Mainstream Media News

Mr. Salcedo designated Ms. Sui’s son as a recruit for his team, the indictment said, and the young man was admitted to U.C.L.A. as a soccer recruit in November 2018, with a 25 percent scholarship.

Mr. Salcedo has been charged with racketeering conspiracy and has pleaded not guilty.

In a conference call in late October 2018 with Mr. Singer, Ms. Sui, Recruiter 1 and a translator, Mr. Singer said he needed Ms. Sui to wire him $100,000, which would be paid to Mr. Salcedo, the indictment said, adding that Ms. Sui sent the money, followed by $300,000 more several months later. Mr. Singer paid Mr. Salcedo $100,000, the indictment says.

The charges against Ms. Sui deepen U.C.L.A.’s involvement in the college admissions case. A California couple has pleaded guilty to paying Mr. Singer $250,000 to secure their daughter’s admission to U.C.L.A. as a soccer recruit, even though she did not play soccer; prosecutors have said Mr. Singer paid Mr. Salcedo $100,000 for that student as well.

Last week, The Los Angeles Times reported that U.C.L.A. had missed a chance to stop Mr. Singer in 2014, when an internal investigation by the university found evidence that he was encouraging parents to donate money to the athletic department in order to get their students admitted as athletic recruits, and that in one case, he had offered to create a fake athletic profile for an applicant in a sport she did not play.

A spokesman for U.C.L.A., Tod Tamberg, said on Monday that when Mr. Singer was questioned in the course of that investigation, he denied telling parents that admission could be purchased with a financial contribution.

Asked about Ms. Sui’s son’s status, Mr. Tamberg said that federal law and university policy prevented him from commenting. But he said that in general, the university could revoke the admission of any student found to have lied on his or her application, and that the university was “not aware of any currently enrolled student-athletes who are under suspicion” by the Justice Department for possible admissions fraud.

Source link

Federal Reserve buildingImage copyright

The Federal Reserve, the US central bank, is expected to cut its main interest rates at a meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

If it does, the aim will be to stimulate the US economy and get inflation closer to the Fed’s target of 2%. But it will have ramifications far beyond US shores.

Why does Fed policy matter for the rest of the world?

There are two general answers.

One is that the US economy’s performance is important for the rest of us. If the Fed gets it wrong the US could end up underperforming, which would be bad news for many other countries.

The second point is that Fed policy can have an impact through financial markets by affecting exchange rates, interest rates and international flows of investment money.

So what is the impact of the US economy on the rest of us?

For most countries on the planet, the US is an important export market – for many, the largest of all.

If the US has a recession it will buy less stuff from abroad than it would have if growth had been maintained. Its immediate neighbours, Canada and Mexico, are particularly exposed. For both, more than three-quarters of their exports go to the US.

The UK is also at some risk from economic storms in the US, although not to the extent of those two. The US is the largest single country export destination for the UK – though it is much smaller than the EU taken as a whole. The US accounts for about 13% of UK exports.

And what is the Fed’s role in this?

The Federal Reserve has a mandate from the US Congress to promote maximum employment and stable prices.

It raises interest rates if inflation is too high, or it thinks it is heading that way. It cuts rates if it thinks there is a danger of economic growth slowing too much or inflation being too low.

Rate cuts make it more attractive for business to borrow to invest and households to borrow to spend. The Fed is perhaps the key player in trying to prevent a recession and promoting a recovery if there is a downturn.

The Fed has started reducing interest rates in an attempt to maintain solid economic growth in the US.

Growth has slowed, though there does not appear to be an imminent danger of the economy actually contracting. That said, there have been some warning signs in the financial markets that often do signal a recession is not that far away.

If it can succeed in achieving that, it will reduce the risks of the rest of the world having a period of weak economic performance.

Image copyright

What is the impact on currency markets?

Cuts in interest rates in any country tend to make its currency lose value against others.

That is because lower interest rates mean there is less money to be made by investing in assets that yield interest, such as government bonds or debt.

If investors are less keen to buy, for example US government bonds, they have less demand for the currency needed to buy them. So the currency concerned, the dollar in this case, tends to lose value.

