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Kim Jong whereabouts has been unknown as North Korean state media remain silent

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North Korean state media on Wednesday made no mention of leader Kim Jong-un’s health or whereabouts, a day after intense international speculation over his health was sparked by media reports he was gravely ill after a cardiovascular procedure.

North Korean media presented a business as usual image, carrying routine reporting of Kim’s achievements and publishing some of his older, or undated, comments on issues like the economy.

South Korean and Chinese officials and sources familiar with U.S. intelligence have cast doubt on South Korean and U.S. media reports that he was seriously sick, while the White House said it was closely monitoring the matter.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who held unprecedented summits with Kim in 2018 and 2019 in an attempt to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons, said the reports had not been confirmed and he did not put much credence in them.

“We’ll see how he does,” Trump told a White House news conference on Tuesday. “We don’t know if the reports are true.”

North Korean state media remained silent on Wednesday on the health and whereabouts of leader Kim Jong-un, amid recent speculation that he was gravely ill. Joe Davies reports. Reuters

Speculation about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on April 15.

On Wednesday, the main headlines from the North’s state news agency, KCNA, included pieces on sports equipment, mulberry picking, and a meeting in Bangladesh to study North Korea’s “juche” or self-reliance ideology.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper carried older or undated remarks attributed to Kim in articles about the economy, the textile industry, city development, and other topics.

As usual Kim’s name was plastered all over the newspaper, but there were no reports on his whereabouts.

A spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House said they could not confirm Kim’s whereabouts, or whether he had undergone surgery. South Korea had detected no unusual activity in North Korea, the spokesman said.

’EXTENDED SILENCE IS UNUSUAL’

Daily NK, a Seoul-based website, reported late on Monday that Kim, who is believed to be about 36, was hospitalized on April 12, hours before the cardiovascular procedure.

The report’s English-language version carried a correction on Tuesday to say the report was based on a single unnamed source in North Korea, not multiple as it earlier stated.

It said his health had deteriorated since August due to heavy smoking, obesity and overwork, and he was now receiving treatment at a villa in the Mount Myohyang resort north of the capital Pyongyang.

“It does look like something is going on, based on the repeated absences of last week,” said Chad O’Carroll, CEO of the Korea Risk Group, which monitors North Korea.

“A health issue seems to be the most logical explanation for all this, but whether or not it’s cardiac-related seems to be too early to tell.”

On Tuesday, CNN reported an unidentified U.S. official saying the United States was “monitoring intelligence” that Kim was in grave danger after surgery.

However, two South Korean government officials rejected the CNN report. China, North Korea’s only major ally, also dismissed the reports.

Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, told Fox News the White House was monitoring the reports “very closely.”

“There’s lots of conjecture going around,” a senior Trump administration official said on condition of anonymity late on Tuesday when asked if there was confirmation of the reports.

North Korea experts have cautioned that hard facts about Kim’s condition are elusive but said his unprecedented absence from major celebrations for his grandfather’s birthday last week signals that something may have gone awry.

Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean deputy ambassador to Britain who defected to South Korea in 2016, said state media’s extended silence is unusual because it had in the past been quick to dispel questions about the status of its leadership.

“Every time there is controversy about (Kim), North Korea would take action within days to show he is alive and well,” he said in a statement.

His absence from the April 15 anniversary ceremony, in particular, was “unprecedented,” Thae said.

’IN THE FAMILY’

Kim is a third-generation hereditary leader who rules North Korea with an iron fist, coming to power after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011 from a heart attack.

Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult, especially on its leadership. There have been past false reports regarding its leaders, but the fact Kim has no clear successor means any instability could present a major international risk.

Trump said he had asked Kim about succession in the past but declined to elaborate.

“The basic assumption would be maybe it would be someone in the family,” said O’Brien. “But, again, it’s too early to talk about that because we just don’t know what condition Chairman Kim is in.”

With no details known about Kim’s young children, analysts said Kim’s sister and other loyalists could form a regency until a successor is old enough to take over.

In recent years, Kim has launched a diplomatic offensive to promote himself as a world leader, holding three meetings with Trump, four with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and five with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I don’t recall any other time we were in such a good relationship with North Korea,” said Lee Eun-ji, a 28-year-old nurse in Seoul.

“If his health really has deteriorated and he becomes critically ill, then I wonder if his replacement would even try to make those efforts … I worry his successor could be a warmonger.”

Kim has sought to have international sanctions against his country eased, but has refused to dismantle his nuclear weapons program, a steadfast demand of the United States. (Reporting by Josh Smith, Sangmi Cha, and Hyonhee Shin; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Jack Kim)

Sources from The Canadian Press
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Edited By Harry Miller

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Katai Leaves Galaxy After Wife’s Racial Social Media Posts… – Mount Royal Soccer

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You would hope that the Katai’s weren’t looking forward to an extended stay on America’s west coast.

If they were it’s all been scuppered by some strongly-worded Instagram posts from the player’s wife, Tea in which she called for people to kill protestors, which she referred to as ‘disgusting cattle’.

Now the former Alaves and Red Star Belgrade midfielder and his club have parted ways.

In what looks to all the world like a firing, LA Galaxy has called the move ‘a mutual decision’ between themselves and their player, who joined the club from Chicago Fire only in December last year.

The Galaxy released a statement condemning Tea’s since-deleted comments on Wednesday saying…

“Earlier today, the LA Galaxy were made aware of a series of racist and violent social media posts by Tea Katai, the wife of LA Galaxy midfielder Aleksandar Katai.

