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Watch Harry Connick Jr. & his famous pals thank unsung COVID-19 workers' "resolve and humility" on Sunday night

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Sasha Samsonova @2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (NEW YORK) — Sunday night on CBS, Harry Connick Jr. hosts United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to Unsung Heroes, which finds him and his filmmaker daughter Georgia embarking on a 1300-mile road trip to personally thank essential workers and front-line heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were in quarantine like everybody else, and we wanted to do something,” Harry tells ABC Audio. “And I said, ‘Georgia, let’s rent an RV and go thank a bunch of people that have been so essential during this process…and as a filmmaker, she was thrilled to have the opportunity. And we rented an RV, we started in Connecticut and we drove all the way down to New Orleans.”

Harry also recruited his “showbiz friends” to personally thank these “unsung heroes,” including Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Brad Pitt and musicians Tim McGraw, John Fogerty, Cyndi Lauper, Little Big Town, Andra Day, Dave Matthews and New Orleans legends like Irma Thomas and Wynton and Branford Marsalis.

Harry said he was struck by how positive and determined these heroes — many people of color — have been in the face of adversity.

“It’s very powerful to see that type of resolve and humility…especially when you’re with your daughter who’s filming these people and looking at these people, just saying, ‘What do I do to get better?'” he recalls. 

“And then when you factor in the fact that black people, brown people, people of color have been disproportionately affected by COVID, and they’re still going out there putting their lives at risk…there’s a lot of dialogues to have,” he notes.

Also on Sunday, Harry will debut a new song, “Stars Will Shine,” with all proceeds going to the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.  Marsalis, one of Harry’s mentors, died of COVID-19 in April.


By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Brett Eldredge is teasing more new tunes off his upcoming album, 'Sunday Drive'

No Comments Country Music News

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteLast month, Brett Eldredge shared a new single called “Gabrielle,” explaining that it was the first taste of a new album called Sunday Drive. Next up, he let fans hear two more new tunes, called “Where the Heart Is” and “Crowd My Mind.”

While fans will have to wait until July 10 to hear Sunday Drive in full, Brett took to social media this week to offer another glimpse into his new record.

In a two-pack of teaser videos, Eldredge shared snippets of four of the tunes on the record, and also shared an incomplete track list. Two of the featured songs were “Where the Heart Is” and “Crowd My Mind,” which are tracks one and four, respectively.

But the two other songs teased in the clips are as-yet unheard. Those are “The One You Need” and “Magnolia,” which are tracks two and three on the album.

It looks like Brett is holding out just a little longer before sharing the songs in their entirety, and he’s remaining tight-lipped on the rest of the album, too.  But he did have one more detail to share: While the track list is blank, he revealed that there are a total of 12 songs on the project.

Brett previously explained that he wrote Sunday Drive during a year-long process of reflection, which included an extended break from social media and a weeks-long, self-imposed solo writing retreat in a California beach cottage.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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George Clooney donates $500K to Equal Justice Initiative and takes a jab at Trump

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner (LOS ANGELES) — George Clooney is donating $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative, People reports.

In a statement announcing his contribution, he took a sarcastic jab at President Donald Trump.

“Thank you President Trump for ‘making Juneteenth famous.’ Much like when Bull Connor made ‘Civil Rights’ famous. My family will be donating 500 thousand dollars to the Equal Justice Initiative in honor of your heroic efforts,” Clooney said in the statement to People.

He’s referencing Trump’s recent comments to the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed to have “made Juneteenth famous” after his controversial decision to hold a rally on that date in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bull Connor was a strong opponent of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Juneteenth — June 19 — commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Trump’s rally was eventually pushed back a day.  

Earlier this month, Clooney wrote an essay for The Daily Beast in which he called racism “America’s greatest pandemic.”

“This is our pandemic.  It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine,” the 59-year-old actor wrote.  “And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote.”

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Boogaloo: The movement behind recent violent attacks

No Comments National News

kali9/iStockBy LUKE BARR, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) — Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo and Richard Justus allegedly pulled up in a white van alongside a guard shack at the federal courthouse in Oakland, California, late last month and shot and killed a Federal Protective Service Contract Officer Patrick Underwood, critically injuring his partner. They allegedly fled the scene, which was near where protests were taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death, setting off an eight-day manhunt.

