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Events like recent Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament at Trump’s club could soon be banned in N.J.

Events like recent Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament at Trump’s club could soon be banned in N.J.

Just a few weeks after former President Donald Trump hosted the controversial LIV Golf tour at his Bedminster club, a pair of state lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would ban such an event from ever happening again in New Jersey.

The bill from state Sens. Andrew Zwicker and Richard Codey, both Democrats, would prohibit sports organizations that operate primarily with money from sovereign wealth funds from hosting sporting events in the Garden State.

That would include LIV, the professional golf tour that aims to rival the PGA but has faced blowback because it’s backed by the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

In announcing their bill Tuesday, Zwicker and Codey pointed out that U.S. intelligence reports have said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the prince denies. They also noted the country has been accused of human rights abuses.

“New Jersey has long been fertile ground for producing top-quality athletes, and for hosting major sporting events known throughout the world,” Zwicker, D-Middlesex, said.

“Yet we do not need further recognition or notoriety from hosting competitions that are bankrolled by repressive governments or unsavory actors like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This legislation will prohibit the Saudi PIF or any other sovereign wealth fund from using New Jersey or its sporting organizations in any shameful ‘sports-washing’ endeavors.”

In addition, families of Sept. 11 victims protested the LIV at Trump’s club last month, calling it “death golf,” after FBI documents last year said Saudi hijackers received support from Saudi nationals leading into the 2001 terrorist attack. The Saudi government has denied any involvement in the attacks.

“No one would have believed that after that terrible day that we would be allowing foreign governments to hold events in New Jersey in an attempt to clean up their image after centuries of human rights abuses and connections to terrorists,” Codey, D-Essex, said.

The founder of the group 9/11 Justice told Politico that a Trump representative called him to say Sept. 11 “is really near and dear to Trump” and he will “remember everyone” who sent a letter relaying their anger about the event.

At the event, Trump said “nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11 unfortunately, and they should have.” He also called the terrorists who carried out the attack “maniacs that did that horrible thing to our city, to our country, to the world.”

The Republican and his senior adviser and son-in-law, New Jersey native Jared Kushner, had close relationships with the Saudi crown prince when Trump was president. After Trump left office, the Saudi investment fund gave $2 billion to Kushner’s private equity firm.

Meanwhile, Trump has said the LIV Tour has created “gold rush” for players. The tour has offered top golfers tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to play. The deal Phil Mickelson signed is rumored to be worth $200 million over less than give years.

Mickelson has defended playing in the tour, saying “I don’t condone human rights violations at all” but he has also “seen the good that the game of golf has done throughout history and I believe LIV Golf is going to do a lot of good for the game as well.”

Under New Jersey’s proposed bill, the state attorney general would have the authority to ensure municipalities, countries, organizations, governments, property owners, and licenses holders comply with the ban.

The measure would need to be passed by both the state Senate and Assembly — both of which are controlled by Democrats — and signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to become law.

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Brent Johnson may be reached at Follow him at @johnsb01.

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Manitoba premier banned from future Pride events after absence from parade | CBC News

Manitoba premier banned from future Pride events after absence from parade | CBC News

Premier Heather Stefanson will not be invited to participate in future Winnipeg Pride events after she didn’t walk in the parade Sunday, which the organizer’s president says insulted an entire community.

After former Manitoba premier Brian Pallister spoke at a Pride rally without participating in the parade 2019, Pride organizers implemented a policy that any leaders invited to speak must also walk in the parade.

After multiple meetings with her staff, it was determined that the new premier could speak before the parade, which she did.

Organizers say they were told she would walk at least two-thirds of the route after her speech, but she did not.

Pride president Barry Karlenzig says he feels like they were lied to for a photo opportunity.

“Why is that team telling me one thing, and then the premier has the audacity to pull exactly what the previous premier did?” Karlenzig said.

“Even after multiple meetings with that office saying this cannot happen or they will not be allowed to walk. So now they’ve done what we told them not to do. She’s not invited next year. Period.”

Premier apologizes

In a statement, Stefanson said she was unable to join the parade due to scheduling conflicts, and there was a miscommunication between her staff and the organizers.

“I want to sincerely apologize to Pride Winnipeg and the 2SLGBTQ+ community for not being able to join in the march portion of Sunday’s events,” she said.

