Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s retrial down to CAS judge’s history of hostile tweets about dog meat, Swiss court says

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has explained why it ordered a retrial for Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang’s doping case, citing anti-China bias related to killing dogs for food by one of the judges in the case.

Hostile social media posts on Twitter by Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Judge Franco Frattini persuaded the federal court he should not have presided over banning the Chinese swimmer.

Federal judges last month sent the case back for a second hearing at CAS, where Sun was previously banned for eight years for violating anti-doping protocols.

Judge Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister, has been barred from the retrial, which is likely to decide if Sun can compete at this year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics.

“In his tweets, the arbitrator [Frattini] castigates a Chinese practice of dog slaughter and denounces the consumption of this meat at a local festival in China,” the Swiss court said in a statement.

The Federal judges said “the doubts as to the impartiality of the arbitrator were objectively justified,” but they did not consider the merits of the evidence in the case.

Judge Frattini chaired a CAS panel of three judges at a hearing in November 2019 that unanimously upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal for Sun to be banned.

Previously, a tribunal appointed by swimming body FINA only warned Sun about his conduct during a home visit in 2018 by sample collection officials that became hostile.

After CAS published its verdict last February, Sun’s lawyers appealed to the Swiss supreme court.

A second appeal was filed after online reports last May about Frattini’s social media posts.

These were “tweets made by the arbitrator in 2018 and 2019 in connection with the protection of animals,” the federal court said.

“In principle, an arbitrator can also defend his convictions on social networks, but with the restraint required of judges,” the federal court said.

Judge Frattini was appointed by CAS in early 2019 to chair the appeal, while lawyers for WADA and Sun each got to choose one judge. Both were based in London.

The 10-hour hearing in Montreux, Switzerland, was a rare CAS case held in open court, at the three-time Olympic champion’s request, and streamed live online.

The hearing was marred with translation problems that complicated questioning about why Sun did not comply with sample collectors whose credentials were questioned.

Evidence included Sun using his mobile phone light in the darkness to help a security guard smash the casing holding a vial of his blood.

The guard was instructed by Sun’s mother and used a hammer to break the case and ensure the blood could not be used for anti-doping tests.

The retrial at CAS faces a tight schedule to resolve the case before the Tokyo Olympics.

Sun, 29, is the world champion in the men’s 400-metre freestyle, which is among the first Olympic events scheduled to begin competition on July 24.


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‘Big lies are part of authoritarian regime changes in history’ – Prof Timothy Snyder on Trump election fraud claims – Channel 4 News

In Washington, security is being ramped up ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, amid increasing concerns about security.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump faces trial in the Senate after becoming the first US president to be impeached for a second time and leading Republicans are increasingly divided over his fate.

We were joined by Prof Timothy Snyder, a historian specialising in fascism and political atrocity at Yale University

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Mega Millions reaches $625M, 8th largest jackpot in US lottery history

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BOOK REVIEW: Jakarta, History of a Misunderstood City

Jakarta may be the favorite city of very few foreigners. Love of this sprawling, crowded, sinking metropolis with its few memorable touristic landmarks may seem eccentric. But its long history has captivated the heart of one long-time expatriate resident, Dutchman Herald Van Der Linde. He has now performed the much needed service – a short and very readable account of its history and geography, linking the past to the present and to the names of its component parts, kampungs, streets, and its several vital but often forgotten rivers and canals, a port city as well as the Jabodetabek megacity of today. It is a guide to understanding interesting facets of Jakarta, not a guidebook.

For some tastes, there may be a little too much of the personal, but it works in easing the path to understanding the outlines of the city’s long history without suffocating the general reader with detail. It takes the author from backpacker to learner of Bahasa through socializing not school, to years in Jakarta as a bank economist – but one with links back to Dutch ancestors in 17th and 18th century Java.

This is a book of value to visitors who want to see the city as more than a modern metropolitan mass. But it also needs to be read by those who think they already know the city or at least know the map locations of Tebet, Tugu, and Tanah Abang and do not confuse Kemayoran with Kebayoran, Glodok with Grogol but the scant idea of how it all came together.

Much of the book is, necessarily, taken up with nearly three hundred years of Dutch presence from establishing a trading post in 1611 on the right bank of the Ciliwung river, at Jayakarta, a sultanate then under Banten rule, seizing and burning it in 1619, changing its name to Batavia, the old Roman name for what is now southern Netherlands, and later diverting the Ciliwung into canals.

