BTS’ ‘Love Yourself Seung Her’ sets Korean sales record

Oct. 13 (UPI) — K-pop group BTS broke a national album sales record with their latest album “Love Yourself Seung Her.”

“Love Yourself Seung Her” sold 1.2 million copies between its release on Sept. 18 and the end of the month, propelling BTS to the highest sales volume in the history of the Gaon chart.

The album’s sales toped a 16-year-old record of 1.44 million copies by boyband g.o.d in Nov. 2001.

Pre-orders for “Love Yourself Seung Her” exceeded 1,112,000 copies and the album sold more than 750,000 copies in its first week.

BTS also found success with the album internationally, becoming the first Korean group to remain on the two main U.S. Billboard charts for three consecutive weeks.

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Study reveals secrets of planet formation

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Scientists have discovered a new explanation for how young stars and their newborn planets avoid “radial drift,” a phenomenon that can rob stellar systems of their planet-forming material.

Most planets form as material coalesces in a star’s circumstellar disk of dust and debris. But debris disks can also diffuse or be eaten up by their host star, and researchers have struggled to figure out why this doesn’t happen more often.

Gas in a circumstellar disk should exert a drag force on debris, pulling the dust inward where it is consumed by the host star. The process, called radial drift, can deplete the material a young stellar system needs to form and grow planets.

But new images of the debris disk surrounding the star V1247 Orionis has offered scientists insights into how young stars avoid radial drift.

ALMA observations revealed a thick inner disk of material and a separate outer crescent. Researchers at the University of Exeter in England believe the gap between the two concentrations of debris was carved by a newborn planet. Their analysis also suggests the planet has created a pair of high-pressure regions as it moves through the disk — like the bow of ship creates a wake as it plows through the water.

Scientists hypothesize that these high-pressure zones can trap dust and debris for millions of years, ensuring the young planet has a reservoir of materials from which to accumulate and grow.

“The exquisite resolution of ALMA allowed us to study the intricate structure of such a dust-trapping vortex for the first time,” Exeter scientist Stefan Kraus said in a news release. “The crescent in the image constitutes a dust trap that formed at the outer edge of the dark strip.”

Kraus and his colleagues published their findings this week in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“It also reveals regions of excess dust within the ring, possibly indicating a second dust trap that formed inside of the putative planet’s orbit,” Kraus said. “This confirms earlier computer simulations that predicted that dust traps should form both at the outer edge and inner edge of disc gaps.”

The discovery offers a new solution to the problem of radial drift predicted by most planet-formation models.

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Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Linder to miss second straight game

The Jacksonville Jaguars ruled out center Brandon Linder for the second consecutive week with an illness ahead of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Coach Doug Marrone told reporters Friday that Linder is progressing with his recovery but did not reveal the specific ailment.

“We know it’s getting better,” Marrone said. “That’s what I know right now. It’s just a matter of time (before Linder is cleared), and you never know what it’s going to be.”

Linder missed the Jaguars’ 30-9 road victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday and missed all practices this week.

The Jaguars signed Linder to a five-year, $50.7 million contract extension in July, with $24 million guaranteed. He was the team’s third-round pick in 2014.

Third-year veteran Tyler Shatley will start at center again in place of Linder as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (3-2) host the Rams (3-2) at EverBank Field.

“Shat’s played before, and he has played well at times,” Marrone said Friday. “He works extremely hard — he works just as hard as Brandon. It’s a credit to him. You have to prepare yourself during the week as if you’re the guy who’s starting. If something happens, you’re really an ankle or finger away from getting into the game. Shat always has done a good job of that.”

Starting left guard Patrick Omameh (hip) and wide receiver/special teams player Arrelious Benn (groin) were listed as questionable. Both practiced on a limited basis Friday.

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Fantasy Football: Casey Keenum to start at QB for Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings ruled out quarterback Sam Bradford for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers and Case Keenum will return to the starting role.

Coach Mike Zimmer also said Friday that top wide receiver Stefon Diggs (groin) and starting left guard Nick Easton (calf) will miss the game as well. Starting safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) is listed as questionable after returning to practice Friday.

