Bill Russell Hailed Across Basketball Generations

Magic Johnson said the Celtics great was his idol. Michael Jordan called him a pioneer. Jaylen Brown called him one of the greatest athletes ever.

Bill Russell had more N.B.A. championship rings than he had fingers and as many Most Valuable Player Awards as all other Boston Celtics players combined.

But in the hours after Russell’s family announced his death on Sunday, N.B.A. players remembered him as so much more.

Legend. Trailblazer. “Everything we all aspired to be,” Isiah Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard from the Detroit Pistons, said in a post on Twitter.

Russell, 88, spent 13 seasons with the Celtics in the 1950s and 1960s, including three as a player-coach. He was the first Black coach in the N.B.A., and he was known for his civil rights activism during and after his playing days. He has remained visible around the N.B.A. as a fan, mentor and symbol of greatness. The finals M.V.P. trophy is named after him, and he would often attend games wearing a purple hat with the initials of one of his favorite players, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Players across basketball generations hailed him on Sunday.

From the 1980s, there were Thomas and another Hall of Fame point guard, Magic Johnson of the Lakers.

“Bill Russell was my idol,” Johnson said on Twitter, citing Russell’s basketball talent and position on the “front line fighting for social justice.”

He continued: “Despite all of his achievements, he was so humble, a gentle giant, a very intelligent man, and used his voice and platform to fight for Black people.”

Michael Jordan, who dominated the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls, said in a statement that Russell was a “pioneer.”

“He paved the way and set an example for every Black player who came into the league after him, including me,” Jordan said. “The world has lost a legend.”

Notable players from the 2000s also spoke of Russell with reverence and a warmth that showed the Celtics icon’s lasting influence in the league.

“I can go on all day about what u meant to me,” Paul Pierce, the Celtics Hall of Famer, said in a tweet.

Pierce, too, called Russell a “pioneer” and “trailblazer.” He also mentioned his “great laugh” and shared a picture of Russell talking with Pierce and other N.B.A. players. “I’ll never forget this day we was like kids sitting around a camp fire listening to your stories,” Pierce wrote.

Pau Gasol, whose Lakers faced Pierce in the finals twice, shared a picture on Twitter of himself with Russell, calling him “one of the most dominant players in @NBA history.”

“I’ll forever be honored to have met you,” he said.

Players from the 2010s and present day also pointed to Russell’s humor, activism and basketball skill.

Noting on Twitter that there was no 3-point line or social media during Russell’s heyday, Celtics guard Marcus Smart posted a list of Russell’s accomplishments.

“Just played and dominated in a day and a league that was def not soft,” Smart said.

Smart’s teammate Jaylen Brown shared a photo of Russell with Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown in 1967, when a group of Black athletes were showing support for Ali’s refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.

Calling Russell “one of the greatest athletes ever,” Brown said: “Thank you for paving the way and inspiring so many Today is a sad day but also great day to celebrate his legacy and what he stood for.”

In recent years, N.B.A. players — Brown included — have more prominently carried on Russell’s legacy of civil rights activism. Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, who was the president of the players’ union during its social justice efforts after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, also posted about Russell on Twitter on Sunday.

“Unapologetically himself at all times!! The ultimate leader and just happened to be one of the best hoopers ever! RIP Mr Russell, you will be dearly missed,” he wrote.

Teen Fatally Stabbed, Four Injured as Man Attacks During River Tubing Fun

A man allegedly stabbed a 17-year-old boy to death and injured four others during an attack while the five individuals were tubing on the Apple River in Wisconsin on Saturday.

St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said that the suspect, a 52-year-old man from Minnesota, left the scene but was arrested later after a witness identified him at a spot where the tubers exit the river, The New York Times reported.

All four victims who were injured were taken to the hospital in a critical condition, but became stable by Sunday, Knudson said during a press conference Saturday. Those injured include three men and a woman who are all in their early 20s.

The names of the suspect and the victims have not been revealed. Additionally, most of the injuries were to the torso, according to Knudson.

A man fatally stabbed one teen and injured four others in an attack while the five individuals were tubing on the Apple River in Wisconsin on Saturday.

No details were revealed about the motive behind the stabbings or whether the suspect knew the victims. However, authorities said they believe the victims and the suspect were tubing on the river before the stabbing unfolded, according to the New York Post.

“At this time we’re not sure what started this incident,” Knudson said during the press conference, adding that the stabbings were “chaotic” and “scary.”

Knudson also said tubing is a “main attraction” in the area where the stabbing happened in Somerset, the western Wisconsin town near the Minnesota border, according to the Times.

“I have not seen anything like this to this extent,” he said of the incident. “It’s been a number of years since a stabbing has taken place, maybe 15 years now.”

“I’m sure that anybody who witnessed this will never forget it,” he added. “So it is a tragedy.”

The suspect has not been charged yet but charges might be announced by Monday, according to Knudson who also said that the incident was under investigation throughout Saturday night and that the suspect didn’t have the knife on him when he was arrested.

