Mueller Files New Charges Against Manafort, Gates

(Washington, DC) – New charges are being filed against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates. The new indictment contains 32 counts, including allegations of federal bank and tax fraud.

The indictment came from a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia today. That’s in addition to the 12-count indictment Special Counsel Robert Mueller served Manafort and Gates with in October, alleging money laundering and failure to register as foreign agents while completing work related to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Manafort is confident Manafort will be cleared of the new charges in the Russia investigation. In a statement, Manafort’s lawyer claimed the new charges don’t have anything to do with Russia or interference in the 2016 election.

Earlier this week, attorney Alex van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to the Special Counsel’s investigators about a conversation he had with Gates in September 2016.

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Twitter Cracks Down On Bots

(San Francisco, CA) — Twitter is cracking down on bots that spread false stories. The social media platform says that it will no longer allow users to post identical messages from multiple accounts. Twitter also said it will not allow people to use software to simultaneously like and retweet from multiple accounts.

U.S. authorities say Twitter bots disseminated propaganda before the 2016 elections and have continued to create political discord anonymously. On Friday, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including a troll farm in St. Petersburg, with trying to disrupt the U.S. political system.

Marco Rubio Roughed Up At Contentious Florida Town Hall

(Sunrise, FL) – Republican Senator Marco Rubio is explaining his position in the debate over guns following last week’s deadly high school shooting in Florida. At a contentious town hall meeting televised by CNN, the crowd erupted into cheers when the father of a murdered student told Rubio that his comments reacting to the shooting have been “pathetically weak.”

They booed when Rubio criticized the assault weapons ban. They cheered again when he said if you closed every loophole in the law, you’d have to get rid of every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America.

Rubio was jeered as he hemmed and hawed when he was asked if he could refuse any money from the NRA.

School Resource Officer Never Attempted To Help Students, Suspended Without Pay

(Parkland, FL) – The armed officer on the scene of last week’s high school shooting in South Florida is resigning after it was revealed he never entered the building during the rampage.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said school resource officer Scott Peterson took position but “never went in” as the massacre unraveled. Israel said Peterson was definitely in uniform and was armed during the shooting that left 17 people dead.screen-shot-2018-02-22-at-3-04-28-pm.pngHe also said Peterson decided to resign and retire this morning after he was suspended.

Meanwhile in Washington,  families of victims and survivors called on Trump to do something about gun violence. One distraught father who took part in a White House event said he will never get to see his daughter again. Andrew Pollack’s daughter Meadow was killed in last week’s deadly mass shooting. Pollack said he’s angry and demanded that the problem be fixed. He asked, “How many schools, how many children have to get shot?la-na-florida-shooting-resource-officer-20180222Trump’s idea of fixing the problem is to arm teachers with weapons. Many people disagree with that suggestion. But Broward County reportedly is moving towards arming deputies with assault weapons on campus.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said only deputies who are trained and qualified will be carrying those weapons. He also said schools should be fortified because they are soft targets. Israel added that there needs to be sensible gun control measures taken to prevent certain people from getting guns.

How Many More Lives Must We Lose?Florida House Votes Down Motion To Consider Assault Weapon Ban

(Tallahassee, FL) – The Florida state House is rejecting a measure to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The bill had not been heard in a committee and would’ve required a two-thirds majority vote to go directly to the House floor.assaultweapon_112717gettyThe measure would’ve banned the sale and possession of guns like the AR-15 that was used in last week’s high school shooting, in which 17 people were killed.

Some students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland were in the gallery as the motion to move the bill forward was voted down.

In the past 4 months over a hundred people have been killed in the United States with AR-15s:

  • Oct. 1, 2017: Stephen Paddock, 64, used a stockpile of guns including an AR-15 to kill 58 people and injure hundreds at a music festival in Las Vegas before he killed himself.
  • Nov. 5, 2017: Devin Kelley, 26, used an AR-15 style Ruger rifle to kill 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before he was killed.
  • Feb. 14, 2018: Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Virtue, Moir Win Ice Dance For 3rd Career Olympic Gold Medal

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were the last couple to leave the ice after their warmup early Tuesday, the Canadian ice dancers soaking in every second before their final Olympic performance.

