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The Italian job: 2026 Winter Olympics will be staged in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo

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Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo was named as hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics on Monday, beating off a bid from Stockholm/Are in Sweden and giving Italy the showpiece event for the third time.

The 2026 Olympics will run from February 6-22, said the International Olympic Committee.

Italy has twice previously hosted the Winter Games — in 1956 in Cortina d’Ampezzo and 2006 in Turin. Sweden has only hosted the Summer Olympics, in 1912 in Stockholm.

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IOC members gave the Italian bid the nod by 47 votes to 34.

“It’s an historic day and a victory of all Italians,” said Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini.

“Thank you to those who believed in it from the beginning, especially in the municipalities and regions, and tough luck for those who gave up and who did not believe.”

Salvini estimated that the Games will generate five billion euros ($5.69 billion) and create 20,000 jobs.

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“Congratulations to Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo. We can expect a great and memorable Winter Games in a country with a tradition of winter sports,” said IOC president Thomas Bach as members of the Italian delegation chanted: “Italia, Italia”.

“The passion and knowledge of the Italian fans, combined with the experience of organising events, will create a perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world.”

On the road to the 2026 decision, bids from Calgary, Graz in Austria, Japan’s Sapporo and Sion in Switzerland fell by the wayside, mainly because of concerns over the cost or a lack of popular support.

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A bid by the Turkish ski resort of Erzurum was ruled out by the IOC in October 2018.

The bid by Stockholm and the Are ski area — which hosted the World Ski Championships in February — had appeared to be running out of steam a few months ago due to a lack of funding commitments before the government swung behind it.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had met with Bach on Sunday to give assurances over the guarantees of “full support” from the government.

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They were questions which were expect to weigh heavily on the vote.

By contrast, after Rome’s failed attempt to capture the 2024 Summer Olympics, Giovanni Malago, head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) managed to unite political and economic support.

The Italian bid combined the two richest regions of Italy — Lombardy (Milan) and Veneto (Cortina).

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It also highlighted traditional winter sports sites such as Cortina, which hosted the 1956 Olympics, Bormio and Anterselva.

On Monday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made his final pitch for Italy before the vote.

– ‘Start work straight away’ –

“Our bid is worthy of the highest consideration,” Conte told delegates.

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“If Italy is chosen, then work will start from this evening so that our Games leave a mark on history.

“This is the dream of an entire country, and not only the government but also the regions.”

Italian Olympic 500m short track speed skating champion Arianna Fontana highlighted the climate advantages of the bid.

“Milan/Cortina will be the sunny part of the Winter Olympics, with an average 10 hours of sunlight every day,” she said.

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Michela Moioli, Olympic snowboard champion in 2018, added: “The whole country believes in us; it’s your turn to believe in us.”

On Sunday, Swedish high jumper Stefan Holm, the 2004 Olympic champion in Athens and now a member of the IOC, had said winter sports powerhouse Sweden had a strong claim to host the Winter Games for the first time.

“Sweden deserves the Games — Norway has had them twice, so it would be fair for Sweden to have them,” he said, adding, in a veiled jibe at Italy’s economic slowdown, that his country was “economically and politically stable”.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be staged in Beijing.

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‘They have a responsibility to not be stupid’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe slaps Trump’s ‘ignorant’ rally-goers for swallowing Trump lies

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blamed President Donald Trump's supporters for failing their most basic civic responsibility by remaining willfully ignorant and swallowing his lies.

The president claimed his betrayal of the Kurds was actually keeping them safe, despite credible reports of war crimes against them by Turkey, and the "Morning Joe" host challenged rally-goers to open their eyes -- and believe what they see.

"It's the responsibility to people that show up at those rallies to not be stupid, to not be so stupid that they should be kept away from blenders," Scarborough said. "All they have to do is spend three seconds actually watching the news, all they have to do is spend three seconds on Google, spend three seconds talking to somebody that is not completely brainwashed to see that this is a horrible deal for the Kurds."

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‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.

"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."

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Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election

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In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.

Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.

Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.

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