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DNY59/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who last week sentenced longtime GOP operative Roger Stone to more than three years in prison, on Tuesday expressed concern for the safety of a juror from Stone’s trial after President Donald Trump repeatedly accused her of being biased.

“The president of the United States used his Twitter platform to disseminate a particular point of view about a juror,” Jackson said Tuesday at a hearing in Washington, D.C. “Any attempt to invade the privacy of the jurors or to harass or intimidate them is completely antithetical to our system of justice. They deserve our protection. They deserve to have their privacy protected.”

Judge Jackson convened Tuesday’s hearing to take up a sealed motion for a new trial filed by Stone’s defense counsel, who cited alleged jury misconduct.

Meanwhile, Trump, while returning from his visit to India aboard Air Force One, dug in on criticism of Judge Jackson and the jury foreperson, calling her “totally biased, as is the judge.”

The president sent his tweet just moments after Judge Jackson took note of his prior tweets – and as the hearing was going on.

Stone, 67, was convicted of misleading congressional investigators on several key elements of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including communications he had with the Trump campaign about the WikiLeaks dissemination of damaging documents stolen from Democrats.

Stone was making a bid for a new trial just days after Judge Jackson sentenced him to 40 months in prison amid speculation about a possible pardon from President Donald Trump.

While details of both the request for a new trial and the Justice Department's subsequent opposition to the defense motion are mostly unknown because they're under seal, President Trump has claimed the jury was "totally tainted" and has called the jury forewoman "anti-Trump."

Stone's sentencing went on as planned last Thursday. Besides the 40-month prison term, Stone was sentenced to 24 months probation and fined $20,000. Stone remains free pending a decision on his motion for a new trial.

In the lead up to Jackson's call for a hearing on the matter, Stone's attorneys late Friday filed a motion for Judge Jackson to be dismissed from Stone's case and overseeing the bid for a new trial, citing Jackson's statements during Stone's sentencing a day earlier, which Stone's lawyers alleged indicated "an inability to reserve judgment on an issue which has yet been heard.”

In extended remarks before handing down Stone's sentence, responding to attacks on her, the Justice Department and the jury, Berman had said, "The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared."

Judge Jackson denied Stone's motion for her dismissal in court papers filed Sunday evening, pointing to the docket as evidence she's taken seriously every motion Stone has made since his Jan. 2019 arrest. “[T]he pleading appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the court's docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that had the words ‘judge' and ‘biased' in it,” Jackson wrote.

Earlier this month, unsealed court documents revealed that Judge Jackson denied a previous sealed motion for a new trial filed by Stone's defense team involving a post-trial objection to one of the jurors. The individual disclosed during the jury selection process that they had a legal background and had worked for the IRS.

President Trump last week addressed the sentencing of Stone, his longtime friend who briefly served as a campaign adviser in 2015, saying that what happened to him is "unbelievable" but stopping short of saying whether he would issue a pardon.

"I'm following this very closely and I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion," Trump said.

He went on to express his grievances with the forewoman of the jury, who came under scrutiny for social media posts she allegedly published prior to serving on Stone's jury. The activity was publicly reported just days before Stone's attorneys filed their most recent sealed motion for a new trial citing juror misconduct. The content was later removed.

Trump said the jury forewoman was an "anti-Trump person totally."

"It's my strong opinion that the forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury was totally tainted," he added.

According to the terms of Stone's sentencing, he is to voluntarily turn himself in to authorities to begin his prison term within two weeks of Judge Jackson ruling on his bid for a new trial.

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Danny Martindale/WireImage/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Welsh singer/songwriter Duffy, best known her 2008 hit, "Mercy," largely disappeared from the spotlight for the past decade, and in a candid Instagram post Tuesday she explained why.

Duffy, whose full name is Aimee Anne Duffy, shared that she was "raped and drugged and held captive over some days," but is "ok and safe now."

She did not share when or where the alleged incidents took place, but said she'd be answering questions in a "spoken interview" in the coming weeks.

A representative for her label did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine," Duffy wrote. "You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke."

Duffy, 35, last released a studio album, "Endlessly," in 2010. She shared that she decided to go public with her story after finding it "amazing" to discuss it with a journalist who'd reached out.

"You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter," she shared. "Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk."

