Talk Media News

Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.


Quick News

  •  Obama to Britain: Stay in EU
  • Top aide: Trump “projecting an image”
  • Prince is dead: Hints of failing health 
  • Prince: Dead at 57 
  • Syria peace talks about to collapse?
  • UN climate deal: Inked today

Obama to Britain: Stay in EU (NYT, Telegraph, Politico, me)
• President Obama has called on the British people not to vote for an exit from the European Union, writing in an op-ed published on his arrival in London late Thursday night that the “European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it.” (was surprise – he’d been expected to be low-key) Britons will vote on 23 June in a referendum on whether to remain in or leave the bloc
• The vote is expected to be close. Some advocates of quitting have criticized Obama’s intervention. London’s charismatic conservative mayor, Boris Johnson, one of the public leaders of the “out” campaign, has accused Obama of hypocrisy because the U.S. doesn’t share sovereignty with its neighbors the way Britain now does with the EU
• “And in today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today’s challenges demand,” the president wrote. Obama makes his first visit to Windsor Castle today for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, a day after her 90th birthday. Dinner with Princes William and Harry tonight
• But Obama arrives with a grim warning that he will deliver in a series of meetings with several political leaders: Europe is in danger of being pulled apart by threats to its security and economy that can be overcome only by greater cooperation and a unity that appears increasingly elusive. Obama meets in Germany Sunday with Chancellor Angela Merkel
• In a meeting planned for this afternoon with PM David Cameron (appalling minus 25% popularity), Obama will urge his counterpart to increase intel sharing and cooperation among European countries so that they can better counter terrorist threats, including attacks by ISIS and al Qaeda, aides to the president said. There’s a presser scheduled following the meeting (should be fun)

• Prince performs “Purple Rain” in full +++ here’s 30 seconds of Prince’s final performance of “Purple Rain” taken with a (disallowed) phone at his final concert in Atlanta last week

Top aide: Trump “Projecting an Image” (AP, NYT, NYT, me)
• Donald Trump’s newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort, made the case to Republican National Committee members at a Florida spring meeting Thursday that Trump has two personalities: one in private and one on stage. “When he’s out on stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose.” (so a fake?)
• “He gets it,”Manafort said of Trump’s need to tone down his personality. “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.” (hate to say it – again – I said this months ago – dunno about the negatives)
• Some party officials suggested the message raised doubts about Trump’s authenticity. (ya think?) Meanwhile: “I don’t know if I want to do it yet,” Trump said during a raucous rally in Harrisburg, Pa., that was frequently interrupted by protesters. He predicted that the size of the crowd would dwindle if he dialed back his rhetoric (question is whether the crowd will go with him)
• Meanwhile, prominent Southern Democrats urged Bernie Sanders to stop dismissing Hillary Clinton’s landslide primary wins across the South, where the front-runner’s popularity among non-whites has helped fuel her success. Sanders said the results in the South “distort reality” because they come from the country’s “most conservative region.”

• The Republican National Committee’s rules committee chose to punt on changing the rules for how a presidential nominee is chosen in a contested convention, including one rule that could have made it more difficult for party leaders to nominate a “white knight” candidate – someone not currently in the race – who could take on Trump and Cruz (Hill)


• Don Fowler of South Carolina, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee, and other Clinton supporters, told Sanders in a letter that “our national Democratic leaders” should “invest in our races and causes – to amplify our voices, not diminish them.”
• VP Joe Biden, meanwhile, told the NYT, “I like the idea of saying, ‘We can do much more,’ because we can.” “I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big – we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic..’ C’mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.'” (think he’s feeling the Bern a bit)
• Trump waded into the transgender bathroom debate Thursday on NBC’s Today show, saying North Carolina’s bathroom law has caused unnecessary strife and transgender people should be able to choose which bathroom to use. “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” Trump said
• Rival Ted Cruz pounced, lashing out at Trump’s “support of grown men using women’s bathrooms.” Cruz said that Trump had aligned himself with President Obama and Hillary Clinton. “Have we gone stark raving nuts?” he asked. “I am waiting for the new baseball caps: Make PC Great Again,” Cruz joked

Prince is Dead: Hints of Failing Health (NYT, TMZ, me) 

