GRASSLEY WEIGHS IN ON MUELLER REPORT

first_imgIowa Senator Chuck Grassley applauds Thursday’s release of the still-redacted version of the Mueller report investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.Grassley says tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on the near-400-page report and he says it should be made public, with the exception of a few key areas.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/REDACT1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..”national security” :12Grassley says he will not join Democratic leaders who are calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress about the report he compiled over the past 22 months.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/REDACT2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..”within the law” :14Grassley says parts of the report do need to be kept secret, like sections involving people who were questioned but who weren’t indicted.Those people could have their reputations “ruined,” Grassley says, if it came out they were investigated by Mueller.In addition, Grassley says sections of the report that could jeopardize our nation’s security shouldn’t be published — or discussed by Mueller if he choses to testify before Congress.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/REDACT3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..FBI director” :16During a news conference in Washington D-C Thursday, U-S Attorney General William Barr said the Mueller report found no “collusion” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign or any other Americans.———————————-last_img read more

Bubba Wallace, Nascar’s African American star, takes on tracks and the trolls

first_imgShare on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Danica Patrick’s Nascar career ends in crash as Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 Share via Email Share on Messenger Wendell Scott was a pioneer for black racing drivers in the US. Photograph: RacingOne/ISC Archives via Getty Images Facebook Share on Pinterest Topics Read more Nascar’s Danica Patrick drove the lonely road to a feminist legacy “Richard is probably the most American icon in our sport and in a lot of people’s lives,” Wallace says. “He’s coming from the patriotic side of it. That’s the way I took it. We hadn’t really discussed it, and there’s no need. I’ve always stood for the national anthem, and I will continue to do that. That was just a hiccup or whatever you wanna call it.”Besides, he knows Petty’s heart. When Scott was sputtering across the color line in the 1960s and 70s in ramshackle equipment that he ran and repaired himself, Petty was the one who slipped him excess parts and tires, who opened his home to Scott and his family. That Petty is now abetting the rise of a driver who has the potential do for US auto racing what Tiger Woods did for golf feels like arc coming full circle. What’s more, Petty is pushing Wallace at a time when black drivers like Jann Mardenborough and Lewis Hamilton are leading a racing revolution. “A little bit of a splash in the motorsports world goes a long way since there aren’t a lot of familiar faces in it,” says Wallace, who hopes to maintain his form in the coming races, starting this Saturday in Atlanta. “For me, the key will be just to get in a consistent rhythm, get comfortable with everything so going to these race tracks in a Cup car is totally different,” he adds. “The speeds are different, the racing’s a lot tougher. We’ve gotta be ready for that.” That and weepy hugs with mom, too. Since you’re here… Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardiancenter_img After Wallace acquitted himself well in four relief appearances, including a pair of top-15 results down the stretch, Petty approached Bubba about joining his operation full time in 2018 as a second driver with his team. But those discussions shifted as word began to leak out that Almirola would be departing the team at season’s end to replace Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing. “It’s just crazy how things shake out,” Wallace says.For most any Cup driver Petty makes for an ideal boss. He’s seen it all (his 35-year racing career began way back when the Daytona 500 was still run on the beach), won it all (200 Cup races and seven championships) and built up enough brand recognition over his decades as a ubiquitous pitchman to relieve the fundraising pressure on his charges (or theoretically, at least). But for Wallace the relationship with Petty became a bit more complicated when the 80-year-old waded into the raging national anthem debate, telling USA Today in September: “Anybody that don’t stand up for [the anthem] ought to be out of the country. Period.” That this movement was being led by black athletes in the NFL in protest at racial injustice seemed to put Wallace on notice. But to hear him tell it there were no hard feelings. Nascar US sports Pinterest Share on Twitter Read more features The enduring image from last Sunday’s Daytona 500 isn’t of race winner Austin Dillon easing into Victory Lane behind the wheel of the black No3 Chevrolet made famous by Dale Earnhardt Sr. It isn’t Danica Patrick bowing out of Nascar for good in a seven-car pileup. Instead, it is Desiree Wallace crashing a post-race news conference to congratulate her son, a genial 24-year-old driver named Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. “Man, you did that thing, baby!” she said, sobbing as she held her boy in a near minute-long embrace. “I am so proud of you. You waited so long, baby.”