“We’re actually in the process of trying to divert some of the tubing traffic around our crime scene so that alone is causing some challenges, trying to get them off the river, gathering up what we can in a hard to get to area,” Knudson said.

In a separate stabbing incident, a man allegedly stabbed his wife 30 times after she asked for a divorce on Wednesday, according to the police. The suspect, 60-year-old Clifford Jacobs, was later arrested and allegedly told police that he blacked out after he learned his wife wanted a divorce. Officers said they found five knives and bloody scissors in the man’s apartment.

Newsweek reached out to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s office for additional information and comment.

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Tensions Flare on Kosovo-Serbian Border Amid Protests and Gunfire

A dispute over license plates between the Balkan nations of Kosovo and Serbia, from whom Kosovo split 14 years ago, yielded protests and gunfire Sunday night, prompting fears that the violence could escalate as Western countries are focused on the war in Ukraine.

Amid demonstrators who built barricades, unknown gunmen fired on Kosovo police officers along the restive northern border with Serbia on the eve of a new law requiring ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo to switch from Serbian license plates to Kosovar ones in the next two months. Many Serbs in Kosovo still use Serbian-issued plates, which the government considers illegal.

Kosovo’s government had also said that beginning Monday, all Serbian ID and passports holders must obtain an extra document to enter Kosovo, just as Kosovars must do to enter to Serbia.

No one was injured by the gunfire, but in response to the violence, the Kosovo police closed two northern border crossings.

“The following hours, days and weeks may be challenging and problematic,” Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, said in a video released on his social media channels.

Similar protests over license plates flared a year ago, but observers say that tensions are higher this time because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which consumes the focus of Kosovo’s most important ally, the United States, as well as that of the European Union.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign pushed out Serb forces from the former province. Serbia — as well as its key allies, Russia and China — still refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence, and insists on protecting its ethnic Serb kin, who make up about 5 percent of Kosovo’s population of 1.8 million people.

A little less than half of Kosovo’s Serb population lives in four northern municipalities bordering Serbia and many have been reluctant to recognize the authorities in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, preferring to live as though they were still part of Serbia.

The European Union has mediated negotiations between both governments since 2011 and slowly, the police, courts and municipalities have come under Pristina’s control. But, encouraged by the political leadership in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, Serbian nationalists protest each additional attempt at integration.

“We will pray for peace and seek peace, but there will be no surrender and Serbia will win,” President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia said on Sunday at a news conference. “If they dare to persecute and mistreat and kill Serbs, Serbia will win,” he continued, adding later, “We’ve never been in a more difficult, complicated situation than today.”

Mr. Vucic, who convened a high-level meeting of security and military officials on Sunday night, said that the Kosovar government was trying to cast him in the same light as President Vladimir V. Putin by blaming the unrest on Serbia’s close relationship with Russia, a fellow Slavic and Orthodox Christian nation.

Kosovo’s leader, Mr. Vucic said during Sunday’s news conference, was trying to take advantage of the global mood by projecting that “big Putin gave orders to little Putin, so the new Zelensky, in the form of Albin Kurti, will be a savior and fight against the great Serbian hegemony.”

Vladimir Djukanovic, a Serbian member of Parliament from Mr. Vucic’s ruling party, also linked the border spat to the war in Ukraine, tweeting, “Seems to me that Serbia will be forced to begin the denazification of the Balkans,” an ominous reference to Russia’s justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

Serbia, a candidate to join the European Union, has maintained close ties with Moscow and has not joined Western sanctions on Russia, though it did vote in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Belgrade and Moscow share animosity for the NATO military alliance because of its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, when Mr. Vucic was a spokesman for the Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

NATO still maintains a peacekeeping presence in Kosovo, with a force of approximately 3,700 troops. In a news release, NATO said its force on the ground was “ready to intervene if stability is jeopardized.”

After a meeting with the U.S. ambassador on Sunday night, Kosovo’s government announced it would delay the implementation of both the license plate and identification decisions by one month.

Kosovo’s northern border with Serbia has been a hub of violence in the past. In 2011, when the Kosovo police sought to take full control of area, one Kosovo police officer was killed and 25 more were injured.

Sinema Praised for ‘Spine of Steel’ as GOP Hopes She’ll Kill Spending Bill

Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, praised Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema for her “spine of steel” as Republicans hope she will kill her party’s spending bill.

Sinema, along with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, have been the two Senate Democrats most willing to buck their party since President Joe Biden took office in 2021—as Democrats need their caucus to vote in unison to pass

Republicans hoped the moderate pair of Democrats would block their party’s spending bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which contains funding for healthcare and climate initiatives. Republicans argue the bill’s spending will increase government and therefore inflation, but Democrats say it would lower inflation by reducing the federal deficit.

Their hopes were dealt a blow last week when Manchin announced his intentions to vote for the bill. His announcement meant that all eyes turned to how Sinema would vote.

Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, offered praise for Senator Kysrten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, as Republicans hope she will kill her party’s Inflation Reduction Act—and Democrats need her support for the bill to pass. Above, Sinema is seen in Washington, D.C. on July 28, 2022.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

She has not publicly said how she intends to vote on the spending bill, but Barrasso offered praise for her during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, adding that he knows she felt ‘blindsided” by Manchin’s support.

“She has a spine of steel. She’s not going to be easily twisted,” he said.

What Is in the Inflation Reduction Act

Lawmakers in support of the bill say it will help lower the national deficit to lower inflation—which has become a top issue for millions of Americans amid concerns the economy could enter a recession—while also investing in healthcare and renewable energy.

In total, it would allocate $369 billion to energy security and initiatives to fight climate change, while another $64 billion would fund a three-year extension of the Affordable Care Act program and allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, according to a bill summary released by Senate Democrats.

Democrats say the bill would pay for these programs, as well as reduce the deficit by an additional $300 billion, by a 15 percent minimum corporate tax, prescription drug pricing reform, IRS tax enforcement and closing the “carried interest loophole,” according to the bill summary.

Manchin’s Support Blindsided GOP

Barrasso’s remarks come just days after Manchin blindsided Republicans by announcing his support after months of negotiations appeared to end in no deal between him and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

But last week, Manchin announced that he would support the bill in a move that left the GOP frustrated. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell previously threatened that if Democrats went forward with the spending bill, the GOP wouldn’t help pass the CHIPS Act, a bill meant to build up U.S. manufacturing competitiveness against China. Shortly after the CHIPS Act passed, Manchin and Schumer announced their deal to pass the spending bill.

Manchin said during an appearance on CNN‘s State of the Union that while Sinema was not included in his one-on-one negotiations with Schumer, he hopes she will be “positive” about the bill. He added that he didn’t bring her or others into it because he didn’t believe the deal would “come to fruition.”

“She’ll make her decision, and I respect that,” he said.

Newsweek reached out to Senator Sinema’s office for comment

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Not Just Any Bag

This article is part of a series examining Responsible Fashion, and innovative efforts to address issues facing the fashion industry.

“Plastic is not going anywhere anytime soon,” said Alex Dabagh, who started the company Anybag, its name a play on the ubiquity of plastic bags and an ode to his hometown, New York City, two years ago.

In kitchens the world over, often there is a cabinet or pantry door hiding a plastic bag stuffed with other plastic bags. And behind the doors of Mr. Dabagh’s office in the Chelsea neighborhood is a factory that makes plastic bags — totes in different sizes — woven from plastic bags like these.

The staggering sight of all the single-use plastic bags that came through the doors of his primary business, Park Avenue International, a 6,000-square-foot leather goods factory that specializes in producing handbags for brands including Gabriela Hearst, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler and Eileen Fisher, became too much.

Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott

“I was like, we’ve got to do something with it, there’s got to be a better way,” Mr. Dabagh, 40, said. “If we can weave leather, there’s got to be a way to weave plastic.”

He broke down the bags, heat sealed them into long strands — just like a typical textile — cued them up on one of his massive looms and, after a few months of trial and error, came up with the Anybag prototype that was shown at ReFashion Week NYC in February 2020, which was within weeks of New York State’s plastic bag ban.

Mr. Dabagh, like many New Yorkers, knows that despite the ban, there are still plenty of plastic bags in circulation and that the recycling system is murky when it comes to them. “The recycling companies don’t want them because all they do is clog their machines, cause millions of dollars in damages every year — stoppage time, broken machines, clogging the incinerators.”

At the beginning of Anybag, he was sourcing from friends and family, asking them to bring in their plastic bags. His mother struck up a deal with a local supermarket in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn to collect its bags. He started calling local Home Depots and CVS branches — businesses on which the plastic bag ban was enforced — to get their dead stock bags, and he formed partnerships with local schools to collect bags that are left in drop-off bins.

Mr. Dabagh estimated that last year Anybag collected 12,000 pounds of plastic, the equivalent of about 588,000 single-use plastic bags. The company strips everything down, cleans it and disinfects it.

Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott

“It’s crazy how much virgin plastic we get in here from shipping companies, packaging companies or a demo company,” Mr. Dabagh said. “They’ll go into a building to clean it out and be like, ‘We just found these boxes and piles of plastic that haven’t been separated. Do you want them?’ I’m like, ‘I’ll take it, that’s gold.’”

A sustainable mind-set was instilled in Mr. Dabagh by his father from a young age. Pierre Dabagh opened Park Avenue International in 1982 as a young immigrant who had fled Lebanon in the late 1970s during the country’s civil war. He arrived in New York with $300 and started working at a factory owned by a Korean family on 30th Street, Mr. Dabagh said, where he learned the leather trade before opening his own shop.

