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Rick Springfield opens up about his battle with depression to give others ‘hope’

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Rick Springfield says he wants people contemplating suicide to 'know that the moment will pass'

PlayJerod Harris/Getty Images

WATCH Rick Springfield opens up about his battle with depression

Rock music icon Rick Springfield is speaking out about his decades-long battle with depression — which he says led him to contemplate suicide on multiple occasions — in hopes that his story will give others suffering from the disease "hope."

"I want them to have hope … and know that the moment will pass," Springfield, 68, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Paula Faris. "I'm an example of the moment passing, because I've been there a couple of times, and haven't … for want of a better phrase, pulled the trigger."

Rick Springfield reveals he considered suicide last year Rick Springfield explains why his music lasts

The Australian musician, who skyrocketed to fame in the 1980's with his hits like "Jesse's Girl" and "I've Done Everything for You," has opened up about his battle with depression before, writing about a failed suicide attempt at age 16 in his autobiography, "Late, Late at Night."

"I put the noose around the thing, and stood on a chair, and kicked it away, and hung there for a while, until I started to lose consciousness," Springfield told Faris of his adolescent suicide attempt.

PHOTO: Rick Springfield is seen here May 27, 2016.Tyler Golden/ABC via Getty Images, FILE
Rick Springfield is seen here May 27, 2016.

"The rope … broke, or came undone, or something," he added. "I still don't know what happened."

Decades later, Springfield said his depression still hadn't left him, and even led him to contemplate suicide again, just last year.

"I was close enough," Springfield said. "I worked my way through it. Which I've always done."

Springfield described his depression, which he calls "Mr. D," as something that "you kind of become acclimatized to … almost like a friend."

He added that suicidal thoughts are "part of my makeup."

'When you get to the really dark point nothing's enough'

The father of two said he has always "been very open" with his two children about his depression, saying: "They see the darkness in me."

He added that while he knows taking his own life would "devastate" his family, in his darkest moments, he isn't able to think about that.

"You think, 'They'll, you know, they'll get through it.' And they will, because we're human beings and we deal with stuff," he said, adding that during his worst bouts of depression, all he is able to think about is "just getting out."

"When you get to that point the pain is pretty intolerable," Springfield said.

However, Springfield said his family and the "feeling that there's some way that I can help this planet" is what makes him feel life is worth living.

PHOTO: Rick Springfield performs at the Ryman Auditorium, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta.Katie Darby/Invision/AP, FILE
Rick Springfield performs at the Ryman Auditorium, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta.

Despite his love for his family and his passion for helping the environment, Springfield said the fear that this is "not enough" still creeps in at times when you have depression.

"When you get to the really dark point, nothing's enough," he explained.

'Fame and success and money do not heal' depression: Springfield

The rocker also slammed the misconception that depression doesn't affect those who achieve fame or success.

"Accomplishment is nothing, it doesn't change who you are," he said. "That's a big belief. You know … 'If I have this house, I have this wife, if I have this car.'

PHOTO: Jacklyn Zeman and Rick Springfield on General Hospital, July 9, 1981.ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images, FILE
Jacklyn Zeman and Rick Springfield on "General Hospital," July 9, 1981.

"That's a big misconception," he added. "Fame and success and money do not heal."

While Springfield treats his depression with medication, he also says he is able to channel some of it into his writing and music.

"I try and write about it, definitely. It's a big motivator for me to sit down, and pick up a guitar, or start writing prose or whatever," he said.

"I don't know what where I'd be if I didn't have that out," he added.

Springfield's words are shedding light on a disease the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "a serious medical illness" and "important public health issue."

The disease "is characterized by persistent sadness and sometimes irritability (particularly in children) and is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women," the CDC said in a statement on their website.

If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns, trained crisis workers are available 24 hours a day through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Help is offered in English or Spanish. Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

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Entertainment

Trump mocked for golfing in lieu of volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Trump mocked for golfing in lieu of volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

PlayThe Associated Press

WATCH Trump mocked for golfing in lieu of volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

President Donald Trump found himself in the hot seat on Monday after he decided to go golfing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, breaking with a years-long tradition set by previous presidents who commemorated the holiday by performing civic duties.

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The late-night shows found the topic rich for attack on Monday night.