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- "So far," a deal among the U.S., the Taliban and the Afghan government to reduce violence "is working," according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

But, Pompeo said, the U.S. will only sign an agreement with the militant group to withdraw American troops if that reduction holds until Saturday and is declared a success.

While the top U.S. diplomat hailed the temporary reduction as a "historic opportunity for peace," there are strong doubts about what comes next for Afghanistan, nearly 20 years after the U.S. invasion toppled the Taliban government that harbored the al Qaeda operatives responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. This comes after years of gains in equality and economic empowerment for women, as well as of devastating violence across the country.

The U.S. announced a deal with the Taliban and Afghan government last Friday to reduce violence for seven days, starting at midnight local time. While the Taliban claimed Saturday that it allowed them to still attack Afghan security forces, the U.S. and Afghan government -- which the Taliban refuses to recognize -- said it included Afghan troops and extended nationwide.

Since then, the truce has largely held, according to Pompeo: "It isn't perfect, but it's working," he told reporters Tuesday.

"If -- and only if -- it's successful," he added, the chief U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad and senior Taliban officials will sign a deal on Saturday that means the beginning of a "conditions-based and phased" U.S. withdrawal and the "commencement" of Afghan negotiations where "all sides of the conflict will sit down together and begin the hard work of reconciliation."

In particular, Pompeo was pressed Tuesday on whether the U.S. is committed to ensuring women's rights are defended in a future Afghan government. But he said that would be up to Afghan negotiators to decide, signaling it is not an explicit part of any U.S.-Taliban agreement.

"Our mission set there has been much broader than that," he said, latter adding "the Afghans will drive the solution."

The U.S. will assist those talks, providing structure and support along with other countries like Germany and Norway, he said.

The talks will bring together a Taliban delegation with other Afghan leaders, including tribal chiefs and members of the government. But because the Taliban rejects the government, those officials will have to participate in a "personal" capacity, even after being chosen by President Ashraf Ghani's administration.

Instead of guaranteeing any particular outcome from those talks, Pompeo made clear the phased U.S. withdrawal will depend only on the Taliban's commitments to the U.S. -- sitting for those negotiations in the first place and, perhaps more importantly to the administration, severing ties to terrorist groups.

"We're not required to leave unless they can demonstrate they are fulfilling every element of their end of the bargain," he said. "Our conditions-based withdrawal sets a high bar for the things that will take place in order for America to ensure that we can accomplish both of those missions" -- peace and reconciliation among Afghans and keeping the U.S. homeland safe, he added.

While Pompeo said he was "very confident" that women's rights "will be addressed as part of these conversations," the withdrawal of U.S. forces doesn't seem contingent upon it -- and that's what has women's rights advocates most concerned.

"What we Afghan women fear is that this situation will get worse after international forces withdraw from Afghanistan next year. We fear we will lose our rights and security, particularly if the Taliban are brought back into government," according to Tamana Heela, an Afghan women's rights activist. "Afghan women need continued international support to ensure that doesn't happen."

It's a message that Afghan women have tried to press upon Khalilzad -- the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations -- during his year and a half of negotiations with the Taliban.

The Taliban have been "calling the shots," Mahbouba Seraj, a women's rights activist, told ABC News last June. "They want to get anything and everything the way they want to. Amongst them, of course, is our freedom, whatever we have so far and what we have worked so hard with the help of the world to get for the last 18, 19 years."

A State Department official told ABC News at the time that U.S. negotiators "assert that civil rights must be protected in any peace agreement, and that women must be an integral part of intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations."

They have also made clear that any future relations with the U.S. and the rest of the international community "will rest in part on what [Afghanistan] does to maintain the civil rights of women," the official added.

But Pompeo has also stressed since last spring that it is the role of Afghan women to speak up and demand equality -- an act that has gotten many, including Heela's mother, killed.

"I hope the women of Afghanistan will demand that of their leaders," he told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in April. "We've always done our part there."

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tonefotografia/iStock(NEW YORK) -- It's an all-too-common complaint among families who fly: pay an additional charge to make sure you children are seated with you or run the risk of having even babies and toddlers seated among strangers.

The practice of paying for an advance seat assignment used to apply only to low-cost, no frills carriers like Spirit. But in recent years, major airlines like American, Delta and United have also tacked on a fee that consumer advocates say disproportionately targets families.

