ABC News (SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore) — The U.S.-North Korea summit gives Dennis Rodman, one of few Americas to meet with Kim Jong Un, “a little more shine of a light” for his efforts to “bring peace between the two countries,” the former NBA star and somewhat informal ambassador to the North told “Good Morning America” Tuesday.“I just feel like that it [the meeting] almost didn’t happen you know, but I’m glad it did. I guess it gave me a little more shine of a light as far as like knowing the fact that I did something pretty, pretty historical as far as like bringing awareness to North Korea and some of the issues that’s over there,” Rodman said.He added: “People thought that I was trying to overstep my boundaries, thought I was a dignitary, an ambassador, human relations or something like that. But I was trying to be someone that brings peace between the two countries.”In the interview with “GMA” co-anchor Michael Strahan, Rodman, who is often criticized for his cordial relationship with the North Korean leader, praised his improbable friend.“I like the guy,” Rodman, 57, said. “I like the culture and he gave me the opportunity to get to know him. He’s a genuine guy.”“He actually cares about what goes on in the world. I don’t look at him as a dictator,” he added. “I look at him as more like a person who really wants to try to blend into the world.The former reality-TV star seemed to turn a blind eye to the perceived human rights violations committed in the isolated authoritarian state, including “an almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” and the use of prison labor camps, deliberate starvation, executions, and other methods of torture to deter dissent, according to a 2014 United Nations report.“I don’t know anything about him being a dictator,” Rodman said Tuesday. “I’ve never seen that side of North Korea.”“My heart’s never been in hatred and I hope this is a great start for Trump and Kim Jong Un. I hope people can put this behind,” he added.“I’m so thankful and fortunate we didn’t talk about politics. I think that would have ruined our friendship that we have right now.”After years of building a friendship with Kim through multiple visits to Pyongyang and their shared love of basketball, Rodman suggested that he played a supporting role in laying the groundwork that ultimately led to the summit by bringing “awareness” to North Korea.“I’ve said it from day one: I think the fact that people really didn’t realize what I was actually going to North Korea for,” he said. “People thought that what I was doing was more of a joke more of a stunt, more of a publicity stunt pretty much, and I was just trying to spread the word, the fact of why I was going over there because I like the guy. I like the culture and he gave me the opportunity to get to know him.”He also appears to be the only person who has personal relationships with both leaders at the high-stakes summit. Adorned in a “Make America Great Again” hat, the early Donald Trump supporter who endorsed then-candidate Trump in July 2015 in a tweet, delivered his full support for the president, telling ABC News, “Trump can have all the credit. I just want them to talk.”Rodman has known Trump since appearing on the reality-TV show “Celebrity Apprentice,” and said he spoke to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders before the summit.Sanders called to convey that “Trump was very pleased with the things that I’ve been saying about our country and about him,” Rodman said.As one of the most notable visitors in recent years to North Korea, Rodman is aware of his role as an informal diplomat but insisted he “never wanted to step on anyone’s toes” during this historic moment.“I’m just trying to speak just love throughout no matter what the situation is and I never wanted to step on anyone’s toes,” he said. “It’s a great, great step in moving forward in the world and I hope that we can continue this and I think it’s a great, great opportunity for the world to see what’s going to happen.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Related On Sunday 30 September – the Marina di Campo (Elba Island) between Corsica and the western coast of Italy – saw over 700 triathletes (individual and relays) take on the iron distance Elbaman and half iron distance Elbaman73.The staff of organising group Aethalia Triathlon had ‘prepared the competition area with precision and attention.’ The organisers also noted that the ‘race course is simply spectacular, with a hard and technical bike section.’In the half iron Elbaman73 (1.9K swim, 94K bike, 21.1K run), Italians Giuseppe Baldelli and Sara Dossena took the men’s and women’s titles.In the full distance Elbaman event (3.8K swim, 180K bike, 42.2K run), the rain accompanied the triathletes in the afternoon, making the going even tougher.The full distance event was very much an international affair, with a number of non-Italian triathletes seeking out Elba Island and the increasingly iconic Elbaman event. Here, the men’s win was claimed by Italy’s Matteo Annovazzi, with second place and first out of the water for Argentina’s Francisco Pontano. Spain’s Gregorio Caceres Morales took third place with ‘a great climb in the marathon.’In the full distance ‘Elbawomen race’, Austrian Monika Stadlmann claimed victory; with second place for the UK’s Michelle Parsons and third for Belgian Bianca Van Den Kieboom.The next edition of Elbaman is already set for 29 September 2013.www.elbaman.it
