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Newcastle United are now the richest sports club in the world

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A Saudi Arabian led consortium has completed a £300 million takeover of Newcastle United, 18 months after it was proposed to the Premier League

Saudi Arabia now owns an 80% stake in Newcastle United. David and Simon Reuben, British property developers, and PCP Capital Partners, based in Dubai, each own 10%.

“All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership,” a Premier League statement said.

“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.”

Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor of the 500 billion USD Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), will be a director, and The Guardian has reported Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi played a key role in securing the takeover.

Amanda Stavely, a British businesswoman and partner in PCP Capital Partners, will also be on the board of directors.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, released a statement saying the takeover must prompt changes to the ownership rules in English football to stop ‘sportswashing’ by foreign governments.

“The closed-door trial of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killers was widely perceived to be a part of a wider whitewash by the authorities, and Saudi Arabia is accused of a catalogue of crimes under international humanitarian law during the long-running conflict in Yemen,” Deshmukh said.

“Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues.”

Hatice Cengiz, the widow of Slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has called the takeover “horrifying”.

Khashoggi was a fierce critic of the Saudi government and Crown Price Mohammed Bin Salman before his 2018 murder in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey.

Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United for £137 million in 2007 from Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally

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Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
 
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely

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Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model

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With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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