Well aware that the leather industry has a less than pristine reputation when it comes to sustainability, Mr. Dabagh said that his company works with Italian tanneries that adhere to strict regulations and use leather that is purely byproduct. All of the leather scraps at Park Avenue International are collected and repurposed for reinforcement, backing and bonding in the company’s wares.

“Every shelf has scraps of leather that we just collect,” Mr. Dabagh said. “We don’t throw anything out. It’s something I learned from my father. He was like, ‘This is all worth money. There is value behind everything.’”

At the start of the pandemic, when Park Avenue International’s core leather business slowed down, Mr. Dabagh decided to double down on Anybag. He trained his 40 employees to use the looms to weave plastic bags out of trash instead of leather goods. “I was like, ‘We’re going to try this out.’ They all thought I was crazy.”

Two years later, Anybag is roughly 10 percent of Park Avenue International’s business. Mr. Dabagh said that revenue from the bags tripled in the last year. He acquired a new loom devoted only to weaving plastic for Anybag, and is developing automated looms that will allow him to quadruple output and cut costs.

Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott
Photograph by Graydon Herriott

His staff can weave five to seven yards of plastic a day, which makes about 20 totes. Each bag is sturdy, with a crinkly texture that can hold up to 100 pounds. They’re trimmed in colorful canvas with straps in pink, fluorescent yellow, royal blue and black. The bags come with a lifetime guarantee — the plastic will outlive us, after all — and free repairs.

The bags are sold through the company’s website. There are three styles, the Classic, the Mini and the Weekender, ranging in price from $98 to $248. The Classic and Mini are shaped like typical shopping totes; the Weekender is akin to Ikea’s well-known Frakta shopper. Mr. Dabagh has teamed with Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Beyond Meat and Miranda Kerr’s cosmetics line, Kora Organics, customizing bags for media events and for the brands’ own internal use. But for the most part, a typical Anybag is made from whatever is around — plastic from packages of Bounty, Cottonelle or bags used to wrap DHL shipments or copies of The New York Times.

“We’re slowly realizing we’re a recycling company,” Mr. Dabagh said. With more investment, he sees an opportunity to scale up and develop hubs around New York City, and eventually the country. But for now, Anybag is a proudly local operation.

As Mr. Dabagh said, “It’s all handmade, handcrafted by New Yorkers, in New York, using New York City’s finest trash.”

Lies for Profit: Can Sandy Hook Parents Shut Alex Jones Down?

A hefty financial verdict this week could dissuade other politically driven liars. But the path forward is uncertain, and the legal battles take a toll.

AUSTIN, Texas — When viral lies harm private people, are the courts their best refuge? A trial to decide how much the conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones must pay a Sandy Hook family for defaming them attempts to answer that question.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, 6, who died at Sandy Hook, are requesting $150 million in compensatory damages for years of torment and threats they endured in the aftermath of Mr. Jones’s lies about them on Infowars, his Austin-based website and broadcast. They are suing him in the first of three trials in which juries will decide how much he must pay relatives of 10 people killed in the Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., for spreading lies that they were actors in a “false flag” operation, planned by the government as a pretext for gun control.

Last year Mr. Jones lost a series of Sandy Hook defamation cases by default, setting the stage for the damages trials.

Mr. Heslin, Ms. Lewis and J.T. Lewis, Jesse’s brother, will testify this week.

More important than money, the parents said, is society’s verdict on a culture in which viral misinformation damages lives and destroys reputations, yet those who spread it are seldom held accountable. “Speech is free, but lies you have to pay for,” Mark Bankston, the parents’ lawyer, told the jury in his opening statement last week. “This is a case about creating change.”

Hilary Swift for The New York Times

But the trial demonstrates how difficult it is to counter the views of die-hard conspiracy theorists. Over nearly three days of testimony last week, Daria Karpova, Infowars’ corporate representative, advanced bogus claims, refusing even to rule out the possibility that the trial itself was a staged event. She cast Mr. Jones as the victim, worrying over his health and saying the Sandy Hook lawsuits have cost him “millions.”

That claim allowed the families’ lawyers to share records with the jury showing that Infowars reaped revenues of more than $50 million annually in recent years.

Pool photo by Briana Sanchez

At the heart of the trial is a June 2017 episode of NBC’s “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” in which Ms. Kelly profiled Mr. Jones. In the broadcast Mr. Heslin protested Mr. Jones’s denial of the shooting. He recalled his last moments with Jesse, saying, “I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.”

Afterward, Mr. Jones and Owen Shroyer, a lieutenant of Mr. Jones at Infowars, aired shows implying that Mr. Heslin had lied. “Will there be a clarification from Heslin or Megyn Kelly?” Mr. Shroyer said on Infowars. “I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

Lawyers say the three trials hold lessons for other cases against conspiracy-minded defendants, from the Jan. 6 insurrectionists to Trump allies sued for falsely claiming that voting machine manufacturers helped “steal” the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Jones is also under scrutiny for his role in events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“These Sandy Hook parents have spent years of their lives and sacrificed whatever is left of their privacy to shine a light on peddlers of disinformation, not only to seek justice for their children, but to make folks who profit from tragedy consider the consequences of their actions,” said Karen Burgess, a trial lawyer at Burgess Law in Austin who represented Dominion Voting Systems when it was sued by Texas conspiracy theorists who said the company helped rig the 2020 vote. Facing sanctions from the court, the conspiracy theorists dropped their suit against the company.

Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families say a verdict, expected this week in the first trial, could send a signal to other conspiracy purveyors about the cost of online lies and set into motion a chain of events that could shut Infowars down.

Still, the path forward is not clear. On Friday Mr. Jones put Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which usually automatically halts all pending litigation. Free Speech Systems, however, requested that the bankruptcy court lift that automatic stay, so the trial in progress can continue to a verdict. That motion is set for a hearing Monday morning in a bankruptcy court in Victoria, Texas. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the Travis County District Court indicated that the trial would proceed.

Lawyers for the families say a big jury award this week along with the bankruptcy could threaten Infowars’ operations, but many details about Mr. Jones’s current finances are murky.

For now the filing puts on hold the remaining two Sandy Hook damages trials, both scheduled for September.

In court last week, Mr. Jones’s lawyers launched a defense advanced by other defendants in politically charged defamation cases: Our national discourse has become so polluted by disinformation, they said, that who really knows what is true or false?

Federico Andino Reynal, Mr. Jones’s lawyer, blamed errors in mainstream media reports about Sandy Hook for the bogus theories spread by Mr. Jones.

“He had seen what he perceived as so many lies and so many cover-ups and so much hand-washing of the facts that he had become biased,” Mr. Reynal said. “He was looking at the world through dirty glasses. And if you look at the world through dirty glasses, everything you see is dirty.”

But Infowars staffers testified that they did not check easily available facts about Sandy Hook — or much else — before broadcasting their incendiary assertions. Lawyers for Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis, using internal emails and testimony from Infowars staffers, showed how Mr. Jones and his top lieutenants ignored multiple warnings that continuing to broadcast Sandy Hook lies would harm the survivors and land Infowars in legal trouble.

In a videotaped deposition, a former employee, Rob Jacobson, said he repeatedly delivered these warnings to Infowars staffers, “only to be received with laughter and jokes.”

Pool photo by Briana Sanchez

The NBC episode, which was shown in court, was particularly striking. In it Mr. Jones made a variety of damaging false claims, including dismissing a 2017 suicide bombing that killed 22 adults and children at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as an attack on “a bunch of liberal trendies,” who support “Islamist” immigration.

Mr. Shroyer also testified that he failed to fact-check a false report on the episode defaming Mr. Heslin because he did not have the time.

At the trail last week, Mr. Jones’s seat at the defense table often remained empty. His lawyer, Mr. Reynal, has declined to say whether he will testify, adding that Mr. Jones is in charge of his defense. Mr. Reynal told the judge that Mr. Jones’s absences were because of a “medical condition” that Mr. Jones, speaking outside the courthouse, described as an untreated hernia.

But he continues to broadcast his show, where he and Mr. Shroyer derided the trial last week, violating the judge’s order not to comment on it. When Mr. Jones did come to court, he drove up in a motorcade and sat in the courtroom surrounded by bodyguards. Last week Mr. Reynal thrust a raised middle finger into the face of the families’ lawyer in a dispute over exhibits that nearly ended in a fistfight.

The trial proceedings have taken a toll on Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis. They hired security after they spotted people waiting for them outside their hotel, and they have heard Infowars loyalists describe them as pawns in Mr. Jones’s pursuit of online clout.

During his testimony in court on Thursday, Mr. Shroyer suggested that it was the lawsuits, not his and Mr. Jones’ lies, that exacerbated the families’ suffering. “I’m very upset that this continues,” he said, citing its “tremendous negative effects on my career and livelihood.”

Russian Missile Kills Ukraine Grain Tycoon and It Was No Accident: Podolyak

One of the richest men in Ukraine was killed in a Russian missile strike along with his wife in the early hours of Sunday, and one politician claims that it was a targeted attack.

Oleksiy Vadatursky, 74, was a prominent tycoon in the Ukrainian grain industry, owning and operating exporting company Nibulon. He was ranked as the 24th richest person in the country and was at one point the recipient of the “Hero of Ukraine” award. He and his wife, Raisa, were killed in their home during a heavy Russian bombardment of Mykolaiv, a major city in Southern Ukraine, local officials reported on Sunday.

Oleksandr Senkevych, the mayor of Mykolaiv, said the bombardment was most likely the heaviest that the city has yet endured. Vadatursky’s home was among numerous residences hit, along with a hotel, a sports complex, two schools, and a service station.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian journalist turned politician and adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke about Vadatursky’s death, insisting that he was killed in a targeted attack. As evidence, he cited the fact that a missile directly struck the bedroom he was sleeping in.

