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)
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)
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)