“I hope this mistake is an opportunity to forge a new path forward based on respect and shared goals to build a more inclusive and prosperous Manitoba.”

Pressed about her lack of participation after a news conference Thursday, Stefanson said she was never told that walking in the parade was a requirement of speaking at the rally.

“I was not aware of that. Had I been, I would have been there,” she said. 

Stefanson said she had three events planned for the day of the parade, and was double-booked. 

She said following the Pride rally, she attended a community event at Maples Community Centre with members of the Sikh community. She couldn’t recall what time it started, but said she didn’t want to leave the parade halfway through and be disrespectful. 

The premier said she looks forward to meeting with the Pride Winnipeg executive and hopes they can repair the relationship. 

Karlenzig said he spoke Wednesday evening to a senior staff member who said the oversight was his fault, but the Pride president said he holds the premier responsible.

A spokesperson for the premier clarified that it was a senior strategic adviser that Karlenzig spoke with, not Stefanson’s chief of staff, as Karlenzig originally said.

Other politicians did walk in the parade, including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew, along with MLAs from the Progressive Conservatives, NDP and Manitoba Liberal Party.

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew and members of the Manitoba NDP walk in Sunday’s Pride Parade in Winnipeg. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman walks in the Sunday Pride Parade. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont was not able to attend as he was recovering from COVID-19. 

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Banned Books Take Center Stage At Two Events – Brookdale Community College

Banned Books Take Center Stage At Two Events - Brookdale Community College
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Ukrainian athletes call for nations to boycott FIL events until Russia banned

Ukrainian lugers have called for athletes to boycott events until Russia is banned ©Getty Images

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Alexander Zverev ‘should be banned from big events, undergo rehab process’, says Mats Wilander

Alexander Zverev 'should be banned from big events, undergo rehab process', says Mats Wilander

Eurosport expert Mats Wilander has given his views on Alexander Zverev being allowed to continue playing tennis so soon after striking an umpire’s chair in a shockingly violent fashion in Mexico.

The world No. 3 was handed the maximum fine by the ATP following his vicious reaction at the Mexican Open as he struck Alessandro Germani’s chair several times with his racquet after his doubles defeat alongside Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.
Zverev was thrown out of the tournament and fined $40,000 (£30,000), plus a full forfeit of his prize money and ATP ranking points. He had yelled while narrowly avoiding hitting the umpire: “You f****** destroyed the whole f****** match. The whole f****** match”.

Davis Cup

Zverev makes Davis Cup U-turn to play for Germany after Acapulco disqualification


The 24-year-old apologised for his outburst and made a sudden U-turn to represent Germany against Brazil in the Davis Cup in Rio de Janeiro on March 4 and 5 – something he has not done since February 2019.

Wilander believes the punishment was nowhere near strong enough and Zverev should not be permitted to be back in action so soon after such a shocking incident.

“If a player breaks his racquet on the umpire’s chair and he is literally a few centimetres away from hitting the umpire’s leg, he should not be allowed to get on a tennis court until he has gone through some kind of rehab, some kind of time,” Wilander told Eurosport.

“We need to punish him accordingly, and allowing him to come out and play professional tennis the week after or two weeks after, that is too soon.

Alexander Zverev – ATP Acapulco

Image credit: Eurosport

“To me, money does not do it, and I think you either give someone with that behaviour a three-month suspension or a six-month suspension. You do not allow him to play the most important tournaments on his calendar. Now, the most important tournaments are most probably the Grand Slams, the ATP 1000, the Davis Cup.

“I mean, I do not know where you draw the line, but certainly going out and competing in any shape or form straight away, it does not seem like that is very fair to other players.

“Maybe it is time to have some kind of a professional body of tennis that makes all these decisions, and it is the combination of the ATP, the ITF, the WTA, the Olympic committee. We get together, and these kinds of behaviours, no, you’re not allowed to play on any circuit until you have gone through some kind of a rehabilitation process.

“So no, it is not great for tennis. For him personally, it is most probably a good move that he can suddenly start playing, not just for himself, but to play for his country and his team-mates. But no, I think that is … it does not send a great message for professional tennis.

“I applaud him for being an emotional wreck at the end of the loss in a doubles match – that just shows that he cares, but you have to show that you care in different ways.

“I think I go back to what happened against Denis Shapovalov at the Australian Open. After 45 minutes, he was destroying a tennis racquet on the court.

