Kenya’s Kosgei Crushes Radcliffe World Record In Chicago Marathon

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya poses for a photo after breaking the world record to win the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP 

 

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei shattered Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record Sunday, winning the Chicago Marathon in two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds.

Kosgei broke the mark of 2:15:25 set by Radcliffe in the London Marathon on April 13, 2003 as she won in Chicago for the second straight year.

Kosgei, the 25-year-old who also won in London in April and clocked the fastest half-marathon in history this year of 1:04:28 at the Great North Run, quickly separated herself from the women’s field as she ran with two male pace-setters.

Lawrence Cherono made it a Kenyan double with victory in the men’s race, as Mo Farah finished a distant eighth to end a week when he hit back at critics over his work with disgraced coach Alberto Salazar.

Kosgei crossed the finish line alone, with Ethiopians Ababel Yeshaneh and Gelete Burka a second and third in 2:20:51 and 2:20:55.

“I’m happy and I feel good,” Kosgei said. “People were cheering all along the course, which gave me more energy.

“I felt my body was moving, moving, moving so I went for it.”

While the IAAF called the 2:17:01 clocked by Mary Jepkosgei Keitany at the 2017 London Marathon a “women only” world record posted without male pace-setters, it’s Radcliffe’s mark — so long untouchable — that has been the grail for female marathon runners.

The British great was in Chicago and posed for photos with Kosgei.

“I think we’ve always known that time was going to come,” Radcliffe said. “When I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first part of the race, if she was able to hold that together, she was always going to beat the time.”

Radcliffe had also held the Chicago course record of 2:17:18 — set in winning the 2002 race in what was then a world record.

“That was a very special day for me and it’s a very special day for Brigid today,” Radcliffe said.

Kosgei’s performance continued a remarkable weekend in the punishing event, coming a day after fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to break two hours at the distance when he clocked 1hr 59min 40.2sec on a specially prepared course in a Vienna park.

Kosgei signalled her intentions with an astonishing first five kilometers in 15:28 — so far inside Radcliffe’s world record pace that it seemed she might have ruined her chances out of the gate.

But she settled into a more sustainable rhythm, and powered relentlessly to the finish line.

Her halfway split of 1:06:59 had Kosgei comfortably inside world-record pace, and her lead expanded over the second half as her pursuers felt the effects.

The pace-setters dropped away in the closing kilometers, leaving Kosgei to break the tape alone, her arms raised in celebration.

Cherono sprints to win

Cherono won a men’s race that came down to the wire in 2:05:45 — barely edging Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela who was second in 2:05:46 with another Ethiopian, Asefa Mengstu, third in 2:05:48.

Last year’s winner Farah was never a factor — finishing in 2:09:58.

The Briton — who set a European record in Chicago last year — was among an early lead group that began to disintegrate around the 10km mark, leaving half a dozen runners, including Cherono, setting the pace.

Kenya’s Bedan Karoki challenged late but faded before the last turn toward the finish to leave Cherono, Debela and Mengstu to sprint for the line.

“All of a sudden when we reached 41 kilometers the (others) were not going again,” Cherono said. “I decided to kick and felt I was still having enough energy to sprint.

“I tried my luck, and it worked.”

US distance running guru Salazar has been banned for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a string of doping violations.

Nike shut down its Oregon Project running group headed by Salazar, and four-time Olympic gold medalist Farah arrived in Chicago for his defence to find himself again denying any irregularities during his time with the coach.

Mexico Defeat USA 1-0 To Win Record Eighth Gold Cup

 

Jonathan dos Santos scored the only goal as Mexico defeated the United States 1-0 to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup for a record eighth time at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder dos Santos rifled home in the 73rd minute to settle a hard-fought encounter between the two arch-rivals of North American football in front of 62,493 fans.

“I am happy because the boys made a great effort and today we played against one of the best teams in the Gold Cup,” said Mexico coach Tata Martino. “They have made a good effort and a good match. It makes me happy because it was also my first international title.”

Mexico have now won the Gold Cup eight times since 1991 when the championship for teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) was rebooted.

It was a disappointing defeat for the American men, who had been hoping to complete a trophy double after the US women had powered to victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup in France earlier on Sunday.

