Sumo in uproar as women first responders ordered out of ring

A photo grab from a Youtube video shows women climbing up a sumo ring to treat Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami, who collapsed while making a speech in a gym in Maizuru, Kyoto prefecture, Japan April 4, 2018 in this photo released by Kyodo. (Kyodo/via Reuters)
Updated 05 April 2018
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Sumo in uproar as women first responders ordered out of ring

TOKYO: The head of Japan’s sumo association has apologized over an incident in which women first responders were asked to get out of the ring as they attempted to revive an official who collapsed.
In sumo’s tradition, the ring is considered sacred and women are prohibited from entering.
That posed a problem Wednesday when Ryozo Tatami, the 67-year-old mayor of Maizuru in northern Kyoto, collapsed during a ring-top speech. Two women, apparently medical experts, rushed in and started performing first aid as several male sumo officials surrounding the mayor looked on.
When two more women rose to the ring trying to join the first aid effort, announcements demanded the women get out of the ring.
“Ladies, please get off the ring,” a sumo referee said, determinedly. “Only gentlemen go up.”
Footage posted on social media triggered outrage, with many criticizing sumo officials and saying they were choosing tradition over life.
Sumo chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku called the announcement inappropriate and apologized late Wednesday, while thanking the women for working to save the mayor.
In a statement, Hakkaku said the announcement was made by an official who panicked after seeing the women in the ring, but never touched on the divisive tradition.
“It was an inappropriate response in a life-threatening situation,” Hakkaku said.
The mayor, who had an acute cerebral hemorrhage, survived and was in stable condition Thursday after receiving emergency surgery at a hospital, city officials said.
The footage posted on YouTube was shown on major Japanese networks and other media as the news topped headlines Thursday.
“Of course it is important to protect tradition, but the way it excludes women perhaps is out of step with the times, and that’s how I feel as a woman,” said Yurika Mita, a newscaster on a Fuji Television Network talk show. “Without the women’s effort, the life of one person might have been lost.”
Sumo’s male-only tradition has raised controversy for decades, with even top women politicians barred from honoring winners in the ring.


Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

Updated 24 May 2019
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Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

  • The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul
  • The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault

NEW YORK: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a provisional $44 million settlement with alleged victims and creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Weinstein’s spokesperson denied to comment.
The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
Weinstein — a catalyst for the #MeToo anti-harassment movement — has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women and faces life in prison if he is convicted at the trial, which could last five weeks.
In addition to the alleged victims and creditors, the settlement covers the proceedings started by former New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has been succeeded by Letitia James.
The proceedings aim specifically to guarantee the alleged victims will be compensated.
James’s spokesperson also declined to comment.
The settlement amount will be paid out by insurance agencies, the Journal reported, several of which count The Weinstein Company, the production company Weinstein co-founded, among their clients.
Since October 2017, Weinstein — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood before a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations precipitated his downfall — has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women.
Among his accusers are prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.