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In this April 14, 2013 photo, marathon runners pass by a long row of North Korean soldiers as they cross a bridge in Pyongyang as North Korea hosts the 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon to mark the birthday of the late leader Kim Il-sung on April 15. (Photo: David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)For the first time ever, North Korea is opening up the streets of its capital to runner-tourists for the annual Pyongyang marathon, undoubtedly one of the most exotic feathers in any runner’s cap.Tourism companies say they are getting inundated by requests to sign up for the April 13 event, which this year will include amateur runners from around the world. The race includes a full marathon — with a handful of world-class, invitation-only athletes — a half marathon and a 10-kilometre run.The opening of the race to recreational runners is in keeping with the North’s ongoing, but sometimes sporadic, effort to earn cash revenue by boosting tourism, usually with well-orchestrated group tours to major arts performances or attractions the North wants to show off.

In this April 14, 2013 photo, marathon runners pass by a long row of North Korean soldiers as they cross a bridge in Pyongyang as North Korea hosts the 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon to mark the birthday of the late leader Kim Il-sung on April 15. (Photo: David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

For the first time ever, North Korea is opening up the streets of its capital to runner-tourists for the annual Pyongyang marathon, undoubtedly one of the most exotic feathers in any runner’s cap.

Tourism companies say they are getting inundated by requests to sign up for the April 13 event, which this year will include amateur runners from around the world. The race includes a full marathon — with a handful of world-class, invitation-only athletes — a half marathon and a 10-kilometre run.

The opening of the race to recreational runners is in keeping with the North’s ongoing, but sometimes sporadic, effort to earn cash revenue by boosting tourism, usually with well-orchestrated group tours to major arts performances or attractions the North wants to show off.

Ukraine’s protests at Sochi Paralympics offer a bit of the honesty missing from Olympic GamesThe Paralympics ended Sunday in Sochi, and Russia’s Olympic year ended with them. The spotlight had already moved on, as it always does; the Paralympics take place in relative silence. Russia tacitly acknowledged this by quietly invading Ukraine the day after the Olympics ended, when the journalists who had come from around the world were stumbling onto planes, destined for home.The Paralympics, though, had something the 2014 Games did not. Ukraine sent out just one of its 23 athletes in the Opening Ceremony, and many of its medallists offered a similar silent protest: They covered their medals in photos on the podium. They made a statement.“It is not a political protest, it’s us fighting for peace,” Ukraine team official Nataliya Harach told The Associated Press. “It’s a different kind of protest. We put our hands on our medals because you cannot do anything more.“If we demonstrate some way else, if we say something, it will not be in the rules of the International Paralympic Committee. So we try to do a silent protest and because we don’t want any disqualifications.”A country whose sovereignty had been breached by the host nation dared not go further than that, but it was more than we saw in February. (Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Ukraine’s protests at Sochi Paralympics offer a bit of the honesty missing from Olympic Games
The Paralympics ended Sunday in Sochi, and Russia’s Olympic year ended with them. The spotlight had already moved on, as it always does; the Paralympics take place in relative silence. Russia tacitly acknowledged this by quietly invading Ukraine the day after the Olympics ended, when the journalists who had come from around the world were stumbling onto planes, destined for home.

The Paralympics, though, had something the 2014 Games did not. Ukraine sent out just one of its 23 athletes in the Opening Ceremony, and many of its medallists offered a similar silent protest: They covered their medals in photos on the podium. They made a statement.

“It is not a political protest, it’s us fighting for peace,” Ukraine team official Nataliya Harach told The Associated Press. “It’s a different kind of protest. We put our hands on our medals because you cannot do anything more.

“If we demonstrate some way else, if we say something, it will not be in the rules of the International Paralympic Committee. So we try to do a silent protest and because we don’t want any disqualifications.”

A country whose sovereignty had been breached by the host nation dared not go further than that, but it was more than we saw in February. (Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Towering over his fellow protest leaders, Vitali Klitschko, the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion, has emerged as Ukraine’s most popular opposition figure and has ambitions to become its next president.

Thanks to his sports-hero status and reputation as a pro-Western politician untainted by Ukraine’s frequent corruption scandals, the 6-foot 7-inch Klitschko has surpassed jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in opinion polls.

As massive anti-government protests continue to grip Ukraine, the 42-year-old boxer-turned-politician is urging his countrymen to continue their fight to turn this ex-Soviet republic into a genuine Western democracy.

