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TX Seeks to Limit Federal Appeals of People on Death Row

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By Public News Service TX Seeks to Limit Federal Appeals of People on Death Row AUSTIN, Texas – Death-penalty opponents say a request by Texas officials to limit the amount of time people on death row have to appeal their sentences could result in some who are innocent being executed.

Texas has asked the Justice Department to allow the state to use a federal law that limits the legal process and appeals options for people on death row. Kristin Houlé, executive director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, says setting time limits on appeals would not only affect people entering the system, but could also unfairly cut short appeals for those who have been waiting a decade or longer.
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Source:: Texas News Service

      

New Sugarland album features Taylor Swift duet

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By Andrea Dresdale

BMLG

Monday night’s American Idol episode featured the contestants singing with celebrity partners, including Sugarland and Pat Monahan, the lead singer of the band Train. Now it turns out that those two artists have something else in common.

About five years ago, Pat co-wrote a song with Taylor Swift called “Babe,” but it was never released. Now, Sugarland has recorded it for their comeback album, Bigger, and Taylor herself is a featured performer on the track.

Sugarland revealed the full track listing for Bigger on Thursday; its available for pre-order on Friday. In a statement, Jennifer Nettles says, “”Our hopefulness and our sparkiness and our joy is one of the things I think we do uniquely well, especially in the country format. We offer that in a unique way.”

Kristian Bush meanwhile, adds, “This album has a whole bunch of mystery. I’m listening to it every two days just to see what’s in it. I have entire pints of blood in that thing, but I still don’t know where it all came from, and I love that.”

As for the duo’s eight-year hiatus and where they now feel they fit in, Jennifer says, “We have always enjoyed playing in the margins and stretching the format. But it’s fun to have taken this time away and seen how the format has expanded and how music has evolved. Before, we were playing in the margins. Now, the margins have moved, and that’s fun to hear.”

“It’s not like we stopped creating with The Incredible Machine,” Kristian adds of the duo’s last studio release. “We kept going, but like a good Netflix show you skipped seasons three and four and now you’re seeing season five and you’re reminded of why you loved it.”

Sugarland will appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 2.

Here’s the track listing:

  1. “Bigger”
    2. “On A Roll”
    3. “Let Me Remind You”
    4. “Mother”
    5. “Still The Same”
    6. “Lean It On Back”
    7. “Babe” (featuring Taylor Swift)
    8. “Bird In A Cage”
    9. “Love Me Like I’m Leaving”
    10. “Tuesday’s Broken”
    11. “Not The Only”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

Bill Cosby accuser admits concocting story for memoir

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By Anthony Pucik

Dominick Reuter/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — In what could be a major blow to the prosecution’s sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, a former model and reality TV star admitted on the witness stand Thursday that she fabricated passages in a memoir — including a story of “rebuffing” the comedian’s advances.

Janice Dickinson took the witness stand in a Pennsylvania courtroom, testifying in Cosby’s retrial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Called by the prosecution, the 63-year-old Dickinson recounted a 1982 incident in a Lake Tahoe, California, hotel room, in which she says she was drugged and raped by Cosby.

“Here was ‘America’s Dad’ on top of me — a happily married man with five children,” Dickinson testified in Montgomery County Court in Norristown. “And I remember thinking how wrong it was — how very, very wrong.”

She told the jury that she passed out during the assault, saying, “It was gross.”

Dickinson said she confronted Cosby the day after the alleged assault, but he did not acknowledge it occurred.

“I wanted to hit him,” she testified. “I wanted to punch him in the face.”

Under cross-examination, Cosby’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, confronted Dickinson about her 2002 ghostwritten memoir, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel.”

Mesereau challenged Dickinson’s testimony, pointing out her description of the assault differed wildly from the Lake Tahoe encounter with Cosby she described in her memoir.

Holding up a copy of her book, Mesereau cited passages in which she described rebuffing Cosby’s advances in Lake Tahoe, then “popping two Quaaludes and going to sleep” alone in her own hotel room.

Dickinson acknowledged that she concocted stories in the book in order to get a much-needed paycheck.

“It’s all a fabrication there because I wanted the paycheck for my kids,” Dickinson testified, adding that her ghostwriter took “poetic license” with her life story.

Seizing on her answer, Mesereau replied, “So you made things up to get a paycheck?”

Appearing angry, Dickinson responded, “They weren’t there! And you weren’t there! And I’m telling the real story!”

She continued: “I put my hand on the Bible and I swore. I wasn’t under oath when I wrote the book.”

Earlier, during direct questioning, Dickinson testified that she decided to cut from her book the story of being sexually assaulted by Cosby after her publisher, Judith Regan, warned her it could ruin her career.

Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury could not reach a verdict.

The first trial hinged mostly on the testimony of one Cosby accuser, Andrea Constand, who says Cosby drugged her and violated her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. Cosby has denied those charges and similar allegations made by other women.

While Constand is scheduled to testify in the retrial, the prosecution has been allowed to call five additional women, including Dickinson, who claim they were sexually assaulted by Cosby in an attempt prove a pattern of criminal conduct by the famous defendant.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Deployed dad can watch infant son in hospital 24-7 thanks to webcam technology

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By Anthony Pucik

iStock/Thinkstock(OREM, Utah) — Despite being overseas and thousands of miles away from his family, a deployed member of the U.S. Air Force was still able to check in on his son while the newborn was in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) thanks to modern technology.

“He loved it,” said Mary Girtman, wife to Staff Sgt. John Girtman. “It was really nice for him just because we have such a big time difference between us right now. He didn’t have to rely on me being there a certain time for him to see his son.”

John Carter Girtman was born prematurely on Jan. 29. He later stayed in the NICU for a little over a month while being treated for pneumonia and an urinary tract infection (UTI) at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah.

The cameras were installed in each of the hospital’s 24 NICU bays in 2017 through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence program and a grant from The Pathway of Excellence, the hospital told ABC News in a statement.

“The Girtmans have given so much for our country, and we were thrilled to help them better connect from thousands of miles away,” said Sandy Ewell, the chief nursing officer at Timpanogos Regional Hospital. “These cameras also help local families who can’t be here with their babies as often as they would like due to other kids and responsibilities at home. There is great peace of mind that comes with the ability to check-in on their baby anytime and from anywhere.”

The Girtmans have two children, 2-month-old John Carter Girtman and 1-year-old Maley Girman. John attended his son’s birth via FaceTime and has not yet met him in person.

When baby John was admitted to the NICU, the hospital provided Mary with a username and password so her husband could use the webcam to look in on his son, the mom told ABC News.

The infant has since been discharged from the hospital and is waiting for his father’s return.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Lauren Alaina and Kane Brown are getting social at the ACMs this weekend

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By Music News Group

Academy of Country Music AwardsLauren Alaina and Kane Brown will be getting social this weekend in Sin City.

The former schoolmates and duet partners will serve as the official social media correspondents for both the Academy of Country Music’s Party for a Cause and the 53rd ACM Awards on Sunday night.

Starting Thursday, you can experience this weekend’s events through Lauren and Kane’s eyes, via the social media platforms of both the ACM and CBS. You can also tune it to see them perform their #1 collaboration, “What Ifs,” on this year’s show, which starts at 8 p.m. ET Sunday night.

Several weeks ago, Lauren learned she’s this year’s New Female Vocalist winner, in a surprise phone call from host Reba McEntire. But “What Ifs” could also win Lauren and Kane this year’s trophy for Vocal Event.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

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