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Originally published Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:54 PM

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Rodman tells Kim Jong Un he has 'friend for life' | A.M. Briefing

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out with North Korea's Kim Jong Un during his improbable journey to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters...

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Basketball

Rodman tells Kim Jong Un

he has 'friend for life'

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out with North Korea's Kim Jong Un during his improbable journey to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later drinking and dining on sushi with him.

"You have a friend for life," Rodman told Kim before a crowd of thousands Thursday at a gymnasium where they sat side by side, chatting as they watched players from North Korea and the United States face off in mixed teams, Alex Detrick, a spokesman for the New York-based VICE media company, told The Associated Press.

Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters and a VICE production crew to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series.

Tennis

Querrey ousted at Delray Beach

Third-seeded Sam Querrey of the U.S. double-faulted on the last two points of the third-set tiebreaker to lose to qualifier Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) at the Delray Beach (Fla.) International Championships.

Djokovic, Federer reach semis

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia remained unbeaten this year by routing Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-0, 6-3 as the top four seeds powered into the semifinals of the Dubai Championships in United Arab Emirates. Defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland defeated Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-2, 6-2.

Williams advances

American Venus Williams beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semifinals of the Brazil Tennis Cup in Florianopolis.

Nadal into semifinals

Rafael Nadal beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1, 7-5 to advance to the semifinals of the Mexican Open in Acapulco, setting up a meeting with Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

NFL

Salary cap increases to $123M

The salary cap for the 2013 season will rise to $123 million from $120.6 million in 2012, an NFL Players Association official familiar with negotiations over the figure told The Associated Press. The league and the union work together to establish a cap number, based on parameters established under their collective-bargaining agreement. The 10-year CBA was signed in August 2011, ending the owners' lockout of the players.

The increase, which is larger than some in the NFL had anticipated, is a result of greater-than-expected revenues last season — primarily from NFL Properties — and a jump in projected league revenues, according to the official.

Cowboys redo 5 contracts

The Dallas Cowboys reworked the contracts of five starters — defensive end DeMarcus Ware, tight end Jason Witten, receiver Miles Austin, cornerback Brandon Carr and center Ryan Cook — and wiped out the $20 million they were projected to be over the salary cap this year.

Swimming

Utah suspends coach

Utah swim coach Greg Winslow was suspended because of allegations he sexually abused a teenage girl he coached in Arizona six years ago.

Winslow is in his sixth season as the Utes' swim coach. Though no charges have been filed, Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he believes the allegations are serious enough to warrant the suspension pending further investigation.

NHL

Blackhawks extend streak

Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Ray Emery and Corey Crawford combined on a shutout as the Chicago Blackhawks extended their NHL-record season-opening points streak to 20 games with a 3-0 win over the host St. Louis Blues.

Avalanche keep O'Reilly

A few hours after Ryan O'Reilly signed an offer sheet with Calgary, the restricted free-agent center was back with the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames announced earlier they had signed O'Reilly to a multiyear offer sheet. Colorado had a week to match it but did so in hours. TSN in Canada reported the deal is worth $10 million over two years, including a $2 million signing bonus.

Elsewhere

Rachel Alexandra continues to make "better than expected" progress from abdominal surgery. Vital signs are normal for the 2009 Horse of the Year, whose trademark spirit has also returned judging from the occasional nip at her handlers. Rachel Alexandra is grazing and being hand walked several times a day in Lexington, Ky., and veterinarians are pleased with her progress.

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier gave the United States its first pairs title since 2007 at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Milan, while Joshua Farris, Shotaro Omori and Jason Brown became the first U.S. men to go 1-2-3 in the short program.

• Sheriff's officials said Tennessee Titans tight end Brandon Barden was arrested in a rollover drunken-driving crash in Lincolnton, Ga.

• D.C. United acquired midfielder Kyle Porter from the Vancouver Whitecaps for a second-round pick in next year's MLS supplemental draft.

• The Portland Timbers traded forward Danny Mwanga to the Colorado Rapids for a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS draft. Portland signed striker Frederic Piquionne to a one-year contract.

• Sporting Kansas City signed midfielder Christian Duke and defender Mechack Jerome after both of them impressed the MLS club during training camp.

• The Washington Capitals claimed bruiser Aaron Volpatti off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.

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