Tag Archives: Participate

North Korea says it won’t participate in Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns

North Korea said it will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A website run by the North’s sports ministry said the decision was made during a national Olympic Committee meeting on March 25 where members prioritized protecting athletes from the “world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Tuesday expressed regret over the North’s decision, saying it had hoped that the Tokyo Olympics would provide an opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations, which have declined amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa told reporters she was still confirming details and couldn’t immediately comment on the matter.

North Korea sent 22 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, along with government officials, performance artists, journalists and a 230-member all-female cheering group.

Politics and sports

At the Pyeongchang Games, the North and South Korean athletes jointly marched under a blue map symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula, while the red-clad North Korean cheerleaders captivated global attention.

The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women’s ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2.

Those games were also much about politics. The North Korean contingent included the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who conveyed her brother’s desire for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a move which helped it initiate diplomacy with South Korea and the United States.

That diplomacy has stalemated since, and North Korea’s decision to sit out the Tokyo Olympics is a setback for hopes to revive it.

WATCH | Olympic torch begins 121-day journey:

Japanese torchbearer Azusa Iwashimizu, a member of Japan’s women’s national football team, lit the Tokyo Olympic torch to begin the relay in Fukushima, Japan. 0:40

While North Korea has steadfastly claimed to be coronavirus-free, outsiders widely doubt whether the country has escaped the pandemic entirely, given its poor health infrastructure and a porous border it shares with China, its economic lifeline.

Describing its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence,” North Korea has severely limited cross-border traffic, banned tourists, jetted out diplomats and mobilized health workers to quarantine tens of thousands of people who had shown symptoms.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga previously said he expected to invite U.S. President Joe Biden to the Olympics and was willing to meet with Kim Jong-un or his powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, if either attended the Games. Suga, however, did not say if he will invite either of them.

Kim Jong-un in recent political speeches has pledged to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of U.S.-led pressure, and his government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overture for talks, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.

The North ended a yearlong pause in ballistic testing activity last month by firing two short-range missiles off its eastern coast, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.

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CBC | Sports News

White House tells Democrats it won’t participate in Trump impeachment hearings

The White House said on Friday it would refuse to take part in hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives set for next week that will consider what articles of impeachment to bring against President Donald Trump. 

In a letter to judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone called the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “completely baseless” and said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had ordered Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment “before your committee has heard a single shred of evidence.”

The House judiciary committee heard testimony from four legal experts earlier this week. That comes after the House intelligence committee produced a 300-page report on its findings from 17 witnesses who testified in recent weeks. 

“We don’t see any reason to participate because the process is unfair,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Nadler rejected that criticism and expressed disappointment, saying in a statement: “The American people deserve answers from President Trump.”

Pelosi on Thursday asked the judiciary committee to draw up formal articles of impeachment against the Republican president. The committee could draft and recommend the articles by next Thursday and the full Democratic-led House could vote on them by Christmas.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler that the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is ‘completely baseless.’ (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

In September Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former vice-president Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face the president in the 2020 U.S. election.

“House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” Cipollone’s letter said. “You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings.”

He quoted a tweet from Thursday in which Trump said, “If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business.”

Trump meets Friday deadline

Trump has made clear his lawyers will present a defence in the Republican-controlled Senate, where he believes he will receive fair treatment.

Nadler, a Democrat, had given Trump until 5 p.m. local time Friday to decide whether he or his legal counsel would participate in upcoming committee proceedings by calling witnesses, introducing evidence and making a presentation.

Trump, who denied any wrongdoing, thus far has refused to co-operate with the inquiry and ordered current and former administration officials not to testify or provide documents demanded by House committees.

Nadler has scheduled a committee hearing for Monday. His committee is responsible for drafting articles of impeachment and would have to approve them before sending them to the full House for a vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday asked the U.S. judiciary committee to draw up articles of impeachment — formal charges — against Trump. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Passage of formal charges would lead to a trial in the Republican-led Senate on whether to remove Trump from office. Senate Republicans have given little indication they would support Trump’s removal.

Pelosi accused Trump of abusing his power by asking a foreign government to interfere in an American election for his own political benefit at the expense of U.S. national security. The articles of impeachment could include abuse of power, bribery, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice.

Republicans accuse Democrats of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt aimed at ousting Trump using what they call an unfair impeachment process.

The probe is focusing on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter, and into a discredited theory promoted by Trump and his allies that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was vice-president. Trump has accused the Bidens of corruption. They have denied wrongdoing and the allegations have not been substantiated.

Democrats also have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $ 391 million US in congressionally approved security aid to Ukraine — a vulnerable U.S. ally facing Russian aggression — and holding back a coveted White House meeting with Zelensky as leverage to pressure Kyiv into investigating the Bidens.

Lawmakers and congressional aides said judiciary committee Democrats were drafting articles of impeachment with input from people including Pelosi and the heads of five other House committees that have investigated Trump.

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CBC | World News

Beyonce, George Clooney and Julia Roberts Among Stars to Participate in Hurricane Harvey Telethon

The stars are aligning to help those victims of Hurricane Harvey.

On Sept. 12, a one-hour telethon will air live at 8 p.m. ET across several networks — including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CMT — to help raise money for relief efforts in Houston, Texas. 

A number of celebrities have signed up to participate in Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief, including Beyonce, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.

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