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Environment Month, Pista kang Kagubatan in Antique

By: Pilar S. Mabaquiao SAN JOSE, Antique – The Province of Antique joined the rest of the nation in celebrating the Environment Month in June, which was themed “Beat Plastic Pollution.” The celebration is mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 237 series of 1998. The Provincial Board of Antique had passed an ordinance declaring every last Friday […] The post Environment Month, Pista kang Kagubatan in Antique appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource: thedailyguardian thedailyguardianJun 13th, 2018

Bikers promote road safety, environment

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL –  The 4th Tour of the Fireflies, One Negros Cycle, as part of the 14th Wildlife Month gathered about 3,500 bikers to promote road safety, road sharing and advocate for the environment. The fun ride of some 48.3 kilometers, aside from being an environmental advocacy by using bikes to lessen carbon footprints and […] The post Bikers promote road safety, environment appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Cora gets new deal from Red Sox through 2021 season

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora brought a new voice and culture to the Boston Red Sox that helped propel them to their latest World Series title. The Red Sox rewarded him for bringing home a championship in his first year with the team by giving him a new contract with an additional guaranteed year through the 2021 season. The deal containing the extension was announced Wednesday by Boston also includes a club option for 2022. In his rookie season as a major league manager, Cora guided the Red Sox to a franchise-record 108 victories and the team’s fourth championship in 15 seasons. He finished second in the AL Manager of the Year voting announced Tuesday. “We have consistently been impressed by Alex at every turn,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. “His knowledge of the game, ability to connect with our players, and his incredible instincts and decisiveness led us to an historic championship season. We know we are in good hands and could not be more pleased to know he will be with us for the foreseeable future.” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was in search of new direction for the club when he fired former manager John Farrell after back-to-back Al Division Series losses in 2016 and 2017. After the historic regular season, Cora then steered Boston past the 100-win Yankees and Astros in the AL playoffs before downing the Dodgers in the World Series. “For me, 2018 was not only historic, but it was special as well, both on and off the field,” Cora said in a statement. “We have a great appreciation for our accomplishments this past year, but now our focus moves forward to the season ahead and defending our World Series title.” During Boston’s run Cora got the best out his young talent, led by AL MVP favorite Mookie Betts. They shined in player-centric approach in which Cora encouraged an aggressive hitting mentality, lots of hit-and-runs and active running of the bases. Cora also the most out of his pitching staff, which included clutch performances in the postseason by Chris Sale and David Price. Neither pitcher had logged a playoff victory as a starter prior to this season. Price had a tough time acclimating to Boston’s rugged sports environment during his first two seasons of the seven-year, $217 million deal he signed in 2015. He’s found a groove late in the season, pitching the clinching Game 5 of the ALCS to help the Red Sox advance. “Just his demeanor. It doesn’t change,” Price said last month. “I know it’s easy to not change when your team wins 108 games in the regular season. But he hasn’t changed one bit.” A member of the Red Sox’s 2007 World Series title team as a player, Cora was the bench coach on Houston’s 2017 championship team. He learned from manager A.J. Hinch that being close to players would be beneficial. “Talking to players is not bad, having a relationship with players is not bad,” Cora said in describing his managerial philosophy. “Doing that, you’re going to get the best out of them. People may think that crossing that line is not helpful, but I see it the other way around, and I lived it.” Cora became the first manager from Puerto to guide a team to a championship. It came more than a year after Hurricane Maria devastated island, prompting Cora during initial contract negotiations last October to ask the Red Sox to help his people with relief efforts. Ownership responded by sending a chartered plane full of supplies. Days after winning the World Series, they again obliged Cora’s request to take the trophy to his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018

USOK: Small Scale Miners’ Livelihood in Peril

On September 17, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu issued a ban on pocket mining in the Cordillera. The directive is Cimatu’s response after a massive landslide hit the mining town of Itogon at the height of Typhoon Ompong. More than a month after, thousands of families continue to look for alternative livelihood, with some already burried in debts. Small scale miners explain why the uplanned DENR order to close their operations is not fair and worst than the disaster brought by Typhoon Ompong......»»

