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  • Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- LaVar Ball downplayed reports that he is feuding with President Donald Trump in an interview on Monday, but he declined to thank the president for helping to get his son, LiAngelo Ball, home from China.“You know where my boy is at right now because of me. Because I spent all that time and love for him,” LaVar Ball said in an interview with CNN Monday evening. “Don't come in one time and think you did something for my son.”"I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody," he added.LiAngelo Ball and two other freshman UCLA basketball players -- Jalen Hill and Cody Riley — were arrested in China earlier this month after they reportedly shoplifted items from three different stores, including Louis Vuitton. The players were detained in their hotel in Hangzhou during the president’s 12-day Asian tour."Just because people say things, they're supposed to be true? Like he stopped them from [serving] 10 years?" the elder Ball said Monday. "Maybe we were doing some talking with some other people before he even got there."“If I was going to thank someone, I would probably thank [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping]," he added.LaVar Ball, who said his son returned the stolen merchandise and wrote an apology letter, said he did more than Trump to get the players home safely."I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation when we first jumped on there," Ball said. "I keep those people in mind."He also downplayed reports that he and Trump were engaged in a war of words.“Why would I be at war with the most powerful man in the world? That's my question,” LaVar Ball said. “What do you mean take on Donald Trump? Take him on for what?”Trump indicated that he wanted recognition for his help in securing the release of the players, who he says were facing 10 years in jail, in a tweet last Wednesday.The three players, who admitted to shoplifting in a news conference later that day, thanked Trump for his assistance in the case, but LaVar Ball has seemed to downplay Trump's role ever since."Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!" Trump wrote in a tweet on Sunday."Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful," Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet more than five hours later.
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  • Julian Finney/Getty Images for WTA(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) -- Venus Williams arrived at her lawyer's West Palm Beach, Florida, office earlier Thursday morning to give a deposition related to the fatal car crash that killed an elderly man last June.The tennis champion faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of Jerome Barson, 78, who died from injuries sustained in the crash on June 9 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.Jerome Barson's wife, Linda Barson, was driving a Hyundai Accent when it hit Williams' Toyota Sequoia at an intersection. Jerome Barson was taken to a local hospital and died more than a week later from organ failure.The lawsuit, filed by the Barsons' daughter, alleges wrongful death action, and the family is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by ABC News. The family claims Williams is at fault for being in the middle of the intersection on a red light.The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, which investigated the crash, released police surveillance video footage which they said showed that Williams "lawfully entered" the intersection.In a statement from July, police said Williams was trying to travel north through the intersection, when a "Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams' vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision."As Williams began to travel north again through the intersection, Linda Barson, with her husband as a passenger, was traveling west and came to a red light that "then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided with the right front of Williams' vehicle," the statement from police said.Williams was not ticketed for the crash.After the police surveillance footage was released, Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said in a statement that "once Ms. Williams entered the intersection lawfully, she had the right to proceed through the intersection and other vehicles including those with a red light changing to green, were obligated to yield the right-of-way to Ms. Williams."He added, "Ms. Williams is grateful for the continued diligence and efforts of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department in its investigation. At the same time, as this process moves forward, she remains deeply saddened by the loss suffered by the Barson family and continues to keep them in her thoughts and prayers." Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(LAKE MARY, Fla.) -- When one high school principal showed off her moves during a recent pep rally, her students went wild.Dr. Mickey Reynolds, the principal of Lake Mary High School in Florida, didn't know if her students would laugh or cheer her on at the school's pep rally ahead of their big game last Friday."As a principal, often times you’re willing to let students make fun of you," Reynolds said with a laugh. "That's just part of the job."But she knew she had the moves, having coached two step teams earlier in her 28-year career in education.So when Reynolds returned to Lake Mary High, the school from which she graduated back in 1986 and the school where her father served as it's first principal, she knew she'd get in the groove.Reynolds approached Kelly Lupis, the coach of the school's Unity Revolution STEP team, with the idea. Lupis said the principal should join the team for Friday's performance.When Reynolds showed up for rehearsals, she was in for a big surprise. She learned she wouldn't just be popping in; she'd really be performing."I wasn't thinking they'd have me doing half the darn routine," the principal admitted. "[I thought] I'm getting a little old for this."At Friday night's performance, students and even parents who had come to support the school said Reynolds nailed her performance.Becky Godwin, whose two teens attend Lake Mary, told ABC News she was impressed."When she walked out onto the floor, you could literally feel the oxygen leave the room," Godwin recalled. "It was just the most amazing decibel of noise I’ve ever heard and I’ve been to every pep rally. I’ve never heard the students lose their minds like this."Godwin posted Reynolds performance on Facebook, where it quickly went viral; it now has at least 1.9 million views."That was really neat way for her to give back to us," Godwin said. "She showed them. She definitely showed them."And the performance worked. Lake Mary High's football team went on to make the playoff's at Friday night's game.
