Need to know

5 at 5: Clippers owner Donald Sterling relents

Also: Harper must appoint another Supreme Court judge and the latest from the Thai coup

Los Angeles Clippers team owner Donald Sterling (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Los Angeles Clippers team owner Donald Sterling (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Donald Sterling agrees to move towards selling the LA Clippers. Apparently, someone told Sterling how much his legal fees would be to fight to keep ownership of the LA Clippers after he was caught on tape making racist remarks. Reports Friday said the soon-to-be former owner of the team had a change of heart and has relinquished control of the team to his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, who will work to sell the team. Originally, Donald Sterling had said he would sue the NBA, which fined him $2.5 million and banned him from owning another team for life after his comments. He then proceeded to give a disastrous interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper where he justified his remarks and went on to insult Magic Johnson for having HIV and being a poor example for kids. At this point, stepping back slowly from the whole mess is probably the only thing Sterling can do.

Another Supreme Court judge from Quebec is set to retire. Your move, Harper. Supreme Court Justice Louis LeBel gave his notice Friday, saying he will retire when he turns 75 in November. This will leave Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a second Quebec vacancy to fill. The Supreme Court has already been missing one Quebec judge since the Conservatives tried, and failed, to appoint Marc Nadon in March. That failed appointment somehow escalated into an unprecedented public spat: Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin vs. Harper and his Justice Minister. Surely, though, Harper and his advisers can go back to the long-list and find another suitable candidate, or two, by fall.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra detained in military facility. Reports from local Thai media say Yingluck arrived at a military camp near Bangkok Friday and that she is being held there, along with 150 other politicians and activists as the military maintains power of the country since Thursday’s coup. Local media reported a senior officer saying she, along with members of her family, will be held for “not more than week” while the military organizes the country.

Russia to complete pulling troops back from Ukraine’s border. Tensions could be easing ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election after Russia said Friday that it would complete removal of troops from near the Ukrainian border “within a few days.” Ukrainians head to the polls to vote for a new president Sunday. Violence has escalated ahead of the vote, with pro-Russian militants attacking Ukrainian military checkpoints and casualties on both sides. However, U.S. observers say it is too soon to tell whether Russia will make good on this promise.

Rob Ford’s approval rating sinks to new low. Finally, the Teflon Mayor’s anti-stick coating seems to be chipping. A new poll, released Friday, shows Rob Ford’s approval rating at 32 per cent, down from 38 per cent in the last Forum Research Poll on the subject in May. Previous to that, his approval ratings were consistently around 40 per cent, despite a host of scandals. However, the poll also suggetes that Ford is still in third place in the Toronto mayor’s race, behind Olivia Chow and John Tory. Still pretty impressive, especially given his last recorded rant (the one released right before Ford went into rehab), in which Ford insulted pretty much every minority group in Toronto. Also this afternoon, the GreeneStone Muskoka rehab centre confirmed that Ford is, indeed, a patient there. So, that mystery is solved.