‘The disqualification was not too harsh’ – Djokovic on Zverev’s outburst in Mexico

“I do not like destroying tennis racquets, even though it has become more and more acceptable in the professional world of tennis.

“I absolutely hate that behaviour because there are more tennis players in the world that cannot afford a second racquet. So do not show the kids that that is how we treat the material that we use.”


Medvedev’s rise to number one: How has he done it and what’s next?

28/02/2022 AT 06:46

ATP Acapulco

Zverev handed maximum fine after umpire chair attack

25/02/2022 AT 07:22

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Russia banned from team events, players can still compete on ATP, WTA Tours

Russia banned from team events, players can still compete on ATP, WTA Tours

Russia has been banned from defending its Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles but its players will still be allowed to compete at the Grand Slams and in regular tour events.

The decision by tennis authorities follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week. Belarus, a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia says is a “special operation”, has also been banned from the international team competitions.

“The international governing bodies of tennis stand united in our condemnation of Russia’s actions,” the ATP, WTA, International Tennis Federation and the Grand Slams said in a joint statement.



Russian and Belarusian players will be able to play on the elite ATP and WTA Tours but not under the name or flag of their countries, the governing bodies said.

Ukrainian tennis player Svitolina won’t play Russian opponent unless tours act

Djokovic splits with long-time coach Vajda

Men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and number six Andrey Rublev helped Russia beat Croatia in the 2021 Davis Cup final in Madrid in December a month after the Russian women won the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague.

The tennis authorities also suspended Moscow’s combined WTA-ATP event scheduled for October.

It is unclear whether Russia will be able to compete in the lucrative team-based ATP Cup in Australia. Russia made the semi-finals of the 2022 event in January and won the 2021 tournament.

The ITF said it had suspended the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation’s memberships and withdrawn their entries from all ITF team competition until further notice.

The decision followed the ITF’s cancellation of all its tournaments in Russia and Belarus.

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Russia and Belarus banned from team events in tennis by the ITF

Tennis star Daniil Medvedev wants to promote peace after Russia declared war on Ukraine

Russia and Belarus have been expelled immediately from team events in tennis but individual players, like the men’s world No 1 Daniil Medvedev, will be allowed to play on in tournaments around the world.

The International Tennis Federation board met Tuesday to decide the sport’s response to the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The meeting followed the announcement by the IOC’s executive board, which recommended sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competing in international events.

The ITF has excluded both countries from international team events, which include the Davis Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup and the ATP Cup, but it has refused to yield to international pressure to ban individual players from competition. They will carry on but play under a neutral flag.

The decision came as Kyiv braced itself for a dramatic escalation in bloodshed as a 40-mile column of Russian tanks and artillery, snaked towards the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday – seemingly with the aim of surrounding and besieging it, 

The tennis governing body had already cancelled events due to take place in Russia indefinitely on safety grounds, but met today to consider further steps.

The Ukrainian Tennis Federation had called on the sport’s governing body to expel Russia and Belarus from the organisation and ban Russia from individual and team tournaments.

Tennis star Daniil Medvedev wants to promote peace after Russia declared war on Ukraine

Tennis star Daniil Medvedev wants to promote peace after Russia declared war on Ukraine

People walk by a damaged vehicle and an armored car at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv

People walk by a damaged vehicle and an armored car at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv

However, despite the growing horrors of the war, which has already seen 500,000, mostly women and children, flee the stricken country, and has prompted other sports to impose wide-ranging bans, Russians and Belarusians will continue to play in individual tennis tournaments but cannot do so under the name or flag of those nations.

‘At this time, players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete in international tennis events on Tour and at the Grand Slams. However, they will not compete under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice,’ the statement said. 

Medvedev, who became the ATP’s highest ranked player on Monday, can continue to compete, along with his compatriot and world No 6, Andrey Rublev, in the men’s game.

In total there are three Russians and one Belarussian in the world top 100.

