Jackson rocks Billboard Awards with performance and speech

Janet Jackson rocked the 2018 Billboard Music Awards with an energetic and powerful performance of her past hits in an epic week that included her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking “janet.” album, In a glittery gold sweater-dress and thigh-high boots, Jackson sang “Nasty,” ”If” and “Throb” as audience members such as Ciara and Tyra Banks danced along at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Bruno Mars made a surprise appearance to introduce the singer, who earned the Icon Award on Sunday. Jackson used her speech to pay tribute to powerful women. “Women have made it clear that we no longer will be controlled, manipulated… Read More

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Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A Sherpa climbing guide who scaled Mount Everest for a record 22nd time last week returned from the mountain on Sunday and said he’s already planning his next trip. After flying back to Kathmandu by helicopter, Kami Rita, 48, said he’s not ready to retire and plans to continue to guide visiting climbers on the world’s highest mountain next year. “I will continue to climb. I have not reached my retirement age, and until I retire I will continue to be a guide on Everest,” he said. He said he will continue to climb other peaks and plans to attempt Mount Everest again next year. “I really… Read More

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Kelly Clarkson honors school victims at Billboard Awards

An emotional Kelly Clarkson opened the 2018 Billboard Music Awards in tribute to the recent school children and teachers who died in Texas, barely able to speak as she urged the audience and the world to do more to prevent deadly shootings from happening. Clarkson, who is hosting the show, said she was asked to hold a moment of silence for the 10 victims who died Friday, but chose instead to call for “a moment of action.” “Once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died … I’m so sick of moment of silences … it’s not working,” she said Sunday, almost in tears. “Mommies and daddies should be… Read More

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Cubans mourn plane crash dead, officials ID 20 bodies

HAVANA — At morgues and in church services, tearful Cubans on Sunday mourned loved ones who died in the country’s worst air disaster in three decades. Island authorities said they have identified 20 bodies and recovered all human remains from the field next to Havana’s international airport where a passenger jet crashed Friday, killing 110 people. Maidi Charchabal wept and held a photograph of her son Daniel Terrero, who would have turned 22 years old Sunday, as she waited at Havana’s Institute of Legal Medicine for experts to complete their identification of his body. “We are here today so that, even if only in consolation, they hand over his body… Read More

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Hawaii lava evacuees grow weary as uncertainty drags on

PAHOA, Hawaii — Ed Arends grabbed what he could in the night and fled his 5-acre property, lava oozing from a crack in his neighborhood on Hawaii’s Big Island. That was more than two weeks ago. He hasn’t been able to stay at his house since. “It’s disconcerting not being home, being displaced,” Arends said. “I’m sleeping on a sofa in a guy’s living room.” As uncertainty drags on over what the Kilauea volcano will do next, those who were forced to leave their homes weeks ago are growing weary. More than 300 people were staying at three different shelters as of Saturday, Hawaii County mayor’s spokeswoman Janet Snyder said.… Read More

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‘Deadpool 2′ ends Avengers’ box-office reign, rakes in $125M

LOS ANGELES — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers. Fox’s “Deadpool 2” brought in $125 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney’s “Avengers: Infinity War” at the top of the North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Deadpool 2,” with Ryan Reynolds returning as the title character and co-writing this time, fell somewhat short of the $130 million the studio predicted and the $132.4 million that its predecessor earned two years ago. Analysts and the studio said the difference can be attributed to the first film opening… Read More

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‘Hope and healing’: Texas town worships after school attack

SANTA FE, Texas — Congregations in this deeply religious community near Houston gathered Sunday for their first worship services since a teenager with a shotgun blasted his way into a high school art classroom and killed 10 people — eight students and two substitute teachers. Dayspring Church, where one of the slain students, Angelique Ramirez, attended services, provided a licensed counselor for members who needed to talk about the deaths. “Our objective as a church is to offer hope and healing that we understand only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Senior Pastor Brad Drake said. Church leaders wore green T-shirts with gold lettering —the colors of Santa Fe… Read More

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2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you’ll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump. The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to up-and-comers including California Sen. Kamala Harris — don’t necessarily put it that way. But the potential 2020 candidates are making the rounds, raising and distributing campaign cash among fellow Democrats, endorsing candidates and meeting political activists. Their movements reflect competing strategies for establishing their reputations and shaping a party that lacks a clear leader and consistent message in the Trump era.… Read More

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Erdogan in Sarajevo to rally European Turks for re-election

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president has arrived in the Bosnian capital to address supporters living in Europe, ahead of snap elections in his country. Thousands of Turks are expected to attend President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Sarajevo rally on Sunday after he meets with his Bosnian Muslim counterpart. It’s the only campaign stop Erdogan will be making in Europe, after Austria, Germany and the Netherlands announced they would not allow election rallies. Turkey will vote on June 24 —more than a year earlier than scheduled— in parliamentary and presidential elections, ushering in a new system of governance. The executive presidency, which narrowly passed in a referendum in April 2017, will concentrate more… Read More

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What the North Koreans Told Me About Their Plans

What exactly do the North Koreans mean when they say they’re willing to denuclearize? And how exactly would they do so? These are the key mysteries at the heart of the upcoming Trump-Kim summit—and indeed they threatened to derail the whole thing this week when Kim Jong Un objected to National-Security Adviser John Bolton’s vision for it. In a statement attributed to Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea chastised Bolton for his invocation of the “Libya model” of unilateral denuclearization as a template, noting that the “world knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which have met miserable [fates].” The White House quickly walked… Read More

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