For good or ill the Dutch tried to create a city in their own likeness. Though the techniques of those who had mastered the North Sea reclamation and canal engineering didn’t always work on the northwest Java coast, the city has been growing most of the time ever since. The author shows how the factors behind the expansion created new and distinct districts, the kampungs which retain identity to today.

The book also takes us farther back, to the fact that long before Jayakarta and Banten became Muslim sultanates, these ports were important places on the sea trade routes linking the Spice Islands of the eastern archipelago to India, to China, Arabia and ultimately to the Mediterranean. The cloves that could be bought in 14th century London may well have come via Kelapa, as Jakarta was then called and whose rulers were Hindu until conquered by Demak, the first Muslim sultanate on the Java coast, in 1527

Even farther back, what is now part of Greater Jakarta was the port of the Tarumnegara kingdom on the Citarum river. A 5th century stone inscription written in Pallava (south Indian) script recorded the achievements of the “powerful, illustrious and brave King the famous Purnavarman” comparing him to the god Vishnu. Then as now, trade lured foreigners and their ideas to the riches of Java.

The book takes us quickly through the history via anecdotes, maps, prints, and photos, in particular, it shows the expansion of the city outside its walls, and episodes including the growth of the Chinese population and its massacre in 1740, to brief English rule, Dutch supremacy throughout Java, Japanese occupation, the post-independence period to the present, and concludes with the huge challenges the city now faces with population, flooding and multiple lesser ills. But ever the optimist for his beloved Jakarta he concludes that ingenuity and the kampung spirit of local cooperation will overcome the challenges. Though there will surely be bumps. He is probably right. As one who first visited in 1973, this reviewer is aware of how far it has come since then, developing rapidly while maintaining a diversity of experience without equal in Southeast Asia.

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FA Cup to see Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and José Mourinho visit non-league Marine FC in ‘biggest mismatch in history’

A bar transformed into a makeshift changing room.

One tiny stand with fewer than 400 seats.

And just a brick wall separating the gardens of overlooking houses from the dugouts on the narrow touchline.

The home of Marine’s team of part-timers in the eighth division of English football will be a world away from the luxuries Tottenham’s millionaire players and manager José Mourinho are used to when they show up on Merseyside on Sunday (local time) for an FA Cup match.

“When I saw the draw come out,” Marine defender Josh Solomon-Davies said, “I did scream to myself.”

The north-west coastal town of Crosby will provide very humble surroundings for the biggest mismatch in the history of the FA Cup.

With 161 spots separating Tottenham from Marine in the English football pyramid, never before has the gulf been so great between teams paired in the 150 years of world football’s oldest cup competition.

Tottenham’s star forward Gareth Bale has requested to play in the FA Cup match against Marine.(Reuters: Molly Darlington)

While Tottenham is fourth in the Premier League and in the Champions League places, Marine is sixth in the Northern Premier League Division One North West.

“We are an eighth-tier team playing against World Cup winners (Hugo Lloris) and Golden Boot winners (Harry Kane),” Marine striker Niall Cummins said.

“You don’t get that anywhere else.”

While Tottenham’s players can earn hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, there is a maximum weekly pay of 300 pounds (about $520) for Marine’s squad which featuring semi-professionals who work by day in healthcare, garbage collection, car factories, and schools, like Cummins.

“Every kid has given me some stick,” the secondary school teacher said.

“‘Are you going to do this to this player, are you going to score, whose shirt are you going to ask for?’

“Then you’re thinking if you do something bad then you are going to be a GIF by the end of the week.”

The match will be broadcast live in Britain on the BBC’s main channel and in 40 territories worldwide.


But with the latest pandemic lockdown preventing fans attending any sport in England, the Marine Travel Arena will be limited to only directors from both clubs and the media, alongside those playing, coaching and officiating.

The closest any fan can get to watching the game in person are any living in a house overlooking the pitch. And coronavirus restrictions prevent them letting in anyone from outside the household bubble for a peek.

“It’s three-sided, a very tight ground, houses on two sides, big stand behind one of the goals — it’s a proper non-league ground,” Marine manager Neil Young said.

“Tottenham won’t be getting changed in the dressing room, they’ll be getting changed in the bar area.”

While Premier League clubs enter only at this third-round stage, Marine began its cup run in the preliminary round in September and has already banked 120,541 pounds in prize money and broadcast fees.

That is a significant windfall for a team that has funding for only 16 players, with another three going unpaid.

