FBI Arrests NCAA Coaches, Adidas Executive In Crackdown On College Basketball

FBI Arrests NCAA Coaches, Adidas Executive In Crackdown On College Basketball Corruption (source Zero Hedge)

In a broad crackdown on college basketball corruption, U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges Tuesday against 10 coaches, managers, financial advisers and representatives of a sportswear company, accusing them of bribery, fraud and corruption in recruitment in college basketball. Additionally, a key part of the case includes allegations that an executive at a global apparel company bribed students to attend universities where the company sponsored athletic programs. The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that  college basketball coaches at University of Arizona, Auburn, University of Southern California, and Oklahoma State University had been arrested, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company. The defendants include coaches at top U.S. college basketball programs, one agent, one financial adviser and a former referee. The coaches are Lamont Evans, an assistant at Oklahoma State University, Emanuel Richardson, an assistant for the Arizona Wildcats, and Chuck Person, associate head coach at Auburn University.

Jim Gatto, director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, was also named as a defendant. According to the complaint, Gatto allegedly conspired with coaches to pay high school athletes to play at universities sponsored by Adidas (or as it is referred to in the complaints, “Company 1”).

According to Business Insider, Gatto and four other defendants have charged with “making and concealing bribe payments” to high school student athletes and/or their families. In one instance, Gatto and the other defendants reportedly funneled $100,000 to the family of a high school basketball player to convince the player to sign with a “public research university” in Kentucky.

In another case, Gatto and other defendants allegedly agreed to make payments up to $150,000 from Adidas to convince the player to join another team sponsored by the apparel company, a private university in Florida, according to filings. The university is not named, but based on information provided is likely University of Miami, which entered into a 12-year partnership with Adidas in 2015.

The investigation, which was been in progress since 2015, has been led by the FBI and the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Three separate complaints have been filed.

High education: Michigan university to offer ‘weed-growing’

High education: Michigan university to offer ‘weed-growing’ course (Source rt.com) The Northern Michigan University (NMU) will be the first college in the US to prepare students for work in the country’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry. Medicinal marijuana is big business in the US, with nearly half of the states having legalized the production and sale of the plant for medicinal purposes. In eight states marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational uses.“This area is just exploding. I mean, you see Washington, Colorado, Oregon, California with full legal recreational marijuana,” Associate Chemistry Professor Brandon Canfield told local media WWJ. “You’ve got over half the states with medicinal legal, and with all of that has come a huge need for these trained analytical chemists.” This fledging industry is booming, generating billions of dollars in revenue for states that have embraced the plant and its many benefits. Despite the clear interest in marijuana production, however, there’s a distinct lack of skilled workers in the industry – and that’s where NMU comes in. “There is great demand for qualified technical personnel and great opportunities for skilled entrepreneurs,”said Mark Paulsen, head of the NMU chemistry department. “Our focus will be on analyzing variations in plant compounds and the impacts of different growing and processing methods.” “The knowledge and skills acquired are applicable to the cannabis industry, but also translate to the broader field of natural products chemistry and a wide range of professional opportunities.”That’s not to say that students enrolled in the inaugural Medicinal Plant Chemistry undergrad course, starting this fall, will be elbows deep in weed plants – at least not yet.

Top U.S. NAFTA negotiator sees no problem with pace of talks

Top U.S. NAFTA negotiator sees no problem with pace of talks (Source Reuters) The top U.S. negotiator at talks to modernize the NAFTA trade pact on Monday dismissed questions about why his team had so far failed to produce specific proposals on key issues, saying “I don’t see a problem.” Officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada are in Ottawa for the third of seven planned rounds of talks. The U.S. delegation has yet to unveil its precise position on several points, prompting concerns the process to update the 1994 pact could drag on beyond the scheduled end-December finish. “We’ve been working very hard so I don’t see a problem,” John Melle told reporters when pressed on the matter. “We’re moving across the board, so it’s very ambitious.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier predicted some tough days ahead for negotiators and declined to say whether he thought the talks could meet the deadline.