“We believe Carrillo and Justice chose this date because the planned protest in Oakland provided an opportunity for them to target multiple law enforcement personnel and avoid apprehension to the large crowds attending the demonstrations, as described in detail in the complaint,” John Bennett, FBI special agent in charge of the San Francisco field office said at a press conference after an arrest was made.

Carrillo, according to federal prosecutors, was linked to a little known but emerging movement called “boogaloo.” They also go by “boogaloo bois” or “boogaloo boys.”

Justus turned himself in and was charged with attempted murder. Carrillo was arrested after a witness eventually reported seeing the van and “observed what appeared to be ammunition, firearms and bomb making equipment” inside, prosecutors allege. Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office deputies showed up to Carrillo’s doorstep, and as they approached his home, he opened fire, killing Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.

The government alleges that Carrillo fled on foot, and then began carjacking innocent people using what is known as a ghost gun — a firearm which is privately made and untraceable. Court documents say that when authorities searched his van they found a bulletproof vest with a patch on it that tied Carrillo to boogaloo.

The patch showed an igloo and Hawaiian-style print that are symbols of the movement. Authorities also say Carrillo scrawled “boog” in blood on the hood of one of the vehicles he stole.

Carrillo was charged with federal murder of the FPS officer and was charged with murder on the state level for allegedly murdering the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sargent.

Near Las Vegas, three men with military experience who authorities say were connected to boogaloo, were arrested for allegedly trying to firebomb a Black Lives Matter protest last month.

Andrew Lynam, Stephen Parshall and William Loomis met by chance while attending ReOpen Nevada rallies in April and May, protesting against measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to court documents.

Brandishing automatic weapons, Lynam said at the rally his group “was not joking around” and “that it was for people who wanted to violently overthrow the United States government,” court documents say.

Lynam and Parshall were initially planning to create a disruption at a May 19 ReOpen Nevada rally using fireworks and smoke bombs that would cause “some type of confrontation between the police and the protesters,” according to a federal criminal complaint. The FBI says the men were using tactics from the Irish Republican Army Green Book.

The IRA Army Green book is a training manual that includes military tactics to wage war with the British government.

Having failed to cause a disruption at that rally, Parshall and Loomis discussed “causing an incident to incite chaos and possibly a riot,” in relation to the death of George Floyd by firebombing a power substation, according to court papers.

The three were eventually arrested after they started making Molotov cocktails to throw into the crowd. Lawyers for the three men have not responded to ABC News request for comment.

Court documents define boogaloo as a “term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or fall of civilization.” The movement, according to Howard Graves, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project, started picking up steam in 2018.

“The name came from this movie Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo. It became almost like one of these inside joke sort of cultural references for these like-minded individuals,” Javed Ali, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and former senior counterterrorism official told ABC News.

The movement, according to Ali, spawned in chatrooms and the dark net before manifesting in the real world.

“The origins are also kind of murky. The movement has grown over the last decade mostly online through alternative content platforms. It initially took hold in sort of these dark corners of the Internet, 8chan, 4chan, Reddit and others,” he said.

John Cohen, a former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News that it is not a laughing matter anymore.

“While the use of the term boogaloo started as a joke — the call for a second civil has become a social media fueled rallying cry for an eclectic group of far right extremists, some of whom have committed acts of violence in an effort to bring down our current system of government and establish a racially pure United States,” Cohen, an ABC News contributor said.

Facebook has taken down many boogaloo pages, according to Graves.

“We designated these attacks as violating events and removed the accounts for the two perpetrators along with several groups. We will remove content that supports these attacks and continue to work with law enforcement in their investigation,” a Facebook spokesperson told ABC News in relation to Carrillo and Justus case.

But the movement is difficult to understand, and Ali said the challenge is that boogaloo represents a “mishmash” of different beliefs. “I don’t think there’s a central core belief either in the movement. There’s a range of different grievances or different potential individuals who they believe are legitimate targets,” he explained.

“There are some in the boogaloo movement that their animus is toward minorities or people and others that are protected classes. There are some in the boogaloo movement that their main animus is toward law enforcement or government. And then there are probably people who are a combination of both of those,” Ali explained.

Graves said that while there is a white nationalist slant, boogaloo is really an anti-government movement and that advocates of the philosophy are being “opportunistic” when they invoke George Floyd or Breonna Taylor’s names in their outrage.

