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Rep. Demings on Venezuela Oil Overtures

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Orlando, FL: Today Rep. Val Demings said the following after news that Maduro’s regime in Venezuela is seeking to sell oil to the U.S. during Putin’s war.
Said Rep. Demings, “I am deeply skeptical of the new talks in Venezuela. Any talks need to be specifically focused on two goals: first, freeing the Americans imprisoned in Venezuela, including the Citgo 6; and second, empowering the Venezuelan people in their struggle for freedom and democracy. And Maduro and his corrupt cronies must not personally profit from any deal.
“Putin’s war in Ukraine is a test of America’s principles and I have faith that we will rise to meet the moment. We must ensure that Florida families can afford gas and ensure that no dictators can profit from this crisis. Rising gas prices due to Putin’s war and corporate price gouging are a critical challenge for Florida families. But we have multiple strong actions that we can take right now to bring down costs without enriching corrupt and murderous dictators like Nicolás Maduro.
“To bring down gas prices in Florida, there is a clear alternative: restrict the export of American-made gasoline which is currently being exported for sale in foreign markets. Gasoline produced in America should be consumed in America, bringing down costs for working families right away.
“This is a change that can be made today, even as we continue to develop alternative power. Freeing ourselves from the tyranny of oil means that corrupt dictators like Putin and Maduro lose all of their leverage. It’s long past time to defang these regimes, create new American jobs, and bring down energy costs here at home.”
“La guerra de Putin en Ucrania es una prueba de los principios de Estados Unidos y tengo fe en que estaremos a la altura del momento. Debemos asegurarnos de que las familias de Florida puedan pagar la gasolina y garantizar que ningún dictador pueda beneficiarse de esta crisis. El aumento de los precios de la gasolina debido a la guerra de Putin y el aumento de los precios corporativos son un desafío crítico para las familias de Florida. Pero tenemos múltiples acciones fuertes que podemos tomar ahora mismo para reducir los costos sin enriquecer a líderes corruptos y asesinos como Nicolás Maduro.
“Estoy profundamente escéptica de las nuevas conversaciones en Venezuela. Cualquier conversación debe centrarse específicamente en dos objetivos: primero, liberar a los Estadounidenses encarcelados en Venezuela, incluido el Citigo 6; y segundo, empoderando al pueblo Venezolano en su lucha por la libertad y la democracia. Maduro y sus cómplices corruptos no deben beneficiarse personalmente de ningún acuerdo.
“Para bajar los precios de la gasolina en Florida, existe una alternativa clara: restringir la exportación de gasolina de fabricación Estadounidense que actualmente se exporta para su venta en mercados extranjeros. La gasolina producida en los Estados Unidos debe consumirse en los Estados Unidos, reduciendo los costos para las familias trabajadoras de inmediato.
“Este es un cambio que se puede hacer hoy, incluso mientras continuamos desarrollando energías alternativa. Liberarnos de la tiranía del petróleo significa que dictadores corruptos como Putin y Maduro pierden toda su influencia. Ya es hora de acabar con estos regímenes, crear nuevos empleos Estadounidenses y reducir los costos de energía aquí en casa.”
Background
Rep. Demings previously led a call for a hearing on illegal practices in the oil and gas market. Additionally, she called on the Administration to “exercise all options available to bring down the cost of gasoline now,” specifically citing a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a restriction on gasoline exports, and efforts to address illegal price manipulations. After the Administration took some of these actions, Rep. Demings followed up to re-raise the issue and call for further action.
Rep. Demings has also led calls to target Putin and his oligarchs with additional sanctions and seize their assets in Florida and overseas, building from her previous work to successfully pass into law legislation to investigate and expose Putin’s illicit financial networks.

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Golf

Lydia Ko and Jeff McNeil win the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

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Lydia Ko win the 2024 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Sunday, January 21, 2024. Photo by Harry Castiblanco / Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Lake Nona resident, Lydia Ko, has won the 2024 Hilton Grand Vacations LPGA Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, while Mets All-Star Second Baseman, Jeff McNeil, has won the celebrities and amateurs competition. The four day tournament wrapped up Sunday. Ko takes home $225,000 of the $1.5 million prize pool, while baseball player McNeil wins $100,000 of the $500,000 designated for the athletes and entertainers.