Category: newsSource:  nordisRelated NewsNov 11th, 2018

EMB-XI holds Fun Run for Clean Air Month

DAVAO CITY, Nov. 6 (PIA)-- The Environment Management Bureau XI (EMB-XI) has intensified its awareness campaign on the health benefits of breathing clean air through a four-kilometer fun run held N.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 10th, 2018

DTI s Quiz Contest strengthens advocacy on consumer rights

SAN JOSE, Antique, Oct. 26 (PIA) -- The Quiz Contest launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at Robinsons Mall, San Jose, in celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month, has strengthen.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018

Boracay all set for reopening

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu made a last-minute inspection of the Boracay island before the influx of guests for its reopening today. Cimatu also visited the newly renovated Cagban Port which will formally welcome the first wave of tourists after its six-month closure. A maximum of 6,000 tourists are expected to […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2018

Photos from the reopening of Boracay after 6-month shutdown

After its six-month shutdown, Boracay island opened for a dry run from October 15 to 26. Photos and videos of the island after the massive cleanup were shared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on social media. Only the island’s residents and those from the main province of Aklan and from other provinces […] The post Photos from the reopening of Boracay after 6-month shutdown appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsOct 16th, 2018

DENR suspends operations vs small-scale mining in Itogon

BAGUIO, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered the suspension of operations against small-scale mining in Itogon, Benguet. Cimatu issued the order nearly a month after he stopped small-scale mining in the town following the landslide that killed over 80 people there. (READ: Itogon: When the land of promise buried its people ) “I have stopped ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 13th, 2018

Beijing to host life science confab

Beijing will host the 2018 World Life Science Conference later this month, which will focus on areas including medicine and health, agriculture and food safety, the environment and biotechnology, the organizer said at a news conference on Monday. The three-day event, organized by the China Association for Science and Technology and co-hosted by the China […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 12th, 2018

Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power

By Teresa M. Walker, Associated Press MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sees one simple way for both the NBA and women to mark real progress in the league. Hire more women in positions of power. "I think there just has to be more, more of the same," said Popovich, who during the offseason promoted assistant coach Becky Hammon, moving her one step closer to a head coaching seat. "There are more Beckys out there, they just have to be noticed and given the opportunity by people who are wise enough and courageous enough to do it and not just sit in the old paradigm." And not just on the bench, but on the business side of the NBA as well. The NBA routinely gets high marks for its diversity efforts and is widely viewed as a leader on social issues. Still, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes the league needs to be better, and he made his feelings known in a memo to teams in the wake of the Dallas Mavericks' embarrassing scandal. Several NBA teams tout statistics about women in their workforce, but beyond a handful — including Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson — the next step for the league seems to be more women in positions of power such as CEOs and COOs. Memphis guard Mike Conley said it's important for basketball, business and society itself to have women in positions of authority. "We welcome it, and we do want to see more of that," Conley said, "and I think that will help bridge that gray area and all the things that have been happening with the Mavs and situations like that and hopefully it will never occur" again. The NBA earned an A+ for racial hiring practices but a B for its gender hiring practices this summer from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports . That puts the NBA "significantly above" other professional sports, even as the number of women hired at the team level dropped for a third straight year with the percentage of women in team vice presidents and professional staff dipping as well, according to the report's author, Richard Lapchick. When the NBA began investigating a report of sexual harassment and improper workplace conduct involving the former team president, the Mavericks did not have one woman at the executive level. Owner Mark Cubanhired former AT&T senior executive Cynthia Marshall as CEO and president in February , promoted four women to executive roles and now has eight women among 18 leadership roles. A memo obtained by The Associated Press last month shows the NBA plans workshops in Atlanta and Los Angeles in mid-November on the diversity and inclusion efforts. The NBA also set up an anonymous tip line after the Mavs' story broke. NBA teams surveyed by The Associated Press say they've already been holding seminars on workplace conduct and putting women in leadership roles. Irina Pavlova represented the Nets on the Board of Governors before leaving last year and was replaced by a woman as president of the company that runs the Nets, Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum. The Toronto Raptors have Teresa Resch as vice president of basketball operations and player development, and Dr. Lisa Callahan is chief medical officer for both the Knicks and the WNBA's Liberty. The Miami Heat recently hired Ruth Riley Hunter as its newest television and radio analyst, a move in motion before Silver talked about wanting more women in the NBA. Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace has seen the number of women in the NBA jump dramatically since he joined the league in 1986 and believes its heading in the right direction. Chantal Hassard has been with the Grizzlies since the franchise was in Vancouver and is entering her third season as VP of team operations and player programs. Memphis also just brought back Nicki Gross as a basketball analyst after she was the D-League's only woman assistant in 2015 with Iowa. "I think it adds a viewpoint, a skillset that is very beneficial for the teams," Wallace said. Silver wants teams hiring more women, including jobs with power, so the NBA is going to help. The NBA plans an event at the All-Star break in Charlotte, North Carolina, in February to grow the "pipeline of female talent in basketball operations roles." Lapchick said hiring more women has to be a combination of efforts by both the NBA and its teams. "Teams saw the results in Dallas with no women in leadership to stop/confront bad behavior, which I believe is not uncommon toward women in the workplace in and out of sport," Lapchick told the AP. "Adam has the respect to push and I am impressed by the NBA's actions after the decline in gender grade when the Report Card was published followed by the post investigation in Dallas." Ethan Casson, CEO of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Lynx, said it can't be a quota approach — and believes there are qualified women in the candidate pools. About 40 percent of Minnesota's full-time employees are women with 35 percent of department heads and above women. He noted how transparent the NBA and its teams have been on this issue. "It's constantly challenging your organization's thinking and creating what that environment is, and that's what makes the diversity inclusion so important," Casson said. "You're a better organization when you're built that way from the ground up." ___ AP Basketball Writers Tim Reynolds and Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell, Andrew Seligman, Janie McCauley, Anne M. Peterson, Schuyler Dixon, Pat Graham, Tom Withers, Howard Fendrich, Brett Martel, Kyle Hightower and AP freelance writers Raul Dominguez, Clay Bailey and Ian Harrison contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2018

Philippines to rein in visitors to Boracay island, strained by tourism

MANILA — The Philippines will limit the number of visitors setting foot on its most treasured island resort each day when it reopens to tourists on October 26 after a six-month rehabilitation effort, an environment official said on Wednesday. Boracay, located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay, is famed for its sugary white sands, […] The post Philippines to rein in visitors to Boracay island, strained by tourism appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2018

Stat Month highlights sustainable tourism

SAN JOSE, Antique, Oct. 2 (PIA) -- The 28th National Statistics Month kicked-off October 1 with the theme "Exploring Philippine Wonders in Numbers: Statistics towards Sustainable Development.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

Stat Month highlights sustainable tourism

SAN JOSE, Antique, Oct. 2 (PIA) — The 28th National Statistics Month kicked-off October 1 with the theme “Exploring Philippine Wonders in Numbers: Statistics towards Sustainable Development.” Source link link: Stat Month highlights sustainable tourism.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

Stat Month highlights sustainable tourism

SAN JOSE, Antique, Oct. 2 (PIA) -- The 28th National Statistics Month kicked-off October 1 with the theme "Exploring Philippine Wonders in Numbers: Statistics towards Sustainable Development.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

Tap cards, access bracelets eyed for Boracay visitors

Tourists may be required to avail themselves of tap cards or access bracelets as a security measure to regulate the number of visitors in Boracay during its scheduled reopening next month, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

