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London (AFP) — The sultan of Brunei denied on Tuesday media reports that he was mulling the purchase of three landmark hotels including New York’s Plaza.

The reports had sparked a protest by the U.S. gay lobby group, Human Rights Campaign, as Brunei plans to implement tough punishments for same-sex acts.

“Neither His Majesty, the Brunei Investment Agency, nor the government of Brunei are involved in any way in the purchase of the Grosvenor House in London or the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York,” said a spokesman for the sultan on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, had reported on Monday that the sultan had offered about $2.0 billion to buy the three plush hotels.

AFP Photo

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Just over year before her untimely death on Friday, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared as a guest lecturer for the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, AR with National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg. The crowd that signed up to see "Notorious RBG" live was so large that the event had to be moved to a major sports arena – and they weren't disappointed by the wide-ranging, hour-long interview.

Witty, charming, brilliant, principled, Ginsburg represented the very best of American liberalism and modern feminism. Listen to her and you'll feel even more deeply what former President Bill Clinton says in his poignant introduction: "Only one of us in this room appointed her…but all of us hope that she will stay on that court forever."