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Remains of National Guard soldier and Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan to arrive in US

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By KT

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The remains of a National Guard soldier and Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan over the weekend are expected to arrive in the United States on Tuesday, according to the Department of Defense.

Maj. Brent R. Taylor, 39, who was killed during an insider attack in Kabul on Saturday, was the mayor of North Ogden, a husband, and a father to seven young children.

He served the Utah Army National Guard based out of Joint Force Headquarters in Draper, Utah, and had completed two combat tours in Iraq, serving as a convoy security commander and then as an adviser to an Iraqi national intelligence agency, according to the biography on the North Ogden city website.

A dignified transfer of Taylor’s remains is expected to take place early Tuesday morning at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Department of Defense spokesperson Col. Rob Manning told reporters on Monday.

One other American service member who was wounded in the attack is currently undergoing medical treatment but in stable condition, according to a NATO statement.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch tweeted a photo with Taylor on Saturday, calling the soldier “a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement he was “heartbroken at the news” and felt “completely humbled by the service and the ultimate sacrifice offered by this brave and selfless soldier.”

“The entire Herbert family mourns with this soldier’s family and we pray that their burdens may be lifted, and that the hearts of all Utahns will reach out to comfort them in their grief,” the statement read.

In his final Facebook post on Oct. 28, Taylor encouraged everyone to vote and all for unity.

“As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. “United we stand, divided we fall.” God Bless America,” he wrote.

Taylor was elected mayor of North Ogden in 2013 after serving on the City Council since 2009. He held a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah, according to the North Ogden city website. He was a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah in International Relations.

The roughly 17,000 residents of North Ogden are mourning the loss of their city’s mayor — the city government writing in a statement posted to its website that Taylor had “a profound influence on this community.”

“He was the best of men with the ability to see potential and possibility in everything around him,” the statement said. “We feel blessed to have had him as our mayor.”

“He had a great love and vision for this community,” it added. “He was patriotic to the core and a shining example of what an American politician should be. We are grateful for his service to both our city and our country. His loss will be felt for years to come.”

Three Afghan insider attacks in three weeks

Taylor’s death marks the third insider attack in Afghanistan in the last three weeks.

On Oct. 18, a member of the Afghan forces targeted prominent U.S. and Afghan generals in Kandahar, killing the province’s well-known police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, and wounding U.S. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley who was later transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Also present during the chaotic attack was the top U.S. general in command of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan who escaped unharmed.

The event has “deeply shaken the relationship between Afghan and American forces,” according to a New York Times investigation into the deadly insider attack.

Just four days later, a Czech soldier was killed and two others were wounded during another insider attack in Herat Province in western Afghanistan.

The number of insider attacks in Afghanistan peaked at 61 in 2012 but had become rarer after the U.S. military instituted security safeguards to protect American troops.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Luke Combs scores a rare three-week #1 on the country chart, as he readies deluxe vinyl version of debut album

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By Music News Group

Columbia NashvilleLuke Combs is starting his third week at the top of Billboard‘s Country Airplay tally with “She Got the Best of Me”– a rare feat on the country chart. At the same time, his debut album, This One’s for You, is logging its 17th week at #1 on the Top Country Albums ranking.

Later this month, the deluxe edition of the record, titled This One’s for You Too, will be available on vinyl for the first time. It adds two new songs to the 15-track project: “Beautiful Crazy” and “Beyond,” from his episode of CMT Crossroads with Leon Bridges.

It’ll be available on Friday, November 16, just a couple days after Luke’s performance on the 52nd CMA Awards. You can tune in to watch on Wednesday, November 14, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

Watch now: Tim McGraw takes you to "Neon Church" in dramatic new video

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By Music News Group

Columbia NashvilleYou can check out Tim McGraw‘s new video for “Neon Church” on YouTube now. The video premiered this weekend in New York City’s Times Square and on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown.

In the clip, Tim sings his latest hit while sitting on a church pew, juxtaposed against a neon sign, as a traveler arrives in a small town. Along the way, we meet some of the residents of the town, who eventually gather in a bar.

“The song has a lot of grit, and there’s a darkness to it,” Tim explains. “So we wanted the video to carry some of that darkness and moodiness.”

“But you also have the neon… the light,” he continues. “Neon light is literally the calling card to a bar — you also have the human light that calls people to be together.”

“We’re all a little broken, but that doesn’t mean we don’t each carry some light,” he adds, hinting at the video’s close.

You’ll want to be sure to stick around until the end of the “Neon Church” video, because there’s a pretty dramatic surprise in its last moments.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

Josh Turner goes to #1 on multiple charts with first gospel album

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By Music News Group

MCA NashvilleJosh Turner‘s first gospel album, I Serve a Savior, arrives at #1 on Nielsen’s Country Albums ranking this week, while it checks in at #2 on both Billboard‘s Top Country Albums and Top Christian Albums charts.

Meanwhile, the album’s accompanying 90-minute live video debuts at the top of Billboard‘s Music Video and Christian Music Video tallies as well.

“This project was truly a dream come true,” Josh reflects. “It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

“God opened the door and I walked through it,” he adds. “When I look back, this will be one of my favorite projects of my career.”

Tuesday night, expect Josh to deliver some of the songs from I Serve a Savior, as he plays two Grand Ole Opry shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

Mo'Nique tells Rebel Wilson to check her plus-sized history: "Don't be a part of erasing it"

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By Music News Group

Barry King/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Mo’Nique is weighing in on Rebel Wilson’s plus-sized error.

Wilson was dragged online after she claimed during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she was “proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.” She was referring to her upcoming movie Isn’t It Romantic — but Mo’Nique is now pointing out that Wilson’s comment is incorrect.

“Hey my sweet sister. Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities,” Mo tweeted. “Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT. I wish you the best.”

As previously reported, other plus-size actresses such as Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique and Ricki Lake have all started in own romantic comedies.

Wilson then tried to apologize for her comment.

“Hi Monique, it was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x,” she wrote. “I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together.”

However, many fans claimed that Rebel’s efforts to make amends pretty much fell on deaf ears. The Cut reports that instead of apologizing for her mistake, Wilson’s “response was to block her critics.”

“She’s blocked so many people that they’re now using a hashtag: #RebelWilsonBlockedMe,” the site reports.

Meanwhile, Isn’t It Romantic, which also stars Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra, arrives in theaters Valentine’s Day.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

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