“You act like we just won the race,” he said through tears.“We did!”In truth Wallace had finished second, which wasn’t just a great showing for his maiden voyage in the Great American Race. It was also a return to prominence for Richard Petty, the Nascar legend and owner of Wallace’s No43 car. It was the highest finish ever in the Daytona 500 by a black driver, and the highest finish in a Monster Energy Cup race in 47 years – a pair of mile markers left by the great Wendell Scott, who was infamously denied an opportunity to celebrate his seminal Grand National victory in 1963 because race organizers didn’t want him hugging up on their white women. Wallace’s story was the highlight of a race that got lost in the shuffle behind the Winter Olympics, the NBA All-Star Game and Black Panther’s record-breaking opening weekend. The stacked Sunday slate elsewhere left Nascar, already suffering from chronic inattention, with a 23% ratings drop from last year’s race. Twitter Share on Facebook Wallace, though, seems like the kind of guy who could turn interest in the sport back to its early aught highs. His epic Sunday drive was no fluke. Wallace looked like a man who, well, belonged. Never mind if Desiree’s tears betray the real story. “I just try so hard to be successful at everything I do and my family pushes me each and every day,” Wallace said in between hugging his sister, Brittany, and dissolving into a gasping, shoulder-heaving mess. “They might not know it but I just want to make them proud.”Wallace isn’t usually so emotional after a race – or ever, really. His default mode is to cut up and have fun. It’s pretty much all he did in the eight-part Facebook docu-series that followed him from the run-up to the race through the checkered flag and beyond. But beneath his basement drum sessions (which he says help his hand-eye-foot coordination in the cockpit) and the fart stories he tells at the expense of his girlfriend, Amanda (which he finds hilarious), lies an unerring sense of obligation – to his team, to his family and to his race most of all. And though he is just one of many non-white male scions to break into the major leagues of stock car racing since the sport started pushing for diversity 14 years ago, he is the only one who serves as the Rorschach test for how those efforts will ultimately play with Nascar’s MAGA hat wearing, Confederate-flag waving loyalists.On the one hand Wallace has everything Nascar looks for in a modern Cup star: good looks, Southern charm, an extensive dirt track racing background, and the driving skills to match. Another thing he has going for him: work experience with two towering team owners – first the Hall of Fame NFL coach Joe Gibbs, then the dapper don Jack Roush.On the other hand, the “keyboard warriors,” as Wallace calls them, are always out there on Twitter. Chief among them was a 42-year-old Wisconsin man who coded his messages in white supremacist dog whistles and insulted Wallace’s dead grandmother – a woman Bubba credits with teaching him “how to love and take care of family” and “not to let people cross you and put up with bullshit.” (His affection for her was so established around Nascar that Dale Earnhardt Jr offered up his private jet to Bubba so he could see her one last time before she passed a little over year ago.) Wallace of course didn’t take the bait, and his troll was soon outed as a boys’ high school golf coach and shamed into resigning his post. “My parents are always telling me to be the bigger person,” Wallace tells the Guardian, “to never give the media anything negative to talk about. Obviously we’re all human and we slap up every once in a while, but I have to set an example.”Cutting even deeper, perhaps, are sponsors who still hesitate to throw their full support behind a black driver. Ultimately, it was this lack of consistent cash flow that forced Wallace off the Gibbs team and stunted his progress with Roush. He went from challenging for the Xfinity title in 2015 and 2016 to a “race-by-race” schedule last year. Just as the money was about to run out, after 13 Xfinity starts, Petty’s operation reached out to see if he was interested in moving up a level to substitute for Aric Almirola, who would be sidelined for two months with a broken back following a violent crash last May. Motor sport Reuse this contentlast_img read more

