BY DAN HOWLEY Staff Writer The state will solicit proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is preparing a request for proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park.The announcement came as Gov. Chris Christie signed several bills into law aimed at helping to keep the state’s ailing horse-racing industry afloat.According to NJSEA spokesman John Samerjian, the authority has begun drafting the request for proposals (RFP), but he said last week information on guidelines and qualifications of those who submit proposals were not yet available. OceanportMayorMichaelMahon said the borough was expecting the authority to issue the RFP.“The governor’s announcement … that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority would issue in the near future a request for proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park, including assignment of additional off-track wagering operations, comes as no surprise to the Oceanport Task Force [on Monmouth Park],” Mahon said.“Representatives have maintained an open dialogue with the Hanson Commission, the NJSEA, the [N.J. Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association] and others that will likely play a key role in preserving horse racing at Monmouth Park.”Christie made the announcement about the RFPin a statement released last week in which he also announced his approval of Assembly billsA-2926 andA-3200.A-2926 establishes a system of exchange wagering for in-state and out-of- state horse races, while A-3200 authorizes horse-racing permit owners to establish a single-pool betting system.“These measures represent the next steps in following through on my administration’s commitment to securing a strong, independent, self-sufficient horse-racing industry in New Jersey,” Christie said Jan. 31.“Along with our ongoing efforts to transform racing at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park through private management, these measures will place horse racing on a path to economic stability and sustainability without public subsidy that New Jersey taxpayers can simply no longer afford,” he added.In addition to the wagering bills, Christie also signed Senate bill S-11 into law, which allocates up to $30 million over three years in purse subsidies for races at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands racetracks.The funding will come from proceeds from Internet gaming and savings realized through casino deregulation.Although the $30 million will not be made available immediately, Christie could choose to provide it to the racetracks if he deems it a necessity, according to the 12th District legislative office.Christie conditionally vetoed a fourth bill, Assembly bill A-1705, which provides revisions to the Off Track and Account Wagering Act to expedite the development of off-track wagering facilities throughout the state.“While I wholeheartedly endorse the objectives behind A-1705, a conditional veto is necessary to give us the necessary flexibility and latitude in negotiations, as it relates to the assignment of off-track wagering locations, and that any future OTW locations not be hampered out of the gate with additional fees on their operations,” Christie said.District 12 legislators Sen. Jennifer Beck and Assembly members Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon praised Christie for signing the legislation into law. “Horse racing is a vital part of our regional economy and helps preserve significant amounts of open space in our state,” Beck said last week in a press release.“Exchange wagering and pari-mutuel betting will help the industry adapt to a changing market and consumer preferences and lend a much-needed boost to the racing industry’s revenues,” she said.Casagrande said the bills were a step toward creating a horse-racing industry that is able to stand on its own two feet.She went on to add that the off-track betting bill was a “critical component” of the equation for a stronger horse racing industry.“I call on my colleagues to swiftly take up the changes recommended in the governor’s conditional veto, which are neither unreasonable nor a threat to the overall objective of the bill,” she said.Mahon also thanked Christie as well as the 12th District representatives for their help in moving the legislation forward.“Horse racing is an important and vital cog in not only Oceanport’s economy and the economy of Monmouth County but the entire state of New Jersey as well,” Mahon said last week.“Horse racing contributes 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space to our ‘Garden State.’“In addition to A-2926 authorizing exchange wagering, and the enactment of [A- 3200] to permit racetrack permit holders to provide a single pari-mutuel pool for every horse race, we applaud the governor’s signing of the bipartisan bill, S-11, … that would enable horse racing to not only survive, but to thrive,” he said.Mahon added that the Oceanport Task Force on Monmouth Park continues to believe that virtual lottery terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino in the Meadowlands are the only way to secure the future of horse racing in New Jersey.“The surrounding states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland now have some form of gaming at their racetracks. This uneven playing field enables our competitors to lure New Jersey horsemen out of statewith larger purses and better quality horse racing,” he said. Local officials laud bills aimed at saving horse racing
Even as sparks continue to flare up every day in the ongoing India vs Australia Test series, the cricket fraternity from both sides talk tough and continue to back their teams.The emotions have taken the centrestage ahead of cricket in the last two Tests. Kohli had warned Australia of “crossing the line” in the Bengaluru Test after their captain Steve Smith was caught seeking help from the dressing room over a DRS.Post Ranchi Test draw, Kohli accused the visitors of “disrespecting” Team India physio Patrick Farhart, who treated the India captain after he suffered a shoulder injury on the first day of the match.Former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan, who was the team manager during the scandulous ‘Monkeygate’ controversy in 2007-08, on Tuesday backed Kohli and Co. for giving it back to the Australians, who are well known for playing aggressive brand of cricket.”The same thing happened in 2007-08 too when I was the manager of the Indian team on tour of Australia during the ‘Monkeygate’ controversy. I told them that these players won’t take things for granted and give it back immediately. I feel that they (Australian cricketers and board) understand this language only. Since India are giving it back again this time, they are shattered,” Chauhan told Aaj Tak.AUSSIE MEDIA, SUTHERLAND ATTACK KOHLIIt’s true that Kohli is not liked much by the Australian fans and he is certain to lose more fans Down Under after his recent outbursts on the Australian team and captain Smith.advertisementAustralian media compared the India captain to United States President Donald Trump, saying “Kohli has become the Donald Trump of world sport”.Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland was the latest to have joined the choruses and attacked Kohli.Sutherland was asked by an Australian Radio channel — FIVEaa — whether Kohli should apologise for his latest outburst, Sutherland said: “I am not sure he (Virat) knows how to spell the word (sorry).”‘LOAD OF SHIT’However, the under-fire captain has found support from former Australia skipper Michael Clarke. Clarke told India Today in an exclusive interview that he found the Kohli-Trump episode extremely funny and Kohli should pay no heed to it.”Comparing Virat Kohli with Donald Trump – what a load of shit is that. What Virat did, even Smith would have. I could just laugh about the Trump thing (comparison). I find it quite funny and am sure Virat will also find it quite funny,” Clarke told India Today.WATCH FULL CLARKE INTERVIEW HEREAustralia came into the series as underdogs but Smith’s men fought hard to win the first Test in Pune. However, Kohli’s men bounced back smartly to clinch a 75-run win in the second Test in Bengaluru before the third Test ended in draw. The series stands 1-1 at the moment with the decider to be played in Dharamsala from Saturday.(With inputs from Ateet Sharma)ALSO WATCH:
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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The father of Poppi Worthington refused to answer 69 questions relating to her death in case it incriminated him as it emerged he is now under witness protection.Paul Worthington was called to give evidence in public for the first time, but refused to fill in the gaps of Poppi’s final hours on the grounds that his answers could be used against him.He even exercised his right to remain silent when Alison Hewitt, counsel to the inquest, put to him: “To the point that you came downstairs with Poppi not breathing in your arms you are the only person that can account for those events.”A High Court judge has previously ruled that he had probably sexually assaulted his 13-month-old daughter before taking her lifeless body down to her mother, who was sleeping on the sofa, and getting her to call an ambulance at around 6am.A litany of police failings mean that there is “insufficient evidence” to charge him with any offence. Poppi Worthington died, aged 13 months, in 2002 Despite that meaning the inquest is the only chance he will have to defend himself in open court, Mr Worthington refused to answer 67 consecutive questions about what happened on the morning of Poppi’s death on December 12 2012. Mr Worthington confirmed that his relationship with Poppi’s mother was “on and off” and their children – Poppi, her twin and an older sibling born in 2010 – were all unplanned and he had a vasectomy in 2012. Show more He said that the couple argued over his watching of sport and gambling.The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sat in court holding her head in her hands and looking at the desk in front of her for the majority of his evidence.She walked out in disgust as Ms Hewitt moved on to events of December 11 and 12 and the coroner advised her former partner that as they were crucial days in the case he was “not obliged to answer”.Mr Worthington, wearing a shirt with his top button undone, sat glancing between the desk in front of him and the barristers throughout the hearing and refused to even confirm that he had made statements provided to police.When asked about evidence that he had given to the High Court that he had watched “X-rated adult stuff” on his laptop in bed the night before Poppi’s death he refused to elaborate on what type of pornography he had viewed.Despite earlier claims that his life would be under threat if he were to attend court, the two members of the public watching the hearing quietly from the public gallery were vastly outnumbered by uniformed officers. The police, who have come under heavy criticism in the case, had used a marked van as a decoy to try and distract the waiting press whilst he was driven to another back door in an unmarked van.In January 2016, family court judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson, now Lord Justice Peter Jackson, made public his conclusion that Mr Worthington probably sexually assaulted his toddler daughter before her collapse.However, a series of basic errors by the police, including failing to secure the scene or the nappy that Poppi was wearing and not launching a criminal investigation for more than seven months, means prosecutors have ruled there is “insufficient evidence” to bring any charges.Mr Worthington’s evidence will resume tomorrow. Paul Worthington is photographed as he arrives for the inquest on Wednesday morningCredit:Richard Rayner /NNP Mr Worthington had earlier been bundled into court by three police officers who covered him as he ran into the building with a hooded jumper on and a scarf covering his face. Mr Worthington, whose evidence had been due to begin at 10am, took to the witness box shortly after 3pm after proceedings were delayed by a last-minute request by his lawyers for him to be screened from both the press and the public on the grounds it would breach his human rights and raise concerns for his safety.Paul Clark, representing him, said: “There has been a long-term position of great vulnerability and risk and as a result there is a long-term position of witness protection whereby his current appearance and location are unknown.”It is unclear what form the witness protection takes, though if it is not being provided by Cumbria Police it could be provided by another force. His family have previously said he left his home town of Barrow-in-Furness after the judge ruled he had assaulted Poppi.As he took to the witness box, screened from the public but not the press, he refused to answer the very first question that was put to him about whether he started a relationship with Poppi’s mother in 2009, saying: “I refer to my previous statements, I rely on my right not to answer under rule 22.”Senior Coroner David Roberts pointed out that the question did not incriminate him and therefore he could not refuse, telling him: “It is not like you have seen on TV or perhaps in your own experience when you are interviewed by police in the police station and you can go no comment all the way through.”