"Airlines can easily fix this, but they haven’t. Doing so would mean giving up millions of dollars in fees from parents who simply want to keep their kids safe," reads a new petition from Consumer Reports, which has more than 60,000 signatures so far.

It comes after Consumer Reports used the Freedom of Information Act to look at complaints against the airlines on this topic.

"In multiple cases, children under 5 years old were seated apart from the adults traveling with them," an article read. "Consumers resorted to asking strangers to trade seats or, when that failed, were asked to deplane or chose to leave out of concern for their children. In the worst cases, families who had to re-book their flight to ensure they were seated together paid thousands of dollars more, in one case totaling $4,341 more and in another case totaling an additional $14,084."

Consumer Reports filed the FOIA request in the summer of 2018 to find out the status of the 2016 Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, which included a provision that required the Department of Transportation to review airline family seating policies to ensure young children can sit with their families on airplanes at no cost.

"One year later [after the summer 2018 request], CR got a response to its FOIA request and learned that the agency doesn't plan to ask the airlines to make any changes to their family seating policies," Consumer Reports told "Good Morning America" via email. "The DOT cited a lack of complaints for its decision not to act. This fall, CR began publicizing the issue and, in just two weeks, generated three times as many complaints as the DOT received in the previous two years."

The petition, found here, reads:

"To American, Delta, and United Airlines:

"Children 13 or under should sit with their families while flying, and should not be charged extra fees to do so. Complaints have been filed against your airline for separating children as young as age 2 from their families. This is a security hazard for the child and a safety threat to all passengers during emergencies. It also puts an inappropriate burden on customers who sit next to an unaccompanied child.

"I expect you to put safety over profits, and seat children with their families without charging them extra for it."

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Sure, he starred as the titular hero Darkman back in the day, and played the heavy Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins, but Liam Neeson says he's done with superhero movies.

While he doesn't go full Scorsese -- expressing he does "admire" them -- Neeson tells Entertainment Tonight, "I'm really not a huge fan of the genre."

He adds, "I think it's Hollywood with all the bells and whistles and the technical achievements and stuff -- which I admire -- but I have no desire to go into the gym for three hours every day to pump myself up to squeeze into a Velcro suit with a cape."

He adds, diplomatically, "I admire the actors and I know some of the actors who do it, and do it fantastically."

For that matter, while he did revisit his Star Wars: Episode I character Qui-Gon Jinn -- at least in voiceover, in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- fans shouldn't expect Neeson to wield a lightsaber again, either.

"The first Star Wars, I was in that, that was 22 years ago, and I enjoyed that, because it was novel and that was new. I was acting to tennis balls, which were ultimately going to be little fuzzy, furry creatures and stuff. That was interesting, acting-wise, to try and make that seem real, but that was the last. It's quite exhausting."

However, Neeson, who in his 60s became an action movie star with the Taken series and similar thrillers, isn't similarly done with that genre.

"I'm just trying to make them real, even though they're absolutely crazy Tom and Jerry-esque type situations. But I try. If it's dumb dialogue..."

He confesses, "Sometimes it works, other times, it doesn't."

Neeson currently co-stars in the drama Ordinary Love.

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ABC News(DAEGU, South Korea) -- A family member of a U.S. service member has been diagnosed with coronavirus -- officially called COVID-19 -- in South Korea, as the number of cases in that country continues to explode and the U.S. military considers scaling back its exercises with South Korean forces due to the virus.

In a press release on Monday, U.S. Forces Korea announced that it had been informed by South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a military dependent living in Daegu had tested positive for COVID-19. It marks the first time a U.S. Forces Korea-related individual tested positive for the virus, the release said.

In a tweet on Monday, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea Gen. Robert Abrams identified the 61-year old female patient as the widow of a retired soldier.

"We are saddened to hear of her contracting the virus," Abrams tweeted. "We pray for her recovery."

According to the release, the woman visited the Camp Walker Post Exchange on Feb. 12 and 15. Korean and American military health professionals are now "actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed."

In response, U.S. Forces Korea has ordered personnel to limit non-mission essential in-person meetings, gatherings, and temporary duty travel and assignments. It's also warned personnel to "expect longer wait times, possible temperature checks and screening questionnaires at gates to access installations" and instructed personnel to limit off-installation travel. The overall risk of COVID-19 to U.S. military personnel on the Korean Peninsula is now characterized as "high."