That in turn will make other countries less competitive against goods that are priced in US dollars. But it also helps slow inflation by making dollar-priced goods cheaper in other countries’ currencies.

What about international investment?

When an economy as large as the US changes its interest rates, it is possible for the movement of investment funds to be disruptive.

There was an episode in 2013 when the Fed started to consider reducing its quantitative easing programme, which involved creating new money to buy financial assets such as government bonds. It was a move which was in some ways akin to raising interest rates.

The plan was to “taper” its quantitative easing, and the result for emerging economies such as India and Indonesia came to be known as the “taper tantrum”.

That led to large amounts of money leaving emerging markets, and there were concerns at the time that it might even lead to a new financial crisis in those countries. In the event, that did not happen.

This time, because interest rates are likely to be cut, it is more likely that money will go into emerging economies. That can sometimes lead to financial instability (or unsustainable bubbles). That is not an immediate concern now, but it is a reason why countries need to keep a careful eye on what happens in the US.

Source link

The mosquito-borne virus, more often known as EEE, is a rare but potentially fatal illness. Michigan has confirmed seven total EEE cases, including three deaths, officials said.

“Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the department’s chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in a release. “The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.”

Typically, only 5 to 10 human EEE cases are reported every year, but about 30% of all cases result in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials are encouraging leaders in several counties with human or animal cases — Barry, Berrien, Cass, Genesee, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties — to postpone or cancel outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, including evening sports practices, games or outdoor music practices. The recommendation applies until the first hard frost of the year, when mosquitoes die off.

Despite cooler temperatures, new cases of a potentially fatal mosquito virus were confirmed in Massachusetts

In addition to the Michigan cases, two more people in Rhode Island have been diagnosed with EEE, the Rhode Island Department of Health and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said Tuesday. That brings the state’s total EEE cases to three, including one death.

In Massachusetts, there have been eight human EEE cases, the Massachusetts Department of Health said Friday. One person there has died.

People develop symptoms about 4 to 10 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito, the CDC says. Signs include sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. More severe symptoms include disorientation, seizures and coma. The virus also affects animals.

Source link

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Felipe Vazquez was arrested Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh and charged with three felonies, including statutory sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor, among other charges in Pennsylvania and Florida.

The authorities began investigating Vazquez, 28, last month after they “obtained information that Vazquez had a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year-old female victim” in Lee County, Fla., according to a news release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Vazquez was charged in Florida with computer pornography offenses, including solicitation of a child.

The girl is now 15 and had still been communicating with Vazquez by text message, according to the law enforcement department, which said in the release that Vazquez had sent text messages to the girl “suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.”

Vazquez appeared in court in Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon via video link from a jail in Allegheny County, Pa., and was denied bail, with the judge saying she believed he was a flight risk, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Law enforcement agents in Pennsylvania and Florida obtained a warrant, and officials searched Vazquez’s residence in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, taking “several electronic devices” to examine, which could lead to more charges.

Later Tuesday, the authorities in Westmoreland County, Pa., charged Vazquez with the three felony counts, as well as a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16. Vazquez was taken to jail in Allegheny County, and the authorities in Florida said he faced extradition to Lee County. It was not immediately clear whether the charges in Pennsylvania were related to Vazquez and the girl in Florida.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Pirates president, Frank Coonelly, said Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office would put Vazquez on administrative leave, meaning he would be ineligible to play but still receive pay. “We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously,” Coonelly said in the statement. Vazquez’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vazquez, a Venezuelan who made his major league debut in 2015, has been one of baseball’s best relievers since joining the Pirates in a 2016 trade with the Washington Nationals, earning 86 saves for Pittsburgh and two All-Star selections.

Vazquez signed a four-year, $22 million contract extension early in 2018, with options that could keep him with the Pirates through 2023. He was known as Felipe Rivero when he signed the deal but soon legally changed his surname to Vazquez so he could have the same surname as his half-sister, Prescilla, who is also his agent. Vazquez reportedly lives with his half-sister in the off-season in Florida.

Last week, Vazquez initiated a clubhouse fight with another reliever, Kyle Crick, which led to season-ending surgery on Crick’s right index finger. Vazquez was fined $10,000 for the episode, which started when he objected to the music playing from Crick’s locker, The Post-Gazette reported.