Bradford returned last week from a three-game absence due to an ailing left knee, but he aggravated the injury late in the first half of Monday night’s 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. Bradford did not practice all week.

Keenum will get his fourth start of the season against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. He came in for Bradford against the Bears and finished with 140 yards on 17-of-21 passing and a touchdown.

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Vegas shooter fired upon airport fuel tanks ‘with intent’

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Las Vegas investigators believe the gunman who opened fire on country music concert goers, killing 58, intentionally shot at aviation fuel tanks at a nearby airport, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Friday.

In the days after the Oct. 1 attack, police said they found evidence at least two bullets hit the tanks at McCarran International Airport. Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of his Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino hotel room, though he may have had additional plans to try to cause an explosion at the airport.

“It is believed the fuel tanks were fired upon with intent,” Lombardo said during a new conference.

A statement from the airport said airport officials found one bullet penetrated a tank partially filled with jet fuel and another bullet lodged in the outer steel shell of the tank but did not penetrate.

“Contrary to speculation, there is almost zero likelihood gunfire damage could trigger a fire or explosion at a commercial fuel storage facility,” the statement said, since jet fuel is a combustible, not flammable liquid.

Also during Friday’s update, Lombardo said investigators still have not found any ties between the shooter terror groups or extremism. An autopsy also did not find any brain abnormalities in Paddock, though further tests were underway.

Lombardo said that of the 546 reported injuries, 501 people have been discharged from the hospital, with 45 still in treatment.

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I did not ‘hunt’ for Harvey Weinstein, claims alleged fixer

In the week that allegations against Harvey Weinstein rocked Hollywood, Fabrizio Lombardo has emerged as a central figure in the scandal – the so-called “Italian connection” accused of enabling the American producer’s alleged sexual harassment and abuses.

Two women – Asia Argento and Zoë Brock – have claimed that Lombardo, who formerly worked as a Miramax executive in Italy, helped set up encounters with Weinstein under false pretences.

Argento, an Italian actor, has accused Lombardo of leading her to Weinstein’s suite in the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the south of France in 1997, after he falsely told her she would be attending a party. When they arrived at the room she found the movie mogul alone, and Argento alleges the meeting led to her being raped by Weinstein.

Brock, a model and writer from New Zealand, said Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances when she was 23 years old, and that Lombardo was part of the “pack of hyenas” who would “hunt” for him, enabling the producer’s alleged abuses.

Sitting in his attorney’s office in Rome, in an old palazzo tucked between the Tiber and the Vatican, an old picture of Federico Fellini and Robert De Niro leaning against the wall, Lombardo responded to the multiple allegations with a mix of irritated incredulity and steadfast denials.

“I did not hunt for him,” Lombardo said in direct response to Brock’s allegation. “It is not my style … it is not my relationship with Weinstein,” he added.

For decades, Weinstein was a Hollywood kingmaker. He is now facing allegations of sexual misconduct from more than two dozen women, and three allegations of rape. Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any “allegations of non-consensual sex” and has said he is hoping to get a “second chance”.

But as more stories of his allegedly predatory behaviour emerge, so too are questions about the people in Weinstein’s intimate circle who may have known and indeed helped the producer to gain physical access to young and unsuspecting women.

Among many questions about Lombardo’s relationship with Weinstein is what role he played at Miramax, which reportedly continued to pay the Italian executive for months after the production company’s short-lived Italy office was closed in 2003, according to an account that was published in 2004 by the New York Times.

Lombardo emphatically denies that he ever brought a then-21-year-old Argento to Weinstein’s suite in 1997, when they were attending the Cannes film festival. He also said he could not recall having ever met Brock, although the model told the Guardian that Lombardo invited her to his home in Rome, which he shared with his then-girlfriend and where she once spent the night.

Lombardo rejected the notion that any single man can enable another man’s sexual abuse of a woman by bringing the woman to an abuser’s hotel room.

