Dozens missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities in Colombia said a rescue operation is under way.

Tourist boat sinks in Colombia, killing at least nine

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MEDELLIN, Colombia) — At least nine people are dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat capsized near Guatapé, Colombia, according to emergency officials.

Other boats quickly came to the rescue, saving 99 people immediately after the sinking, the head of the Antioquia Department’s Disasters Prevention unit said, and another 40 people swam to shore.

At least 25 people were transported to hospitals, the official said.

Divers with the police and Army helicopters assisted in the search and rescue operation.

.@FuerzaAereaCol apoya a esta hora rescate de personas de embarcación que naufragó en Guatapé, Antioquia #FAC pic.twitter.com/f5yowjBcMe

— FuerzaAéreaColombian (@FuerzaAereaCol) June 25, 2017

An eyewitness told the BBC the boat appeared to sink in less than five minutes.

The cause of the shipwreck was unknown as of Sunday night.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tourist boat sinks in Colombia, killing at least six

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MEDELLIN, Colombia) — At least six people are dead and 16 missing after a tourist boat capsized near Guatapé, Colombia, according to emergency officials.

Other boats quickly came to the rescue, saving 99 people immediately after the sinking, the head of the Antioquia Department’s Disasters Prevention unit said, and another 40 people swam to shore.

At least 133 were rescued as of Sunday night, the official said, and at least 25 people were transported to hospitals.

Divers with the police and Army helicopters assisted in the search and rescue operation.

 

.@FuerzaAereaCol apoya a esta hora rescate de personas de embarcación que naufragó en Guatapé, Antioquia #FAC pic.twitter.com/f5yowjBcMe

— FuerzaAéreaColombian (@FuerzaAereaCol) June 25, 2017

 

An eyewitness told the BBC the boat appeared to sink in less than five minutes.

The cause of the shipwreck was unknown as of Sunday night.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

9 dead, 28 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities in Colombia said a rescue operation is under way.

More than 100 missing after landslide buries village in China

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

STR/AFP/Getty Images(BEIJING) — At least 15 people are dead and about 118 missing after a landslide in southwestern China buried a village, according to state media.

Heavy rainfall caused part of a mountain in southwestern China’s Sichuan province to collapse early Saturday morning local time, hitting Xinmo village in Maoxian county.

More than 1,000 rescue workers are on the scene searching for survivors under heavy boulders, state media reported. As of Saturday night, 15 bodies were recovered from the debris and the death toll was expected to rise.

Five hours after the landside hit the village, three people from one family were rescued and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Toll from Pakistan tanker fire climbs to 148

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing 153 people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel

Kellyanne Conway on Senate health bill: ‘These are not cuts to Medicaid’

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Kellyanne Conway is interviewed on "This Week."

Landmarks light up in honor of LGBT pride

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Structures across the world are bathed in rainbow lighting in honor of LGBT pride.

June is internationally recognized as Pride Month, and many cities are hosting Pride Month marches on Sunday.

From New York City’s Empire State Building to Minnesota’s Lowry Bridge, cities of all sizes are gushing with pride. And overseas, U.S. embassies and consulates are also paying tribute to LGBT pride.

Here’s a roundup of the some of the most colorful structures lighting up their respective cities — and social media.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, NEW YORK CITY

Look up tonight at 11PM for our music-to-light show synced to @DeadandCompany’s encore performance at @CitiField! Listen along on @Q1043. pic.twitter.com/62cujJ6isN

— Empire State Bldg (@EmpireStateBldg) June 24, 2017

THE MONTROSE BRIDGES, HOUSTON

We’re turning the bridge lights rainbow for Houston #PrideWeek starting Sunday! https://t.co/nHfHizDrtk pic.twitter.com/5xo7PVqiv7

— Montrose Houston (@MontroseHTX) June 16, 2017

LOWRY BRIDGE, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA

Tonight, June 24, the Lowry Bridge will be lit rainbow colors for the Twin Cities Pride Festival. #TCPride pic.twitter.com/IGd33GfxXb