Source link

Tensions between the two sides increased on Tuesday after G.M. stopped covering the cost of health care premiums for striking workers. The U.A.W. told members that it would provide heath care assistance or temporary coverage until the matter was settled.

In addition to resisting higher payments for health care, the U.A.W. wants G.M. to rework its pay structure, which differentiates between those hired before and after 2007, and to increase pay for temporary workers. Many of the more recent hires and temps make $15 to $25 an hour, or roughly $30,000 to $50,000 a year before overtime or the profit-sharing checks that have averaged $11,000 in the last three years. Veteran workers doing comparable work can make $31 an hour and many take home $90,000 a year and up with overtime and profit-sharing.

Over the weekend, G.M. offered to invest $7 billion in United States plants, and create 5,400 new jobs. The offer, a person close to the talks said, included building a battery plant near the shuttered Lordstown factory and keeping open a Detroit car plant slated to close in March, and leaving worker heath care contributions largely unchanged.

In a letter to G.M., Terry Dittes, the U.A.W. vice president leading the negotiations, complained that those offers arrived two hours before the contract expired Saturday night. “Had we received this proposal earlier in the process, it may have been possible to reach a tentative agreement and avoid a strike,” he wrote.

The union’s decision to strike took place the next morning, about 12 hours after G.M. made its offer, and the walkout did not begin until midnight that night.

While the details of the talks are particular to G.M., the outcome is meant to serve as a template for contracts with the other Detroit automakers, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler. In 2014, an accord was reached just before the previous contract expired, and the union’s G.M. membership approved it in a close vote. Some workers say the U.A.W. failed to gain enough in that round, and are pressing for a better outcome.

The good will that Ms. Barra set out to gain this year remains elusive.

“I hope she stands for what she said,” said Mr. Cristian, the paint-repair worker in Lansing and a 40-year G.M. veteran. “Everybody makes promises. We’ll wait and see on her. I’m hoping for the best.”

Source link

The New York Liberty will have the top pick in the 2020 WNBA draft after the odds went their way in Tuesday night’s lottery.

It marks the first time in franchise history that the Liberty will get to pick first. New York is one of the original eight teams that formed the league in 1997. The Liberty secured the No. 2 pick this year and selected Louisville guard Asia Durr.

“This is an exciting time for our organization and our fans,” Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said. “Once again, we have the opportunity to bring in some of the best basketball talent available as we continue working to build toward a WNBA championship.”

Lottery odds are based on the cumulative records of the two most recent WNBA regular seasons. The Liberty’s combined record was 17-51, giving them the most chances to land the top pick (442 out of 1,000).

Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is expected to be the top selection in April’s draft.

“It’s awesome to be able to have that pick,” Liberty coach Katie Smith said. “We’re going to be able to add a really elite piece to what we already have. It’s a silver lining to a year where we battled and came up short. It’s something we can look towards the future and add a piece that will help us compete for a championship.”

Dallas will pick second, Indiana third and Atlanta fourth.

The Fever had the second-best odds of getting the No.1 pick with a 27.6% chance.

“We’re excited about the outcome of tonight’s draft lottery and are confident that we will continue to build a championship franchise,” said Tamika Catchings, vice president of basketball operations for Indiana. “We look forward to adding a top talent to an already promising core group of players.”

Dallas had a 17.8% chance of picking first and Atlanta 10.4%.

“We’re open to helping our team in a variety of ways,” Dallas coach Brian Agler said. “There’s some depth we’re looking at, and it will also be interesting to see who will come into the draft as an underclassman. We’re open to helping our team in a variety of ways by selecting a player in the lottery or trading the pick.”

The Wings have had the No. 2, 3 and 4 picks a few times when the franchise was in Detroit and Tulsa as well as Dallas, but they still have never won the draft lottery.

Of the four lottery teams, only Atlanta has ever had the No. 1 pick; the Dream drafted high-scoring forward Angel McCoughtry first overall in 2009.