“So you can’t complain with the driver or with the doorman of the hotel who sends the woman up, you see what I mean?” Lombardo said.

Weinstein, Lombardo said, would not have needed him to meet women or anyone else. “He can pick up the phone and have lunch or dinner with whoever he wants,” he added.

He denied any knowledge of Weinstein’s sexual activities, saying that such things were not discussed among men, especially situations in which a man might be rejected by a woman.

In an hour-long interview, Lombardo acknowledged, however, that he had introduced the media mogul to “countless” people over the years. He said meetings took place in Weinstein’s hotel suites because he and the people he met with were famous.

Asked whether he ever questioned what Weinstein’s intentions might have been when he met young women privately, Lombardo said: “You cannot talk about [intentions]. Out of 1,000 people, to know his intentions with three people, I don’t know … it’s impossible.”

Hillary Clinton says she was ‘shocked and appalled’ by Weinstein allegations – video

Pressed about whether he knew what was happening behind closed doors, he claimed: “But you are joking. Of course not.” He said: “What world are you talking about?” and added that Guardian journalists had a biased view of men.

The allegations against Weinstein have “shocked” him, Lombardo said, but he declined to comment further.

Brock, 43, alleged that Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances at Cannes film festival in 1997. She told the Guardian she had been in Weinstein’s hotel room with a few other people when they left, leaving her “suddenly … alone in a remote hotel suite with Harvey fucking Weinstein”. She alleged that Weinstein took his clothes off and asked her for a massage, forcing her to run into a bathroom to escape.

She said what most disturbed her was how a network of men, including Lombardo, had allegedly enabled Weinstein on the night of her encounter, seemingly setting her up to be one-on-one in the hotel.

“They went behind my back, betrayed me and organised a date with the guy. That was just horrifying to me,” she said. “That is the most sinister thing. We’re all used to predators working alone, but when they band up like a pack of hyenas, that’s a whole other ballgame.”

She said of Weinstein’s links to Lombardo: “That is scary that a man is that powerful that he can convince other people to hunt for him … What does that say about society? What does that say about humanity that we would do that? It’s so disturbing to me.”

Argento has also pointed a finger of blame at Lombardo, who she said took her to Weinstein’s room when she was 21, in 1997, and claimed it was a Miramax party.

Asia Argento

Fabrizio Lombardo brought me to Weinstein’s room when I was 21 in ’97. He told me it was a Miramax party. Only Harvey was there.

October 11, 2017

She told the New Yorker that when she questioned why no one else was there, Lombardo – referred to in the article as “the producer” – said they had arrived “too early”, before leaving her alone. The alleged rape occurred after he left.

Lombardo contacted Argento for the first time in years last week. On 5 October, the day the New York Times broke the story of Weinstein’s alleged serial abuse and harassment, Lombardo sent Argento two messages on Whatsapp that he claimed were jokes. In one, a man wakes up next to a woman in bed after a night of drinking and tries to escape what he believes to be a bad one-night stand, only to see a photograph of the woman downstairs. She’s his wife. In another alleged joke, former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi – who is known for having had “bunga bunga” sex parties with young women – is pictured with a car and a licence plate that reads “escort”.

In an earlier interview with Lombardo’s attorney, Bruno della Ragione, the attorney joked that Argento was the “virgin of 2017”. He also suggested that Weinstein’s rapid downfall could be the result of a financial conspiracy against the producer.

Asia Argento

This is another message I received from “producer” Fabrizio Lombardo last Thursday #nutsandsluts

October 11, 2017

Lombardo said he sent the messages to Argento by accident. Pulling out his iPhone, he showed a reporter how he regularly sends memes and jokes to his contacts, and that he unwittingly sent the two to Argento, coincidentally as the Weinstein story was breaking.

“I sent it by mistake. Maybe hers was close to another name,” he said.

Underlying some of the allegations are broader questions about Lombardo’s role at Miramax. The former executive said he first met Weinstein when the two used to vacation on the Caribbean island of St Barts where Weinstein would stay with his family and Lombardo was with friends.