Graves estimates that there are followers in the thousands, but adds that it is “impossible to tell” because of the lack of structure.

Adherents are known for wearing Hawaiian shirts, Graves said.

“A lot of emphasis is put on the Hawaiian shirts because they know it comes off as ridiculous but that’s kind of part of the intent,” he said.

“If a boogaloo boy were in front of you, but not dressed out, a lot of the conversation with them is going to be particularly directed toward Second Amendment. They sincerely believe that any firearms legislation whatsoever is an absolute utter violation of the Second Amendment, the Constitution,” Graves said. “And they also believe that anybody who sort of breaks that oath is marking themselves for death. They think a citizenry would be justified in killing that person because they are, quote unquote, a tyrant.”

Graves said that a message Carillo wrote on another one of the cars he stole was, “I became unreasonable,” a reference to Marvin Heemeyer, a man who got into a dispute with a local zoning board in 2004 and did damage to one South Dakota town.

“In kind of an act of desperation, he up armored a bulldozer that he had with concrete and steel armor and basically went on a rampage around the town,” Graves explained of Heemeyer, adding, “it ended in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars of property destruction and his suicide.”

According to local reports, Heemeyer left tapes after his death that said that God put him on earth to carry out his attack. The meme of Heymeyers word’s have become popular in boogaloo circles.

After law enforcement caught Carrillo, he screamed “this is what I came here to fight. I’m sick of these [expletive] cops,” as he was being led away in handcuffs.

Lawyers for Carrillo and Justus did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

According to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police report obtained by ABC News, when police raided Loomis’ home, they found “kill boxes, survival tactics, fireworks as a distraction, a tannerite tree bomb and other various booby traps.” More evidence, authorities say, of the seriousness with which the three men were planning on taking action.

“Now, luckily, in the Las Vegas case, those guys were sloppy in their tradecraft and they managed to get disrupted,” Ali said. “But there could be dozens of other people who have that same sort of profile who aren’t as sloppy and could be silently advancing toward some plotting and we may not, unfortunately, know about until it’s too late.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Air Force makes history naming woman as top NCO

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U.S. Air ForceBy LUIS MARTINEZ, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) — The Air Force is making history by selecting Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass as the 19th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, making her the first woman in history to serve as the highest-ranking non-commissioned member of a U.S. military service.

Bass was selected by Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the incoming Air Force chief of staff, who has made history as the first African American to head one of the military services. Brown will succeed Gen. David Goldfien as the Air Force’s chief of staff in August.

“I could not be more excited to work side-by-side with Chief Bass,” Brown said in a statement announcing the decision.

“She has unique skills that will help us both lead the Total Force and live up to the high expectations of our Airmen,” he added. “She is a proven leader who has performed with distinction at every step of her accomplished career. I have no doubt that Chief Bass will provide wise counsel as we pursue and implement initiatives to develop and empower Airmen at all levels.”

Bass was chosen from a dozen finalists from across the Air Force selected for their experience, recommendations from senior commanders and performances across their Air Force careers.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as the 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and follow in the footsteps of some of the best leaders our Air Force has ever known,” Bass said in the statement. “The history of the moment isn’t lost on me; I’m just ready to get after it. And I’m extremely grateful for and proud of my family and friends who helped me along the way.”

Bass will succeed Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kalen Wright, who assumed the role of the top enlisted airman in February 2017.

“This is a historic moment for our Air Force and she is a phenomenal leader who’ll bring new ideas and her own style to the position,” Wright said in the statement. “She’ll do great things for our Airmen and she’ll blaze her own trail as our CMSAF.”

Wright is the second African American to serve as the Air Force’s top enlisted airman, Chief Master Sgt. Thomas N. Barnes was the first, serving from 1973 to 1977.

Wright’s profile has increased in the last two weeks after he issued an impassioned post on Twitter in which he asked “Who am I?” in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

But it was the answer to that question that went viral and sparked a candid conversation with Air Force leadership.

“I am a Black man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. I am George Floyd…I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice,” Wright wrote, listing the names of black men killed by police officers.

Wright and Goldfein later participated in a candid video discussion about race in which the top enlisted airman expressed concerns that his sons or any of his airmen “could be the next George Floyd.”

ABC News’ Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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