The sale of virtual tickets for the match has raised more than 11,000 pounds for Marine.

Tottenham to pay respect by beating Marine

Dan Cairney has been to every game this season but will have to settle for joining the millions watching on television.

“As long as [the score is] less than double figures we will probably be happy with that,” Cairney said while wandering outside the stadium this week.

Due to a tightening of coronavirus restrictions halting its league, Marine has not played in two weeks.

Solomon-Davies has spent the time preparing for potentially defending against Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale by watching clips on YouTube.

Jose Mourinho looks on with his hands in his pockets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer points in the foreground
Spurs manager José Mourinho says he will be taking a strong team to show respect to Marine FC.(Pool via AP: Carl Recine)

With experience playing for Saint Lucia’s national team and Tranmere, the 21-year-old Solomon-Davies regards this game as more than a novelty moment. It could be the platform for a transfer up the league pyramid.

“It’s a chance for me to see how I compare to those players and if I can compete with them,” he said.

“It’ll be a good test. It’s a big chance for us to showcase our abilities.”

Marine has been receiving assistance from more illustrious teams about 20 minutes away on Merseyside, with Everton and Liverpool allowing them to use their training grounds.

Liverpool, the reigning Premier League champion and current leader managed by Jurgen Klopp, has even helped out with tactical preparation by sending recordings for match analysis.

“We haven’t got the scouting networks or the software to go back and look at games,” manager Young said.

Despite a congested fixture schedule and far more demanding opposition coming up, Tottenham will be showing Marine respect by fielding a strong side.


Bale even requested to travel as he tries to regain match fitness after an injury halfway through his loan spell from Real Madrid.

So Tottenham, which reached the League Cup final earlier this week, has not been talking up victory in the biggest match in Marine’s 126-year history.

“To show respect to them is to play with a good team, with a team with responsibility, with a team with motivation and to beat them,” Mourinho said.

“If we go there and we lose, of course, it would be massive for them, but it would be because of a lack of respect from us to them.”

While Marine’s manager also works for a train company, Mourinho has been working around Europe and winning trophies with Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United, and Porto.

“I clearly understand the dream,” Mourinho said.

“Nobody puts a foot on the football pitch knowing or feeling that we are going to lose, so I believe that in this moment, they feel like they are going to win and it’s up to us to bring them back to reality.”


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Donald Trump is ‘most incompetent president’ in US history, says Joe Biden | US News

Donald Trump is the “most incompetent president in the history of the United States of America”, president-elect Joe Biden has said.

Responding to the US president’s announcement that he would not be going to the inauguration, Mr Biden said it was a “good thing”.

He said it was one of the few things he and Mr Trump agreed on, before saying the outgoing president had “embarrassed” the US around the world and was “not fit to serve”.

Mr Biden said: “He has exceeded even my worst notions about him.”

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Biden’s sympathy for family of killed Capitol officer

The president-elect continued: “There are two ways people are inspired – by inspirational leaders and by terrible leaders.

“What this president has done is ripped the bandage right off to let the country know who he is and what he’s about, and how thoroughly unfit for office he is.”

Mr Biden went on to say a number of Republicans should be “ashamed of themselves”, before adding: “But they make up a minority of the Republican party.

“This isn’t about Republican-Democrat anymore. This is about people who understand what this country is about and the things we have to agree on and move together on.”

He added that Republicans he has spoken to in recent weeks understand that they need to be part of an opposition that is “principled and strong”.

The president-elect said some of them had also talked about how “shameful” it is that their fellow Republicans Ted Cruz and others have continued to support Mr Trump.

Mr Biden said those who continue to support the president’s actions should be “flat-beaten” the next time they run for office, adding: “I think the American public has had a real good clear look at who they are.”

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The president-elect had earlier said those responsible for the death of a police officer in the Capitol building should be held accountable.

Brian Sicknick died from the injuries he suffered when Trump supporters stormed Congress.

A total of five people died due to the chaos.

Mr Trump tweeted earlier to say he would not be going to Mr Biden’s inauguration.

He wrote: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Mr Trump is expected to travel to his Florida resort ahead of the event, according to a source.

