actor long rumored to have been in the running to play the suave secret agent after Craig exits the role, told ABC Radio that reports of Lynch’s character adopting Bond’s 007 code name are “amazing.”

He added, “It’s a very brave move for the franchise and I think that Lashana’s going to have an incredible time playing her. I’m very proud of her. If that’s really what’s happened, then great…I’m very happy for her, for sure.”
No Time To Die, the 25th James Bond adventure, hits theaters April 8, 2020.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

Woman sets record as oldest person to sail solo around the world

WORLD NEWS Woman sets record as oldest person to sail solo around the world

zoom-zoom/iStock(NEW YORK) — This 77-year-old British yachtswoman broke a world record for oldest person to sail around the world from North America solo, nonstop and unassisted.

Jeanne Socrates arrived at Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Canada on Saturday afternoon flying an orange sail aboard the SV Nereida after just under a year at sea since she departed on Oct. 3, 2018.

The yacht club shared photos and videos of Socrates sailing into port with a flotilla of other boats anxiously waiting in the breakwater and harbor as her solo circumnavigation came to a close.

During a previous attempt at the same record in 2017, Socrates was forced to stop after she broke her neck and ribs, she explained on her website.

Socrates, who is from Lymington in Hampshire, documented her months-long journey on a blog that included photos, articles and a Google Earth map that tracked her progress during the voyage.

The previous record was held by Minoru Saito, who was 71 when he completed the journey in 2005, according to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

Socrates’ 38-foot boat was named after the Nereids, handmaidens of Poseidon, of ancient Greek mythology, according to her blog.

Socrates did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The seasoned sailor, who has previously completed other solo travels, was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest woman to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world in 2013.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

Planned Parenthood announces closure of 2 Ohio clinics amidst stricter abortion regulations

Philip Rozenski/iStock(CINCINNATI) — Two Planned Parenthood clinics in Cincinnati, Ohio, are closing as a result of surmounting pressure from various regulations on abortion providers, officials from the organization said.

This announcement comes less than a month after Planned Parenthood announced that they would be dropping out of the federal program called Title X over new gag restrictions put in place by the Trump administration.

The new rules prohibited participating clinics from providing abortion referrals and dictates a “clear financial and physical separation” between family planning services and abortion services.

The two Cincinnati locations that will be closing are in Springdale and Western Hills, and the last day for services will be on Sept. 20, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson told ABC News.

There are currently seven Planned Parenthood locations in Cincinnati, so the closures would leave five clinics open and operational.

Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, pointed to the spate of state-level regulations added in recent years as well as Planned Parenthood’s Title X withdrawal in an announcement about the latest closures.

“These closures are the result of years attacks on our ability to provide reproductive health care. Ohio politicians have passed 22 anti-reproductive health measures in recent years, including a defunding bill that went into effect earlier this year. Then came the changes to the Title X program, from an administration that has made it clear that it wants to force out trusted health centers that provide evidence-based, comprehensive reproductive health care,” Deibel said in a statement to ABC News.

“These layered attacks in a hostile environment forced us to make some really tough decisions,” she said in the statement.

Ohio is one of several states that passed a so-called heartbeat abortion ban this year, which, if implemented, would stop anyone from seeking an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy when a woman might not know that she is pregnant.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in April but, just as is the case in the other states where similar bills have been adopted, the law has been held up in legal challenges and is not currently in place.

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Sean Connery “lucky” to be “fine” after Hurricane Dorian ravaged The Bahamas

Entertainment News  Sean Connery "lucky" to be "fine" after Hurricane Dorian ravaged The Bahamas


iStock/CHUYN(BAHAMAS) — As James Bond, he survived many fictional brushes with death, but in real life, Sean Connery is counting his blessings, after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas.

Arguably one of the region’s most famous residents, Connery, along with his wife Micheline Roquebrune, safely rode out the storm in their mansion on the island of New Providence, according to the Daily Mail of Scotland.

“We are both fine,” the now 89-year-old native Scot told the paper, explaining they hunkered down in their residence. “We were lucky compared to many others, and the damage here was not great.”

The storm devastated the Bahamas, smashing homes and leaving at least 30 dead. Thousands, meanwhile, have been left homeless, and the death toll is expected to rise.

“We had been prepared for the storm, everything was ready in advance — we weren’t taking any chances and knew what to do,” the Oscar-winner explained.

The particular island where Connery and his painter wife live was apparently spared a direct hit from the deadly storm, the paper noted.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019

‘Dolemite’ star Eddie Murphy says Rudy Ray Moore has a “really inspirational story”

Entertainment News  'Dolemite' star Eddie Murphy says Rudy Ray Moore has a "really inspirational story"


Francois Duhamel/Netflix(TORONTO) — Eddie Murphy’s Dolemite Is My Name premiered Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival, and the iconic comedian says he’s admired the real-life subject of the film, Rudy Ray Moore, since he was a teenager.

“I was a big fan of Rudy Ray Moore. From the time I was 14, 15 years old I started watching him,” Murphy tells The Hollywood Reporter. “When I got older, I found out how he was the catalyst. How he put his movies together, he financed them and he put his records together. He financed all of his stuff and he became this inspirational figure.” 

It’s been nearly 40 years since the 58-year old comedian became a star in 1980 at the age of 19 on Saturday Night Live. Murphy says unlike him, Moore had to struggle for his success.

“My career was the exact opposite of Rudy Ray Moore’s,” Murphy says. “I got in really easy, and he took a whole different road, so he’s got a really inspirational story.”

Wesley Snipes co-stars in Dolemite Is My Name, and tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s ecstatic to do a film with Murphy, one of his idols.

“I was just thrilled of the idea of getting a chance work with a cat who I consider is one of the masters in the game,” Snipes says.

Dolemite Is My Name, which also features Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and T.I.,  opens in theaters on October 4, and starts streaming on Netflix on October 25.

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Posted On 09 Sep 2019