The rest of the draft will be in reverse order of the standings for this season with Phoenix picking fifth. Minnesota, Seattle and Chicago follow the Mercury. Las Vegas traded the No. 9 pick to Dallas as part of the Liz Cambage deal in the preseason. Los Angeles sent its first-round pick to Connecticut as part of the Chiney Ogwumike trade. The Sun also will pick 11th, with Washington getting the final selection of the first round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source link

ST. LOUIS — Nationals manager Dave Martinez was back at his home in D.C. on Tuesday after being released from the hospital, where a cardiac catheterization revealed he will not need any further procedures at the moment.
He may need to undergo further testing at some point in the future,

ST. LOUIS — Nationals manager Dave Martinez was back at his home in D.C. on Tuesday after being released from the hospital, where a cardiac catheterization revealed he will not need any further procedures at the moment.

He may need to undergo further testing at some point in the future, but the procedure did not show the need for anything immediate. Martinez has still not been cleared to travel, however, and is not expected to be with the team for the remainder of the club’s three-game series in St. Louis. Bench coach Chip Hale will continue to manage the team in Martinez’s absence.

Following Thursday’s off-day, there’s a chance Martinez could be ready to meet the team in Miami for Friday’s series opener against the Marlins, though general manager Mike Rizzo did not want to place a timeline on the skipper’s return.

Rizzo spoke with Martinez on the phone Tuesday, and the conversation turned from Martinez’s health to discussions about the Nationals’ 4-2 loss on Monday night, and their plans for the rest of the series.

“He had more energy today,” Rizzo said. “He’s upbeat, like he always is. We talked a little health and a lot of baseball, so it was kind of normal.”

Hale has aimed to keep everything as close to normal as possible in Martinez’s absence. The two text before the game, with Martinez giving his bench coach the lineup for the night. And then again after the game, discussing what happened in the contest. The visiting manager’s office in St. Louis has remained untouched. Hale even joked that he left Martinez’s normal front bus seat open.

“One hundred percent, we’re just filling in,” Hale said. “We’re just trying to execute the plan that we all come up with, and Davey is a big part of it. I would never do that. I don’t sit in the front seat on the bus. That’s his spot. I think that’s just pure respect.”

Worth noting

Catcher Kurt Suzuki (right elbow inflammation) took batting practice on the field Tuesday and caught a bullpen session, though he needed help from a member of the coaching staff to throw the ball back to Aníbal Sánchez. The Nats are still waiting for Suzuki to be medically cleared to resume throwing.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Source link

Tropical Depression Imelda hit Houston on Tuesday evening, bringing heavy rains and warnings of “life-threatening flash flooding,” and prompting some schools to cancel classes.

The National Hurricane Center said that Imelda was expected to dump six to 12 inches as it slowly moved through the region. Up to 18 inches of rain could fall in some pockets, the center said.

“Travel will be hazardous this evening, and flooding in urban, low-lying, and poor drainage areas is anticipated,” the National Weather Service in Houston posted on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

At 8 p.m. Tuesday, Imelda was just north of Houston and was moving toward the north at 7 miles per hour. Forecasts project heavy rains through Thursday evening, according to Space City Weather, a Houston weather news website.

The Galveston Independent School District and the Texas City Independent School District said that they had canceled classes on Wednesday. Other Houston-area school districts said that they were monitoring weather forecasts before making decisions to close their doors.

The area is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, which lingered over the city as a tropical storm in August 2017. Heavy rain, high winds and tornadoes leveled entire neighborhoods.

Hundreds of miles to the east, Humberto became a Category 3 hurricane and was expected to wallop Bermuda by Wednesday afternoon with heavy winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Winds are expected to first reach tropical-storm strength by Wednesday afternoon, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous,” the hurricane center said. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”

Storm surge and heavy waves could bring coastal flooding on Wednesday night along Bermuda’s southern coast, the center said.

Farther southeast of Humberto, the hurricane center said Tropical Depression Ten was strengthening and was expected to become a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands on Thursday night and Friday.

Matthew Sedacca contributed reporting.

Source link

One of Canada’s top security officials has been indicted on spy-related charges in a case that has rocked the international intelligence community — and it all stems from evidence obtained during a San Diego FBI investigation.

Cameron Ortis, the director general of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Intelligence Coordination Center, was arrested last week in Ottawa under the nation’s criminal code and rarely used secrecy law. The charges include obtaining information to give to a foreign entity or terrorist group, breach of trust and unauthorized use of a computer.