"In the past, Presidents Obama and Bush did volunteer work on this day to honor Dr. King. President Trump today played golf to honor him," Jimmy Kimmel said Monday on "Live." "He made his 95th visit since becoming president to one of the golf courses he owns: the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach. Just as Dr. King would have wanted, which is especially glaring considering the fact people have been calling Trump a racist all weekend."

PHOTO: President Barack Obama participates in a community service project at Leckie Elementary school in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and in honor of Dr. Kings life and legacy, Jan. 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Olivier Douliery/Getty Images, File
President Barack Obama participates in a community service project at Leckie Elementary school in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and in honor of Dr. King's life and legacy, Jan. 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The criticism came just one day after Trump declared that he is "not a racist" as he denied reports that he referred to Haiti and African countries as "s—hole countries."

"No, no, I'm not a racist," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you."

The comments were reportedly made during a closed-door meeting with members of Congress to discuss immigration on Thursday.

From tonight’s #LNSM: How Trump spent #MLKJrDay. pic.twitter.com/NJzACGP5IJ

— Late Night with Seth Meyers (@LateNightSeth) January 16, 2018

According to the reports, Trump also said the United States should accept more immigrants from countries like Norway.

Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show," tried to find humor in the situation — now referred to as 's—hole-gate.'"

"'I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed' seems like a ridiculous statement from Donald Trump, until you realize he was speaking to the chief reporter from the Klu Klux Kronicle," Noah said Monday evening.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama help paint a mural depicting Martin Luther King Jr., at the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter, Jan. 16, 2017 in Washington.Michael Reynolds/Getty Images
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama help paint a mural depicting Martin Luther King Jr., at the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter, Jan. 16, 2017 in Washington.

He pointed out that two U.S. lawmakers claimed they personally heard Trump make the vulgar remark, but he said the president’s alleged vulgarity was not his main concern.

"Him having a poo-poo mouth is not the story for me," Noah said. "The president of the United States condemning entire groups of people as worthless and undesirable based on what country they happen to be born in, that's the story."

Trump: “I am not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”

Really? The only way that’s true is if that reporter works for KKKat Fancy. The magazine for lovers of racist felines. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/rbsk69B8XY

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 16, 2018

Over on "The Late Show," host Stephen Colbert asked his guest, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., if he thought Trump made the controversial comments.

"I have no doubts," Schumer replied. "Donald Trump has lied so many times it's hard to believe him on anything let alone this.

PHOTO: President George W. Bush helps volunteers paint a mural at a high school during the Martin Luther King Jr day of service in Washington, Jan. 15, 2007. Brooks Kraft/Corbis via Getty Images
President George W. Bush helps volunteers paint a mural at a high school during the Martin Luther King Jr day of service in Washington, Jan. 15, 2007.

"His comments over and over and over again can be described as nothing but racist and obnoxious," he added.

TONIGHT: After Trump's sh*thole comments and a tweet attacking "Senator Dicky Durbin," #LSSC asks #WhatTheChuck?! @SenSchumer addresses the controversy and defends his fellow Democrat. pic.twitter.com/7SbDo9TTQS

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 16, 2018

Schumer also presented the president with a challenge that he said would prove that he wasn't racist.

PHOTO: President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore tear down a wall to begin renovation of the Regency House, a senior health center, Jan. 18, 1999 in Washington. Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images
President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore tear down a wall to begin renovation of the Regency House, a senior health center, Jan. 18, 1999 in Washington.

"Actions speak louder than words," Schumer said. "If you want to just begin the long road back to proving you're not racist or bigoted, support the bipartisan compromise three Democrats and three Republicans put on the floor, everyone gave, and get the Dreamers safety here in America.

"That's what he should do," he added.

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World

The Latest: EU foreign chief calls Kosovo, Serb leaders

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The Latest: EU foreign chief calls Kosovo, Serb leaders

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2017 file photo, Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, center, leaves the prison in the northern, Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica, Kosovo. Reports say unknown assailants have shot Ivanovic, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2018, and Serbia's state television says that doctors are struggling to save Ivanovic's life. (AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic, File)

The Latest on the shooting of a Serb politician in Kosovo (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The European Union's foreign policy chief has called the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo to express the EU's condemnation of the killing of Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic and make an appeal for calm.