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History Goulburn is on the hunt for a new home | Goulburn Post

community, history, Goulburn, Mitre 10, Jennifer Lamb, St Clair, council

A small unassuming building on Sloane Street has been the saving grace for a Goulburn community group. The Goulburn District Historical and Genealogy Society, known as History Goulburn, only expected to inhabit the building for a year. Three years on and the society still operated in the building which was offered rent free by Mitre 10. Now, they are looking for a new location. READ ALSO: Over the past few years the group’s natural home, St Clair Villa, has been subject to much needed renovation. History Goulburn President Jennifer Lamb expressed her gratitude to Mitre 10 for their generosity over the years. She said the society needed to leave their current location by January 31 because the hardware store needed extra space. “The time has come when Mitre 10 needs the room and we graciously accept that,” Ms Lamb said. “They have been incredibly generous.” Society members have started to box up the plethora of documents and photos they’ve collected over the years. While these items can be stored at a storage facility courtesy of the Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Ms Lamb seeks a shopfront. “We are looking for an alternative solution and hoping to find a small shopfront,” she said. Public access is important for the historical society to connect with the Goulburn community. Ms Lamb said people often wandered in to make inquiries and research their family history. Long term the community group plans on moving back into St Clair with works expected to be completed later in the year. Until the Goulburn and District Historical Society finds a new home they will be closed to the public. In the meantime, all inquiries can be sent to


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History Time: Here Is Exactly What Happened During the First Gulf War

Key point: UN forces had the benefit of superior technology and a widely-backed mandate. They also had clear-cut, limited objectives.

On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait with the aim of annexing the country. Within a week, U.S. forces began arriving in Saudi Arabia. Having received the support of the United Nations, the United States formed a coalition of 34 nations to liberate Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm began on January 16, 1991, and achieved its goal in less than two months.

I. Invasion & Troop Deployment

July 15, 1990 – Having drained his country’s finances in a protracted eight-year war against Iran, Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein decided to conquer the rich neighboring country of Kuwait. Saddam claims Kuwait is stealing oil from Iraq’s Rumaylah oil field on the two countries’ border. His first overt move is to order his elite Republican Guard units to the border of Kuwait to intimidate the Kuwaitis.

This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest. 

August 2 – After misleading Arab and western nations into believing he has no real intention to invade Kuwait, Saddam invades Kuwait with an army of 100,000 men and 200 tanks. The Kuwaiti royal family takes refuge in Saudi Arabia. The United Nations condemns the invasion through U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 660.

August 7 – The United States sends advance elements of what will become a large U.S. military force to Saudi Arabia. Ultimately, the U.S.-led coalition will field 670,000 troops, of which 425,000 are from the United States.

II. Operation Desert Storm

November 29 – UNSCR 678 sets January 15, 1991, as the date that Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait or face armed expulsion by the U.S.-led coalition, which has the support of the United Nations.

January 16, 1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins with a massive air campaign against Iraqi infrastructure and military forces. Over a 38-day period, the coalition flies more than 110,000 sorties against Iraq. The air campaign, which includes B-52 bombing runs, is designed to disrupt Iraqi communications, degrade its military forces, and break the morale of its soldiers.

January 18 – Saddam sends SCUD missiles to strike Israeli targets in a vain attempt to widen the war and dissuade Muslim nations from supporting the coalition.

III. Entering Iraq

January 29 – February 1. Saddam sends two mechanized divisions and one armored division to capture the northeastern Saudi Arabian town of Khafji on the Persian Gulf. With coalition air support, Saudi Arabian and Qatarian ground units repulse the Iraqis in the Battle of Khafji.

February 24 – The coalition’s ground campaign begins. The coalition feints at coastal Kuwait threatening a Marine amphibious landing, but the main attack is inland against Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and Iraq. British SAS troops are the first to enter Iraq. U.S. M270 multiple rocket launchers shower Iraqi positions while bulldozers tear gaps in the sand walls along the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for coalition tanks to advance.

February 25 – An Iraqi SCUD missile hits the U.S. barracks at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 U.S. troops and wounding nearly 100.

IV. Withdrawal & the Cease-Fire

February 26 – Saddam orders his troops to begin withdrawing from Kuwait. Before they withdraw, the Iraqis set fire to 700 Kuwaiti oil wells. Panic sets in when the Iraqis realize they are going to be attacked as they try to leave Kuwait.

February 27 – The U.S. 1st Armored Division attacks the Medina Division of the Republican Guard in a place known as the Medina Ridge in northern Kuwait where the Iraqi T-72 tanks laid an ambush. The 1st Armored Division detected the ambush and its M-1 Abrams engaged the T-72s at a distance destroying them with the assistance of artillery and air strikes. Coalition air strikes pummel columns of Iraqi soldiers attempting to flee Kuwait. Meanwhile, U.S. Marines and Joint Forces Command East (a pan-Arab unit) liberate Kuwait.