Puerto Ricans’ Plea for Aid From Uncle Sam: We’re Americans, Too

Puerto Ricans’ Plea for Aid From Uncle Sam: We’re Americans, Too (Source Bloomberg) Island’s governor fears ‘mass exodus’ if crisis isn’t tackled. After Hurricane Irma, Floridians never felt compelled to remind the federal government that they were U.S. citizens. Nor did Texans after Harvey. But that’s just what Governor Ricardo Rossello and the commonwealth’s government have done, over and over, in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “There needs to be unprecedented relief for Puerto Rico so that we can start the immediate effort right now,” Rossello said Tuesday on MSNBC. Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million American citizens without a vote in Congress, is lobbying Washington for what could be billions in funding to rebuild its infrastructure, including its decimated energy grid. And it’s doing so amid an already costly hurricane season. The island was crawling with 10,000 federal relief workers who were conducting search-and-rescue missions, helping bring electricity to hospitals, and providing aid packages, baby food and more. But with the Washington visitors on hand, Rossello’s team missed no opportunity to remind them of why Puerto Rico — mired in bankruptcy and ill-equipped financially to go it alone — shouldn’t become an afterthought.

Netanyahu to Putin: Israel may act to curb Iran’s clout in Syria

Netanyahu to Putin: Israel may act to curb Iran’s clout in Syria(Source Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Israel was prepared to act unilaterally to prevent an expanded Iranian military presence in Syria.

Russia intervened in the civil war on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, joining a de facto alliance with Iranian forces, Lebanese Hezbollah and other Shi‘ite Muslim militias helping Damascus beat back Islamic State and other Sunni Muslim insurgent groups. Israel fears an eventual Assad victory could leave Iran with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighboring Lebanon by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Meeting Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Netanyahu said Iran was fighting to cement an arc of influence from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. “Iran is already well on its way to controlling Iraq, Yemen and to a large extent is already in practice in control of Lebanon,” Netanyahu told Putin.“We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens every day to annihilate Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Israel opposes Iran’s continued entrenchment in Syria. We will be sure to defend ourselves with all means against this and any threat.”

 

More Than 40 Families Pull Children From School that forced transgender

MORE THAN 40 FAMILIES PULL CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL THAT FORCED TRANSGENDER LESSON ON 5-YEAR-OLDS(Source Life Site News) Forty-one families have pulled 73 children from the elite Sacramento-area Rocklin Academy charter schools as the board continues to defend a kindergarten transgender lesson several parents say traumatized their 5-year-olds and that parents weren’t told about beforehand. The controversy erupted after a lesson in which the boy appeared in girl’s clothes and was reintroduced to his kindergarten classmates as a girl. Teacher Kaelin Swaney also read the pro-transgender “I am Jazz” during the lesson, which took place just before summer vacation. A number of parents are upset because they weren’t told about the lesson that has left their children disturbed and afraid they, too, will “change” into the opposite sex. Moreover, it’s still not clear what happened in the classroom because Swaney and the board refused to tell parents, and the board’s account differs from what a number of parents say their five-year-olds told them, the parent told LifeSiteNews. What appear to be “inaccuracies” in the board’s accounts “make us feel betrayed as parents,” she said. The board and administration “didn’t talk to the parents of the children in the class to get the story.” The Rocklin Academy school board countered that it didn’t have to tell parents about lessons on gender identity because it wasn’t sex education. California law requires parental notification and allows opt out for sex education. Moreover, the board claims not affirming the five-year-old boy’s transition to a “girl” will leave it open to lawsuits because California bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression. On Monday, the five-member board unanimously rejected a “model parent proposal” to allow opt-out for lessons on gender identity and parental review of sensitive material before it hits the classroom. The board did approve a policy directing teachers to try to let parents know beforehand that sensitive material would be taught, but the measure is “really weak” according to Greg Burt of the California Family Council. Moreover, at “every board meeting, the administration seemed very adversarial to the parents,” according to the parent who spoke to LifeSiteNews. But the August 21 meeting was the deal-breaker for her. That’s when a number of teachers defended Swaney, she said. “They were saying, ‘your kids will surprise you, they’re so accepting and loving, this is a great topic for kindergarteners to learn.’ … They were there to tell us parents to get out of the way,” she said. “I did not feel safe sending my kids to school after that meeting,” the parent added. “It’s a very tense atmosphere over there right now. It’s very like, which side are you on,” she said. “You don’t know who to trust, you don’t know who’s looking at you the wrong way.” And with the board voting to continue enforcing transgender ideology, more parents will be leaving, Burt predicted. That’s echoed by Karen England, executive director of parents’ rights group Capitol Resource Institute, which authored the parent proposal the board rejected. “Several families are waiting until the end of the week” to pull their children out, she told LifeSiteNews in an email. Elizabeth Ashford, a spokesperson for Rocklin Academy Family of Schools, agreed that more families will leave, “which is really a shame,” she told NBC-affiliate KCRA3 TV. Ashford said 14 families and 23 kids have left over the controversy. The parent wanted to make it clear that those who left or are leaving Rocklin Academy Gateway are “not saying anything hateful or bigoted” regarding the transgender student. “In fact, [many] of us have cried over this poor child because we feel for him. I don’t think he’s in a great situation.” But the “board didn’t show any concern for the families or any respect for parents and our rights for our children,” she added. “Many, many families are trying to figure out what to do with their kids,” she added. “Parents are saying they’ll homeschool if they have to.”

