WELLINGTON — The New Zealand government on Wednesday blocked former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson from entering the country.
Tyson had originally been granted a visa, despite opposition from Prime Minister John Key, to visit in November for a charity event.
But associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said the visa has now been cancelled after the show sponsor, the Life Education Trust, made clear it “no longer wants to have any involvement” with Tyson’s visit.
“Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand for the Day of the Champions event,” the minister said.
Wilkinson said the original decision to grant Tyson a visa was “a finely balanced call” and the letter of support from the Trust was a significant factor in approving the application.
Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for raping an 18-year-old woman and under New Zealand law anyone sentenced to more than five years in jail is denied a visa, although this can be waived in certain circumstances.
Key had described the Tyson visa decision as “a line ball call”.
He said he did not understand the rationale behind allowing Tyson into the country and said he would never approve a visa being granted to someone with a serious conviction such as violence against a woman.
“I can see it from both sides, maybe it was a long time ago, but in my view they are very, very serious issues,” he said.
Life Education Trust chief executive John O’Connell told Fairfax Media his board had initially turned Tyson down and the letter of support was written by a well-meaning volunteer.
“We are a charity that works with children and their self-esteem and relationships with others. Clearly there is a brand values disconnect, we believed, between being involved with Mr Tyson,” O’Connell said.
“Certainly the rape conviction was the key thing.”
Trump ‘will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020’: Conservative columnist issues dire warning
President Donald Trump will fight to remain in power regardless of the outcome if the 2020 election is close, a conservative columnist warned on Saturday.
Andrew Sullivan blasted Trump in New York magazine, honing in on the commander-in-chief's lying.
"For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie," he wrote.
‘Veto the Cheato’: Americans gathered nationwide for #ImpeachTrump rallies
Frustrated Americans on Saturday attended #ImpeachTrump rallies from coast-to-coast.
The rallies were organized by MoveOn, Indivisible, Democracy for America, the Women's March, Credo and other progressive organizations.
Over 140 events were held nationwide.
[caption id="attachment_1513038" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Map of #ImpeachTrump rallies in the contiguous United States.[/caption]
Many attendees took the time to create hand-made protest signs, while others held printed banners.
‘Weakness doesn’t win elections’: Indivisible co-founder explains why members are holding #ImpeachTrump rallies
The growing support to commence impeachment proceedings by House Democrats is driven by their need to fire up grassroots support to hold control of the chamber, an Indivisible co-founder explained on MSNBC.
"The call for impeachment continues. this as protesters are hitting the street in more than 140 rallies planned across the country. Organizers say the "Impeach Trump" event is a day of action urging House Democrats to start impeachment proceedings," MSNBC's Richard Lui reported Saturday.
"A new survey from the indivisible project finds 80 percent of their respondents say the House should start impeachment proceedings," he noted. "Right now in the House, 63 Democrats and one Republican support impeachment."