A prominent Ukrainian businessman and grain exporter was killed on Sunday when a Russian missile struck his bedroom in Mykolaiv. Above, a shot of damage done to a government building in Mykolaiv in March.
Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

In his own statement on the situation, Zelensky called Vadatursky’s death “a great loss for all of Ukraine” and praised his work building out the country’s grain market, a vital service amid the ongoing global food and supply shortages.

“It is these people, these companies, precisely the south of Ukraine, which has guaranteed the world’s food security,” Zelensky added later, according to Reuters. “This was always so. And it will be so once again… Our people, our capabilities, are surely more powerful than any Russian missiles or shells.”

As a major global exporter of grain, Ukraine’s hindered ability to ship products amid the Russian invasion has had a considerable impact on global food prices. The two nations last signed an agreement, brokered by the United Nations, to allow certain ports on the Black Sea to reopen and begin exporting once more.

The deal was almost derailed, however, as Russian forces resumed shelling the major port city of Odesa the day after it was signed. The first shipment of grain is now expected to depart from Odesa by Monday morning. Odesa is located only 130 kilometers away from Mykolaiv.

Newsweek reached out to Russian officials for comment.

Russia has denied claims made by Ukraine that it has been stealing grains harvested in occupied land and exporting them for itself.

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Finau takes Rocket Mortgage for 2nd straight win

DETROIT — Tony Finau ran away with the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday at Detroit Golf Club to become the first PGA Tour player in three years to win consecutive regular-season events.

Finau closed with a 5-under 67 for a 5-shot victory and a tournament-record 26-under 262 total. Taylor Pendrith (72), Patrick Cantlay (66) and Rookie of the Year front-runner Cameron Young (68) tied for second.

Finau coasted to his fourth career victory, a third title in 11-plus months. He was the 3M Open winner last week in Minnesota, where he rallied from 5 strokes back to win by 3. Brendon Todd was the latest to win two straight in the regular season, doing it in 2019.

Finau, the Salt Lake City product with Tongan-Samoan heritage, began his stretch of success last August at the Northern Trust, where he had his first victory in five years and 142 PGA Tour starts.

Finau stopped another drought in Detroit, winning for the first time in six attempts when he had or shared the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event. With his sixth birdie at No. 17 and a closing par, he broke Nate Lashley‘s tournament record of 25 under set in 2019 during the inaugural PGA Tour event.

The PGA Tour will close the regular season at the Wyndham Championship, with the North Carolina event opening Thursday. Players on the bubble will have one last shot to finish in the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings to earn a spot in the playoffs and a full card next season.

Finau and Pendrith started Sunday tied and their potential duel in Detroit turned out to be a dud.

Pendrith had his first lackluster round of the tournament after he shared the first-round lead with Finau, led him by 1 shot after the second and matched his 21-under total through three rounds.

The 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie from Canada hit an errant tee shot on the second hole to the right in the rough behind tree branches — after being distracted by a fan running across the fairway — and later pulled a 9-foot putt to lose the lead for good.

Cantlay, No. 4 in the world ranking, had his third straight round in the mid-60s after opening with a 70. Young bounced back from a first-round 71 to finish second for the fifth time.

Pendrith struggled in the final round just as he did the only other time he had a 54-hole lead. He led the Bermuda Championship last October by 3 shots before a 76 dropped him into fifth place, which was his best finish before his showing in the Motor City. Pendrith played in his third tournament after missing nearly four months with a broken rib.

Finau began to pull away from Pendrith with an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 4 and a tap-in for birdie at No. 7.

He made a 21-foot putt for birdie at No. 10 for his third birdie. After his first bogey in the tournament at No. 11, Finau made a 31-foot putt with a break from right to left at No. 12, and Pendrith missed an 11-foot putt on the same hole to fall 4 shots back.

Cantlay surged within 3 shots of the lead with a 5-foot eagle putt at the par-5 14th. On the same hole, Finau made his fifth birdie of the final round to lead by 4 shots.

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Sources: Ruling in Watson case expected Monday

NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson is expected to issue a decision Monday on whether Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women. The encounters cited in the lawsuits took place between March 2020 and March 2021, while Watson was a member of the Houston Texans. One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped following a judge’s ruling in April 2021 that plaintiffs needed to amend their petitions to disclose their names. In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits he was facing; the other four remain active and are on track to go to trial next year.

Last month, the Texans reached settlements with 30 women who made claims or were prepared to make claims against the organization for its alleged role regarding the allegations against Watson.

Robinson heard arguments from the league, union and Watson’s attorney during a three-day hearing held in her home state of Delaware in late June. The NFL pushed for a suspension of at least a year, while the NFLPA and Watson’s attorney argued that the quarterback should not be suspended at all. The sides discussed a potential settlement all the way up through the hearing, but could not agree to a deal.

If either the union or league elects to appeal Robinson’s decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the collective bargaining agreement. According to the CBA, either side will have three days to submit the appeal in writing.

Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL has been investigating whether he violated its personal conduct policy since last year. The NFL interviewed Watson over multiple days earlier this summer. The league’s investigators also spoke to several of the women.

Watson has continually denied all wrongdoing and said he has no regrets for any of his actions during the massage sessions. Watson also said he cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and “answered every question truthfully” that he was asked by the league’s investigators.

The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round draft picks to the Texans. Cleveland then gave Watson a new five-year contract worth $230 million fully guaranteed, the richest deal in NFL history for any player.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said last week that Jacoby Brissett would become Cleveland’s starter if Watson were to be suspended. The Browns had Sunday off from training camp but are scheduled to resume practice Monday.

CBS Sports first reported that Robinson’s decision is expected Monday.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.

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Investing in Real Estate as Self-Care

Many women seeking independence after a breakup or divorce have discovered emotional empowerment and even healing in real estate investment.

Richelle DeVoe was two weeks shy of closing on a house with her partner of 10 years, when their relationship imploded. Her future suddenly snapped into focus: She was 30 and had a successful career as a marketing strategist, but she’d never feel truly secure without a permanent roof over her head.

She took a leap in 2019 and bought an investment property, a duplex in Missoula, Mont., intending to live in one unit and rent the other. “It was the crappiest house on the block,” she said.

But it was what she could afford. “I made the decision entirely from a financial standpoint,” she said. “What I didn’t realize was how much confidence and pride and empowerment I’d feel.”

She added, “It had so many tangential benefits, that emotional feeling of ‘I did this,’ and I did this for me’.”

Janie Osborne for The New York Times

Investing in real estate or becoming a landlord has inherent stress, especially in a volatile market. But many women seeking independence, especially after a breakup or divorce, have discovered emotional empowerment and even healing. They’ve conquered a steep learning curve, often in the face of skepticism. And they’ve found a unique support system, where excising relationship ghosts is as important as learning to negotiate interest rates.

“You have a group of women who are really looking to develop themselves personally,” said Becky Nova, 38, a cancer researcher in New York City who started an organization called Lady Landlords in March 2020. “We’re not crocheting. We’re building generational wealth.”

Women comprise nearly one third of the membership of the National Real Estate Investors Association. But a decade ago, the women were often part of wife-husband investor teams, said Charles Tassell, the chief operating officer of the association. Today, “the 30 percent holds, but they’re not spouses,” he said. “There are more single, individual women coming in. Not remnants of a couple.”

Janie Osborne for The New York Times

Communities designed to support female real estate investors have also seen steady growth. Lady Landlords and Real Estate InvestHER have engaged Facebook followings and loyal podcast audiences. They also host local meet-ups and annual conferences and offer paid mentoring services. Ms. Nova charges $2,400 for a three-month coaching package. An annual mentorship program with Real Estate InvestHER costs $7,500.

In their language and mission, both groups say that taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally is critical to building a successful business.

Scott Baker for The New York Times

Elizabeth Faircloth, 44, a co-founder of Real Estate InvestHER, lives with her husband in New Hope, Pa. In 2004, they began investing in real estate together, but over the next decades, the financial strain of the recession and later becoming a mother left her reeling.

“I started to lose myself. I’m working with my husband and building a business, but trying to figure out my identity as a new mom and married woman,” she said.

Steve Legato for The New York Times

In 2015, she connected with Andresa Guidelli, a Brazilian immigrant who lived in Chestnut Hill, Pa. The women soon joined forces, flipping dozens of properties and building new construction. By 2017, over chats at Panera Bread, they began talking about creating their own women-led group for female peers.

But Ms. Faircloth cautioned Ms. Guidelli, who was in the middle of ending her marriage.

“I remember Liz telling me, ‘I don’t think this is a good time for you. You’re going through a divorce,’” Ms. Guidelli recalled. “And I said, ‘this is exactly what I need.’”

It turned out that Ms. Faircloth, though happily married, needed it too. “I have my own identity. My own place in my life that is mine. It wasn’t in the shadows of my husband,” she said.

Ms. Faircloth and Ms. Guidelli began InvestHER in 2018. “We need to do this for other women. How do they balance their life and create financial freedom on their own terms?” Ms. Faircloth recalled thinking.

Today they have a podcast, a meet-up group with 56 chapters and a 12,000-member Facebook page that caters to budding investors. Strive, their application-only membership program, mentors seasoned investors who are looking to scale up and need systems to manage large teams.

“We leverage the knowledge and experience of other women in everything from syndication, self storage, small multis, midterm rentals, you name it,” said Ms. Guidelli. “When investors rely on their own experiences, they limit their growth.”

Ms. Faircloth said the organization helps women “balance their life and create financial freedom on their own terms.” She added, “We talk about being on a journey, not the destination. You could be financially free. You could have all the money in the bank. But it’s not, ‘I got the duplex, I got the six-plex.’ Because there will be another thing. It’s meaningless if you’re not enjoying it.”