The morning shooting came as both sides were about to start EU-mediated technical talks in Brussels on improving relations. It was unclear if there was any link between the two.

The EU said in a statement that Federica Mogherini said in her phone calls that the authorities in Kosovo should "spare no effort to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice without delay."

She also called on both sides "to show calm and restraint."

Mogherini last hosted the two presidents for talks last in September, the third such encounter last year. Talks between the two sides at a working group level should have resumed on Tuesday for the first time since the end of 2016.

———

1:05 p.m.

The international community has strongly denounced the slaying of a Serb leader in Kosovo.

The head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jan Braathu, on Tuesday said he was "shocked and deeply saddened" and considered Oliver Ivanovic as "among the most prominent Kosovo Serb representatives for almost two decades … (with) relentless engagement for the benefit of his community and has been a valued interlocutor in Kosovo."

"This will be a major test for rule of law in Kosovo," Braathu said.

The U.S. Ambassador to Pristina Greg Delawie called on judicial bodies "to investigate this incident swiftly and professionally, and bring the perpetrators to justice."

He also urged "all sides to avoid dangerous rhetoric and remain calm at this sensitive time, and recommit themselves to continue the work toward the normalization of relations and improvement of the lives of the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia."

Last weekend the State Department warned its citizens to "exercise increased caution in Kosovo due to terrorism."

———

12 noon

Kosovo prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj says he considers the slaying of Serb minority political leader Oliver Ivanovic as "a punishable criminal act."

Reacting on his Facebook page to Ivanovic's death earlier Tuesday, Haradinaj said that "exploiting this tragic act for daily political goals, even to block processes aiming at normalizing ties between two countries, is against the logic and spirit of cooperation."

The talks between Serbia and Kosovo at the European Union have been suspended after the killing.

"Kosovo remains committed to create a safe environment for all its citizens and is powerfully set in its Euro-Atlantic path," Haradinaj said.

He also insisted that Kosovo authorities will do their utmost to clarify the killing adding that they will "in no situation accept the logic of calculating criminal acts for political purposes by anyone."

———

11:30 a.m.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has strongly denounced the killing of a Serb political leader in the northern city of Mitrovica.

Oliver Ivanovic, leader of the Citizens' Initiative Freedom, Democracy, Justice party was shot dead Tuesday morning by still-unknown assailants.

In a reaction on his Facebook page Thaci called on law enforcement authorities "to throw light as soon as possible on the circumstances of the death so that the perpetrators are brought to justice."

He also urged citizens in the north to cooperate with police.

———

11:25 a.m.

The talks between Serbia and Kosovo at the European Union have been suspended after the killing of Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic.

The 28-nation EU said it "strongly condemns the murder" and it expects authorities "to spare no effort to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the EU calls on all sides "to show calm and restraint."

Talks between the two should have resumed on a technical level on Tuesday after they stopped in March last year when Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, then leader of the opposition Kosovo Future Alliance party, was detained in France pending a court decision whether he would be extradited to Serbia. He was released the following month.

———

11:20 a.m.

Kosovo police have officially confirmed the shooting death of Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic.

A statement Tuesday described how Ivanovic was shot at 8:10 a.m. near his office in Sutjeska Street in the northern city of Mitrovica.

Ivanovic was taken to the hospital where doctors confirmed his death.

The statement adds that about an hour later an Opel Astra car was found burned out in another Mitrovica street, and police believe that it was used by the perpetrators.

The investigation is continuing.

———

11:15 a.m.

Serbian state television says that the country's delegation has walked out of an EU-mediated dialogue with Kosovo leaders after the killing of a leading Serb politician in Kosovo.

The report said Tuesday that the Serbian team is on its way back to Belgrade from Brussels after unknown assailants shot and killed Oliver Ivanovic in Serb-held Mitrovica early Tuesday.

The killing is likely to heighten tensions in Kosovo amid attempts to normalize ties between the former foes. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade has refused to recognize the split.

Some 10,000 people died during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo which ended after NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999.

———

11:05 a.m.

Doctors say that Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic received at least five gunshot wounds to his upper torso when shot by unknown assailants.

Milan Ivanovic, the head of Mitrovica hospital and who is not related to the politician, said Tuesday that doctors attempted to save Ivanovic but could do nothing.

Unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic outside the offices of his political party in an action that is likely to stir tensions in Kosovo almost exactly 10 years after it declared independence from Serbia.

The region has remained tense despite efforts by EU officials to mediate talks between Serbia and Kosovo leaders on normalizing ties. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's independence.

———

11 a.m.

A Serbian official says that the killing in Kosovo of a leading Serb politician is a "criminal act of terror" aimed at pushing the volatile region into chaos.

Marko Djuric, the Serbian government's official dealing with Kosovo, said Tuesday that "whoever is behind this attack … whether they are Serb, Albanian or any other criminals, they must be punished."

Djuric adds that the attack earlier Tuesday on Oliver Ivanovic in Mitrovica "is an attempt to push the Serbian people into chaos, to push Serbia into chaos."

Kosovo remains tense, a decade after declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia does not recognize the split and EU-mediated talks have been underway in a bid to normalize ties.

About 10,000 people died in the 1998-99 war between Serb forces and Kosovo ethnic Albanian rebels.

———

10:55 a.m.

The Kosovo government has strongly denounced the slaying of a leading Serb politician in northern Mitrovica and says it consicers it to be a challenge to "the rule of law and efforts to establish the rule of law in the whole of Kosovo territory."

The government issued a statement Tuesday following the death of Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot in the morning outside the offices of his Citizens' Initiative party in the northern city of Mitrovica.

"Violence is unacceptable, without taking into consideration where it comes from and toward whom it is directed," said the statement.

The government also invited all citizens to cooperate and urged law-enforcement institutions to seize the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

———

10:40 a.m.

Serbian state television says that President Aleksandar Vucic has called a top security meeting after the shooting death in Kosovo of a leading Serb politician.

Vucic also will address the public at 1200 GMT on Tuesday about the death of Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot Tuesday morning in Serb-held northern Mitrovica.

Media reports say that unknown assailants opened fire at Ivanovic outside the offices of his Citizens' Initiative party in Mitrovica. Ivanovic's lawyer, Nebojsa Vlajic, confirmed Ivanovic died of wounds sustained in the attack.

The attack is likely to heighten ethnic tensions in Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

———

10:20 a.m.

The lawyer for leading Serb politician in northern Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic says he has been shot dead.

"Unfortunately, I wish it weren't true, but doctors declared Oliver dead at 9:30 this morning," Nebojsa Vlajic, Ivanovic's lawyer confimed to The Associated Press by phone.

Serbian media reported that unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic in front of the offices of his Citizens' Initiative Party.

The 64-year-old was one of the key politicians in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, a former Serbian province where tensions remain high a decade after it declared independence.

A Kosovo court convicted Ivanovic of war crimes during the 1998-99 war. That verdict was overturned and a retrial had been underway.

———

9:55 a.m.

Serbian media are reporting that a leading Serb politician in northern Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, has been shot.

There was no immediate confirmation by the police in Kosovo of the reported incident on Tuesday morning. Reports say unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic in front of the offices of his Citizens' Initiative Party.

Serbia's state television says that doctors are struggling to save Ivanovic's life, while Vecernje Novosti daily reported that Ivanovic has died.

The 64-year-old is one of the key politicians in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, a former Serbian province where tensions remain high a decade after it declared independence.

A Kosovo court convicted Ivanovic of war crimes during the 1998-99 war. That verdict was overturned and a retrial is underway.

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North Korea scoffs at Trump’s ‘nuclear button’ tweet

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North Korea scoffs at Trump's 'nuclear button' tweet

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Aug. 10, 2017, file photo, a man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea. North Korea's state-run media say U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet about having a bigger nuclear button than Kim Jong Un's is the "spasm of a lunatic." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

North Korea's state-run media say U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet about having a bigger nuclear button than leader Kim Jong Un's is the "spasm of a lunatic."

Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party newspaper, lashed out at Trump in a commentary on Tuesday that took issue with the U.S. commander in chief's Jan. 3 tweet that "I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

A summary of the commentary by North Korea's official news agency described the tweet as "the spasm of a lunatic."

"The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and people of the DPRK," the Rodong Sinmun commentary said, using the acronym for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "He is making (a) bluff only to be diagnosed as a psychopath."