Pangolin in Ayala Alabang returned to Palawan

A pangolin rescued earlier this month from Ayala Alabang Subdivision in Muntinlupa City has been returned to its natural habitat in Palawan, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources official said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2018

Mark Cuban donates $10M after Mavericks workplace probe

NBA press release The NBA today issued the following statement about the report by independent investigators regarding workplace conditions at the Dallas Mavericks, following allegations made in a Feb. 20, 2018 Sports Illustrated article: Upon learning of the allegations, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban notified the NBA and an independent investigation was launched with oversight from the league office. Anne Milgram, former Attorney General of New Jersey, a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar at New York University School of Law, and currently Special Counsel at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, and Evan Krutoy, who spent more than 20 years as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and currently heads Krutoy Law, P.C., led the seven-month investigation. The league’s oversight function was led by David Anders, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The report was based on information gathered from 215 interviews with current and former Mavericks employees who worked for the team during the past two decades and from the evaluation of more than 1.6 million documents, including emails and other electronic documents. Following the launch of the independent investigation, the Mavericks, under Mr. Cuban’s direction, hired a new Chief Executive Officer, Cynthia Marshall, a former AT&T senior executive, who has since implemented a massive overhaul to improve the organization’s workplace culture. While the investigation was ongoing, Mr. Cuban and Ms. Marshall took a series of steps to enhance the team’s workplace policies and procedures. Under Ms. Marshall’s direction, the Mavericks have replaced or added several new leadership positions in the organization, including a new head of Human Resources, a Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, a head of Diversity & Inclusion and a new General Counsel. The Mavericks also instituted mandatory “Respect in the Workplace” training for all employees and ownership; created a confidential hotline for employees to share concerns, issues or allegations of misconduct; and established employee resource teams and an external advisory council to ensure a more diverse and collaborative work environment. Ms. Milgram’s and Mr. Krutoy’s extensive investigation, with full cooperation from Mr. Cuban and the Mavericks organization, resulted in a detailed understanding of the scope and substance of the issues. Among the investigation’s key findings: - The investigation substantiated numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct within the Mavericks organization over a period spanning more than twenty years. - Among other things, the investigation found:     - Improper workplace conduct toward fifteen female employees by the Mavericks’ former President and CEO Terdema Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing;     - Improper workplace conduct by former Mavericks ticket sales employee Chris Hyde, including inappropriate comments to women of a sexual nature, the viewing and sharing of pornographic images and videos, unsolicited and unwanted sexual advances, and violent and threatening outbursts toward co-workers; and     - Two acts of domestic violence perpetrated by former Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed, including one against a team employee. - The investigators concluded that Mavericks’ management was ineffective, including a lack of compliance and internal controls, and that these shortcomings permitted the growth of an environment in which acts of misconduct and the individuals who committed them could flourish.  In particular, the investigators found:         - The Mavericks executive leadership team failed to respond adequately and committed a significant error in judgment by retaining Mr. Sneed following his domestic violence incidents; and         - The Mavericks’ executive leadership team was responsible for allowing Mr. Hyde to remain employed with the organization despite his inappropriate and problematic behavior, and failed adequately to address his various acts of misconduct.         - The investigators found no evidence that Mr. Cuban was aware of Mr. Ussery’s misconduct.  None of the 215 witnesses who were interviewed stated that they informed Mr. Cuban of Mr. Ussery’s actions, the investigators found no documentary evidence of such a communication, and Mr. Cuban stated that he did not know about the conduct.   The investigation report also contains a series of recommendations for changes to the Mavericks’ organization, including:     - Increasing the number of women on staff, including in leadership positions;     - Enhancing formal reporting processes for victims of misconduct;     - Implementing regular anonymous employee surveys to evaluate workplace culture; and     - Expanding and improving the Mavericks’ Human Resources department and instituting clear protocols for investigating workplace misconduct. The report confirms that several of these steps have already been taken, including the hiring of Ms. Marshall and other new senior female leaders, and notes that “we heard from employees of a sea change in the professional environment at the Mavericks that began almost immediately following” the publication of the Sports Illustrated article. In recognition of the institutional and other failures set forth in the report, Mr. Cuban has agreed to contribute $10 million to organizations that are committed to supporting the leadership and development of women in the sports industry and combating domestic violence.  These organizations will be selected by an advisory council of leaders from the Mavericks, including Mr. Cuban and Ms. Marshall, and the NBA, including President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, President of Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer Amy Brooks, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Oris Stuart. Additionally, the NBA is requiring the Mavericks to:         - Provide the league office with quarterly reports regarding the recommendations set forth in the report and their implementation;         - Immediately report to the league office any instances or allegations of significant misconduct by any employee;         - Continually enhance and update annual “Respect in the Workplace” training for all staff, including ownership; and         - Implement a program to train all staff, including ownership, on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. “The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking and no employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We appreciate that Mark Cuban reacted swiftly, thoroughly and transparently to the allegations first set forth in Sports Illustrated – including the immediate hiring of Cynthia Marshall as CEO to effect change, but as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees. While nothing will undo the harm caused by a select few former employees of the Mavericks, the workplace reforms and the $10 million that Mark has agreed to contribute are important steps toward rectifying this past behavior and shining a light on a pervasive societal failing -- the inability of too many organizations to provide a safe and welcoming workplace for women.” Following the allegations made in the Sports Illustrated article, the NBA conducted a thorough review of its existing policies and procedures related to respect in the workplace, and required all NBA teams to do the same. In addition, the league established a confidential leaguewide hotline for team and league employees to report workplace misconduct including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.  While many of the recommendations contained in the investigation report are already part of established practice at the league office, any that are not will shortly be adopted. The report of the independent investigation is available here......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Qatar braces for new environment and new Gilas team

