Russia bars entry to 32 New Zealanders in sanctions response

The political move was announced Saturday.

The list includes New Zealand's Military Secretary to the Minister of Defence, Shane Arndell, and other leading figures in the country's defence force as well as the mayors of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson.

Journalists named include Whena Owen, Matthew Hooton and James Hollings.

The sole academic named was Stephen Hoadley, an associate professor in the faculty of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland.

Ardern defends Russian ambassador's presence in New Zealand

New Zealand has targeted sanctions against Russian oligarchs and their families, with 36 individuals added to the list overnight.

Ardern said reports of Ukraine civilians who had been killed, raped and severely wounded by Russian troops were "beyond reprehensible".

"Russia must answer to the world for what they've done. It goes without saying that these atrocities are against international law.

Chelsea manager staying upbeat as sanctions bite

Abramovich, who had been under scrutiny following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, announced he was selling the west London club last week but that sale is now on hold with Chelsea operating under a special government licence.

The sanctions allow Chelsea to continue playing games and pay their squad and staff, but the world and European chanpions cannot transfer players in or out as things stand.

"There are negotiations and talks going on about the licence," Tuchel said ahead of their English Premier League game at home to Newcastle United on Monday (NZ time).

Broncos cleared to play but may still face sanctions over pub visit

The Broncos issued a statement on Wednesday saying the club believed up to 10 players who had a steak lunch at Brisbane's Everton Park Hotel did not breach Project Apollo protocols.

The NRL and Queensland Police Service have each launched an investigation into the matter, with police authorities confirming its own enquiries "found no breach of the Chief Health Officer's public health directions".

The NRL's investigation remains ongoing, but acting CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed the Broncos contingent would not be placed in a COVID-19 hold on the advice of biosecurity experts.