The steady rise in H7N9 influenza cases saw no let-up today, with seven new infections reported, including a fatal case from Hong Kong, the first case detected in China’s Guangxi province, and five cases reported from the country’s other hotspots.Health officials today also reported the first known family cluster in the outbreak’s second wave, involving a couple who worked a vegetable stall in a market in Zhejiang province and their adult daughter.Cases in Hong Kong and four provincesThe patient from Hong Kong, its fourth so far, is a 75-year-old man who got sick on Jan 26 while visiting the city of Shenzhen on China’s mainland and was hospitalized in Hong Kong yesterday, according to a statement today from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP). The man, who had multiple underlying health conditions, died this morning.He had traveled by himself to Shenzhen, where he spent 6 days at the home of a relative who lived close to a live-poultry market, the CHP said. So far the patient’s five family contacts in Hong Kong are asymptomatic.The man’s H7N9 case is the fourth to be detected in Hong Kong, and so far all had a history of recent travel to the mainland. Three of the patients died from their infections.Elsewhere, Guangxi province (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) announced its first H7N9 case today, in a 56-year-old woman who is in serious condition, according to a translation of a China News Network story posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog.The detection of the case pushes the range of the known cases south and west of the main outbreak area and near the border of northern Vietnam.The woman is a farmer and had been exposed to live poultry before she got sick, according to the story. She is hospitalized in the city of Hezhou in critical condition.The five other new cases reported today are from Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Fujian provinces, all of which have already reported cases. Two of the patients are young and appear to have milder illnesses.According to translations of provincial health statements posted by AFD, three patients from Zhejiang province are a 37-year-old man in critical condition and two men ages 60 and 63 who are in severe condition. Guangdong province’s case-patient is a 17-year-old boy listed in stable condition, and Fujian province’s case involves a 2-year-old boy who is hospitalized with a mild infection.The seven new cases today lift the outbreak total to 267, according to a case list compiled by FluTrackers infectious disease message board. and the Hong Kong man’s death raises the unofficial fatality count to 58. They also bump the number of illnesses reported in the second wave to 131, just five shy of matching the 136 cases reported during the first wave last spring.Family cluster investigationThe family cluster reported today involves three people from Zhejiang province, a 49-year-old man, his wife, and their 23-year-old daughter, according to a report from Xinhua, China’s state news agency. All three cases were previously reported.The man’s infection, which ultimately proved fatal, was confirmed on Jan 20. His daughter got sick 3 days after taking her father to the hospital, and she is in serious condition.The man’s wife’s infection was confirmed on Jan 27, and her illness is mild, according to Xinhua.Media reports in China yesterday, citing officials from China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the parents are from Xiaoshan and worked as vegetable dealers in a live-bird market before they got sick and that their daughter had worked at the market for a short time, the South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper based in Hong Kong, reported today.Health officials investigating the infections aren’t sure if the cases reflect human-to-human spread or if all involve exposure to a live-poultry source, the report said. A few family clusters were reported during the first H7N9 wave last spring, and health officials have said limited human-to-human transmission could occur, especially during prolonged unprotected contact with sick people.However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups have said so far there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human spread, and scientific studies suggest that so far the virus doesn’t transmit easily through airborne spread.WHO releases more case detailsIn a related development, the WHO today released new information on six H7N9 reports, including one death, that it received from China on Jan 27. Patient ages range from 58 to 77, and all had been exposed to live poultry before they got sick. Their illness onsets range from Jan 15 to Jan 21.The patient who died is a 68-year-old man who worked as a farmer in Guangdong province. The five survivors are all hospitalized in critical condition.The WHO said the report of H7N9 in live poultry in Hong Kong that was imported from the mainland shows the potential for the virus to spread through live poultry, but so far there is no sign of international spread through humans or animals.More sporadic cases are expected in affected and possibly neighboring areas, due to increased trade and transport of poultry around the Lunar New Year, the agency added.China H7N9 vaccine developmentIn other developments, Sinovac Biotech, Ltd., a pharmaceutical company based in Beijing, announced today that it has submitted a clinical trial application with China’s Food and Drug Administration to launch a human clinical trial of its H7N9 vaccine.The company said in a press release that the H7N9 vaccine is being developed using the same platform and production system as its seasonal flu, H5N1, and 2009 H1N1 vaccines. Sinovac said it has completed its preclinical studies, has prepared different vaccine candidates for clinical testing, and will start the human trials in a timely manner, once its application is approved.See also:Jan 29 CHP statementJan 29 AFD post on Guangxi caseJan 29 AFD post on Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Fujian casesFluTrackers human H7N9 case listJan 29 Xinhua storyJan 29 South China Morning Post storyJan 29 WHO statementJan 29 Sinovac press release