That tone is not uncommon for the North Korean media.

But Trump's willingness to respond in kind — he has repeatedly called Kim "little rocket man" — is rare for an American leader and has led to several fiery verbal barrages since he took office nearly a year ago.

Trump has more recently suggested he might be willing to meet with Kim, and reportedly told the Wall Street Journal the two "probably have a very good relationship."

If so, however, the North's propaganda machine doesn't seem to have gotten the memo.

Trump's controversial "nuclear button" tweet was in response to Kim's New Year's Day warning that North Korea's nuclear arsenal is a real threat and that he has a nuclear launch button on his desk at all times.

Rodong Sinmun also recently ran a story about the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," which casts the president as a leader who doesn't understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides. Trump and other White House officials have blasted it as inaccurate.

The title of the book comes from a Trump quote about North Korea.

Last summer, Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" in an exchange of taunts with the North, which claimed it was examining plans to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam.

The book's sales reflect "rapidly surging anti-Trump sentiments in the international community," the article said. "The anti-Trump book is sweeping all over the world so Trump is being massively humiliated worldwide."

The book's popularity "foretells Trump's political demise," it concluded.

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Glowing red lava causes more to flee from Philippine volcano

Glowing red lava causes more to flee from Philippine volcano

The Associated Press
Lava continues to cascade down the slopes of Mayon volcano as seen from Legazpi city, Albay province, around 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines, at dawn Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Glowing red lava was rolling down the slopes of a Philippine volcano as authorities maintain a warning of a possible hazardous eruption. (AP Photo/Earl Recamunda)

Glowing-red lava spurted in a fountain and flowed down the Philippines' most active volcano on Tuesday in a stunning display of its fury that has sent more than 34,000 villagers fleeing to safety and prompted police to set up checkpoints to stop tourists from getting too close.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the lava flowed as much as 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the often cloud-shrouded crater of Mount Mayon, while ash fell on several villages in northeastern Albay province.

Officials strongly advised people not to venture into a danger zone about 6 to 7 kilometers (3.7 to 4.3 miles) around Mayon, including residents who want to check their homes, farms and animals, and tourists seeking a closer view.

"They say it's beauty juxtaposed with danger," Office of Civil Defense regional director Claudio Yucot said.

At least 34,038 people have been displaced by Mayon's eruption since the weekend from two cities and six towns, many of whom took shelter in schools turned into evacuation centers, Jukes Nunez, an Albay provincial disaster response officer, said by telephone. Others took refuge in the homes of relatives.

Albay officials declared a state of calamity in the province of more than a million people to allow more rapid disbursement of disaster funds, Nunez said.

"We have witnessed lava fountaining yesterday, that's why we have additional families who evacuated due to the threat," said Romina Marasigan, spokeswoman of the government's main disaster-response agency.

Renato Solidum, who heads the volcanology institute, said the flows cascading down the volcano were not generated by an explosion from the crater with superheated lava, molten rocks and steam, but were caused by lava fragments breaking off from the lava flow and crashing on the lower slopes.

Scientists have not yet detected enough volcanic earthquakes of the type that would prompt them to raise the alert level to four on a scale of five, which would indicate an explosive eruption may be imminent, Solidum said. Emergency response officials previously said they may have to undertake forced evacuations if the alert is raised to four.

In a bid to discourage villagers who insist on returning to the danger zones to check on their farm animals, officials planned to set up evacuation areas for animals, including water buffaloes, cows, pigs and poultry, Yucot said.

Temporary school sites were also being considered to ease the disruption to education after school buildings were turned into emergency shelters, he said.

Mayon is in coconut-growing Albay province, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila. With its near-perfect cone, it is popular with climbers and tourists but has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years, sometimes violently.

In 2013, an ash eruption killed five climbers who had ventured near the summit despite warnings. Mayon's first recorded eruption was in 1616 and the most destructive, in 1814, killed 1,200 people and buried the town of Cagsawa in volcanic mud.

The Philippines lies in the so-called "Ring of Fire," a line of seismic faults surrounding the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, killing about 800 people.