RFU’s Nigel Melville insists Premiership trapdoor will not be closed

first_imgAround this time of year the Christmas decorations go up and England’s top clubs start complaining about one of them having to go down. No wonder Nigel Melville, the Rugby Football Union’s interim chief executive, was ready with an instant quip at Twickenham when the inevitable subject was raised. “I wonder why we’re talking about promotion and relegation this week?” asked Melville rhetorically. “If you look at the table you can see why.”He has a fair point. With the Premiership’s bottom seven teams separated by four points a lot of people are beginning to twitch already. Anyone hoping the good old RFU will ride to the rescue by ring-fencing the league between now and May, however, is set to be disappointed. “I think that’s called wishful thinking isn’t it?” Melville said. “Suddenly people want something to happen now. Well no, that’s not how it works.” The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Warren Gatland among candidates to succeed Eddie Jones with England Read more Premiership Share on WhatsApp Joe Cokanasiga crosses late for Bath to restrict lowly Sale to draw As public slap downs go it was significant for two reasons. First Melville has been at the helm officially for only a few days, “holding the fort” following the abrupt decision of Steve Brown to resign in the wake of the union’s recent financial downturn. Second, it was the clearest possible indicator that the turbulence that has affected English rugby for much of the 23 years since the world game embraced professionalism is not yet entirely done.Whether Melville will be the man to smooth everything out is, as yet, impossible to say. Even in his temporary nightwatchman’s role, however, the Yorkshireman sounds inclined to tell it straight, which is an encouraging start. If Bath’s Bruce Craig and others wish to pull up the Premiership drawbridge they will be allowed to do so only with the blessing of the wider game. The future of English rugby, it seems, will not solely be shaped by private equity investors intent on making a fast buck.When it comes to making plans this particular Nigel is utterly determined the RFU will have its say. That is not to say a moratorium on relegation is out of the question but the permanent preservation of a cosy cabal is not, in Melville’s opinion, the way ahead. “If you think it through you can’t just leave the same teams sitting in there forever. I don’t think that’s a healthy situation.” He is equally insistent a regional spread should be sought. “I wouldn’t really want Newcastle or Sale to come down because regionally they are important to the game. It would be nice to have a Cornish team in there … they’re building a stadium and they have aspirations. It may be some years off but if you have national coverage I think that’s good for the game.”This, of course, is not the same rosy vision held by CVC Capital Partners, whose revised bid to invest around £240m into the Premiership in return for approximately 30% control looks set to be approved this month. But as Melville was at regular pains to point out, it is not just about them: “There’s a knock-on effect. It’s not just about the Premiership. There are teams below investing to come up and teams below them. The whole system is attached. If you start shutting doors halfway through a season it has a huge impact on everyone below. Should Premier Rugby want to change their structure they can bring that to the professional game board for a vote and then it would be put to the RFU council. Nothing is going to change as regards this season.” Rugby union Support The Guardian Since you’re here…center_img Rugby Football Union Share on Twitter At the same time, Melville is also aware the RFU needs to get its own house in order. Should another World Cup campaign unravel, the spotlight will once again fall on an organisation that has not got all its ducks in a row for some time now. As a former England captain and director of rugby at Wasps, Melville is well aware little will be achieved without collaboration between all the various parties and consideration for both the haves and the have-nots.“I see it a bit like a family. You’ve always got the uncle with the funny hat, right? It’s a case of pulling together and moving forward. It’s not two separate games: the international game and everybody else. It’s one game. Bringing people together for the common good is an important part of the next three-to-four months. I think we’ve got to start putting rugby first … it’s a World Cup year. Let’s focus on rugby, because rugby’s very important to this organisation.”If his mission statement has a slight touch of the Donald Trumps about it, the sentiment is reasonable enough. English rugby is brilliant at arguing around the edges, less so at finding perfect, lasting solutions. Melville may or may not be in the hot seat indefinitely but, either way, his term of office will be interesting. Topics Share on Pinterest Share via Email Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger news Reuse this contentlast_img read more