Medvedev, 26, and Rublev, 24, have both spoken out about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There are fears the purpose of a convoy (pictured) is to surround Kyiv, besiege it and bomb it into submission - mirroring tactics Russia used in Syria while fighting alongside the forces of Basahar al-Assad

There are fears the purpose of a convoy (pictured) is to surround Kyiv, besiege it and bomb it into submission – mirroring tactics Russia used in Syria while fighting alongside the forces of Basahar al-Assad 

Kyiv endured another night of bombing on Monday before satellite images revealed the huge column of tanks headed for the city, with Putin's men trying to cut off the capital and bomb it into submission

Kyiv endured another night of bombing on Monday before satellite images revealed the huge column of tanks headed for the city, with Putin’s men trying to cut off the capital and bomb it into submission

Russian Andrey Rublev has protested against the war in Ukraine during a tournament in Dubai

Russian Andrey Rublev has protested against the war in Ukraine during a tournament in Dubai


The International Tennis Federation (ITF) condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its facilitation by Belarus. In addition to the cancellation of all ITF events in those countries, the ITF Board has today announced the immediate suspension of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation (BTF) from ITF membership and from participation in ITF international team competition until further notice.

The ITF remains in close contact with the Ukraine Tennis Federation and stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine


Medvedev secured his place at the top of the men’s rankings on the day of the Russian invasion. He took the court in Acapulco, Mexico, hours after Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final loss in Dubai, which meant the Russian would replace him in top spot. Afterwards Medvedev said it was not easy watching the news.

‘By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world,’ the 26-year-old said after reaching the semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament by defeating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

‘We play in so many different countries. I’ve been in so many different countries as a junior and as a pro. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m all for peace.’

Meanwhile, Rublev wrote ‘No war please’ on a camera lens as he strode to last week’s title in Dubai.

In the women’s game, there are even more competitors, with seven Russians and three Belarusians in the top 100. Among them are former number one, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, now ranked three.

Despite the players from Russia and Belarus being allowed to compete, there is the possibility other athletes will refuse to meet them on court.

On Monday, the world number 15, Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina, said she would not play her round of 32 match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova, who is ranked 115, in the Monterrey Open, unless tennis’ governing bodies followed the recommendations made by the International Olympic Committee.

At that point the IOC had only insisted that Russia should compete under a neutral flag. Svitolina has now agreed to play the match with her opponent competing under a neutral flag.

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine initially refused to play her last 32 match against Anastasia Potapova

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine initially refused to play her last 32 match against Anastasia Potapova

In a separate but similar statement on Monday, Ukrainian women’s tennis players including Marta Kostyuk and Lesia Tsurenko railed at what they described as the ‘lack of response’ from tennis to the crisis in Ukraine, urging the ITF to ‘be human’.

‘We Ukrainian tennis players would like to express our great surprise and dissatisfaction with the lack of any response with the situation with our motherland,’ the statement said.

‘It is especially strange that in prior cases of social injustice and sexual harassment the response of WTA was prompt, appropriate and bold.

‘We demand that WTA immediately condemn Russian government, pull all tournaments out of Russia and approach ITF to do the same. Stop the war. Stop Russian aggression. Bring peace to our homes. Be human.’

And the Russian number one Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine and insisted she is not afraid to state her position.

Pavlyuchenkova made one of the strongest statements from any Russian sports star as she appeared to directly criticise the actions of Vladimir Putin, rather than just a plea to end the war.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has spoken out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Pavlyuchenkova said ‘personal ambitions or political motives cannot justify violence’.

‘I’ve been playing tennis since I was a kid. I have represented Russia all my life,’ she said on social media.

‘This is my home and my country. But now I am in complete fear, as are my friends and family.’

‘But I am not afraid to clearly state my position. I am against war and violence.’

Sport has taken a hardline on Russian and Belarusian participation, although the world governing swimming body, FINA, has allowed individual swimmers to compete as neutrals, while banning national teams.

However, there may be unfavourable comparisons with other sports. 

In football, FIFA has thrown Russia out of the World Cup qualification, UEFA has stripped St Petersburg of the Champions League final and barred Spartak Moscow from the Europa League competition. 

Meanwhile, Putin is stepping up the attack on Ukraine with appalling consequences expected.

Members of an Ukrainian civil defense unit pass new assault rifles to the opposite side of a blown up bridge on Kyiv's northern outskirts, where fighting with Russian forces has been taking place

Members of an Ukrainian civil defense unit pass new assault rifles to the opposite side of a blown up bridge on Kyiv’s northern outskirts, where fighting with Russian forces has been taking place

The city of Mariupol, in Ukraine’s south, said early Tuesday that bombardment had already started – with the mayor saying it is under ‘constant shelling’ by Russian forces using artillery, Grad rockets, and fighter jets targeting civilians’ areas such as schools and homes which had left many dead, including women and children.