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The Latest: Kosovo leader: killing mustn’t stop talks

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The Latest: Kosovo leader: killing mustn't stop talks

The Associated Press
FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2017 file photo, Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, center, leaves the prison in the northern, Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica, Kosovo. Reports say unknown assailants have shot Ivanovic, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2018, and Serbia's state television says that doctors are struggling to save Ivanovic's life. (AP Photo/Bojan Slavkovic, File)

The Latest on the shooting of a Serb politician in Kosovo (all times local):

12 noon

Kosovo prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj says he considers the slaying of Serb minority political leader Oliver Ivanovic as "a punishable criminal act."

Reacting on his Facebook page to Ivanovic's death earlier Tuesday, Haradinaj said that "exploiting this tragic act for daily political goals, even to block processes aiming at normalizing ties between two countries, is against the logic and spirit of cooperation."

The talks between Serbia and Kosovo at the European Union have been suspended after the killing.

"Kosovo remains committed to create a safe environment for all its citizens and is powerfully set in its Euro-Atlantic path," Haradinaj said.

He also insisted that Kosovo authorities will do their utmost to clarify the killing adding that they will "in no situation accept the logic of calculating criminal acts for political purposes by anyone."

———

11:30 a.m.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has strongly denounced the killing of a Serb political leader in the northern city of Mitrovica.

Oliver Ivanovic, leader of the Citizens' Initiative Freedom, Democracy, Justice party was shot dead Tuesday morning by still-unknown assailants.

In a reaction on his Facebook page Thaci called on law enforcement authorities "to throw light as soon as possible on the circumstances of the death so that the perpetrators are brought to justice."

He also urged citizens in the north to cooperate with police.

———

11:25 a.m.

The talks between Serbia and Kosovo at the European Union have been suspended after the killing of Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic.

The 28-nation EU said it "strongly condemns the murder" and it expects authorities "to spare no effort to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the EU calls on all sides "to show calm and restraint."

Talks between the two should have resumed on a technical level on Tuesday after they stopped in March last year when Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, then leader of the opposition Kosovo Future Alliance party, was detained in France pending a court decision whether he would be extradited to Serbia. He was released the following month.

———

11:20 a.m.

Kosovo police have officially confirmed the shooting death of Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic.

A statement Tuesday described how Ivanovic was shot at 8:10 a.m. near his office in Sutjeska Street in the northern city of Mitrovica.

Ivanovic was taken to the hospital where doctors confirmed his death.

The statement adds that about an hour later an Opel Astra car was found burned out in another Mitrovica street, and police believe that it was used by the perpetrators.

The investigation is continuing.

———

11:15 a.m.

Serbian state television says that the country's delegation has walked out of an EU-mediated dialogue with Kosovo leaders after the killing of a leading Serb politician in Kosovo.

The report said Tuesday that the Serbian team is on its way back to Belgrade from Brussels after unknown assailants shot and killed Oliver Ivanovic in Serb-held Mitrovica early Tuesday.

The killing is likely to heighten tensions in Kosovo amid attempts to normalize ties between the former foes. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade has refused to recognize the split.

Some 10,000 people died during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo which ended after NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999.

———

11:05 a.m.

Doctors say that Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic received at least five gunshot wounds to his upper torso when shot by unknown assailants.

Milan Ivanovic, the head of Mitrovica hospital and who is not related to the politician, said Tuesday that doctors attempted to save Ivanovic but could do nothing.

Unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic outside the offices of his political party in an action that is likely to stir tensions in Kosovo almost exactly 10 years after it declared independence from Serbia.

The region has remained tense despite efforts by EU officials to mediate talks between Serbia and Kosovo leaders on normalizing ties. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's independence.

———

11 a.m.

A Serbian official says that the killing in Kosovo of a leading Serb politician is a "criminal act of terror" aimed at pushing the volatile region into chaos.

Marko Djuric, the Serbian government's official dealing with Kosovo, said Tuesday that "whoever is behind this attack … whether they are Serb, Albanian or any other criminals, they must be punished."

Djuric adds that the attack earlier Tuesday on Oliver Ivanovic in Mitrovica "is an attempt to push the Serbian people into chaos, to push Serbia into chaos."

Kosovo remains tense, a decade after declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia does not recognize the split and EU-mediated talks have been underway in a bid to normalize ties.

About 10,000 people died in the 1998-99 war between Serb forces and Kosovo ethnic Albanian rebels.