“Over the course of 90 minutes, Mexico was the better team,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Having said that, we started the game really bright.

Pulisic woe

“I think what we lacked was some of the calmness, some of the composure.”

Dos Santos’s winner was the outstanding move of a pulsating duel that saw the United States pay the price for failing to take advantage of several promising early chances.

The decisive goal came after a surging run down the right flank by Mexico’s Rodolfo Pizarro.

The Monterrey playmaker fed Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raul Jimenez, who produced a delightful back heel into the path of dos Santos who curled his shot into the top corner past USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

But the defeat left Berhalter reflecting on what might have been after his team had started the first half strongly, carving out a string of promising chances as Mexico took their time to get into the game.

“When you talk about a step the team needs to take, we’re close,” Berhalter said. “But we weren’t there tonight.”

Chelsea’s new $72 million signing Christian Pulisic squandered a golden opportunity to fire the Americans ahead after only six minutes, latching on to a deft layoff from striker Jozy Altidore.

Pulisic’s searing pace took him clear of the Mexican defence, with Carlos Salcedo doing his best to unbalance the US attacker without conceding a penalty. But the Mexicans breathed a sigh of relief after Pulisic could only shoot directly at goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

The Mexicans received another huge let-off only two minutes later. A speculative long ball forward from defender Tim Ream caught the Mexico defence off-guard and Altidore was left in a one-on-one with Hector Moreno.

‘Tough way to lose’

Altidore cleverly wrong-footed Moreno to leave himself one-on-one with Ochoa, but could only look on in disgust as he dragged his left foot shot just wide of the post.

“It is disappointing to lose a final,” said American midfielder Michael Bradley. “We had some good chances. Getting the first goal can go a long ways towards winning the game.

“We had a good start to the game and if anything, the beginning of the second half wasn’t what it needed to be. They were able to get some momentum and get their goal. It was a tough way to lose.”

The frenetic start also produced some rugged challenges. Altidore was lucky to escape at least a yellow card for scything down dos Santos while Pulisic was also fortunate not to be booked for a ferocious tackle from behind that sent Edson Alvarez crashing to the turf.

At the other end Mexico also began to test the US defence, with Andres Guardado shooting over on 16 minutes after a desperate late block from Paul Arriola.

Tempers threatened to boil over soon after half-time when Altidore and Moreno tangled on halfway, which saw players from both sides rush to confront each other.

The US almost broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when Jordan Morris’s header from a Pulisic corner was cleared off the line by Guardado.

But that was as good as it got for the US side as Mexico slowly began to dominate midfield, with the lively Pizarro a constant threat.

“We will stick together in this moment. I am certainly proud of the group. We continue to make progress and we got to keep going,” Bradley said.

Lightfoot Wins Mayoral Race To Become First African-American Female Mayor In Chicago History

 

 

In a historic first, a gay African American woman was elected mayor of America’s third largest city Tuesday, as Chicago voters entrusted a political novice with tackling difficult problems of economic inequality and gun violence.

Lori Lightfoot, a 56-year-old former federal prosecutor and practicing lawyer who has never before held elected office, was elected the midwestern city’s mayor in a lopsided victory.

She beat out Toni Preckwinkle, who is also an African American woman, by a wide margin of 74 to 26 percent in early voting results with most ballots counted.

Lightfoot will become Chicago’s first openly gay mayor and the first African American woman to hold the post. Since 1837, Chicago voters have elected only one black mayor and one female mayor.

READ ALSO: Trump ‘100%’ Ready To Shut Down Mexico Border

Preckwinkle is the chief executive of Cook County where Chicago is based, which analysts said worked against her during a change election as voters sought to shake up city hall.

“People (are) hoping for something different to come along. To be the vessel for that is overwhelming,” Lightfoot told reporters earlier after the polls opened.

Voters had left little doubt they want the next mayor to tackle major issues vexing the city of 2.7 million people — especially economic disparities and gun violence that claims more lives than in other major American cities.

