NFL player stuns with 1-handed catch at MLB playoff game

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Great catch, wrong sport.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard flaunted his skills off the gridiron at Tropicana Field during the Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff game Tuesday night.

The NFL player stretched out his bare hand and snagged a line drive foul ball to right field during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the ALDS between the Rays and Houston Astros.

The Bucs tweeted a congratulatory message to the Rays who went on to win the game 4-1.

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Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Penn State football coach blasts alumni letter that criticized player’s hair

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) — After a Penn State football player received a critical letter from a Nittany Lion alum, the team’s coach denounced the remarks and took the opportunity to boast about the player’s character as a student, athlete and person.

“Jonathan Sutherland is one of the most respected players in our program,” Franklin said at his weekly news conference, according to ESPN. “He’s the ultimate example of what our program is all about. He’s a captain, he’s a dean’s list honor student, he’s confident, he’s articulate, he’s intelligent, he’s thoughtful, he’s caring and he’s committed.”

Franklin continued, “He’s got two of the most supportive parents, and I would be so blessed if my daughters would marry someone with his character and integrity one day.”

Sutherland shared a photo on Twitter Tuesday of the letter he received from Dave Petersen, who critiqued his dreadlocks, appearance and demeanor.

In the letter, Petersen wrote, “Though the athletes of today are certainly superior to those in my days; we miss the clean cut young men and women from those days. Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your — well — awful hair.”

“Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room! Don’t you have parents or [a] girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive,” the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, resident wrote.

In the same tweet, Sutherland penned his own response to Petersen that took the high road and encouraged others to embrace what makes them different.

“Although the message was indeed rude, ignorant, and judging, I’ve taken no personal offense to it because personally, I must respect you as a person before I respect your opinion,” the sophomore safety said. “At the end of the day without an apology needed, I forgive this individual because I’m nowhere close to being perfect and I expect God to forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done in my life.”

Sutherland, 21, cited Colossians 3:13 — “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone” — to further point to forgiveness and thanked everyone who reached out to show him support.

“Let this be one of the many examples to us that in the year 2019, people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities are still being discriminated against and it needs to stop,” he wrote.

One of Sutherland’s teammates, C.J. Holmes, 21, shared a photo of the letter and said “these messages cannot be tolerated” calling it “extremely inappropriate, racially biased and selfish.”

Since the national public attention and backlash to his letter, Petersen spoke with The Tribune-Democrat and said that a racist message “was not the intent at all.”

“I would just like to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Florida State and Miami guys,” he told the Tribune-Democrat.

He added that his letter, “wasn’t threatening or anything. I was just disgruntled about some of the hairdos that we’re seeing. You think of Penn State as a bunch of clean-cut guys. And you do see so many who are clean cut. But the tattoos and the hair — there are a lot of guys with hair coming down their backs and it just looks awful. And it’s the same for the NFL and NBA, too.”

The university strongly condemned the letter’s message in a reply on Twitter and a university spokesperson told ESPN that school officials stand behind their student-athletes.

“At Penn State we strive to create an atmosphere that promotes inclusivity and respect,” the spokesperson said. “The well-being of students, faculty and staff members is the university’s priority. As part of this, Penn State provides a range of assistance and resources for students and employees, and we encourage any community member who needs support to reach out.”

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Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Mark Consuelos says there wasn’t a dry eye in the house during table read of tonight’s ‘Riverdale’ tribute to Luke Perry

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Mark Consuelos was on Watch What Happens Live Monday night and spoke at length about working with Luke Perry and the upcoming tribute to him on their show, Riverdale.

The former Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Perry died March 4 of this year, days after suffering a stroke at 52 years old.

When asked about his fondest memory of working with Perry, Consuelos said it was a boating trip the duo took one day.

“He is a captain of a boat and we went off for a few hours,” he said, his eyes welling with tears. Consuelos said the duo “bonded” on that trip.

When Andy Cohen said that Perry seemed like a very laid-back person, Consuelos added, “Everybody loved him.”

Perry’s tribute episode on Riverdale airs tonight on the CW; Consuelos said during the table reading of the script, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously called the episode, “Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred.”

