Dallas: Rodman apologizes for comments about arrested male

For his part, Rodman has apologized for comments he made about captive American missionary Kenneth Bae in an interview with CNN. The former basketball star issued the apology Thursday through publicist Jules Feiler in an email message to The Associated Press.

“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family,” Rodman said, adding he had had “a very stressful day” when he made the comments.

“Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.”

He added, “At this point, I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”

Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, said earlier Wednesday his family couldn’t believe what Rodman said about Bae. In a CNN interview Tuesday, Rodman said he refused to discuss Bae with North Korean leaders and implied Bae may deserve to be imprisoned. Rodman and other former NBA players played in an exhibition game Wednesday in Pyongyang and Rodman sang a verse from a birthday song to Kim.

Chung said her brother did nothing wrong and that Rodman didn’t know what he was talking about.

“Clearly, he’s uninformed and doesn’t know anything about Kenneth or his detainment. I don’t think he has any authority to speak or pass judgment on Kenneth, certainly,” Chung said.

She had no immediate comment Wednesday night after Rodman’s apology was announced.

“I’m just headed to bed,” she said. “I’ll have to take a look at it tomorrow.”

Bae, 45, was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group. He was accused of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. He was moved to a hospital last summer in poor health.

The State Department has told the family it’s doing everything it can to free Bae, but Chung is not aware of anything in the works.

Bae was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States in 1985 with his parents and sister. He attended the University of Oregon and lived in the Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, where his mother, Myunghee Bae, now lives. Chung lives in nearby Edmonds.

Bae was allowed to call home Dec. 29 because of the holidays, Chung said.

It was the first time his three children from an earlier marriage have spoken to him, she said. He has two in Arizona and another in Hawaii, ages 17, 22 and 23, Chung said.

Before his arrest, Bae lived in China for seven years with his wife and stepdaughter. He ran a tour business and led 18 trips to North Korea, Chung said.

“He worked there legally. He had official permission to be there. He had business relations,” she said.

Nothing was amiss until his arrest, apparently related to his religion, she said.

“He is a man of faith, and I’m afraid his Christian faith has been deemed hostile against the state,” Chung said.

The family is concerned about his health as well as his freedom. He has diabetes, an enlarged heart and a back injury that prevents him for standing more than 30 minutes at a time. They’re glad he’s in the hospital, rather than the labor camp, but want him released.

“We want him well and back home,” Chung said.

Source: http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/08/3195893/family-appalled-rodman-wont-help.html

Your Money: Time your charitable gift suggestions ahead of when year-end

It’s the giving season! Make charitable donations well before year-end 2013 in order to get your tax deduction. Don’t wait until the last minute to make charitable donations to a favorite organization, or to transfer money to relatives free of gift taxes.

Charitable IRA rollovers are one vehicle that JPMorgan highlights to older and retired clients. In 2013, taxpayers over age 70½ can make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 from an IRA to qualified charities (not including private foundations and donor-advised funds) while counting that toward their required minimum distribution, says Julia Fisher, wealth adviser at JPMorgan in Philadelphia.

But time your gifts well, she adds; otherwise they might not count for the current tax year.

If you:

Give to charity by check, the effective date of the contribution is the date the check is mailed.

If you make gifts to noncharity donees by check, the effective date is the day the check clears. (Federal law allows individuals to gift up to $14,000 and married couples to give gifts of up to $28,000 to as many individuals as they wish - without triggering any gift tax.)

Gifts of stock by certificate form to charity are effective on the date of transfer according to the issuer’s records.

Gifts of stock by electronic transfer to charity (for example, through the Depository Trust Co.) are effective the date the stock is received according to the issuer’s record. That can take days.

Gifts of stock by electronic transfer to noncharity donees are effective the date the transfer is made on the books of the corporation. This can take weeks.

Gifts by credit card are effective the date the charge is made to the card.

Let’s say in 2013, you and your spouse sold a greatly appreciated vacation home owned for many years. The new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on net investment only affects higher-income individuals, but that includes anyone with a big, one-time taxable income or gain in this year.

Location: 5N375 Cuyahoga Ter,
Bartlett, IL, 60103
Phone: 800-648-5940

Isdaner & Co., CPAs in Bala Cynwyd, says consider selling the vacation home in installments and spread the gain over several years. See the full version of their latest client note here: .

CBIZ MHM in Plymouth Meeting will be hosting a breakfast and seminar on Dec. 3 to review some 2014 events impacting businesses and individuals. Here’s the online invitation at . Or contact Edward R. Jenkins, tax director at CBIZ at .


Taken from: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/personal_finance/20131126_Your_Money__Time_your_charitable_gifts_well_before_year-end.html