 

Lydia Ko and Jeff McNeil win the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Sunday, January 21, 2024. Photo by Harry Castiblanco / Florida National News

Ko finished at -14, two strokes ahead of Alexa Pano. Defending champion, Brooke Henderson, finished third at ten under par. McNeil ended with 138 points using the Modified Stableford scoring system, in his first time competing in this tournament. Annika Sorenstam finished in second place amongst the celebrity golfers, with 136. Former Major League Baseball pitchers Derek Lowe and Mark Mulder tied for third place at 135.

The Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions also announced today that they have extended their agreement with the LPGA to continue this tournament at Lake Nona for another five years, with a 65% increase in the prize pool money.

Stay tuned to Florida National News for more, and be sure to follow our Florida National News page on Facebook for more photos and videos from the tournament.

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Golf

Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions Returns to Lake Nona

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Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News)

ORLANDO, Fla. (Florida National News) – The Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions is back at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando Thursday, 1/18 through Sunday, 1/21. This tournament kicks off the LPGA Tour’s 74th season, featuring top women golfers, who have qualified by winning a tournament in 2022 or 2023, playing alongside celebrities from the world of sports, entertainment, and music.

Annika Sorenstam practices on the driving range for the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. (Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News)

 

Comedy fans can watch Larry The Cable Guy entertain the crowd with his one-liners and banter. “Fresh Prince” fans can tune in to Alfonso Ribeiro in hopes of seeing him dance “The Carlton.” Bachelor fans can follow Ben Higgins or Wells Adams to see if they’re passing out any roses.

Sports fans can see some true legends in a different light. Basketball fans can look for Vince Carter, Ray Allen, or Chandler Parsons. Baseball fans can watch for John Smoltz, Albert Pujols, or Roger Clemens. Football fans will find Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Brian Urlacher, and Charles Woodson.

You’ll find many other actors, musicians, and champions of various sports. If you’d like to watch some fun golf while also celebrity spotting, be sure to visit the tournament’s website to get your tickets, and to see who else will be playing this year.

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Golf

Brooks Koepka wins LIV Golf 2023 Orlando Tournament

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Brooks Koepka wins LIV Golf 2023 Orlando Tournament at Orange County National, Sunday, April 2, 2023.. Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN Sports) – Brooks Koepka (-15) holds off Sebastian Muñoz (-14) to win the LIV Golf Tournament at Orange County National, the first time the new league came to Florida. This was the third event of the 2023 season. There will be ten more individual matches around the world before the 14th of the season, which will be a team competition.

LIV Golf, which bills itself as “Golf, but louder,” features several differences when compared to the traditions of the PGA. Golfers compete not only individually, but also as members of twelve teams of four. Teams are ranked after each event based on their top three scores. Those rankings will come into play for week fourteen of the season to determine seedings. In addition, if a golfer isn’t pulling his weight, he may be replaced as the season goes on. There could also be other roster changes, just like in other team sports.

In addition, LIV Golf events feature all sorts of interactive experiences at their Fan Village, where fans can compete in putting, chipping, and driving. Younger fans can watch shows at the kids zone, or can get temporary tattoos or face painting. Loud music blares before and after the tournament play, and there are plenty of food and beverage options for all. The tournament begins with a shotgun start around 1:00 p.m., and the action ends just over four hours later, unlike the PGA, where staggered tee times and more players means a longer day of golf. Also, LIV Golf events feature only three days and 54 holes (Roman numeral “LIV”) of action, compared to the PGA’s four days and 72 holes.

LIV Golf’ Fan Village at Orange County National, Thursday, March 30, 2023. Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News

 

Fan Village. Photo credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News

The PGA has already responded to LIV Golf, announcing that next year, there will be fewer golfers allowed to compete in designated events (about 70 players compared to the current 120), but that will mean higher payouts to the PGA golfers. LIV Golf has attracted many high profile golfers by guaranteeing minimum payouts to join the upstart league.

The next LIV Golf event will take place April 21-23 in Adelaide, Australia. Meanwhile, The PGA’s Masters Tournament tees off April 6-9 in Augusta, Georgia. Stay tuned to Florida National News for more.

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