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Jung Ho Kang Signs With Pittsburgh Pirates For $3M, 1-Year Deal

Pittsburgh third baseman Jung Ho Kang agreed on Thursday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Pirates, that includes $2.5 million in performance bonuses. The deal was announced a week after Pittsburgh declined a $5.5 million club option for the 31-year-old Kang, which initiated a $250,000 buyout. General manager Neal Huntington said in a statement, “we feel that bringing Jung Ho back in 2019 will make us better as he will have the ability to make a positive impact on our lineup. Competition and options are important to any organization and this signing provides us with both.” The Pirates signed Kang to an $11 million, four-year deal in January 2015. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting after hitting 15 homers and driving in 58 runs in 2015, the high point of Kang’s MLB career. Kang didn’t play in the U.S. between September 2016 and June 2018 because of visa issues connected to three DUI arrests in South Korea.  ...Read more

Evacuations Ordered As Northern California Wildfire Grows

Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate several Northern California communities due to a fast-moving wildfire that exploded in size Thursday. Panicked residents are racing to help neighbors who had to drive through walls of flames to escape. It was not immediately known if there were injuries or fatalities. According to the Butte County Sheriff’s office, an evacuation order was issued for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles northeast of San Francisco. Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart said the wildfire was reported at 6:30 a.m., affecting about 30,000 people in the towns of Paradise, Concow and other small communities. Carhart also said officials were sending as many crews as they could gather. The California Highway Patrol closed a nearby highway and urged motorists to avoid the area. The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through Friday evening. ...Read more

​Missouri Duck Boat Captain Indicted In Connection With Sinking That Killed 17 Passengers​

Federal authorities announced on Thursday that a federal grand jury indicted the duck boat captain whose vessel capsized near Branson, Missouri, killing 17 passengers. Officials said that the captain, 51-year-old Kenneth Scott McKee of Verona, Missouri, was charged with 17 counts of misconduct, negligence or inattention to duty by a ship’s officer. Back on July 19 this tragedy occurred when a Ride the Ducks amphibious boat, dubbed “Stretch Duck 7,” ventured on to Table Rock Lake during a thunderstorm with 60 mph winds. The U.S. Coast Guard found probable cause that the accident “resulted from the misconduct, negligence, or inattention to the duties” by McKee, according to an August court filing. According to the indictment, McKee operated the boat “in violation of the conditions and limitations specified in the vessel’s United States Coast Guard issued Certificate of Inspection.” ...Read more

US Air Force Test-Launches Missile From California Base

The U.S. Air Force conducted a test launch of an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California yesterday. In a statement, the Air Force Global Strike Command said that the missile was launched at 11:01 p.m. Tuesday to determine the accuracy and reliability of the system and such tests “are not related to any real world events.” They also said that the missile’s re-entry vehicle reached its intended target, but further details about the test can’t be released. The Air Force tests Minuteman missiles by launching them from California to a target in the Pacific Ocean. ...Read more

Police Officer Among 12 Killed In Mass Shooting At Bar In Thousand Oaks, California

At least 12 people were killed and as many as 10 others were injured when a gunman burst into a packed Southern California bar, tossing smoke grenades and firing dozens of rounds, witnesses and authorities said. The suspect was found dead inside the bar, police said. Police said they responded to the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, just before midnight local time. Hundreds were inside the bar at the time. Sgt. Ron Helus was among the dozen killed overnight, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Helus was a 29-year veteran and was one of the first on the scene, when he was fired on multiple times. Authorities are working to determine who the suspect was, and what his motive may have been. ...Read more

President Trump Asks For Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resignation, Effective Immediately

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned Wednesday, at the request of President Donald Trump. The announcement was made by the President on Twitter, just a day after the midterm elections. “At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote to Trump, adding that he was “honored to serve” the president. Sessions’ departure after the midterms was no surprise, given the many conflicts between the two. When Mr. Trump was asked about Sessions’ future at a lengthy press conference Wednesday afternoon, he declined to comment on whether Sessions would be leaving the administration. However, Sessions’ resignation letter had already been submitted earlier in the day. President Trump has now named Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, as acting attorney general. Whitaker is now set to oversee special counsel Mueller’s probe. ...Read more

Red Bulls’ Aaron Long Wins MLS Defender Of The Year

26-year-old Aaron Long of the New York Red Bulls was named MLS Defender of the Year on Wednesday, after helping his team allow a league-low 33 goals. Long added three goals and two assists in 34 matches (31 starts), on top of his stellar defensive work. Long received 26.52 percent of the vote to edge out Chad Marshall (20.93) of the Seattle Sounders. Atlanta United teammates Michael Parkhurst (7.1) and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (5.78) were third and fourth, respectively, while Kemar Lawrence (5.6) of the Red Bulls was fifth. Long joined the Red Bulls in 2016 and didn’t see any play time until his breakthrough 2017, when he played in 31 games (30 starts.) He was also a member of the MLS All-Star team. Long and the Red Bulls will host the Columbus Crew on Sunday for the second match of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Crew won the opening match 1-0. ...Read more

New Orleans Saints Sign Ex-Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant To One-Year Deal

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has found a new team, agreeing to contract teams with the New Orleans Saints. The 30-year-old Bryant spent his first eight years in the NFL with Dallas and last season caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring play, for the Cowboys. The Cowboys released Bryant after last season with two years remaining on the receiver’s five-year, $70 million contract. Bryant joining the Saints means he could play against his former club in a few weeks, as the Saints will play at Dallas on Nov. 29. New Orleans also has two games remaining against division rival Carolina (6-2). ...Read more

Michael Douglas Is Joined By Loved Ones, Including His Father Kirk Douglas, At Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony

Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week, surrounded by family and friends, including his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, his son Cameron Douglas, and his father, star Kirk Douglas. Jane Fonda, Eric McCormack, Andy Garcia and Douglas’ former agent Ron Meyer were also present at the event. During the ceremony, Michael gave a heartfelt speech about having his loved ones by his side for the big moment, saying, “Let’s face it, this is a great honor and I’m not getting any younger. I’m going to enjoy it with my wife and my son and my caretakers and my great-great-grandkids.” Mentioning wife Zeta-Jones, he added, “I’m grateful for your support and your love and your patience. By the way, in another week we are celebrating our 18th anniversary, so thank you for the best 18 years of my life, sweetheart!” When addressing his famous father, Douglas said, “My dad is here. In a month, Kirk will be 102 years old! It means so much to me, Dad, that you’re here today. Thank you for your advice, inspiration, and I’ll say it simply and with all my heart: I’m so proud to be your son.”  ...Read more

Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Going To Trial In Child Custody Case

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are heading to court over thecustody of their children. According to court documents, the trial is set to begin on December 4. Jolie and Pitt separated in September 2016 after two years of marriage, and filed for divorce shortly after. The former-couple have six children together, ranging from ages 10 to 17. Since the time of their split, the duo’s mutually agreeable custody arrangement has been a point of contention for the two starts.  Jolie has sought sole custody, while Pitt is seeking joint custody. Jolie currently maintains primary physical custody of the children. ...Read more