“The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality.”

The player for his part had come out strongly following the comments, distancing himself from his spouse’s posts, although accepting full responsibility.

“These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family.

“Racism, particularly toward the black community, is not only prevalent in the United States and Europe, but across the globe. I strongly condemn white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter. This is a mistake from my family and I take full responsibility.

“I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community.

“I understand that it will take time to earn back the support of the people of Los Angeles. I am committed to putting in the necessary work to learn from these mistakes and be a better ally and advocate for equality going forward. I am sorry for the pain these posts have caused the LA Galaxy family and all allies in the fight against racism.”

It was not enough to save his LA Galaxy career with the club yesterday producing a terse and final statement confirming Katai’s departure…

“The LA Galaxy have mutually agreed to part with midfielder Aleksander Katai.”

Aleksander Katai with his wife Tea, author of the unacceptable Instagram posts in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

While Tea Katai’s comments are totally and unequivocally unacceptable, you wonder if the player himself has been treated fairly by the club. He did clearly distance himself from the comments, explaining they were not representative of his own views, and in fact verbally came out in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Is it right that a player’s future at a football club can be determined in this way by comments, no matter how disgusting, made by another family member, which in the days of social media he had very little, if any, control over?

Katai has ‘accepted full responsibility’, but it must be acknowledged that was part of a carefully worded statement providing apology and certainly designed to prolong his short LA career.

Or is it correct that the former Chicago Fire player is ‘found guilty by association’ and was rightly dismissed?

What do Impact fans think? Would you have expected Montreal Impact to fire a player under the same circumstances?

Poll

Are the LA Galaxy right in dispensing with the services for Aleksander Katai due to his wife’s unacceptable Instagram posts?

  • 28%

    Yes 100%. He has to go…

    (2 votes)

  • 14%

    Not sure. It’s a grey area. I’m on the fence and think getting rid of the player is too harsh a punishment.

    (1 vote)

  • 57%

    100% No. Katai should not be held accountable for the social media interactions of his wife or any other family member.

    (4 votes)



7 votes total

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GOLDSTEIN: Media deliberately distorted what Trump said about George Floyd – Toronto Sun

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Contrary to a globally reported blunder by the media on Friday, President Donald Trump did not say a positive report on U.S. job numbers was “good news for George Floyd.”

Here’s what Trump said:

“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender, or creed. They have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen.

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our Constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.”

Clearly, Trump’s reference to Floyd was in the context of Americans agreeing everyone must be treated equally by police, not optimistic U.S. job numbers.

Despite their obvious blunder about what Trump said, which quickly went global and erupted on social media, few media organizations have corrected it.

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, reacting to the inaccurate media reports, said what Trump said was “despicable.”

[embedded content]

Some are now arguing it was outrageous for Trump to invoke Floyd’s name  — he died in police custody, with the four fired police officers involved now facing a slew of major criminal charges — in any context.

But that deliberately ignores the point, which is that the media got the story wrong.

In another controversy involving Trump, a widely-circulated medical study published in the Lancet claiming patients with COVID-19 were more likely to die or suffer serious side effects from taking hydroxychloroquine has been retracted.

Based on this research, Trump was widely attacked for recommending the use of hydroxychloroquine and saying he was taking it himself to ward off COVID-19.

Trump should not be freelancing medical advice and it was dangerous for him to do so.

But as James Heathers, a research scientist at Boston’s Northeastern University, writing in the Guardian, observed, the retraction of the research paper is also alarming and potentially dangerous.

As Heathers wrote:

“The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. Recently, they published an article on Covid patients receiving hydroxychloroquine with a dire conclusion: the drug increases heartbeat irregularities and decreases hospital survival rates. This result was treated as authoritative, and major drug trials were immediately halted — because why treat anyone with an unsafe drug?

“Now, that Lancet study has been retracted, withdrawn from the literature entirely, at the request of three of its authors who ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’

“Given the seriousness of the topic and the consequences of the paper, this is one of the most consequential retractions in modern history.

“How did a paper of such consequence get discarded like a used tissue by some of its authors only days after publication? If the authors don’t trust it now, how did it get published in the first place?”

Heathers says the root problem is with the peer review process which, “at its worst … is merely window dressing that gives the unwarranted appearance of authority, a cursory process which confers no real value, enforces orthodoxy, and overlooks both obvious analytical problems and outright fraud entirely.”

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Saskatoon police officer put on paid leave over 'harmful and offensive' social media posts – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Article content continued

“I want to assure the public that we take these complaints seriously. We have acted swiftly to address the issue and a thorough investigation will occur.”

The Saskatoon Police Association, the union that represents police officers in the city, said it will not be commenting at this time since the investigation is active.

The board of directors of Saskatoon Pride, in a Facebook post, said Cooper personally contacted the organization to inform it about the posts.

The organization said the posts are not just hurtful to the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, but to the entire community, and “are not worthy of someone charged with upholding the law and protecting the community.”

“It is a sad day for Saskatoon that, in the midst of outrage over the racist and criminal acts committed by police against the BIPOC community across the continent and during a month meant to celebrate diversity, inclusion and Pride, there is a member of the Saskatoon police force who would feel that they were entitled to express such bigoted views, while claiming to uphold the law and serve the public,” Saskatoon Pride’s board wrote.

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