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Tomjac80/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- United Nations human rights officials on Monday criticized the city of Detroit for shutting off water to customers behind on their bills, saying that the shutoffs discriminate against minorities.

Officials spent the weekend in Detroit "to learn more about the impact of water disconnections on the living conditions of individuals and households and on their human rights to water, sanitation and housing."

"Without water," the U.N. statement read, "people cannot live a life with dignity." Further, "when people are genuinely unable to pay the bill, it is the State's obligation to provide urgent measures, including financial assistance, a specially low tariff or subsidies, to ensure access to essential water and sanitation for all."

The city's water policy allows for water to be shut off to customers more than 60 days behind on their bills. This year alone, 27,000 households have had their water shut off in Detroit.

U.N. officials said that the city had raised water rates by 8.7 percent, passing on the expense of leakages in aging infrastructure.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Courtesy: Library of CongressWhile Billy Joel continues to pack fans into New York's Madison Square Garden every month -- as part of his ongoing residency there -- fans are still hoping that he might one day decide to make a new album.  But in a new interview with The New Yorker, Joel says that's not likely to happen.  "I've had my say," he explains.

"Some people think it's because I'm lazy or I'm just being contrary," the Piano Man tells the magazine, explaining why he hasn't put out an album of original pop songs since 1993's River of Dreams.  "But no, I think it's just -- I've had my say.  If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that's no reason to do it.  I'd want it to be good."

He adds, "I've seen artists on that treadmill, putting out albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and it's, like, 'Maybe you should stop.'"  In addition, Billy thinks actually recording a new album would just be too much of a hassle.

"I'm not crazy about going into a recording studio and doing that kind of life again, or taking on another project where there's other people involved -- arrangers and orchestrators and conductors and producers," he tells The New Yorker.  "I don't want to deal with it...You have to have a certain amount of ambition to want to do all that.  Joel adds, "And I look back at the guy who was the recording artist, this Billy Joel guy, and I think, Who the f**k was that guy?  He was very ambitious, very driven, and I don't feel like that anymore."

And then there's the personal aspect of it.  Billy says he doesn't want to write songs, only to have people pick them apart for clues to his personal life.

"I had gone through this celebrity craziness with Christie [Brinkley], and the divorce," he says, talking about the time of River of Dreams and its aftermath. "I felt like there was a proctoscope up my butt. Everybody interrogating, analyzing -- everything I wrote was fraught with meanings -- and I said, 'Wait a minute, I don't want to rip myself open and let everyone see everything.'  It was no longer comfortable.  'Enough! I gave you enough!'"

Still, Joel tells The New Yorker that he's been working on a series of "tone poems" called The Scrimshaw Pieces, which are meant to tell the history of Long Island.  However, he has no plans to release that music any time soon. In fact, he hasn't actually recorded a lot of it, and says he's even on the verge of forgetting some of it.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


AndersHP84/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOWARD, Kan.) -- A pair of F-16 fighter jets were involved in a mid-air collision on Monday in which one of the planes crashed and the pilot of the other was able to return to its base in Tulsa, Okla. and land safely.

According to the Oklahoma National Guard, the planes collided over Howard, about 110 miles away from Tulsa. The two jets were taking part in a training exercise when at the time of the crash. The pilot whose plane crashed was able to eject and was recovered safely.

Col. Max Moss of the Oklahoma National Guard said Monday that, "neither pilot was seriously injured in the accident," but that the pilot who ejected will be medically evaluated at a Wichita hospital.

No further information regarding the crash was immediately available.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services(BALTIMORE) -- A Maryland murder suspect was mistakenly released from prison on Friday, and state corrections officials say they didn’t even know the man was missing until Sunday night.

Rodriquez Purnell was awaiting trial on murder charges when he was released Friday evening from the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore. Purnell was charged in the St. Patrick’s Day 2013 shooting death of 27-year-old Terrence Rheubottom of Baltimore. Purnell also was convicted of assaulting a Department of Corrections employee after the inmate's arrest on the murder charge. Police have launched a manhunt for Purnell, who was still at large on Monday.

Maryland Corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli says the mistaken release was not discovered by officials until Sunday night. When they realized Purnell was gone, Vernarelli said officials informed law enforcement immediately, and put the information out to the public Monday morning.

Investigators are now trying to figure out how Purnell was released, and why no one in the system even knew he was missing for two days.

“We just don’t know yet what happened,” Vernarelli told ABC News. “We handle thousands of suspects awaiting trial, and this is very, very rare.”

In 2010, another Maryland inmate briefly found his freedom when he was mistakenly released by Maryland Corrections officials. Raymond T. Taylor was serving three life terms for the attempted murders of his girlfriend and her two daughters when he was released by mistake. Taylor pulled off his escape by successfully posing as another inmate. Corrections officials discovered Taylor had stolen the Correction’s Department inmate identification card of a cellmate, and passed himself off as the man, who had finished his sentence and was due to be released.

Taylor was captured a day later in West Virginia, and several Corrections Department employees were disciplined in the case.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been arrested in Redondo Beach and accused of domestic violence.

He was immediately suspended by the National Hockey League.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players says it can suspend a player during a criminal investigation. Voynov will continue to be paid while the investigation is ongoing, but he will not play. 

The last NHL player arrested for domestic violence was not suspended, but that was before the National Football League was criticized for how it handled Ray Rice's domestic violence arrest.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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