By the nature of his position, Ortis, 47, had access to classified Canadian intelligence, as well as intelligence from the “Five Eyes” allied network consisting of Canada, the United States, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

The scope of the alleged breach was not entirely clear. The charges indicate he is suspected of passing on “special operational information” in 2015, and then in 2018 and 2019 of obtaining information in preparation to do so again.

The arrest left the intelligence community “shaken,” said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, who noted the allegations, if proven true, were “extremely unsettling.” Canada and its allies were scrambling to contain potential fallout.

The investigation of Ortis began in 2018 as FBI agents were closing in on another major target.

Vincent Ramos, a Canadian citizen who lived in the Vancouver area, had built an illicit empire that sold encrypted Blackberry devices to criminal organizations around the world, from biker gangs in Australia to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Law enforcement from other nations — particularly Canada and Australia — had been after him and his company, called Phantom Secure, for years but had been unable to clinch a prosecution.

Then, while the FBI in San Diego was investigating yet another case — involving a global drug-trafficking ring run by former University of Southern California football player Owen Hanson — an undercover agent got his hands on one of Phantom Secure’s encrypted phones. The stroke of good luck launched a San Diego-based investigation into Phantom Secure, with help from allies who’d already built thick case files on Ramos.

Ramos’ gutted Blackberries — with typical features such as voice calling, photos, camera and microphone disabled — allowed criminals to communicate with one another on an encrypted messaging platform, safe from the prying eyes of law enforcement, according to documents filed in San Diego federal court. Communications were routed through servers in Panama and Hong Kong.

New customers needed existing clients to vouch for them, prosecutors said. Once given the OK, customers would be handled anonymously, using their self-selected handles. A sampling of Phantom Secure’s client aliases: The.killa, Elchapo66 and Knee_capper9.

If a phone was suspected of being compromised by law enforcement, the company would remotely wipe the contents clean with a simple command.

In February 2017, U.S. and Canadian agents posing as high-level drug traffickers met with Ramos in Las Vegas to put together a business deal. Talk of drugs and murder was explicit, and Ramos assured the narcos that his phones could not be hacked, according to court records.

When investigators served an FBI search warrant on Ramos’ laptop several months later, the RCMP was surprised to find evidence that ultimately launched the probe against a high-level colleague, Ortis.

In a news conference Tuesday, Lucki declined to offer specifics on what led to Ortis’ arrest, only to say that it stemmed from RCMP cooperation with an unspecified FBI investigation in 2018. “During the investigation we came across certain documents that led us to believe there may be some internal corruption,” she said.

When pressed by a reporter if it was the Phantom Secure case, she answered: “I can’t comment. We are not the lead on that investigation.”

One of the charges against Ortis references possession of a device “useful for concealing the content of information or for surreptitiously communicating, obtaining or retaining information,” according to the charging document.

Ramos was arrested in Bellingham, Wash., in March 2018. He pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy, agreed to forfeit $80 million and was sentenced last May to nine years in prison. The prosecution was hailed the first of its kind in the U.S.

Ortis’ arrest came a year and a half after Ramos’ arrest.

“Given the depth and breadth of this investigation, it’s taken several months to get to this point,” Lucki acknowledged.

Ortis, a civilian employee, joined the RCMP in 2007 and worked in operations, research and national security criminal investigations, Lucki said.

Ortis earned a doctorate in international relations at the University of British Columbia and speaks Mandarin Chinese, according to various media reports of his LinkedIn profile, which is no longer online.

Jessica Davis, a former analyst with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada’s national security agency, told the Washington Post that Ortis was “very well known” within Canada’s small intelligence and security community, and would often act as a liaison between agencies.

“His access was relatively unparalleled within the RCMP,” she told the newspaper. That would have included special operations material — “the most sensitive of secrets” — from human sources to methods of collection to information safeguarding procedures, she said.

In fiscal 2017-18, the National Intelligence Coordination Center uploaded 200 reports that were then shared with domestic and international partners, according to RCMP records.

Source link

Bachelor in Paradise Finale: Three Couples Get Engaged, One Breaks Up |

this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Source link