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Former Qatari FIFA official allegedly paid out $5 million in bid to obtain 2022 World Cup

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A British newspaper alleged on Sunday that a former top Qatari football official paid $5 million to get support for the emirate’s campaign to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Sunday Times said it had obtained millions of emails and other documents relating to alleged payments made by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the then FIFA executive member for Qatar.

It alleged that Bin Hammam, who is also the ex-Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, used slush funds to pay out the cash to top football officials to win a “groundswell” of support for Qatar’s World Cup bid.

Bin Hammam, who launched an abortive challenge against incumbent FIFA president Sepp Blatter, resigned from his FIFA and AFC posts in 2012, shortly before he was banned for life from football administration by the global governing body’s ethics committee.

The newspaper said Bin Hammam had made payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations, and hosted hospitality events in Africa at which he handed out further funds, to get backing for Qatar’s bid.

Bin Hammam also paid $1.6 million into bank accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the former vice-president of FIFA, $450,000 of which was before the vote for the World Cup, the Sunday Times said.

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Warner was one of the 22 people who in 2010 decided to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament. He stood down in 2011.

The latest allegations come two months after Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper alleged that a company owned by Hammam had paid money to Warner.

Bin Hammam did not respond to questions from the Sunday Times and his son declined to comment on his behalf, the newspaper said.

It quoted the Qatari committee behind the World Cup bid as denying that Bin Hammam played any secret role in their campaign, or had any knowledge of the alleged payments.

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The decision to give the World Cup to Qatar, a country with little football history, provoked widespread condemnation particularly over health concerns for leading players forced to play in the desert nation’s stifling summer heat.

Blatter said in May that it was a mistake to choose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup because of the country’s sweltering summertime climate.

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NRA owes $1.6 million in unpaid bills to vendor who runs NRATV

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The National Rifle Association has a hefty bill that remains unpaid, despite making a huge haul in fundraising for the 2016 election.

According to Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast, the NRA owes $1.6 million to their vendor, Ackerman McQueen, they've used for advertising for years. The company is the one responsible for doing the media for NRATV, the group's streaming service for pro-gun television.

The two have had a long relationship and err on the side of quiet privacy, which Woodruff said on MSNBC, shows just how acrimonious the battle has become.

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2020 Election

Michael Moore warns that Trump will be hard to beat: ‘He hasn’t lost one inch of his fired-up insane base’

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Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore thinks that Democrats had better get ready for a very tough fight in the 2020 presidential election.

Even though polls continue to show that President Donald Trump is historically unpopular, Moore believes that the president's base is fired up to reelect him and will crawl over glass to vote for him again next year.

In particular, Moore was struck by the massive enthusiasm that greeted the president at his big kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida.

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Canada is taking advantage of Trump’s tariff pratfalls by scooping up new trade partners: report

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As American manufacturers reel and U.S. farmers see their economic well-being being destroyed by Donald Trump's trade wars, the Canadian government is stepping into the breach and boosting their own trade relations, reports Politico.

As part of their Global Translations podcast, Politico notes that countries -- and manufacturers -- are not standing by helplessly as Trump threatens and changes directions on trade on almost a daily basis.

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