Perry played Fred Andrews, father of K.J. Apa’s character, Archie Andrews.

The fourth season premiere of Riverdale airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time on CW.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Turkey says it has begun invasion into Syria to battle Kurds after US pulls back forces

omersukrugoksu/iStock(LONDON) — Turkey has launched a long-planned military operation in northeastern Syria, targeting the Syrian Kurdish fighters that helped the United States defeat ISIS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced via Twitter on Wednesday that the incursion has begun, with a mission to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border.”

The move comes just days after U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that American troops would withdraw from the region and hand control to the Kurds’ sworn enemy, the Turkish government.

Erdogan said the operation will “neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.”

Turkey considers the mainly-Kurdish militia to be a terrorist organization.

“We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists,” he tweeted.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Next chapter in ‘Screenagers’ documentary tackles depression in teens due to social media

monkeybusinessimages/iStock(SEATTLE) — The 2016 documentary Screenagers hit a nerve.

More than 4 million people trekked to schools and community centers to watch a screening of the documentary that chronicled the rise of kids’ addictive behavior with digital devices.

The maker of the film, Dr. Delaney Ruston, thought she had this issue under control in her family, but her teen daughter’s battle with depression forced her to look harder at screens and other forces in modern childhood that are factoring into troubling mental health issues.

Now she’s made a second film on that related topic, called Screenagers: The Next Chapter.

The documentary premiered at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle Tuesday night in front of more than 500 concerned parents and educators. It starts a run of showings this week in community screenings nationwide highlighting the rise of teen anxiety and depression.

Parents in Seattle seemed perplexed about how to help their children look away from devices and towards other people as a way to combat isolation and social anxiety.

One mother told ABC News, “It’s a normal part of being a middle-schooler, they talk about panic attacks and being anxious.”

Another father who was also worried said of technology, “Their faces are always in front of that stuff, and it’s informing how they view themselves and what is normal and around them.”

With headlines of the teen suicide rate doubling since 1999, and sky-rocketing anxiety and depression rates, parents are concerned.

The film does not tackle the issue of what’s causing this crisis, but it does look at the many forms of mental health challenges that face families, such as anxiety, stress and unresolved trauma.

The central story of the film, however, focuses on Ruston’s 16 year-old daughter Tessa, who suddenly dipped into depression.

While Ruston did see the signs of depression, she says even as a practicing physician, she didn’t know what to do.

“I had no idea when to step in, what to say, and often it felt like anything I said made it worse,” she said. “It felt like I was just tiptoeing. If I say the wrong thing, it’ll make her never talk to me again. It’s emotional just thinking about it, just how stuck I was.”

Meanwhile, Tessa found little comfort in social media, the medium for much of her communication with friends. She posted what she thought was a raw assessment of her deep sadness, but it didn’t evoke the response she needed and wanted from her friends.

She said, “I said this year has been really hard and I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot, (but) I felt like the response wasn’t acknowledging the truth that I was really trying to put out there … crickets was almost how it felt to me. I tried so hard to say look I’m not perfect at all and they’re like, ‘Oh, we love you, we’re here for you, and it almost hurt to feel not understood in that sense.”

And when Ruston realized how serious her daughter’s depression was, this isolation scared her. “I was amazed how many months into her depression she was, and I assumed she was talking to a friend or something, and she said, ‘No, I haven’t told anyone.’”

At that point, Ruston realized she and her husband, along with mental help professionals, would need to be there to talk to Tessa, but that talking and support needed some work. Ruston says, “I needed to learn how to be comfortable with my feelings, but not over-respond. [I needed to] let her know that I could handle it.”

Through trial and error, Tessa’s parents found some ways to communicate that can work for all parents and teens.

Tessa says, “Some of the things my parents said that really helped in the moments of hardship were you’re doing the best you can for where you’re at and what tools you have, especially when I felt really low and incapable. My favorite quote that my dad said that actually really got me through the hard times that felt like forever is ‘this too shall pass.’”

She added that a huge barrier to talking with her parents was guilt and shame, that it was her fault that she felt so depressed. But something Ruston said really helped. “My mom especially reiterated that I wouldn’t be feeling this way if I had the choice.”