Both teams were into tight exchange early in the second set with the Lady Eagles up 8-6 but the Lady Spikers took the edge into the second technical timeout at 16-15. DLSU unloaded a 7-2 run capped by a hit from Luna for a 2-0 set edge.After losing the third set, the Lady Spikers recovered in the fourth with an 8-4 lead behind Luna and Ogunsaya. The Lady Eagles rallied to within 15-19 but DLSU came up with shots from Norielle Ipac and Cheng to preserve the win.Kat Tolentino tallied 16 points, including 13 attacks, while Bea De Leon and Julia Samonte added eight and seven markers, respectively, for the Lady Eagles./PN De La Salle University Lady Spikers’ Lourdes Clemente prepares for a shot in their game against Ateneo Lady Eagles at the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball on Sunday night at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. TIEBREAKER TIMES MANILA – De La Salle University Lady Spikers showed their dominance even with a rejigged roster after a 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19 win over Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball on Sunday night at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.Desiree Cheng led the way with 13 points, 14 excellent receptions and nine digs for the Lady Spikers, which tied University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses at 1-0.Rookie Jolina Dela Cruz and May Luna chipped in 11 markers apiece, while Ilongga Aduke Ogunsaya submitted 10 markers for the three-time defending champions Lady Spikers.The Lady Spikers went to a fiery start in the opening period as they lead 16-10 on back-to-back hits by Ogunsaya. Errors from the Lady Eagles side allowed the Lady Spikers to widen its lead further.
Sports physician Dr Akshai Mansingh says that the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) decision to end the 2019-20 football season, including the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), may have come down to a question of ensuring a prompt start to the next campaign or being willing to push back the schedule to complete the 2019-20 season. Last Friday, JFF President Michael Ricketts declared the football season null and void at all levels. No champions will therefore be named for the various competitions, as well as no promotion or relegation. The reaction has been mixed with RSPL clubs Mount Pleasant and Harbour View voicing their disappointment, while the managements of Waterhouse, Dunbeholden and Arnett Gardens have supported the move. When asked if the federation made the right decision, Mansingh said that it was difficult to determine but believes that the JFF would have had to take major factors into consideration, including the remaining RSPL schedule, players’ readiness and the state of lower league competitions that would have had promotion and relegation. He believes that these factors would have left the federation with a choice of trying to start the following season on time or be willing to delay to complete the season. “First and foremost, in my view, would be the remaining schedule and how it would infringe upon the start of a new season because football usually starts in September. So what you don’t want is to run one season into the other,” Mansingh who is also dean of the Faculty of Sport, University of the West Indies, Mona told The Gleaner. “And I think the decision that had to be made is – do you sacrifice the ending of this season to try and save the start of next season? Or do you delay everything down the line?” Other countries have taken the stance to end their seasons, while other top European clubs are deciding on a pathway towards resumption. Jamaica joins Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Argentina as some of the countries that ended their seasons. While Scotland, Belgium and Argentina declared champions based on their current rankings, Jamaica, like the Netherlands, will have no champions and have suspended promotion and relegation. Mansingh said that the players’ well-being would also have been a factor in the decision-making, as it would be difficult for local top-flight players to be brought in from different communities, thus increasing the risk of infection. “Unlike developed countries where club footballers can be kept in isolation for a week, you are looking at a scenario in Jamaica where players come from the communities and they are still under some amount of social distancing,” he said. “The reality is that if you bring footballers in Jamaica together to play a competition, you are potentially increasing the risk of exposure of these players, even without spectators, because they are coming from different communities.” Germany’s domestic leagues (Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2) made their return this past weekend under strict health protocols, which include isolation of players and staff, testing before matches and games played in empty stadiums.