— Hennepin County (@Hennepin) June 24, 2017

CHRISTOPHER STREET, NEW YORK CITY

Something exciting is happening on Christopher St! #Pride2017 pic.twitter.com/02iLMCbETY

— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) June 25, 2017

TRUMP HOTEL, CHICAGO

Trump Hotel In Chicago Lit Up In Rainbow Colors For Pride https://t.co/yUSmuI0wrr via @NewNowNext #gay #LGBT pic.twitter.com/uys5tJR7Q5

— Gayety (@Gayetyco) June 23, 2017

HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY, HOUSTON

Happy PRIDE Houston! @ghostofHHS @heightsgsa #HeightsHS pic.twitter.com/RDR0mzefAf

— Heights HS Library (@HeightsHSLib) June 24, 2017

ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER, NEW YORK CITY

This weekend, #OneWTC will be light up rainbow for the 2017 #NYCPrideParade and #prideweek 🏳️‍🌈@NYCPrideMarch @NYCPride pic.twitter.com/OztXjOdVO5

— One World Trade (@OneWTC) June 24, 2017

CITY HALL, NEW YORK CITY

City Hall dressed in Pride for the weekend. #NYCPride2017 pic.twitter.com/tMrlp605CQ

— City of New York (@nycgov) June 25, 2017

U.S. EMBASSY, NEW DELHI, INDIA

We’re celebrating #LGBTPrideMonth at U.S. Embassy New Delhi by lighting our building in the rainbow colors of #Pride. #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/PrEzdm5M0d

— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) June 5, 2017

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Venezuelan opposition lays siege to air base

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela’s capital.

‘More optimistic’ Koch brothers plan stepped-up spending

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

They say they are "more optimistic now about what we can accomplish."

UK Parliament investigating cyber-attack

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — British Parliament is the latest target of an apparent cyber attack.

Members of parliament are temporarily unable to access e-mail remotely after officials discovered “unauthorized attempts” to access accounts of members of parliament, a Parliamentary spokesman said Saturday.

Government sources told the BBC the attack appeared to have been contained, but officials would still “remain vigilant.”

A National Cyber Security Centre spokesperson said they were aware of the incident, and the NCSC is “working around the clock with the UK Parliamentary digital security team to understand what has happened and advise on the necessary mitigating actions.”

It was not immediately clear who was behind the hack and an investigation is ongoing.

One MP tweeted on Saturday: “Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…”

Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we're under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom's basement or something…

— Henry Smith MP (@HenrySmithUK) June 24, 2017

Last month, the National Health Service in the U.K. was the victim of a major cyber attack. British officials said according to the BBC that they suspected North Korean hackers were behind the incident.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

British Parliament targeted in cyber-attack attempt

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — British Parliament is the latest target of an apparent cyber attack.

Members of parliament are temporarily unable to access e-mail remotely after officials discovered “unauthorized attempts” to access accounts of members of parliament, a Parliamentary spokesman said Saturday.

Government sources told the BBC the attack appeared to have been contained, but officials would still “remain vigilant.”

A National Cyber Security Centre spokesperson said they were aware of the incident, and the NCSC is “working around the clock with the UK Parliamentary digital security team to understand what has happened and advise on the necessary mitigating actions.”

It was not immediately clear who was behind the hack and an investigation is ongoing.

One MP tweeted on Saturday: “Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…”

 

Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…

— Henry Smith MP (@HenrySmithUK) June 24, 2017

 

Last month, the National Health Service in the U.K. was the victim of a major cyber attack. British officials said according to the BBC that they suspected North Korean hackers were behind the incident.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emmanuel Macron shoot video selfie about climate change

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

John van Hassel/Corbis/Getty Images (PARIS) — When Barack Obama was president, his tight relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was dubbed a political “bromance.”

Now, there appears to be a new budding bromance between recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The environmental comrades in arms — both of whom have been critical of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement — shot a brief video selfie together on Friday at the Élysée Palace in Paris, after meeting to discuss all things green.

I was truly honored to meet with President @EmmanuelMacron about how we can work together for a clean energy future. He’s a great leader. pic.twitter.com/MSoxjIruup

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 23, 2017

“I’m here with President Macron. We’re talking about environmental issues and a green future,” Schwarzenegger said in the video before passing the phone to Macron.