More than 550 people were killed in Chicago last year due to gang violence often fueled by the drug trade — most in economically-struggling and majority African American neighborhoods.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 02: Lori Lightfoot (L) celebrates with her wife Amy and daughter Vivian after defeating Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to become the next mayor of Chicago on April 02, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Lightfoot will become the first black female mayor of the city and its first openly gay mayor. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

AFP

Gunman Kills Three At Chicago Hospital

BREAKING: 'Multiple Casualties' As Gunman Opens Fire At US Synagogue

An argument in a hospital parking lot escalated into a shooting that killed three people, including a police officer, in the US city of Chicago on Monday.

The violence only ended when police engaged in a shootout with the gunman inside Mercy Hospital.

“We have four deceased individuals: police officer, two female staff employees at the hospital, and the offender,” police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told journalists.

The shooter killed the first victim —  a woman who was in a “domestic relationship” with him — during an argument in the parking lot, then fired at police when they got to the hospital and ran inside, Johnson said.

Additional police — including SWAT officers — arrived at the scene, and “engaged the offender for several minutes in the hospital, with gunshots being fired by the offender and by the police,” he said.

During the shootout, the gunman killed a second woman when she got off an elevator, Johnson said. The shooter also fatally wounded, but it was unclear if he killed himself or was killed by police.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel identified the two female victims as a doctor and a “pharmaceutical assistant.”

Patients described being alarmed by the sound of gunshots outside Mercy Hospital and seeing a man apparently walking with a woman in the parking lot before shooting her three times in the chest.

“Once she fell to the ground, he stood over her and shot her three more times,” bystander James Gray told reporters, adding that the attack played out “like a movie scene.”

TV footage showed terrified patients and staff filing out of the hospital into a parking lot with their hands in the air after officers flooded the area.

 ‘Scared as hell’

Patient Hector Avitia told the local CBS television affiliate he was with his wife waiting for test results when he saw a gunman dressed in black fire on someone on the ground several times in the parking lot.

“Then almost immediately, an officer was already coming in an SUV, and (the assailant) exchanged fire at them and then reloaded and shot the person on the ground again,” another witness said.

“And then he made his way into the hospital and more shots were fired.”

The shooting followed a series of recent high-profile gun rampages that have fueled calls for reform of firearms regulations in a country plagued by gun violence.

Less than two weeks earlier, a gunman killed 12 people in a California music bar packed with college students.

That came after the worst anti-Semitic attack in modern US history, when a gunman opened fire on congregants at a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh on October 27.

Bypassers alerted to the latest incident spoke of hearing between six and nine gunshots that initially sounded like construction noise.

“I am scared as hell. I have never been so scared, I hear of shootings going on every day at people’s workplaces, but not where I work at,” an employee of the hospital’s family clinic told the ABC affiliate.

Mercy, founded in 1852, has locations throughout Chicago and provides outpatient treatment and acute inpatient care, boasting doctors who are leaders in their field.

Another hospital employee quoted by the Chicago Tribune said she was in her office when a notice came over a public address system telling those in the hospital to lock their doors.

“I don’t know what happened,” the unnamed employee told the Tribune.

“They told us to run, so we did.”

AFP

Thousands March In Chicago Against Trump’s ‘Anti-Woman Agenda’

A woman holds a sign during a rally and march on October 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois to inspire voter turnout ahead of midterm polls in the United States. PHOTO: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

 

Thousands of people made their disdain for President Donald Trump heard Saturday at a rally and march in Chicago aimed at galvanising support for Democrats in the upcoming November midterm elections.

A giant “Baby Trump” flew over the crowd. Trump was depicted as “El Diablo” on a high-flying flag. Demonstrators waved “Vote Blue” banners — the message was unmistakable.

Angered by the bitter fight over new US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and what they called the “anti-woman agenda” of the Trump administration and the Republican Party, women — and men — descended on the Windy City’s picturesque Grant Park.

The “March to the Polls” event — which began in the downtown park and wrapped up after a two-block-long crowd marched to the centre of the business district — came just as voter registration deadlines neared in most states and early voting ramped up in more than a dozen states including Illinois.

Hillary Clinton appeared in a video message played on a giant screen, encouraging people to register to vote.

“Imagine being able to hold this administration accountable,” Clinton said, echoing the general sentiment that the election is a barometer of Trump’s popularity.

Rally the millennials

Saturday’s demonstration included a street festival-like “Voter Village” where dozens of community groups and politicians set up booths to reach new voters and encourage political involvement.