 

Russia Blames U.S. After ISIS Murders Top Moscow General in Syria

Russia Blames U.S. After ISIS Murders Top Moscow General in Syria (Source Newsweek) One of Russia’s top generals in Syria has been killed in an attack by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), with Moscow blaming the U.S. for his death as it battles to defeat the jihadist cult in its last stronghold in the country. The Russian Defense Ministry said late Sunday that Lt. Gen. Valery Asapov “was at a command post of Syrian troops, assisting the Syrian commanders in the operation for the liberation of the city of Deir Ez-Zor.” Russian state news agency Tass reported that Asapov was killed “as a result of a mortar shelling by ISIS.” Russia and Syrian government forces are waging an offensive against ISIS in Deir Ez-Zor province. Russian officials blamed Washington’s policies in Syria for Asapov’s death. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said “the death of the Russian commander is the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of American policy in Syria,” according to Kremlin news agency RIA. Moscow has said it fears the U.S. is not as focused on defeating ISIS as it should be, suggesting that Washington is allowing the militant group to remain strong. Ryabkov said that U.S. claims of being in Syria principally to battle the jihadist group were not equal to its actions on the ground, in what he called a “two-faced” Syria policy.

North Korea says U.S. ‘declared war’ warns it could shoot down U.S. bombers

North Korea says U.S. ‘declared war’ warns it could shoot down U.S. bombers (Source Reuters)

North Korea’s foreign minister said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in its air space. “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.

“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” Ri said. “The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then,” Ri said in a direct reference to a Twitter post by Trump on Saturday. The increasingly heated rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is raising fears of a risk of a miscalculation by one side or the other that could have massive repercussions. China called on Monday for all sides in the North Korea missile crisis to show restraint and not “add oil to the flames.” Ri told the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday that targeting the U.S. mainland with its rockets was inevitable after “Mr Evil President” Trump called Kim a “rocket man” on a suicide mission. “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be

around much longer!” Trump said on Twitter.

U.S. asks China not to enforce cyber security law

U.S. asks China not to enforce cyber security law (Source Reuters)

The United States has asked China not to implement its new cyber security law over concerns it could damage global trade in services, a U.S. document published by the World Trade Organization showed

China ushered in a tough new cyber security law in June, following years of fierce debate around the move that many foreign business groups fear will hit their ability to operate in the country.

The law requires local and overseas firms to submit to security checks and store user data within the country. The United States, in a document submitted for debate at the WTO Services Council, said if China’s new rules enter into full force in their current form, as expected by the end of 2018, they could impact cross-border services supplied through a commercial presence abroad.

“China’s measures would disrupt, deter, and in many cases, prohibit cross-border transfers of information that are routine in the ordinary course of business,” it said. “The United States has been communicating these concerns directly to high level officials and relevant authorities in China,” the U.S. document said, adding it wanted to raise awareness among WTO members about the potential impact on trade. “We request that China refrain from issuing or implementing final measures until such concerns are addressed.”

More than 100 People Arrested in St.Louis After Three Straight Days of Protests

More Than 100 People Arrested In St. Louis After Three Straight Days Of Protests (Source buzzfeed.com)

Large protests in St. Louis descending into violence for the third night Sunday, erupting in violent clashes after the day’s main demonstrations had dispersed. Authorities arrested 123 people across the city Sunday in connection to the violence, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police said in a statement, adding that six businesses incurred property damage, during the confrontations.

The protests were ignited Friday, after a judge found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the fatal 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley, an officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at the time of the shooting, had been heard saying, “We’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know it,” while involved in a high-speed chase with Smith, who had been a drug suspect. For three fraught days, the streets of St. Louis have been filled with hundreds of marchers decrying the verdict, with protests turning violent as demonstrations dispersed during the night.

Despite the unrest, however, police said that the main demonstrations that have taken place since the ruling have been peaceful, noting that clashes with protesters occurred only after the daily organized marches dispersed. On Sunday, several hundred people marched peacefully downtown through the St. Louis University campus on their way to the city police department’s headquarters, mirroring demonstrations that have taken place each day since the verdict.