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  • ABC News(TOKYO) -- Offering toasts at a state dinner on President Trump’s final evening in Japan before moving on to South Korea, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heralded the success of "golf diplomacy" with Trump, while the president, in turn, shared a story about how their relationship got off to a “rocky start.”Abe spoke first to the dinner at Agasaka Palace and shared lessons of the golf diplomacy passed on to him by his grandfather, who served as prime minister of Japan and also golfed with a U.S. president: Dwight Eisenhower."Sixty years ago, my grandfather, Prime Minister Kishi and President Eisenhower, were the ones who initiated this tradition," Abe said.Soon after Trump’s arrival in Tokyo Sunday, he and Abe played nine holes at Kasumigaseki Country Club, the planned site of the 2020 Olympics golf tournament. It was the second time the two leaders golfed together, having also hit the links together earlier this year when Abe visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida."Yesterday golf diplomacy between Donald and me attracted so much attention and we actually made everything public except for the scores," Abe said.After Sunday’s game, Abe said he had learned a lesson in golf diplomacy of his own: "When you play golf with someone not just once, but twice, the person must be your favorite guy.”Trump then offered a toast of his own, referring to Abe as a “good friend” but also noting that he’s a “very, very tough negotiator” and revealing their relationship got off to a “rocky start.”It all started when Trump received a congratulatory call from Abe soon after his surprise election victory.“After I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world. I never knew we had so many countries," Trump joked.The president, noting his inexperience in politics, said he was unaware he wasn’t supposed to see world leaders until after Jan, 20, because it’s “not a nice thing to do” to the outgoing president. So when Abe expressed interest in meeting him, the president replied, “I said anytime you want.”Little did Trump know that Abe would take him up on the offer so soon, saying he thought they wouldn't meet until after the inauguration. But it wasn’t long after their call, Trump recalled, that reporters were calling Trump Tower with news that Abe was coming to New York City to meet him.The president said aides told him he couldn’t take the meeting, but that when he got around to trying to call Abe to back out, the prime minister was already on the plane headed his way. Trump decided at the time that he wouldn’t not meet with the prime minister at that point.“You have a very aggressive, strong, tough prime minister. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said Sunday.The president then remarked on the now-famous gold golf driver that Abe gifted the president during that first meeting, calling it "the most beautiful club I have ever seen."Thanking Abe and his wife for the warm welcome that he and the first lady received in Japan, the president predicted that the two nations’ strong friendship will endure for hundreds of years to come.“Our two great countries will have incredible friendship and incredible success for many centuries to come,” he said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(VERMILLION, South Dakota) -- Two University of South Dakota football players have been arrested and charged over an alleged sexual assault.The Vermillion, South Dakota, police department said that Danny Rambo Jr., 20, had been charged with second degree rape and that Dale Williamson Jr., 21, had been charged with attempted second degree rape.“This is a very troubling accusation, and university police will assist the Vermillion investigation in any way possible,” USD President James W. Abbott said in a statement. “The university is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students."The South Dakota football program announced the suspension of three players over the weekend, including the two charged on Monday for rape.Rambo is identified by the team as a junior from Donalsville, Florida and Williamson is a sophomore from Texarkana, Texas.The Vermillion police said the pair had been arrested as a result of a sexual assault investigation initiated on Oct. 25 for the alleged incident that took place on Oct. 22 in the city of Vermillion, where the university is located.Both men turned themselves in without incident, police said, adding that the investigation is continuing. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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