Zack Wittman for The New York Times

Stacey Conte, 34, discovered the Real Estate InvestHER community shortly after ending her marriage in 2018. Court records show a history of domestic abuse. “I really had no support system at the time of my divorce,” she said. The group filled that gap, especially the other women she met who started investing “when they made the transition to being a single mom.”

Ms. Conte said she wanted to create the same security for others, so she started rehabbing properties for Section 8, the federal program that subsidizes rent for low-income households. “A lot of applicants on Section 8 are single moms,” she said.

In early 2022, Ms. Conte and her business partner, Betsy Tinervin, who is also a single mother, bought three boarded up cottages on a busy road in Lakeland, Fla. They gutted them, repainted them in cheerful colors and installed a wooden fence and security system “to give moms and kids a sense that they have their own space,” Ms. Conte said.

In each renovation, the women are trying to send the future occupants a message: “You will figure it out, you have options, you’re not stuck, you’re not the negative words projected on you.”

Zack Wittman for The New York Times

Ms. Conte has found a balance in her business between making money and nourishing her soul.

Alexia Ealey, a travel nurse who lives in Dothan, Ala., also began investing after a failed relationship. She said she helped her ex-boyfriend with a transportation business, but she said it was more his dream than hers. “I felt like I put everything on hold to push someone else’s wagon when I should have been pushing my own,” said Ms. Ealey, 32.

She sold her own home and used the money to buy four single-family houses in need of renovations. She lived with her parents while rehabbing them. Today, she primarily rents them to other travel nurses.

“I felt like I owned myself, like that was a form of self-love to go back and redeem my dream, my path,” Ms. Ealey said. “I went from being heartbroken, lost, confused, and in just one year, I was able to turn that into having about half a million in assets.”

During the process, she became active in both the Lady Landlords and Real Estate InvestHER Facebook communities, heartened to meet others like herself. “So many went from being married and in relationships and ended up losing everything, but took the little money they had and put it into real estate,” she said.

Their stories alleviated her fears that she’d taken too big a risk.

But there are pitfalls, often related to gender bias. One 2020 paper from the Yale School of Management found that single women see much lower returns from buying and selling real estate than single men.

The Lady Landlords and Real Estate InvestHER message boards are full of questions and complaints about how to address unequal treatment. “I’ll get one post that’s ‘Hey, what type of flooring should I buy,’” said Ms. Nova. “And one post that’s ‘Hey, contractors showed up and asked where my husband was or I have a male tenant and he’s not paying rent, what’s the best way to ask for it safely?”

Ms. DeVoe said she felt a hefty dose of impostor syndrome during the renovation process. “Working with contractors was a nightmare being a woman,” she said. On the job site, if her father was around, the men would always address him. “And my dad being this wonderful human would be like ‘I’m not the boss, you have to talk to her.’ And they’d look confused.”

Even the paperwork smacked of sexism, she said. On Ms. DeVoe’s property deed, right beside her signature, are three words in all-caps: AN UNMARRIED WOMAN. “I was like, you guys are rubbing it in my face,” she said. (The state of Montana does not require deeds to list marital status.)

Gender bias can hit all layers of real estate investing, said Mr. Tassell of the real estate investors association. It’s important for investors, especially women, to keep their guard up when visiting job sites or meeting tenants at off hours: “With self-care also comes self-defense,” he said.

Because women face discrimination in the industry, “they have to be a little more careful and conscientious about whether someone is preying on them or not,” he said.

Real estate investing isn’t simple. It requires strategic thinking, negotiating chops and a specific knowledge base. “You get ripped off quite a bit, but you learn,” said Cathy Dilger, a 58-year-old designer who has been investing since 1994. “It’s truly a field of hard knocks learning.”

Being a landlord can be highly stressful, but she found that her passive income from her 21-unit portfolio allowed her to “take a breath and sit back” instead of scrambling for work, after she divorced last year. “I get to discover what I am passionate about,” she said. “I forgot.”

In June, she joined about 400 women in Charlotte, N.C., for InvestHER Con, a two-day conference, that Real Estate InvestHER billed as a “full circle transformational experience.”

There was a nursing and relaxation room. Attendees were encouraged to take “mindful breaks,” where they could network or recharge. Ms. Guidelli said she was so overcome by the sight of women lining up at the microphone that she broke down crying.

On the first day, participants were asked to close their eyes and envision themselves five years in the future: Where were they? How did they feel?

Despite the dissolution of her marriage, which Ms. Dilger called “devastating,” she said she realized, “I’ve got this. I’m healthy. I’m comfortable. I feel good.”

It’s a feeling that women in the industry describe as accomplishing something significant on their own.

Ms. DeVoe is now engaged and she’s given the potential division of her assets some thought: “I’ve made this home, this beautiful, nurturing place to be,” she said. “I’ve told my partner that I’ll share our income moving forward, but the duplex is mine.”

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