“This is not a revolution. It is a peaceful protest that demands justice,” Klitschko told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. “The people are not defending political interests. They are defending the idea of living in a civilized country.” (Photos: Sergei Chuzavkov/The Associated Press, Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Argos won’t return Rob Ford’s love:The ongoing saga involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spilled over its political banks into the sports world on Thursday.After his contentious showdown with council on Wednesday, Ford chose to switch up his workday wardrobe Thursday and wore his Toronto Argonauts sweater, complete with “Mayor Ford” on the nameplate and the No. 12, the year the Argos hosted and won the Grey Cup.But while wearing the sweater to promote this weekend’s CFL East final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ford made comments on media reports coming from the second round of revelations coming from Toronto Police’s Information To Obtain document. Ford’s comments included a profane response to allegations he made sexually explicit comments to a former female staffer, for which he later apologized.The team released a statement expressing their displeasure at being dragged into the the Mayor’s theatre of the absurd."The situation with respect to the Mayor and his leadership is unseemly at best," the team said in the statement and on Twitter. "These latest remarks, while wearing our team’s jersey, are particularly disappointing given our organization’s work in the community to help youth deal with issues of bullying prevention." (Photo: Tyler Anderson/National Post)

Argos won’t return Rob Ford’s love:
The ongoing saga involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spilled over its political banks into the sports world on Thursday.

After his contentious showdown with council on Wednesday, Ford chose to switch up his workday wardrobe Thursday and wore his Toronto Argonauts sweater, complete with “Mayor Ford” on the nameplate and the No. 12, the year the Argos hosted and won the Grey Cup.

But while wearing the sweater to promote this weekend’s CFL East final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ford made comments on media reports coming from the second round of revelations coming from Toronto Police’s Information To Obtain document. Ford’s comments included a profane response to allegations he made sexually explicit comments to a former female staffer, for which he later apologized.

The team released a statement expressing their displeasure at being dragged into the the Mayor’s theatre of the absurd.

"The situation with respect to the Mayor and his leadership is unseemly at best," the team said in the statement and on Twitter. "These latest remarks, while wearing our team’s jersey, are particularly disappointing given our organization’s work in the community to help youth deal with issues of bullying prevention." (Photo: Tyler Anderson/National Post)

Toronto mayor Rob Ford probably should have stuck to his first love — sports
Bruce Arthur: As Rob Ford races around the world as a global train-wreck celebrity, sports follows him, because Rob Ford follows sports. He has become the world’s most famous Toronto sports fan, in addition to everything else. Yes, the rapper Drake has represented the Raptors as part of a business arrangement, but that’s a relative blip.

Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel’s Ford jokes included Ford’s famous Grey Cup football fall in front of City Hall that launched a million GIFs. Jon Stewart said, “Wait, smoking crack and making racist and homophobic remarks? I believe in Canada that’s referred to as a hat trick.” Craig Ferguson called it a bad day for Canada, and said, “The real reason police knew Ford was smoking crack is that he predicted that the Leafs would win the Stanley Cup.”

This is this city, and this is Rob Ford. (Photos: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press, Michelle Siu for National Post)

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game is coming to Toronto and the Raptors are looking to one of the music industry’s biggest stars to help revamp the franchise in time for the festivities.The club has named Drake its new “global ambassador” and the Toronto rap star will have a voice in the team’s rebranding.Mayor Rob Ford also attended the Monday’s announcement. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game is coming to Toronto and the Raptors are looking to one of the music industry’s biggest stars to help revamp the franchise in time for the festivities.

The club has named Drake its new “global ambassador” and the Toronto rap star will have a voice in the team’s rebranding.

Mayor Rob Ford also attended the Monday’s announcement. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman checks in at a check in counter at the departure hall of Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on his way to North Korea; Rodman, third right, arrives at Pyongyang airport, North Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.

Rodman said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps — but not be a diplomat.

Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang’s airport by Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of North Korea’s Olympic Committee, just days after Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring home Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed there. The North abruptly called off the official visit because it said the U.S. had ruined the atmosphere for talks by holding a drill over South Korea with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.

Rodman said the purpose of his visit was to display his friendship for Kim and North Korea and to “show people around the world that we as Americans can actually get along with North Korea.” (Photos: Andy Wong/The Associated Press, Jon Chol Jin/The Associated Press)

This is happening. Here is embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford at the Argonauts’ exhibition game against the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night. (Photo: Sean Fitz-Gerald/National Post)

This is happening. Here is embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford at the Argonauts’ exhibition game against the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night. (Photo: Sean Fitz-Gerald/National Post)

Is this the best way to share your feelings? Yes. Yes, it is.
Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis responds to the recent IRS scandal by urinating (or fake urinating) on an IRS sign. This is how you change the world, people.

Is this the best way to share your feelings? Yes. Yes, it is.

Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis responds to the recent IRS scandal by urinating (or fake urinating) on an IRS sign. This is how you change the world, people.

FINALLY: Condoleezza Rice shows off her green jacket ahead of the Masters.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited the former secretary of state and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets last August when the club opens for a new season in October.
A debate about membership intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members.
Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.” (Photo: Ron Williams/The Associated Press)

FINALLY: Condoleezza Rice shows off her green jacket ahead of the Masters.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited the former secretary of state and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets last August when the club opens for a new season in October.

A debate about membership intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members.

Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.” (Photo: Ron Williams/The Associated Press)