“And now we will deliver together to make the planet great again,” adds Macron, an obvious nod to Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan. For the duration of the video, a banner across it reads, “With President Macron, a great leader!”

Macron also retweeted Schwarzenegger’s selfie video.

The let’s #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain project takes form. Glad to work on it with @schwarzenegger. https://t.co/BSt2kOEQdv

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 24, 2017

Schwarzenegger told reporters that he and Macron had a “wonderful” one-hour meeting about climate change.

On Sunday, the pair will join former United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, as well as high court judges from several countries, to launch a campaign for a global pact to protect the environment.

Prior to arriving in the French capital, Schwarzenegger delivered a speech on climate change at the Austrian World Summit.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump questions Obama’s response to ‘election meddling by Russia’

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Trump questions Obama’s response to ‘election meddling by Russia’

Jordan to cancel ‘marry the victim’ clause shielding rapists

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

In a key step toward reform, Jordan is poised to abolish a provision that exempts a rapist from punishment if he marries his victim

Over 120 people buried by massive southwest China landslide

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

More than 120 people have been buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in a mountain village in southwestern China

Suicide bomber blows himself up as Saudis foil Mecca plot

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Saudi security forces say a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque at Mecca as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam just as the fasting month of Ramadan ends

Tour of the ‘hidden’ 5th floor of North Korea’s Yanggakdo Hotel

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(Pyongyang, North Korea) — For nearly a decade, Young Pioneer Tours offered travelers from the United States and other countries the chance to see another side of North Korea. Videos on the Young Pioneer’s YouTube channel feature activities ranging from karaoke bars to arm-wrestling matches.

Dr. Calvin Sun, founder of travel guide company Monsoon Diaries, went to North Korea with Young Pioneer Tours in 2011. Four years later, Young Pioneer Tours would lead U.S. college student Otto Warmbier on a 2015 trip to the same Pyongyang hotel. It was at this hotel, North Korean officials said, that Warmbier attempted to steal a propaganda poster, for which he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Sun recalled finding Young Pioneer with a simple Google search while he was traveling in Asia. “They were just the cheapest option,” Sun said.

With a small group of travelers, Sun flew by plane to Pyongyang where they stayed for four nights at the Yanggakdo Hotel, the primary hotel for international tourists.

The hotel offers amenities ranging from bowling and billiards to gambling and bars. After noticing that the hotel’s elevator did not list a fifth floor, Sun and his travel companions found the “hidden” floor via the stairwell and discovered a number of hand-painted propaganda wall hangings.

“We were very nervous in terms of, ‘Are we supposed to be here, or are we not supposed to be here?’” he recalled.

Sun said that he was unfamiliar with the hotel hallway that appeared in the surveillance tape released by North Korean officials allegedly showing Warmbier’s removing a poster from the wall.

Warmbier died Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio, just days after arriving from North Korea in what U.S. doctors described as a state of unresponsive wakefulness.

As a result, China-based Young Pioneer Tours said it will no longer take Americans to North Korea but will continue the tours for others.

“The devastating loss of Otto Warmbier’s life has led us to reconsider our position on accepting American tourists,” the company said on its website. “There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality and we have been struggling to process the result. Now, the assessment of risk for Americans visiting North Korea has become too high.”

Said Dr. Sun: “Hearing about what happened is devastating to us as travelers.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Over 800 north London public housing apartments evacuated over fire safety concerns

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The tower block has cladding similar to Grenfell Towers, officials said.

Over 800 north London public housing apartments being evacuated over fire safety concerns

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — More than 800 public housing apartments in London are set to be evacuated over fire concerns in the wake of the deadly Grenfell Towers blaze that killed at least 79 people.

The tower blocks, located in the Camden area of north London, are covered in the same cladding that surrounded Grenfell Tower, officials said. The buildings, which failed safety tests, will undergo emergency work over the next three to four weeks.

The Camden council announced the decision late Friday.

“As a result of ongoing checks the decision has been taken to decant residents from all five tower blocks at the Chalcots estate,” the council said in a statement.