“We wanted to lead into the midterms and encourage women to get out and vote,” Jessica Scheller, head of Women’s March Chicago, which organized the event, told AFP.

The loud crowd of thousands of men, women and even children, marched through downtown Chicago chanting “Vote them out!” Some were encouraged to head to early voting locations nearby to cast ballots.

Iyahna Wilson, a 19-year-old volunteer who assisted in the march, voted for the first time — motivated by racial justice issues and gender rights.

“I never really thought that my vote was going to make a change,” Wilson told AFP moments after she exited a downtown polling location, raising her hands up in celebration.

It is that mindset that organizers were fighting to change with an event they specifically aimed to take place in the run-up to the midterm election.

“I would like women to take charge of the midterms,” protester Sarah Sieracki told AFP.

The 23-year-old from the nearby Republican-dominated state of Indiana was the type of voter organizers were hoping to encourage to get involved.

She was carrying a “Grab ’em by the midterms” sign — a play on an infamous remark made by Trump.

“Women need to vote. They need to get out,” said Sieracki.

“We need to rally the young millennials and the people coming up, turning 18 (years old).”

 ‘Women are angry’

The Chicago rally symbolized the political rancour generated by the partisan fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite sexual assault allegations and powerful testimony against him by his accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

All but one Senate Republican voted to confirm Kavanaugh to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. All but one Democrat voted against.

Anti-Trump marches were scheduled later this month in other states, including the Republican strongholds of Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.

“It is infuriating to women to watch that display that we watched in that Senate committee hearing, and to see that that man was still confirmed,” Scheller said.

“Women are angry. And we’re starting to feel comfortable being angry.”

Republicans currently hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, but many in the party fear anti-Trump voters will overwhelm the president’s supporters in the elections, pushing the House — at least — over to the Democrats.

Most states allow early voting by mail-in ballot or at a limited number of polling stations, giving those unable to show up on Election Day a chance to vote.

Chicago organizers insisted their event did not favour any one party, even though funding came largely from trade unions and Democrat-aligned groups.

Previous women’s protests have included plenty of anti-Trump rhetoric.

Protests in January shut down streets in dozens of American cities. In Chicago, hundreds of thousands marched.

AFP

Dozens Shot In Chicago Gun Violence

Chicago Police officers and detectives investigate a shooting where multiple people were shot on Sunday, August 5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.  Joshua Lott/Getty Images/AFP

 

A burst of shootings over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and dozens more wounded in Chicago, the latest evidence of runaway gun violence in the third largest US city. 

Police blamed much of the carnage on gangs, which run rampant in some of the city’s poorest and predominantly minority neighbourhoods on the west and south sides.

At one point, 40 people were shot in the span of seven hours, according to a tally compiled by the Chicago Tribune, with innocent bystanders as well as alleged gang members among the casualties.

Police said in some of the cases shooters sprayed bullets indiscriminately into crowds in rival territories. The Tribune counted a total of more than 70 people shot between Friday evening and early Monday morning.

The weekend violence stood in contrast to a general decline in crimes in the city where shootings are down 30 per cent and murders down 25 per cent, according to police.

Nevertheless, Chicago’s official murder count, at 310 killings before the weekend, was the highest in the country and far eclipsed those of America’s two largest cities — New York and Los Angeles.

“Incidents of either random or targeted shootings on our streets are totally unacceptable,” said Fred Waller, a Chicago Police Department commander.

Violence in the Midwestern city often spikes in the summer months, when the warm weather means more people are outside. Waller said there were a number of outdoor events over the weekend that were vulnerable to gang-related revenge attacks.

“What we have are multiple areas with crowds,” Waller said. “They take advantage of that opportunity.”

The latest spasm of bloodshed occurred at the same time as the famed Lollapalooza music festival was taking over a large swath of the city’s downtown, requiring a heavy police presence.

The festival was not affected by the violence, Waller said. The shootings surged in the early morning hours, well after the end of the festival’s daily schedule of performances.

Chicago’s gun violence has been the subject of two high-profile protests this summer, in which demonstrators temporarily blocked major expressways to call attention to their demands for more investment in poor communities.