———

10:55 a.m.

The Kosovo government has strongly denounced the slaying of a leading Serb politician in northern Mitrovica and says it consicers it to be a challenge to "the rule of law and efforts to establish the rule of law in the whole of Kosovo territory."

The government issued a statement Tuesday following the death of Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot in the morning outside the offices of his Citizens' Initiative party in the northern city of Mitrovica.

"Violence is unacceptable, without taking into consideration where it comes from and toward whom it is directed," said the statement.

The government also invited all citizens to cooperate and urged law-enforcement institutions to seize the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

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10:40 a.m.

Serbian state television says that President Aleksandar Vucic has called a top security meeting after the shooting death in Kosovo of a leading Serb politician.

Vucic also will address the public at 1200 GMT on Tuesday about the death of Oliver Ivanovic, who was shot Tuesday morning in Serb-held northern Mitrovica.

Media reports say that unknown assailants opened fire at Ivanovic outside the offices of his Citizens' Initiative party in Mitrovica. Ivanovic's lawyer, Nebojsa Vlajic, confirmed Ivanovic died of wounds sustained in the attack.

The attack is likely to heighten ethnic tensions in Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

———

10:20 a.m.

The lawyer for leading Serb politician in northern Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic says he has been shot dead.

"Unfortunately, I wish it weren't true, but doctors declared Oliver dead at 9:30 this morning," Nebojsa Vlajic, Ivanovic's lawyer confimed to The Associated Press by phone.

Serbian media reported that unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic in front of the offices of his Citizens' Initiative Party.

The 64-year-old was one of the key politicians in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, a former Serbian province where tensions remain high a decade after it declared independence.

A Kosovo court convicted Ivanovic of war crimes during the 1998-99 war. That verdict was overturned and a retrial had been underway.

———

9:55 a.m.

Serbian media are reporting that a leading Serb politician in northern Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, has been shot.

There was no immediate confirmation by the police in Kosovo of the reported incident on Tuesday morning. Reports say unknown assailants opened fire on Ivanovic in front of the offices of his Citizens' Initiative Party.

Serbia's state television says that doctors are struggling to save Ivanovic's life, while Vecernje Novosti daily reported that Ivanovic has died.

The 64-year-old is one of the key politicians in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, a former Serbian province where tensions remain high a decade after it declared independence.

A Kosovo court convicted Ivanovic of war crimes during the 1998-99 war. That verdict was overturned and a retrial is underway.

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World

New US Embassy denigrated by Trump opens in London

WireAP_ef18c01f68664d159140fdd70a87bd28_12x5_992

New US Embassy denigrated by Trump opens in London

The Associated Press
A general view of the new United States Embassy building, with signs for the local railway stations outside, in London, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. President Donald Trump says he canceled upcoming trip to London because he doesn't like the choice of a new embassy. Some British lawmakers have questioned whether Trump would be welcome in London after some of his earlier comments. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The new U.S. Embassy in London, denigrated last week by President Donald Trump as too expensive and poorly located, opened its doors to the public Tuesday for the first time.

The gleaming embassy, in the formerly industrial Nine Elms neighborhood in south London, replaces the embassy in Grosvenor Square that had for decades been associated with the U.S. presence in the United Kingdom. That building has been sold to a Qatari government investment fund planning to turn it into a luxury hotel.

U.S. officials say it would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade security at the older building and bring it up to modern safety standards.

Trump tweeted last week that he would not come to London to open the embassy because the new embassy represented a poor investment.

The president's tweet read: "Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for "peanuts," only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

He blamed predecessor Barack Obama, although the project was announced in October 2008 during the presidency of George W. Bush.

U.S. officials say the new embassy cost $1 billion (1.38 billion pounds) and was paid for entirely with money raised by the sale of other U.S. government properties in London.

The new building, with its distinctive cube shape, is nearly twice as large as the Grosvenor Square facility. It is the single most expensive embassy building ever built by the United States.

Robert Johnson, appointed by Trump as U.S. ambassador to Britain, called the new energy-efficient embassy a "bargain" during a pre-opening tour for journalists last month. He said the embassy, which does not have a perimeter fence, is both welcoming and secure.

There were no ceremonies to mark the official opening of the facility Tuesday.

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