February 28 – The U.S.-led coalition negotiates a cease-fire. Western leaders decide not to overthrow Saddam on the grounds it would destabilize the region. However, this leaves Shia Muslims and Kurds that rose up against Saddam open to persecution once the coalition withdraws.

Originally Published April 10, 2019.

This article originally appeared on the Warfare History Network. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest. 

Image: Reuters.

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BTS’s ‘Dynamite’ Is Now The Longest-Charting Pop Hit By A Korean Act In U.S. History

BTS’s “Dynamite” continues its slow descent down Billboard’s Pop Songs chart this week, the ranking that lists the tracks that reach the largest audience on a selection of the most popular pop/top 40 radio stations in the U.S. This frame, the cut dips from No. 14 to No. 17, a rather small decline, but by holding on for another turn, the title has helped the band make history in yet another fashion.

“Dynamite” is now the first track by a South Korean musical act to make it to 20 weeks on the Pop Songs chart, and thus it now claims the title of being the longest-charting effort by a band or soloist from that country.

Before this week, “Dynamite” was tied with Psy’s introductory and world-domination “Gangnam Style,” which reached the Pop Songs chart back in 2012. At the time, the track went from being a viral sensation to a proper radio hit, as it lived on the list for 19 weeks. Now, it moves from first place to second on the ranking of the longest-charting tunes by South Korean acts, and there’s no looking back.

MORE FROM FORBESBTS’s Suga Joins Psy As The Second-Ever Korean Solo Artist To Notch A Pop Chart Hit

Benefiting BTS is the fact that “Dynamite,” while released by a South Korean band who made a name for themselves by largely performing in their first language, is sung entirely in English. That makes it easier for radio programmers across the country to put the catchy disco-leaning composition into heavy rotation and keep it there.

In addition to now being the longest-charting single by a South Korean artist in Pop Songs history, “Dynamite” broke the record as the highest-charting cut last year. The tune worked its way to No. 5, beating Psy’s aforementioned “Gangnam Style,” which only lifted to No. 10. For many years, that success stood as the only top 10 hit by a Korean star in the decades-long tenure of the Pop Songs tally, but that is no longer the case.

Seeing as “Dynamite” is only down to No. 17 on a chart that features 40 spaces, there’s plenty of reason to believe the tune won’t vanish anytime soon. In fact, it would be reasonable to expect the earworm to hold on for several more weeks, or perhaps even another month or so. From now on, anytime BTS’s biggest hit yet finds a spot on the ranking, it further extends its record as the longest-charting ever.

MORE FROM FORBESBTS Member Suga Lands His First Solo Hit On The Pop Songs Chart

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Australia vs India Third Test in Sydney female umpire Claire Polosak history fourth official

Claire Polosak will become the first woman to officiate a men’s Test match when Australia plays India at the SCG this week.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for international umpires to travel overseas to officiate Test matches.

Although it is traditionally frowned upon to use locally-acquired umpires for Test cricket, it has become necessary in the age of COVID-19.

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As a result, Polosak has been included in the team of match officials for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

LIVE BLOG: Australia vs India third Test

Australians Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson will serve as the on-field umpires at the SCG, while Bruce Oxenford and David Boon have been respectively named as the third umpire and match referee.

Polosak will make history this week as the fourth umpire, and will be responsible for overseeing pitch preparation and repairs, player injuries and replacements, and organising replacement or new balls.

She also had the privilege of being the first female match official in a men’s List A game in Australia.

The 32-year-old will be on standby should anything happen to the on-field or TV umpires at the New Year’s Test.

READ MORE: India refuses to play Brisbane Test

Former Australian cricketer Alex Blackwell posted: “Great to see that Claire Polosak will perform 4th Umpire duties – making her the first female umpire to be involved in a men‘s test match.”

Channel 7 commentator Alison Mitchell tweeted: “Pandemic restrictions are presenting many unexpected opportunities – notably Claire Polosak will be involved at the SCG, the first time a female has been part of an officiating team for a men’s Test.”

Meanwhile, Ian Wright will make his debut as the scorer of a Test match.

The third Test between Australia and India will commence on Thursday, with the first ball scheduled for 10:30am AEDT.

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