The documentary offers specific advice for parents who feel stonewalled from teens who won’t talk. Here are some of them:

Validate their feelings, accept that they truly do feel the way they say, that it’s not just teen drama. Ruston adds, “the most important words you may say are ‘that sounds really hard.”

Take advantage of the moments when teens do want to talk. These sometimes rare occasions are opportunities to prove you won’t judge them or scold them.

When you don’t know what to say, ask more questions. Noted therapist John Gottman, who is featured in the documentary, offers some prompts like, “What did your friends say? Were you mad? What do you want to do now?”

Avoid offering fixes or solutions. Tessa said, “All the problem solving, solutions, and enforcements feel so judgmental and stabbing because sometimes I don’t even think it’s a problem I just want to share it and the problem solving itself makes it into a negative thing, right away it’s like ‘this is wrong and you need to make it right.’”

Praise kids with specifics — hold a mirror up to them so they can’t refute what you say and just like we do with toddlers, catch them doing something right, and then praise the work.

Don’t give up on finding ways to limit screen time — even if you think that ship has sailed. Sleep and limiting exposure to social media can help kids find their resilience.

Learn how to tolerate a teen’s explosive reaction over screen limits — you are giving them the gift of boundaries that adults even struggle with.

Screenagers: The Next Chapter will be screened in schools and community settings across the country. For information on how to have it seen in your town, go to their site here.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Operation in northeast Syria has started, Turkish president announces

omersukrugoksu/iStock(ANKARA, Turkey) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that an operation had begun in northeast Syria, following President Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. troops would be withdrawing.

With the operation, Erdogan wrote on Twitter in Turkish, “we will eliminate the threat of terrorism towards our country.” He added that a safe zone will be established to “ensure that Syrian refugees return to their countries.”
 
“We will protect the territorial integrity of Syria, and free the people of the region from the clutches of terror,” he wrote in Turkish.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Two people killed in shooting outside German synagogue on holiest day in Judaism

fstop123/iStock(BERLIN) — Two people have been killed in a shooting in the east German city of Halle on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Several shots were fired and the suspected attackers fled the scene in a car, according to Germany’s Federal Police. One person has been arrested.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

David Oyelowo playing POTUS in adaptation of Bill Clinton novel ‘The President Is Missing’

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — David Oyelowo is stepping into the Oval office for a new upcoming role.

According to Variety, Olyelowo has been tapped to play the president in the pilot for the upcoming Showtime series, The President Is Missing, which is based on the novel by former President Bill Clinton and thriller author James Patterson.

Like the book, the series will follow Oyelowo as a, “powerless and politically aimless Vice President” who unexpectedly becomes President midway through his boss’ first term. Although he’s reluctant to take on the job, Oyelowo must make the difficult choice as he is attacked from all side of political aisle: “keep his head down, toe the party line and survive, or act on his stubborn, late-developing conscience and take a stand.”

This is the latest project for Oyelowo, who recently starred opposite Storm Reid in the thriller Don’t Let Go.

The President Is Missing is expected to start production sometime in 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Apple drops big bucks for ‘A Christmas Carol’ starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell

duncan1890/iStock(NEW YORK) — Apple reportedly shelled out big bucks to secure the rights for A Christmas Carol, a new live-action musical based off the Charles Dickins’ classic that will star Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.

Variety reports there was a major bidding war over the film, which included Warner Bros., Paramount, and Netflix.  In the end, Apple offered the most money and has since entered into final negotiations.

Sources to Variety claim Apple’s offer “blew everyone out of the water.”  The exact amount is currently unknown.

Deal aside, the tech giant is already expected to pay over $60 million in talent alone.  In early negotiations, Reynolds asked for $27 million — but sources say the price tag has been stretched to $35 million.

Ferrell is reportedly asking for $25 million or more.

In addition, writer-directors Sean Anders and John Morris are asking for $10 to $15 million.

The inflated salaries are partially due to the film being streaming-only, meaning it will not have a theatrical run.  To secure such big names, Variety explains that streaming services inflate pay to attract talent.

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Posted On 09 Oct 2019