Power to the city, which is in danger of being surrounded by Russian forces, has been cut – region head Pavlo Kyrylenko said Tuesday – but it remains under Ukrainian control.

Kherson, another key city located in southern Ukraine with a bridge over the Dnieper River, also came under bombardment by Russian forces today as missiles landed near civilian buildings on the outskirts and troops were pictured moving through the streets.

A man reacts inside a vehicle damaged by shelling, in Brovary, outside Kyiv

A man reacts inside a vehicle damaged by shelling, in Brovary, outside Kyiv

Kharkiv, in the east, continued to be under bombardment today with a large rocket landing in front of the civilian public administration building, leaving the interior heavily damaged. It came just a day after Kharkiv was hit by cluster bombs that landed near a shopping centre, killing at least 11 people and leaving dozens more wounded.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN later said that a thermobaric ‘vacuum bomb’ was also used on the country, though did not saying exactly when or where.

President Volodymyr Zelensky this morning branded the Kharkiv bombing a ‘terrorist’ attack and branded Russia a ‘terrorist state’ while repeating calls for a war crimes investigation. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hauge has said that a probe will be established ‘as soon as possible’.

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Olympics Live Updates: Star Russian Figure Skater Tested Positive for Banned Substance

Olympics Live Updates: Star Russian Figure Skater Tested Positive for Banned Substance
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

It all came to an end here, on a tilted chute of ice on an unnamed mountain in China, and the only surprise was that 35-year-old Shaun White did not have one more trick in him.

Riding in his fifth and final Winter Olympics, searching for his fourth gold medal, White finished just shy of a medal in men’s halfpipe.

White’s solid but unspectacular opening run scored 72, putting him fourth of nine competitors. He got within reach of a possible medal on his second run, scoring an 85 that moved him briefly to second place. But Scotty James then scored a 92.5 to take first and knock White back to fourth.

On the third run, Ayumu Hirano, of Japan, landed an epic run with a triple cork, earning a 96 and the gold medal. James, of Australia, took silver, and Jan Scherrer, of Switzerland, won the bronze.

White fell on his third run, quickly got to his feet, took off his helmet and slid slowly into the warm embrace of cheering fans, knowing they had just seen the end of something.

“I always want more, but that’s ok. I did what I could do,” he said, adding with a laugh. “It’s done. I’m so relieved.”

His laughs turned to tears as he thanked his family, his fans and snowboarding.

“I’m proud of this life I’ve led, and what I’ve done in this sport and what I’ve left behind,” he said. “I knew the day would come, but to finally be here is pretty wild.”

White will end his Olympics career — unless he changes his mind on Italy in 2026 — with three gold medals (2006, 2010, 2018), two fourth-place finishes (2014, 2022) and a lifetime of icon status.

He had hoped to plant a big run in his first attempt, to put pressure on his competitors and give himself room to try to elevate even higher in rounds 1 and 2.

The competition promised to be high-flying, and it was. A strong Japanese contingent had eyes on spinning their way to the podium, led by three Hiranos — Ayumu (a two-time silver medalist), Kaishu (his little brother) and Ruka (no relation).

James, a lanky Australian who has led the world circuit in recent years, came in search of an elusive gold medal. Taylor Gold, the American veteran who fought years of injuries after his 2014 Olympic appearance, brought his technical, old-school style, hoping judges would award ingenuity, not just rotations.

But the focus was on White. He had called this a farewell tour, though it was unclear if it was him saying goodbye to competitive snowboarding or fans saying goodbye to him. Both, probably. Either way, it was not an exhibition, and White was granted no favors. White earned his way to the Olympics, after a long season of injuries, Covid and doubts. And then into the final.

He seemed re-energized, and relieved, to have made it through qualifications on his second and final run — drama, always drama — knowing that he would leave the sport still in the most elite class.

Beginning in Turin 16 years ago, through Vancouver, Sochi and Pyeongchang, White ended up on a nondescript mountainside more than 100 miles northwest of Beijing to make his final rides. There were more reporters and cameras gazing at him than fans, the grandstands mostly empty because of the pandemic. But there were countless people watching on screens around the world, including White’s family and friends in and around his native San Diego.