Lombardo was hired by Miramax to head the company’s Italian division a few years after they met. According to the New York Times, Miramax paid Lombardo, who was described by the paper as a “longtime friend” of Weinstein, for months after the Italy division was closed, even though he held another full-time job at a real estate company.

Miramax’s decision to hire Lombardo in 1999 was controversial, according to the New York Times. He had scant experience in the film industry, but Weinstein insisted he be brought on board.

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Trump threatens to rip up Iran nuclear deal unless US and allies fix ‘serious flaws’

Donald Trump has threatened to terminate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if Congress and US allies fail to amend the agreement in significant ways.

In a vituperative speech on Friday that began by listing Iran’s alleged crimes over the decades, Trump announced he would not continue to certify the agreement to Congress, but stopped short of immediately cancelling US participation in the deal.

He said his administration was ready to negotiate with Congress and US allies on ways to toughen the obligations on Iran and making them permanent. But he made clear that if those negotiations failed to reach a solution, he would unilaterally pull the US out of the international agreement signed in Vienna two years ago.

“Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Trump said.

The president declared: “I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.”

He noted that congressional leaders were already drafting amendments to legislation that would include restrictions on ballistic missiles and make the curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme under the 2015 deal permanent. European diplomats have warned that any such unilateral changes to the agreement are likely to trigger the deal’s collapse and a return to a nuclear standoff in the Middle East.

But Trump made clear that if the changes were not made, he would personally pull the plug on the deal.

“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said. “It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, at any time.”

On two major issues, Trump flatly contradicted his own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who had briefed journalists on Thursday evening. Tillerson said that new restrictions on Iranian missile development and the permanent nature of the nuclear constraints could be laid down in a parallel agreement that could exist side by side with the 2015 deal and not trigger its collapse.

Furthermore, the president said he had ordered the US Treasury to sanction Iran’s “entire” Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Only hours earlier, Tillerson had said that was impractical for such a large organisation and that instead, selective sanctions would be used against individuals and entities responsible for arming and funding militant groups abroad.

The administration’s new, tougher policy on Iran appears to be a messy compromise between a president determined to obliterate the diplomatic legacy of his predecessor, and his top cabinet officials and US allies, who have sought to preserve the agreement as way of avoiding a new nuclear crisis in the Middle East.

The implications of that approach are unclear. The other signatories to the deal, including three European allies, Russia, China and Iran, have said renegotiation is impossible.

Within minutes, the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, issued a stinging rebuke to Trump’s threat, pointing out that the nuclear deal had been enshrined in a UN security council resolution in 2015, that could not simply be terminated by one country.

“To my knowledge there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN security council resolution that has been adopted,” Mogherini told journalists in Brussels. “The president of the United States has many powers, but not this one.”

But Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to praise the speech, in a video prerecorded before the beginning of the Jewish sabbath in Israel.

Netanyahu, who has for years lobbied for a tougher US policy against Iran and who had clearly been briefed on the content, said he wanted to “congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today” and for “boldly confront[ing] Iran’s terrorist regime”.

“President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression, and to confront its criminal support of terrorism. That’s why Israel embraces this opportunity,” he said.

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US stands against international treaty, will be isolated – Rouhani on Trump Iran strategy

Iran and its people have never and will never yield to pressure from any foreign government, the president added.

Rouhani dismissed America’s anti-nuclear rhetoric, saying the US is the only country to have ever used an atomic bomb.

Earlier on Friday, Trump announced that his administration will not certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and announced new sanctions against Tehran.

The US leader said he wanted Congress to come up with legislation that will amend the nuclear accord. If negotiations with Tehran on the amendments fail, “the deal will be terminated,” he warned.

This comes despite the International Atomic Energy Agency’s earlier confirmation that the Middle East state is in compliance with its obligations.

Trump has always been critical of the Iranian deal, which was signed in 2015 after years of negotiation by Tehran and a group of world powers, which included the US, UK, Russia, France, China, Germany and the EU.

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Arianna Huffington: It’s a ‘dangerous moment’ for tech companies

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