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Monday that the U.S. may scale back military exercises with South Korean forces due to the spread of the virus.

At a Pentagon press conference with the South Korean defense minister, Esper said that military commanders "are looking at scaling back the command post training due to concerns about the coronavirus," though no decision has been made.

Over the weekend, the U.S. State Department raised the travel advisory level for South Korea and Japan to level 2, citing the COVID-19 outbreak. The alerts say that "sustained community spread has been reported in South Korea," meaning people in both countries "have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued its highest travel warning for South Korea on Monday, telling Americans to avoid non-essential travel and citing limited access to medical care in areas affected by the virus.

As of Tuesday, more than 975 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in South Korea, many in the southeastern city of Daegu where the soldier's widow contracted the virus. The nation has also seen 11 COVID-19 related deaths.

Alex Johnson, an American living in Daegu with his family, told ABC News on Sunday that "daily life has changed for us."

"Everybody's wearing masks and gloves," he said.

Video taken by Johnson showed empty streets and closed restaurants.

"And if you look at this coffee shop here, this says right here: Corona-19 Virus," Johnson said pointing to a sign on the coffee shop window. "They're closed because of the virus. They're not closed because they had a virus problem here, but they're closed because they had a safety. So basically, most people in our neighborhood are just staying indoors and they're not going out and doing anything."

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TuelekZa/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Puerto Rico women’s basketball team is going to the 2020 Olympics and are making history in the process.

The team has qualified for the Olympics for the first time ever, according to the International Basketball Federation. Although they lost to France in an 89-51 final at the qualifying tournament on Feb. 9, the team secured their spot after Brazil was eliminated by Australia.

“It was an emotional moment ... an exciting moment," Tayra Meléndez, a forward on the national team, told ABC News about their triumphant win.

The women's basketball team has now become the fifth team in Puerto Rico's history to participate in the Olympic games, following men's basketball, baseball, women's volleyball and women's softball.

Inspiring an Island

The team’s victory is especially significant as the island continues to reel from recent deadly earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that rattled the island on Jan. 7, leaving one person dead, destroying several homes and leaving thousands without power. Residents on the island are also still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastation in September 2017.

"Hurricane Maria was big for us ... it was hard. It was a time where everybody suffered on the island. It was really, really tough," Gerardo "Jerry" Batista, the head coach of the team, told ABC News.

"[We were] trying to bring some good news to the people of Puerto Rico. That was great for us ... that was the goal, that was the motivation," Batista said.

Meléndez, 26, was born in Puerto Rico and later moved to Massachusetts with her parents. During her childhood, she recalls growing up on the island with her grandmother, who later passed away. Meléndez, who changed her jersey number in memory of her grandmother, said that she's grateful for the chance to carry on her family's legacy.

“She loved Puerto Rico more than anything in this world ... when I put that jersey on, it’s a reminder of everything beautiful that is that island," Meléndez said.

She said that despite all the obstacles that her fellow teammates have faced both "emotionally and physically," every challenge has only brought them closer together as a team.

"We are a family within each other," Meléndez said.

Supporting Women in Sports

Coach Batista believes that the island’s commitment and investment into the team have played a major role in the team’s success. He said that Yum Ramos, president of the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation, is among those supporters.

Ramos, who was elected to the role in 2016 after serving as tournament director for the women’s professional league, said his administration has consistently ensured that the Puerto Rico women’s basketball team was made a priority.

Not only did the team receive additional financial support, including new uniforms and increased salaries, but their financial support has now matched their male counterparts.

For Ramos, his personal dedication to the team derives from his upbringing with his mom teaching him the importance of "treating women equally."

"We believe in them ... and gave them everything they needed to be successful," Ramos told ABC News.

Meléndez, who was named director of Basketball Operations at Bryant University in Rhode Island last year, said she's especially proud of how far the team has come considering the sacrifices that many of the players have made to play -- including several of them also balancing other side gigs.

"My advice to any young girl would be to love the process ... love every minute of it. The good days and the bad days ... [and] with time, you’ll see the results," she said.

The 2020 Olympics kick off on July 24 in Tokyo.

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