• Prince was discovered not breathing in an elevator after an emergency call at 9:43 am on Thursday at Paisley Park, which houses his estate and studio. There will be an autopsy today. There had been reports of a health scare during a flight on Friday. A rep had insisted for weeks that Prince had only had the flu
• A week ago, Prince gave his final public performance, two sets in one night in Atlanta, making up for canceled shows earlier this month. Prince told the crowd he had been “a little under the weather” on 7 April.Nicholas Wolaver, a fan who attended the early show, said it was an “amazing performance.” One fan recorded on his cell phone (against Prince’s wishes)
• But the following day, TMZ reported that Prince’s plane had made an emergency landing in Moline, Ill, en route to Minnesota, where, TMZ says, he was treated for a drug overdose with a “save shot,” according to what TMZ says are “multiple sources.” Doctors advised Prince to stay in the hospital for 24 hours, but he left when he couldn’t get a private room, TMZ reports
• Saturday, Prince announced a party at Paisley Park, and all seemed well. Also, Kaitlyn Powell, 17, saw him riding bikes with a companion around a strip mall on Saturday. He requested her not to take a picture of him with her phone. She agreed
• That morning, Prince had noted that it was Record Store Day, and that evening stopped in at Electric Fetus to make a purchase. Tuesday night, he was spotted at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis. “For the residents of Minneapolis, the loss of Prince is too large to describe,” wrote Mayor Betsy Hodges in a statement on Thursday


• There’s an all-night dance party going on (depending what time you’re reading this) outside the downtown Minneapolis nightclub where “Purple Rain” was filmed. A sea of people gathered in front of First Avenue Thursday night to sing and dance to covers of Prince songs


Prince: Dead at 57 (NYT, me) 
• Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57. No cause given. He was a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres
• In a career that lasted from the late 1970s until his solo “Piano and a Microphone” tour this year, he was acclaimed as a sex symbol, a musical prodigy and an artist who shaped his career his way, often battling with accepted music business practices. He was known for keeping his music off Spotify and YouTube
• “When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to,” he said when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 (read the full NYT obituary – can’t do it justice)

• Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – 2004 Hall of Fame induction – watch Prince’s unbelievable guitar solo starting at 3:30 – he owns the stage – and knows it, as he should – look for brief, sly smile)


• A seven-time Grammy winner, Prince had top 10 hits like “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy, “Kiss” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” With the 1984 film and album “Purple Rain,” he told a fictionalized version of his own story. Its music won him an Academy Award. He sold over 100 million albums
• In a statement, President Obama said, “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.” “He was a virtuouso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.” The first couple were fans. Last year, Prince played a secret concert at the WH
• His music was a cornucopia of ideas: triumphantly, brilliantly kaleidoscopic. A trove of Prince’s recordings remains unreleased, in an archive he called the Vault. Like much of his offstage career, its contents are a closely guarded secret, but it’s likely that there are masterpieces yet to be heard

• Prince’s full Super Bowl half time show 2007 played in the pouring rain – culminating with epic performance of “Purple Rain” in a downpour (Deadspin)


Syria Peace Talks About to Collapse? (Reuters, me)
• The U.S. said on Thursday it was concerned about reports that Russia is moving more military equipment into Syria to bolster President Assad, with a truce in tatters and peace talks in meltdown (could be a year before new talks, according to diplomats)
• Assad Zoubi, chief negotiator for the main Syrian opposition, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said all its members will leave the peace talks in Geneva today, with little prospect of a resumption, unless the situation on the ground changes radically
• UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura will decide today whether talks to end the five-year war that has killed at least 250,000 people can go on without the HNC, and with combatants accusing each other of breaking a February ceasefire deal
• The HNC, which is backed by Western nations and key Arab states, had this week urged more military support for rebels after declaring the truce was over and said talks wouldn’t restart until the govt stopped committing “massacres.” Govt negotiators say Assad’s presidency is non-negotiable. The opposition wants a political transition without Assad
• France, which accused the govt of rushing “headlong” into violence and showing its refusal to negotiate a political solution, said it would consider with other European powers and the U.S. the idea of convening a ministerial meeting of major powers in the next two weeks to work out what to do

  Prince rips through “Honky Tonky Woman” – rare footage – 1993 bootleg with two core members of The New Power Generation. +++ Prince, Michael Jackson and James Brown share a stage on 20 August 1983 – this one is surreal


UN Climate Deal: Inked Today (AP, me)
• As many as 170 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change today, which is Earth Day, in a symbolic triumph for a landmark deal that once seemed unlikely but now appears on track to enter into force years ahead of schedule. Secstate John Kerry will represent the U.S. at the UN in New York
• UN officials say today’s signing ceremony will set a record for international diplomacy: Never before have so many countries inked an agreement on the first day of the signing period. That could pave the way for the pact to become effective long before the original 2020 deadline – possibly this year – though countries must first formally approve it domestically
• The U.S. and China, which together account for nearly 40% of global emissions, have said they intend to formally join the agreement this year. Under the deal, countries set their own targets for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The targets aren’t legally binding but countries must update them every five years
• The Obama admin says the deal is consistent with existing U.S. law and doesn’t require the approval of the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would likely face stiff resistance. The admin is expected to treat the deal as an executive agreement, which needs only the president’s approval


• Rocking into the weekend with the full concert: Prince – 30 January 1982 Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ (hang on – wait – until 2:15) 

Get it fast. Sign up here for Quick Morning News

Victoria Jones – Editor