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Country News

Last Update on December 22, 2014 08:11 GMT

LANCE BASS MARRIES

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lance Bass of 'N Sync has married his partner, Michael Turchin. People magazine reports Bass and Turchin were married at a hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday. Actresses JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Jamie-Lynn Sigler officiated. Bass tweets Turchin "makes me smile; he makes my heart melt; he makes me...me." All of 'N Sync attended the wedding except Justin Timberlake, who is on tour, and Bass says Timberlake felt bad he couldn't be there. E! will run a 90-minute special on the wedding on February 5.

ASHANTI STALKER TRIAL ENDS IN MISTRIAL

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ashanti is appalled that she might have to face her accused stalker in court again, but she'll do it to see the case through. A juror's illness prompted a mistrial during deliberations Thursday in Devar Hurd's case. He's charged for the second time in five years with harassing Ashanti or her relatives. He is representing himself in court, which means Hurd was able to question Ashanti face to face. Ashanti says she's "shocked and horrified at the thought of going through this ordeal again" but she will do whatever it takes to make sure her family is safe and justice is served. Hurd is accused of tweeting risque messages to Ashanti and of posing for a photo with Ashanti's sister, in spite of a court order not to contact her family. Hurd was convicted in 2009 of stalking and harassment.

USHER ASKS FOR RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST WOMAN

ATLANTA (AP) -- Usher is seeking a restraining order against a woman he says is stalking him and attempting to extort money. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Usher has filed a petition asking a court to prevent Darshelle Jones-Rakestraw from harassing him at home and on tour. Usher won a 12-month protective order against her after she was arrested for trespassing at his home in Atlanta in 2012. Usher's attorneys say Jones-Rakestraw called them demanding money and told members of his security team she was going to follow Usher on tour and "get him."

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN 2011 INDIANA STATE FAIR STAGE COLLAPSE

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants will pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August 2011. Seven people were killed and nearly 100 injured when high winds toppled the stage just before Sugarland went on. A confidentiality clause prevents the parties involved from disclosing how much each defendant agreed to pay. Sugarland had previously testified they had left decisions about whether concerts should proceed to their tour manager. Two investigations found the stage rigging did not meet industry safety standards and fair officials did not have a complete emergency plan.

SOUND:

<<CUT ..010 (12/22/14)>> 00:21 ""

Sound of Sugarland

Sound of Sugarland performing at a free concert in October 2011 to benefit the victims of stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.

<<CUT ..011 (12/22/14)>> 00:10 "what happened then"

Jennifer Nettles, Sugarland singer

At a free concert in October 2011, Jennifer Nettles said the Indiana State Fair stage collapse two months earlier changed everyone.

WHY DARLENE LOVE ENDED UP ON THE PIANO ON "LETTERMAN"

NEW YORK (AP) -- Darlene Love purposely ended up on top of the piano for this year's version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on David Letterman's show. It's so she wouldn't start bawling on national TV. Love tells The New York Times she would have broken down in tears if Letterman had tried to hug her. She knew Letterman would not come on top of the piano. She shook his hand instead. It was the 21st and final time Love performed "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on Letterman's show. He will end his run with CBS in May.

JACK WHITE'S EARLY SINGLE LOCATED TWICE

NASHVILLE (AP) -- It just might pay to rip apart your couch. Jack White's Third Man Records confirms two copies of the second single by The Upholsterers has been found. The Upholsterers was White's group with Brian Muldoon when they both worked as upholsterers in Detroit in 2004. They hid 100 copies of the vinyl single, called "Your Furniture Was Always Dead...I Was Just Afraid To Tell You," inside furniture they reupholstered. Third Man Records says the singles were found by two different people in two different pieces of furniture.

MADONNA RELEASES LEAKED SONGS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Madonna has rush-released six songs from her upcoming album. Her publicist says the six-song EP was released because several demos were leaked last week. Madonna says she had hoped to release the song "Living For Love" on Valentine's Day and the album, "Rebel Heart," in the spring. She says she prefers fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of incomplete tracks that are on the Internet. She says fans should consider the six songs "an early Christmas gift."

ECHOSMITH MARK CHRISTMAS WITH PJ'S

CHICAGO (AP) -- Echosmith are all about pajamas at Christmas. Singer Sidney Sierota (sih-ROH'-tah) says they always get pajamas on Christmas Eve, and no matter how silly they are, they must wear them. Sierota says it's getting more interesting now that they're getting older. Echosmith consists of four siblings, and their parents usually tour with them, so Sierota says it's not like they come home at Christmas to see their family because they're together all the time. She says they usually see a movie on Christmas Day and it always seems to be something like "Transformers."

SOUND:

<<CUT ..012 (12/22/14)>> 00:16 "of lives far"

Sidney Sierota (sih-ROH'-tah), singer for Echosmith

Echosmith singer Sidney Sierota says spending time with her family at Christmas is not that big a deal because they see each other every day on tour.

<<CUT ..013 (12/22/14)>> 00:10 "day I guess"

Sidney Sierota (sih-ROH'-tah), singer for Echosmith

Echosmith singer Sidney Sierota says Christmas at her house is pretty low-key.

<<CUT ..014 (12/22/14)>> 00:11 "to wear them"

Sidney Sierota (sih-ROH'-tah), singer for Echosmith

Echosmith singer Sidney Sierota says they have a Christmas tradition in her family.

<<CUT ..015 (12/22/14)>> 00:10 "I'll be honest"

Sidney Sierota (sih-ROH'-tah), singer for Echosmith

Echosmith singer Sidney Sierota says her family has a tradition of getting pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Entertainment News

SONY HACK - ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE

HONOLULU (AP) -- Is the hacking of Sony an act of terrorism?

Business News

US home sales dropped sharply in November

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans bought homes in November as buying slid to its slowest pace in six months.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

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ASSAULT RIFLE SANTA

CHICO, Calif. (AP) -- Santa's armed -- and that has some people upset in Northern California.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: NYPD KILLER RANTED ONLINE BEFORE SHOOTING

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's police commissioner says the gunman who killed two police officers had made online posts that were "very anti-police."

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