Federal authorities have increased their efforts in the city, creating a special task force in cooperation with local police to target those who repeatedly commit gun crimes.

AFP

Outrage As Emirates Flight Attendant Punch, Tie-Up Nigerian Man

David Ukesone and family lawyer, Alex Ogoke. PHOTO Credit: ABC news

A 71-year-old Nigerian man has narrated how he was punched and tied up for hours on an Emirates flight which he was taking to reunite with his family in the United States.

David Ukesone’s lawyer told ABC News that the grandpa was eight hours away from landing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when the incident occurred.

The dispute, ABC news reports, began when Ukesone abandoned his seat to use the bathroom at the rear of the plane. When he returned, he miscalculated and sat on a wrong seat.

“He apparently sits in the wrong seat and was told to change seats by a flight attendant. He didn’t think he was in the wrong seat and there was an argument and, at some point, he was hit.

“He also believed he was “in the right” and didn’t understand why they wanted him to move. They told him he was in the wrong seat and they laid hands on him to move him and that’s when everything escalated,” attorney Howard Schaffner told ABC News.

The argument intensified and a member of the flight crew allegedly struck him leaving him with a swollen face.

Ukesone as a result of the attack had wounds on his wrists and ankles which is caused by a rope allegedly used to restrain him. His mouth was also reported to have been taped and the flight crew allegedly left him alone to ride out the rest of flight without any food or water.

Emirates Airlines released a statement Monday morning confirming that the incident occurred.

“Emirates can confirm that a passenger on flight EK235 from Dubai to Chicago on 23 January had to be restrained by cabin crew due to unruly behaviour during the flight. The passenger was handed over to the authorities on arrival in Chicago. The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the other passengers on the flight for their understanding, in particular, the individuals who had assisted our crew during the flight,” the statement read.

Ukesone’s lawyer, however, said that until last week’s two international flights, Ukesone last flew on a plane 35 years ago. He said further that he had earlier flew from Nigeria to Dubai before the trip to Chicago “with no incident at all.”

Ukesone he said speaks and understands English, but “he has some difficulty understanding” it when it’s spoken by someone who isn’t Nigerian.

British Airways in September 2017 sacked one of its hostess, Joanne Wickenden,  for recording a racist video in which she was seen ranting and insulting Nigerian passengers.

The 23-years-old hostess sparked outrage after she recorded the racist clip in her British Airways uniform before flying from London Heathrow to Abuja.

Ethiopia’s Dibaba Wins Women’s Chicago Marathon

Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia. Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Former world and Olympic distance champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the Chicago Marathon women’s title on Sunday, pulling away to win her first major crown at the distance.

Dibaba won in 2hrs 18mins 31secs to defeat Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei by 1:51 with American Jordan Hasay third in 2:20:57.

Dibaba vowed to challenge the women’s course record of 2:17:18 set by British world record holder Paula Radcliffe in 2002 and was on that pace in the early going.

Dibaba led after 5km in 16:08, 19 seconds under Radcliffe’s course record pace, and had trimmed the field in the lead pack to only five.

Florence Kiplagat’s 10km time of 32:28 was also 19 seconds faster than Radcliffe’s record split but by 15km it was Hasay, third this year in Boston, leading in 49:02, three seconds under record pace.

Dibaba led at the halfway mark at 1:08:48, well off Radcliffe’s record pace, but made another charge that left only Kosgei on her heels. The Kenyan fell back with 10km remaining, leaving Dibaba alone to the end.

Dibaba, 32, is a two-time 5,000m world champion and three-time 10,000m world champion who settled for second at this year’s worlds in London, trailing only compatriot Almaz Ayana.

Dibaba won 5,000 and 10,000 gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and defended the longer crown four years later in London. Last year in Rio, Dibaba was third in the 10,000 with the fourth-fastest time in history.

And Dibaba was second at London in April in 2:17:56, becoming the third-fastest woman at the distance on a similar flat course in only her second effort at the distance.

AFP

Zamfara Governor Replies Sanusi Over Comments On Meningitis

Zamfara Governor Replies Sanusi Over Comments On MeningitisWhen the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, referred to the response of the Governor of Zamfara State over the outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis, it was clear he was stirring up a new debate on the matter.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari has responded to the comments made by the Emir, insisting that the comments were half-truth.

