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Sources say DOJ to investigate PGA merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf

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Sources reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department has warned the PGA Tour that it plans to investigate its merger with the Saudi-backed tour LIV Golf over antitrust concerns.

National Review reports that when the agreement was initially announced:

The parties were set to combine their commercial businesses and rights into a new entity. LIV Golf Investments, the firm spearheading the LIV tour, is backed by the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund. Over the last year, LIV and the PGA have been entangled in multiple antitrust lawsuits. The merger deal ostensibly was supposed to put to rest the ongoing expensive litigation between the groups.

Monahan, who helped broker the merger and was supposed to head the new enterprise, recently took a leave of absence for medical reasons, the PGA Tour announced. The deal is still on, a Tour official told the Journal.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan earlier this month declared the partnership to be “transformational.” A DOJ probe could jeopardize and threaten to significantly delay the deal. Golfers and fans who favored the PGA slammed the LIV as a so-called “sports-washing” vehicle for the authoritarian Saudi regime to distract from its extensive record of human-rights abuses.

In June 2022, six-time golf champion Phil Mickelson joined LIV despite calling out the tour’s connection to the Saudi government in an interview he claimed was off the record:

“We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates,” Mickelson allegedly told Alan Shipnuck, who wrote an unauthorized biography of the golfer. Mickelson also called the Saudis “scary motherf—ers to get involved with.”

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Israel

Israel Defense Forces say coalition successfully intercepted over 99 percent of Iranian drones, missiles

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Iran nuclear weapons program

The U.S., U.K, France, and Jordan came together with Israel to intercept the onslaught of Iranian drones targeting Israel, according to multiple reports.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded defiantly, saying his country is “strong” and prepared to defend itself from any threat.

“Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and offense. The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the public is strong,” Netanyahu said.

“We appreciate the US for standing by Israel’s side as well as the support of the UK, France and many other countries,” he continued.

“I established a clear principle — whoever hurts us, we will hurt them. We will defend ourselves from any threat and we will do so calmly and with determination.”

In conjunction with the attack, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei launched a tirade against Israel on Saturday and blamed the Jewish state for the recent attack on an Iranian compound in Damascus, Syria.

“The malicious regime has made a wrong move in this case. It should be punished and it will be punished,” he said of Israel.

National Review reports:

Iran typically targets Israel through its network of well-resourced regional proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel continues to fights its war against Hamas sparked by the terrorist group’s mass civilian slaughter and rape on October 7.

Hamas rejected another temporary cease-fire proposal after negotiations began in Cairo, Egypt last weekend between U.S., Qatari, and Egyptian officials. The cease-fire proposal would have seen Israel exchange hundreds of Gazan prisoners for dozens of the hostages held in captivity by Hamas.

As for injuries, a seven-year-old girl suffered severe injuries from shrapnel that fell directly onto her home. She was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery for a head wound. An estimated 31 people in total were treated for stress and minor injuries.

 

 

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