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Bill and Melinda Gates divorce after 27 years of marriage – KBC

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Bill and Melinda Gates have announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage, saying “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair tweeted.

They first met in the 1980s when Melinda joined Bill’s Microsoft firm.

The billionaire couple has three children and jointly runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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The organization has spent billions fighting causes such as infectious diseases and encouraging vaccinations in children.

The Gates – along with investor Warren Buffett – are behind the Giving Pledge, which calls on billionaires to commit to giving away the majority of their wealth to good causes.

Bill Gates is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes, and is worth $124bn (£89bn).

He made his money through the firm he co-founded in the 1970s, Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company.

The pair both posted the statement announcing their divorce on Twitter.

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” it read.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.

“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

How did they get together?

Melinda, now 56, joined Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, and the two sat together at a business dinner that year in New York.

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They began dating, but as Bill told a Netflix documentary: “We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”

Melinda said she found Bill – methodical it seems even in matters of the heart – writing a list on a whiteboard with the “pros and the cons of getting married”.

They got married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, reportedly hiring up all the local helicopters to stop unwanted guests flying over.

Bill, 65, stepped down from Microsoft’s board last year to focus on his philanthropic activities.

What is the Gates Foundation?

  • The couple established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 in Seattle
  • The foundation focuses primarily on public health, education, and climate change
  • Its grants included some $1.75bn to vaccine initiatives and research during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • In 2019, the foundation had net assets of more than $43bn
  • Bill and Melinda Gates pumped more than $36bn into the foundation between 1994 and 2018

source: Reuters news agency

What role did Melinda play in their campaigning?

“Bill and I are equal partners,” she told the Associated Press in an interview in 2019. “Men and women should be equal at work.”

In her recent memoir The Moment of Lift, she wrote about her childhood, life, and private struggles as the wife of a famous figure and stay-at-home mother with three kids.

Working together at the Foundation had made their relationship better, she argued. “He’s had to learn how to be an equal, and I’ve had to learn how to step up and be an equal,” she wrote.

Apart from her work with the Foundation she founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment company focused on women and families, in 2015.

“The world is finally waking up to the fact that none of us can move forward when half of us are held back,” she said at the time. “The data is clear: empowered women transform societies.”

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Kenya’s Titus Ekiru wins Milano Marathon in new Course Record time

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Kenya’s Titus Ekiru ran the fastest ever marathon in Italy on Sunday, clocking 2:02:57 as he successfully defended his Milano Marathon title in a new course record time.

This is the fifth fastest marathon of all time.

Ekiru, the African Games Half Marathon champion reduced almost two minutes off his time when he won the race for the first time in 2019, clocking 2:04:46.

Compatriot Rueben Kiprop finished second in a time of 2:03:55 while Barnabas Kiptum finished off a Kenyan Podium sweep after coming in third with a time of 2:04:17.

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“From the 20km mark, I was feeling good and I said I would push a bit till the 30km mark. We tried to push with my friend Rueben and at the 35km mark, I decided to increase the pace a bit to see if I can get a good time,” Ekiru, also the reigning Honolulu Marathon champion stated.

He added; “I feel happy with the time and now I want to go and rest then make a strategy with my coach again. I believe I can even run 2:01.”

Ekiru cleared the first 10km in 29:29 and it was evident that the race was headed for a fast finish. He kept the push and with 2km left, he was on 1:56:39 and a new personal best was clearly on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan won the women’s race in a time of 2:19:35, also the fastest women’s race ever run in Italy and a new world lead while Kenyan Racheal Jemutai finished second in 2:22:50.

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Spotify boss says bid for Arsenal rejected, remains ‘interested’

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LOS ANGELES, United States, May 16 – Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek said Saturday a formal offer to buy Arsenal had been rejected by the Premier League club’s American owners.

In a statement on Twitter, the Swedish tycoon said the club’s owners, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), had rebuffed his bid.

“This week an offer was made to (KSE co-owner) Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at the board and a golden share for the supporters,” Ek said.

“They replied that they don’t need the money. I remain interested should that situation ever change.”

Lifelong Arsenal fan Ek first expressed an interest in mounting a bid for the club last month in the wake of the aborted European Super League plan.