Residents will be provided with temporary accommodations while the work is completed, and are being encouraged to stay with family and friends, if possible.

“Camden council is absolutely determined to ensure that our residents are safe, and we have promised them that we will work with them, continue to act swiftly and be open and transparent,” said Georgia Gould, leader of Camden council.

A national operation to identify buildings with cladding similar to Grenfell Towers has caused local authorities to send samples for independent tests, the BBC reported.

Samples from at least 14 high-rise buildings in London and across England have already been found to be combustible.

Death toll from London high-rise fire climbs to 30; victims may never be identified, police say

A faulty refrigerator is being blamed for the cause of the devastating Grenfell fire, police said Friday. Authorities are still trying to establish how the fire spread so quickly.

Police also announced Friday that they are considering filing manslaughter charges related to the fire.

It is unclear how many residents were inside the building at the time of the June 14 blaze, which in addition to the dozens of fatalities injured at least 74 people.

Grenfell Towers was built in 1974 and contained 120 apartments, according to its management company, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

After Otto Warmbier’s death, what are Trump’s options for responding to North Korea?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — As his body is laid to rest in his Ohio hometown, the shock of Otto Warmbier’s death is now giving way to anger — and the Trump administration is actively weighing how to respond.

“It’s a total disgrace what happened to Otto,” President Trump told reporters Tuesday. “That should never, ever be allowed to happen. It’s a brutal regime, and we’ll be able to handle it.”

Warmbier was held for nearly a year-and-a-half by North Korea, much of that time while in a coma, according to the reclusive country’s authoritarian regime. The details of his detention, especially how he ended up in that medical condition, are still unknown.

But the White House — while happy to have returned Warmbier to his family — is now deciding if and how it should respond to his death as it aims to “hold North Korea accountable for [his] unjust imprisonment,” according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Beyond demanding a full account of what happened to Warmbier, the U.S. has few options to respond — although there are three other U.S. citizens being detained in the country, and any action has to weigh their safety and concerns of a backlash against them.

TRAVEL BAN

Tillerson is actively considering whether to ban U.S. travel to North Korea, the State Department said Tuesday.

“The Secretary has the authority to do it,” said spokesperson Heather Nauert. “He just has not come to a conclusion about how this would potentially work, but we’re considering it.”

The U.S. strongly discourages travel to North Korea, with a stern travel warning but as of yet no ban. Without diplomatic ties in the country, the government cannot reach Americans held there, except through its protecting power Sweden. And North Korea has a history of using detainees from America or other countries as pawns in negotiations.

“Given the danger to United States citizens in the country, it is time to take the unusual step of imposing a ban,” former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill wrote in an editorial Wednesday. Hill led the U.S. delegation to North Korea nuclear talks under President George W. Bush.

There are restrictions on economic activity with North Korea, through a system of sanctions, and an all-out ban is not without precedent. Previously, the U.S. government has banned travel to countries that were perceived to be too dangerous, including Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war and Libya during some of the Moammar Gadhafi years.

The number of Americans in North Korea is difficult to track, but the country’s only private university employs around 40 U.S. citizens, many dual nationals. In addition, anywhere between 800 and 1,250 American tourists visit the country a year, although that number will likely decline after Warmbier’s death, especially as tour companies like Young Pioneer Tours, which Warmbier used, have canceled all future trips for Americans.

PRESSURING OTHER COUNTRIES

The Trump administration may also try to isolate North Korea even more, pressuring its neighbors and economic partners to cut ties.

It’s part of the current strategy to discourage the regime from pursuing its nuclear and missile programs, and according to the acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, it’s yielded some successes so far.

“We’ve seen a lot of different countries step up and take action on the pressure campaign,” Susan Thornton told reporters Monday.

According to Thornton, those actions include halting visas to North Korean laborers, whose wages usually go straight to the regime; denying landing rights and refueling privileges to North Korea’s national airline; expelling and reducing North Korea’s diplomatic presence in the countries; and interdicting shipments of arms and other sanctioned materials.