Monday's closed-door game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers will be a first for Gilas Pilipinas. It's also going a first for Qatar, the Philippines' opponents in the Group F clash. As both teams prepare for the historic outing, it's sure weird for the visiting Qataris to not see a massive crowd at the Big Dome. Gilas home games tend to be packed after all. "I mean, I'm not sure how many closed door games have been played here in Manila. I think we were looking forward to playing in a packed environment, just for the experience and the atmosphere for the players," head coach Tim Lewis said on the close-door game. "So it will be different, you'll be able to hear everything we say, and I'm sure the game will have a different feel to it, it's hard to say until we actually start playing," he added. Lewis is familiar with how Gilas plays its home games after coaching Thailand in the 2017 SEABA Championships here in Manila. After that, Lewis was also involved with the TNT KaTropa for about a month as a consultant. "I've coached teams where we played in gyms with not many fans. Here, you don't expect that though, especially when you're playing against Gilas," Lewis said. Aside from dealing with a new environment, Lewis and the Qataris also prepare for a new-look Gilas team. Former head coach Chot Reyes is gone and coach Yeng Guiao's Final 12 for Monday feature players not necessarily included in previous Gilas iterations. It doesn't mean that the Philippines got weaker though. "Any Gilas team is gonna be solid, they play in a strong lead, they're well-coached. So I think it's probably not a fair statement to say it's a weak Gilas team," Lewis said. "I think it's a different Gilas team. They're getting to know each other, playing a different system, so you know, the coach is gonna have his own problems in terms of that. But they performed well against Iran and they did a good job in the Asian Games. So the core of that team is together and I'm sure they'll come out and be super competitive," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

Cimatu on mission ‘to rescue’ kidnapped OFWs

DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu will fly on Monday to Libya with other government officials to help secure the release of three overseas Filipino engineers who were kidnapped in the war-torn country last month. Cimatu still holds the portfolio as the government’s special envoy to….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsAug 24th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. 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. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018