Arsenal were one of six Premier League teams that signed up for the breakaway league, which collapsed barely 48 hours later after a massive backlash across the football world.

Arsenal fans staged an angry protest outside the Emirates Stadium demanding a change of ownership of the club.

US billionaire Stan Kroenke, through KSE, has been the Gunners’ majority shareholder for a decade and took full control of the club by buying out Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s stake in 2018.

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Arsenal’s performances on the pitch have declined markedly during the Kroenke reign.

The London club have not won a Premier League title since 2003/04 and this season the team missed out on a top-four finish in the English top flight for a fifth consecutive season.

KSE said in a statement last month the group was uninterested in a sale of the team after Ek went public with his planned bid.

“We remain 100 percent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club,” KSE said. “We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.”

Ek however had insisted that he was “very” serious about making a bid for the team, with Arsenal legends such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp all reportedly part of an advisory group for the takeover.

“I have secured the funds for it, and I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out,” Ek said.

“I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight years old. Arsenal is my team. I love the history. I love the players. And of course, I love the fans.

“So as I look at that, I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club to bring it back to its glory. And I want to establish trust with fans and I want to engage the fans again.”

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LeBron returns as Lakers stay in playoff hunt

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LOS ANGELES, United States, May 16 – LeBron James made a successful return from injury as the Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their hopes of an automatic NBA playoff spot with a 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

James finished with 24 points while Anthony Davis led the scoring with 28 as the Lakers served notice that they have no intention of surrendering their NBA crown without a fight as the postseason approaches.

Saturday’s victory means that the Lakers can still secure the sixth seed and avoid the play-in tournament if they win their final game of the regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday and Portland lose to Denver in their final game.

On Saturday’s evidence, the Lakers appear to be hitting the sort of form that delivered last season’s championship at just the right time, with James linking brilliantly with Davis while other key members of the roster returned from injury.

As well as James’ return, Germany’s Dennis Schroder was back from a seven-game layoff due to Covid-19 protocols, scoring 14 points, while Lakers coach Frank Vogel confirmed Alex Caruso is now fit again despite not featuring on Saturday.

Any lingering doubts about James’ return to fitness were wiped away early on Saturday, with the Lakers star throwing down a monstrous one-handed dunk from a Schroder alley-oop as the Lakers imposed themselves early on.

Six Lakers players finished in double figures, with Schroder adding 14 points on his return.

James meanwhile was happy to see his return from injury pass off without a glitch, saying afterwards that while his ankle was sore it felt much improved.

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“A lot more mobility, a lot more movement, it was warm,” James said.

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“Tiny bit of soreness now that the game is over which is expected, but I didn’t have a setback today which is a damn good job for myself and the medical team.”

James added that he had been wrong-footed by the early afternoon scheduling of Saturday’s game, initially expecting a night-time fixture.

“It threw me for a loop,” James said. “I knew I had to get my engine revved up early and I wasn’t sure how my ankle was going to respond.

“But it responded very well and I’m excited about what tomorrow holds.”

– Jazz kept waiting –

In other early NBA games on Saturday, the Phoenix Suns delayed Utah’s coronation as top seeds from the Western Conference after demolishing the San Antonio Spurs 140-103.

A Phoenix defeat would have guaranteed top spot in the West to the Jazz, who must now wait for Sunday’s final round of regular season games to clinch the top seed.

Devin Booker led Phoenix’s blowout victory with 27 points while Mikal Bridges added 18.

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Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets warmed up for the playoffs with 105-91 defeat of the Chicago Bulls.

The game marked the first time Brooklyn’s big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving had taken to the court together since February.

Irving led the Brooklyn scorers with 22 points while Durant finished with 12 and Harden 5.

“The fact they’re on the court together is positive,” Nets coach Steve Nash said of Durant, Harden and Irving.

“Just the chance to feel it so it’s not so brand new when we start the playoffs next weekend.”

“It wasn’t a great game, we weren’t very sharp,” Nash added. “We weren’t firing on all cylinders but we got out of it with a win.

“We got the job done and we move on tomorrow. Hopefully we can have a good game and that sets us up for a good week of practice.”

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