REUTERS – Barbra Streisand made music history on Wednesday by becoming the only performer to have a No. 1 album in each of the past six decades, as her latest release “Partners” topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The album sold 196,000 copies in its first week, according to sales figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. With her latest hit, Streisand also became the only female artist to grab the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album chart on 10 different occasions. She now holds fourth place on the list of acts with the most No. 1 albums, tailing The Beatles’ 19 chart-toppers, Jay Z’s 13 records and Bruce Springsteen’s 11. Streisand’s first No. 1 album came almost exactly 50 years ago when “People” hit No. 1 on the chart dated Oct. 31, 1964, Billboard said. “Partners” features Streisand singing classic songs with male artists, such as “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel, “Somewhere” with Josh Groban and “People” with Stevie Wonder. Streisand, 72, led a slew of new entries on the weekly Billboard 200 chart, which measures both physical and digital album sales. Rapper Chris Brown saw his latest album “X” enter the chart at No. 2 with sales of 145,000 copies. The album is the first since Brown was released from a Los Angeles jail in June after serving a one-year sentence for violating probation from his 2009 assault of pop singer Rihanna. Country singer Tim McGraw debuted at No. 3 with “Sundown Heaven Town,” while veteran country artist George Strait clocked No. 4 with his live record “The Cowboy Rides Away.” Other new entries include alt-rockers Train at No. 5 with “Bulletproof Picasso,” pop-rockers One Republic at No. 6 with “Native,” metal-rockers Motionless in White’s “Reincarnate” at No. 9 and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash featuring Myles Kennedy at No. 10 with “World On Fire.” Last week’s chart-topper, Christian music rapper Lecrae’s “Anomaly,” dropped to No. 8 this week. For the week ending Sept. 21, overall album sales tallied at 4.36 million albums, down 4 percent from the comparable sales week in 2013, while year-to-date sales totaled 171.3 million, down 14 percent from last year, Billboard said.


10:01 A.M. France’s defense minister says Algerian forces are hunting for the Muslim extremists who beheaded a French mountaineer over France’s airstrikes on the Islamic State group.

Jean-Yves Le Drian also said France, which has limited airstrikes so far to Iraq, would continue to evaluate whether to extend them to Syria, as the United States has done to thwart the extremists’ advances. He said French jets were in flight even as he spoke.

Le Drian told RTL radio on Friday that the goal of the groups is to “spread terror” after he was asked about the 30,000 French citizens living in Algeria.

Herve Goudel was seized Sunday while hiking in the Djura Djura mountains of northern Algeria. His Algerian companions were freed. (AP)

8:30 A.M. At least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led forces overnight in northeast Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.
The strikes also killed at least five civilians, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. U.S.-led forces started air strikes on Syria on Tuesday. (Reuters)

September 24

10:54 P.M. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Iranian President Hassan Rohani have met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the first such meeting since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

A Cameron spokesman said Wednesday the two leaders agreed to seek to progressively improve their bilateral relationship.

Cameron and Rohani noted the threat posed to the region by the Islamic State militant group and “agreed that all states in the region must do more” to cut support for terrorists groups.

Britain and Iran have recently taken steps to solidify relations.

The spokesman said Cameron and Rohani agreed it is vital to secure a comprehensive agreement in ongoing negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program. (AP)



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