Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

Jyoti Kumari Paswan, center bottom, with her family in Siruhully village at Darbhanga district, cycled her ailing father 1,200 kilometers across India during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (AFP)
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Updated 23 May 2020

Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

  • Paswan and Kumari arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days
  • Father and daughter’s arduous journey makes headlines

DARBHANGA, India: A 15-year-old girl who pedaled her injured migrant-worker father more than a thousand kilometers across India after a coronavirus lockdown left them destitute has been invited to try out for the national cycling team.
Jyoti Kumari rode a bicycle with her father, Mohan Paswan, sitting on the pillion and holding their belongings from Gurugram city, near New Delhi, to their village in the northeastern state of Bihar, local media reported.
They arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days.
Paswan, a motorized rickshaw driver, was among millions of migrant workers left jobless after the country was suddenly locked down in March to slow the spread of the virus.
With no money to pay rent or buy food and public transport halted, many walked or — like Kumari and Paswan — rode bicycles back to their villages.
The father and daughter’s arduous journey on a second-hand bike bought with their remaining funds made headlines.
It also caught the attention of the Cycling Federation of India, which offered Kumari the chance to try out for the country’s team.
“She covered this distance in seven days with her father and some luggage too. I thought she has something in her... that endurance level. We can try her,” chairman Onkar Singh said.
“She said she only wants to pursue her studies. We told her that we also take care of studies at our academies.”
The cycling body expects Kumari to travel to Delhi after nationwide travel restrictions are lifted.
Singh said the federation would test Kumari to see if she is suitable for competitive cycling.
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, praised Kumari’s efforts in a tweet, describing it as a “beautiful feat of endurance & love.”


‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

Updated 02 June 2020

‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

  • Joe Exotic’s feud with Baskin captivated millions in a Netflix documentary that became a sensation during the early stages of the lockdown
  • A judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin after a protracted legal wrangle

NEW YORK: The star of hit Netflix series “Tiger King” will have to hand over the ownership of his famous zoo to the nemesis he tried to have murdered, a court has ruled.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is in jail after he was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January for the attempted murder of Carole Baskin.
His feud with Baskin, an animal sanctuary owner, captivated millions in the Netflix documentary that became a sensation when it was released in March as America went into coronavirus lockdown.
Baskin had for years accused Exotic of abusing the animals, including tigers, in his park.
Exotic said Baskin was trying to destroy his business, and their dispute ended up in a years-long legal battle.
On Monday, a judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida.
The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park will have to vacate the premises, “including removal of all zoo animals,” Judge Scott Palk said in the decision.
In 2013, a Florida court ordered Exotic to pay Baskin $1 million because his company had used logos and images similar to those of Big Cat Rescue.
Exotic tried to get off from paying by shielding his assets, leading to this second lawsuit, with the judge ruling in Baskin’s favor.
“Tiger King,” a seven-part documentary, was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows.
The platform announced in late April that in one month, 64 million subscribers had seen all or part of the series.
Exotic, 57, has requested a pardon from President Donald Trump.