He also maintained that the outbreak of the disease indeed has a spiritual undertone.

“I stand by my words that if people do not change, God will not change for them. Therefore, I will answer the Emir perfectly and give him the Quran content of the Hadith where I belong to and where I have my fact.

“For instance, I made mention that in the past we have Type A, which vaccines have been brought and they have vaccinated over four million doses in 2011.

“We are now having Type B and Type C which they don’t even know. At the Centre for Disease Control in Chicago where we get our vaccines from, they only have five million,” he said.

Emir of Kano had on Wednesday, at the opening of the Kaduna State Economic and Investment Summit, criticised the statement credited to the Zamfara State Governor on meningitis, saying they were horrendous and “Islamically incorrect”.

Obama Describes Chicago Attack As “Despicable” Hate Crime

obamaPresident Barack Obama has described the torture of a mentally disabled man in Chicago, streamed on Facebook Live, as a “despicable” hate crime.

The outgoing president said that while he did not believe U.S race relations had worsened, public exposure to race crimes had grown in the digital age.

He said the video encapsulated problems that have existed for some time.

According to the BBC, three teenagers and a woman, 24, are due in court on Friday after being accused of aggravated battery with a weapon.

Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, all 18, and Tanishia Covington are also accused of aggravated unlawful restraint.

The police have however arrested four people over the horrific video in which the attackers beat up the young man, while also making derogatory statements against white people and President-elect, Donald trump.

Chicago Police Hold Four Over Live-Streamed Attack

 flag1The police in the U.S city of Chicago have arrested four people over a horrific video which was live-streamed on Facebook.

In the video, a bound and gagged man whom police say has special needs was being assaulted.

His assailants could also be heard making derogatory statements against white people and President-elect, Donald trump.

Attack victim after being tied up

In one part of the video they use a knife to remove part of his scalp.

The Chicago police have described the video as a “sickening” possible hate crime.

According to them, the incident which happened on Tuesday, took place in a flat on Chicago’s West Side.

In the 30-minute video, the attackers were also seen cutting the 18-year-old victim’s clothes, dropping cigarette ash on him, pushing his head back with a foot and drawing blood by cutting off some of his hair with a knife.

The BBC stated that in other videos posted online, the young man was beaten, made to drink from a toilet bowl and forced at knife-point to say “I love black people.”

Trump Digs In After Weekend Violence, Threatens Sanders Rallies

Donald TrumpRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to send his supporters to the campaign rallies of Democrat Bernie Sanders, showing no sign of toning down his rhetoric after clashes erupted at his own events over the weekend.

Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination, appeared unchastened after simmering discord between his supporters and protesters angry over his positions on immigration and Muslims turned into a palpable threat on Friday, forcing him to cancel a Chicago rally and shadowing his campaign appearances on Saturday.

Trump blamed supporters of Democratic candidate Sanders for the incidents in Chicago, where scuffles broke out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate. He called the U.S. senator from Vermont “our communist friend”.

On Sunday, he went a step further in an early morning post on Twitter: “Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!”

The scenes in Chicago followed several weeks of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about security leading into the Nov. 8 presidential election to replace Democratic President Barack Obama.

The disturbances continued on Saturday at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, where Secret Service officers scrambled to surround the candidate after a man charged the stage.

Trump scheduled rallies on Sunday in Illinois, Ohio and Florida before the next five presidential nominating contests on Tuesday, which could cement his lead over Republican rivals U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Sarah Palin, who ran as vice president in Republican John McCain’s failed 2008 campaign against Obama, planned to stump for Trump in Florida. During that election, Palin and McCain drew criticism for overheated campaign rallies marked by crowds openly hostile to Obama, who became the first African American president.

Trump, who has harnessed the discontent of white, working class voters angry over international trade deals that cost them jobs, has made his opposition to the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement and proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership a centerpiece of his campaign.

He has hammered Kasich on the issue before Tuesday’s vote.

“Ohio Gov.Kasich voted for NAFTA, from which Ohio has never recovered. Now he wants TPP, which will be even worse. Ohio steel and coal dying!” he said on Twitter.