NEW SANCTIONS

The administration might also be considering new sanctions against North Korea or third-party entities that do business with the regime, including Chinese companies.

Nauert has declined to say if sanctions are among the considerations, saying only, “The actions that we may or may not take are still being contemplated here, so it’s just too early to say exactly what we’re going to do just yet.”

But even before Warmbier’s death, members of Congress were pushing a new sanctions report on Tillerson last week when he testified on Capitol Hill. The report by the nonprofit C4ADS lays out where the vulnerabilities are in North Korea’s financial networks and supply chains and how new sanctions could disrupt them and bring the regime to heel.

“The next step should be to sanction the Chinese financiers and traders who sustain Kim Jong Un,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board urged Thursday. “The U.S. and its allies have to use every sanction and other tool available to prevent the Kim regime from doing to millions what it did to Otto Warmbier.”

As the administration reviews, it seems sanctions would likely have to wait. After the U.S.-China summit Wednesday, Tillerson said that China reaffirmed its commitment to fully implement all United Nations Security Council sanctions, so the White House may give China some time to see that through first.

MILITARY STRIKES

The Trump administration has said that all military options are on the table with regards to North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. But the reality is that the impact of military options would be limited and the threat of escalating into an all-out war makes it the least likely of the administration’s options, especially for Warmbier’s death.

Pre-emptive military strikes would likely focus on North Korea’s facilities for launching or producing ballistic missiles or its nuclear facilities.

North Korea’s nuclear facility at Yongbyon is well-known, but striking it could cause an environmental disaster. Easier targets would be North Korea’s missile facilities like the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the country’s northwest coast that has become a center of activity for the country’s long-range missile program.

But the greater threat from North Korea is posed by its new medium- and intermediate-range mobile systems that are hard to track by overhead satellites and can be launched on short notice.

If the U.S. were to take military action, potential targets could be North Korea’s airfields in Hwangju, Kusong, and Wonsan provinces that have been used over the past year to test new longer-range missiles.

But pre-emptive strikes could lead North Korea to respond militarily, a prospect that carries the risk of risk of hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

The majority of North Korea’s million-man army is based just north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that is the border with South Korea. And long-range North Korean artillery along the DMZ can easily reach Seoul, South Korea’s capital.

That makes the scenario of a pre-emptive U.S. military strike a risky one and the least likely option available to the Trump administration.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US releases photos of ‘unsafe’ Russian jet intercept

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The U.S. European Command has released dramatic photos of a Russian jet coming within a few feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea in a maneuver that has been criticized as unsafe

Trump’s options on North Korea after Warmbier’s death

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Rex Tillerson is actively considering whether to ban U.S. travel to the country.

Dennis Rodman speaks out about his visit to North Korea

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The basketball star opened up in an exclusive interview with “GMA.”

Faulty fridge sparked London fire that killed 79

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The fire in the 24-storey building left 79 dead.

Dennis Rodman: ‘People don’t see … the good side’ of North Korea

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman spoke out in an exclusive interview with ABC News about his recent trip to North Korea, suggesting that he is partly responsible for the reclusive nation’s release of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died last Monday, just days after being medically evacuated from a North Korean prison.

“I was just so happy to see the kid released,” Rodman told Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan of when he first learned of Warmbier’s release. “Later that day, that’s when we found out he was ill, no one knew that. We jumped up and down … Some good things came of this trip.”

Warmbier, who was released on the same day that Rodman arrived in North Korea for a brief visit, was sent back to the U.S. in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, according to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The University of Virginia student was detained by North Korea for nearly 17 months following his January 2016 arrest in Pyongyang, for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster while he was visiting the country on a sightseeing tour.

Despite Rodman’s belief that he had something to do with Warmbier’s release, Warmbier’s father said in a statement to ABC News that “Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with Otto returning to the United States.”

Chris Volo, Rodman’s agent who accompanied the athlete on his trip to North Korea, told ABC News that before they went, “I asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times.”

“I know being there had something to do with it,” Volo said of Warmbier’s release. “Because when I was organizing the trip … and I meet with the delegates here, you know, I addressed … Otto Warmbier. And I said to them, ‘we…would need his…you know, a release, some type of good faith, if we’re ever going to do some type of future sports relations … They said they understood.”

