Rodman to call in Kim favor
Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star who has managed to engage with North Korea’s leader — something US officials have been unable to do — said he planned to revisit the North to try to gain an imprisoned Korean-American’s release, according to a video posted on Friday on the celebrity news Web site TMZ. Rodman, who visited Pyongyang in February, said he planned to return on Aug. 1. The man he hopes to free, Kenneth Bae, was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges of committing “hostile acts” against North Korea. This week, Rodman wrote a tweet saying: “I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him ‘Kim,’ to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.”
Malcolm X’s grandson killed
Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City after a violent dispute in a bar, authorities said on Friday. He was 28. Prosecutors are investigating the attack that left Shabazz in hospital, where he died on Thursday. Shabazz spent his youth in and out of trouble. At 12, he set a fire in his grandmother’s apartment, a blaze that resulted in the death of Malcolm X’s widow. After four years in juvenile detention, Shabazz was later sent back to prison on attempted robbery and assault charges. In recent years, the first male heir of Malcolm X seemed to seek redemption, saying he was writing a memoir and traveling the world speaking out against youth violence.
Abuse claims passed to ICC
A civil rights group has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged physical and psychological abuse of detained protesters at military bases following last month’s disputed presidential election. The alleged abuses included forcing detainees to sing pro-government songs, dousing them with urine and beating them “multiple times with frozen water bottles,” says the complaint filed at the Hague-based court on Wednesday. Tensions are high, with President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles trading bitter accusations after Maduro’s narrow election win on April 14.
Bombing suspect buried
The remains of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev have been buried in a cemetery outside Virginia’s state capital, Richmond, local media said on Friday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch said Tsarnaev, 26, was buried on Thursday at al-Barzakh cemetery in Doswell. Representatives of Islamic Funeral Service of Virginia, which reportedly handled the burial in conjunction with a Methodist churchgoer in Richmond, could not be reached for comment. However, the churchgoer, Martha Mullen, told the Boston Globe she became involved after learning that Boston and adjacent Cambridge, Massachusetts, would not permit a burial within their city limits. “Jesus says, love our enemies,” the Globe quoted her as saying. “So I was sitting in Starbucks and thought, maybe I’m the one person who needs to do something.”
Sophia top baby girl’s name
Sophia tops the list of names for US baby girls for the second year in a row, while King and Messiah are becoming more popular names for boys, the US Social Security Administration said on Thursday. Jacob has become a standby for boys’ names, topping the category for the 14th straight year.