Rodman said he wished to “give all the prayer and love” to the Warmbier’s family, adding “I didn’t know that he was sick.”

Volo added that they have contacted the family and are hoping to meet them, “but we were told that, you know, it just couldn’t happen.”

The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year said he didn’t meet with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, during his most recent visit.

“The previous times we did,” he added. “I think the fact that, you know, my trips going up to North Korea is more like trying … to get to communicate sports-wise. It ain’t about trying to release people.”

“It’s not trying to do … political stuff. It’s almost just trying to reach out for sports and see if I can bring sports to North Korea,” Rodman said.

Rodman also discussed how the country has changed over the course of his visits, saying “we’ve seen a lot of changes,” including “the fact that it is so modernized now.”

“When you go over there, and you hear the radio, and … people are talking,” Rodman said. “They’re so happy now, because it’s more like … it’s civilized again.”

Rodman, who calls North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a friend, said, “people don’t see … the good side about that country. It’s like going, like, to Asia. It’s like going to like Istanbul, Turkey, or any place like that. It’s pretty much just like that. You’re know, you going to see some poverty. You’re going to see some people that’s not doing too well.”

“I think people don’t see him as … a friendly guy,” Rodman added of the country’s dictator, adding “if you actually talk to him” you would see a different side of him.

“We sing karaoke,” Rodman added of his relationship with Jong-un. “It’s all fun. Ride horses, everything.”

“It’s the politics that’s the bad thing. If we can try to figure something out, just open the door,” Rodman suggested, saying that he believes “if Donald Trump had a chance,” he would fly to North Korea “and try to make peace.”

Rodman, who identifies as a Trump supporter, also called on the president to join him in creating peace with North Korea.

“I’ll ask him right now. Donald, come talk to me. Let’s try to work this out. Because you know what? I get nothing out of this. The only thing I get is out of pride for my country, America. I love America,” Rodman said. “But I want these two sides to get together and try to figure something out. Some dialogue. That’s it.”

Rodman also revealed that the North Korean leader gave him a message to pass on to former President Obama on one of his previous visits, and he thinks the next time he visits, the leader may give him a message for President Trump.

“I think the next time we go, I think it’s going to be in August. I think the fact that when … I sit there and talk to him … he’ll throw comments out there,” Rodman said of Kim Jong-un. “You know, he’ll say, ‘I want three things, Dennis, from you, if you can do this for us.'”

Rodman said that his message for Obama was to ask him to “move his ships.”

“He said, ‘There’s just one thing I, I, would love for … Obama to do,'” Rodman said of his conversation with Kim Jong-u. “He said, ‘I would love him if he can move his ships…away a little bit.’ That’s the one thing he asked me. He said, ‘If he can do that, I think we can have some new positive.'”

Rodman said that he is not going to North Korea for attention, saying, “I don’t need to be on TV.”

“What am I getting out of this? I’m going over there out of my kindness of my heart just to try to help. Just to open the door … a little bit so we can have [a] talk,” Rodman said.

“I’m spending hundreds of dollars just to go over there to try to just open the door a little bit,” Rodman said.

Rodman said despite the widespread criticism and backlash that he has faced for his trips to North Korea, “I think it’s worth it.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

London high-rise fire caused by refrigerator, police say

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — A fire in a high-rise building in London that killed 79 people was caused by a faulty refrigerator, police confirmed Friday.

The refrigerator said the Hotpoint ‘FF175BP’ model has not previously been subject to any product recalls.

Metropolitan Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack also said that the building’s insulation and cladding had failed safety checks carried out by the Building Research Establishment.

McCormack stated manslaughter charges will be considered as part of the investigation into the fire.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

London high-rise fire caused by refrigerator, police say

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The fire in the 24-storey building left 79 dead.

North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

North Korea has denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than year and died days after being released in a coma

Philippines: Malaysian financier believed killed in siege

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The Philippine military chief says a Malaysian militant who helped finance the siege of a southern city has been killed as the IS-aligned jihadis become increasingly constricted after a month of fighting