They sure made it a memorable one.virtue_moir.0After watching their training partners Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron break the world record with a flawless freeskate, Virtue and Moir took the ice one last time with a dazzling, dramatic interpretation of ”Moulin Rouge.” Every movement was synchronized, every element raw and emotional, and the only question left at the end was whether it would be enough.

They wound up with a personal-best 122.40 points for a record 206.07 total, pushing them past their French rivals’ score of 205.28 and making them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.Tessa-Virtue-Scott-Moir-1040x572It was the second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games for Virtue and Moir, who were instrumental in helping Canada win the team event . It was also their third gold overall after winning their home Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, and their fifth medal overall
after two silvers at the Sochi Games four years ago.

They retired for two years after that disappointment, content with their place in history, only to decide a couple years ago to make one more run at Olympic glory.

Continue reading Virtue, Moir Win Ice Dance For 3rd Career Olympic Gold Medal

Baker Mayfield Rejects Manziel Comparisons With NFL Combine Near

(Fort Worth, TX) – The AP reports, Baker Mayfield doesn’t like comparisons to Johnny Manziel, although the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma wasn’t surprised by them after an arrest and other antics during his time with the Sooners. At a stop in his home state of Texas to accept the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback, Mayfield said Monday he and Manziel were ”two completely different people.”Mayfield will be at the NFL combine next week and is projected as a possible first-round pick in the draft in April.It’s been four years since Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman at Texas A&M in 2012, was taken 22nd overall by Cleveland and dumped after two trouble-filled seasons.
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A former Texas high school star like Mayfield, Manziel has been out of football for two years. After an off season arrest for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, Mayfield planted an OU flag at midfield after a win at Ohio State. He made a lewd gesture toward the Kansas sideline after the Jayhawks refused to shake his hand before the coin flip.”We’re two completely different people,” Mayfield said. ”I’ve always been a team-oriented guy. Not saying that Johnny wasn’t. But I’ve quickly earned the respect of my teammates because of how I worked.”I wasn’t given the natural talent that Johnny had. Because he’s a talent. And there’s a reason he got taken in the first round,amazing player. We’re just not the same mentally. Just wired differently.”
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Mayfield acknowledged last weekend that NFL personnel have talked to him about having more awareness of his social media use and trying to stay out of trouble. But coaches have long praised his leadership and infectious energy.”I’ve always been an outgoing person, somebody that’s confident,somebody who has passion and energy for the game of football and for whoever I’m playing for, I’m going to be passionate about it,”said Mayfield, who broke his own single-season passing efficiency rating and threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns.
After the Sooners lost to Georgia in the Rose Bowl in the national semifinals, Mayfield stayed in the Los Angeles area and has spent most of his time there preparing for the combine and draft.”This process right now is different than anything of the stuff I’ve been through before because it’s more individualized right now than anything else,” Mayfield said. ”Normally in the off-season I’m with the team. We’re working toward one goal together.”
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The Kansas sideline incident cost Mayfield a start in his final home game when coach Lincoln Riley benched him. He also apologized for the flag plant. But Mayfield said the arrest in Arkansas last February is what braced him for the Manziel chatter.”I didn’t want to be portrayed as the villain or somebody like that,” Mayfield said. ”I do good things within my community. I’m not trying to say those cover up any mistakes that I’ve made. Butt here’s always a learning curve when you’re growing up.”
And Mayfield knows where his career is taking him next.”You get a bunch of grown men that work really hard, so it’ll be different going from 18 (to) 22-year-olds to people that are feeding their families, their children,” Mayfield said. ”A lot of these guys make their money just based off work ethic and never quitting.”Mayfield thinks that’s what he’s bringing to the NFL, not Manziel-like baggage.

Lakers’ Lonzo Charges $199 For Autographs

(Industry, CA) – Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is charging 199 dollars each for his autographs. About 300 people reportedly showed up at a Los Angeles area Mall Saturday for his first official signing event.0217_spo_sgt-l-lonzo-0218-kb20-1The two Benjamins got fans an autograph, but no personalized messages. Ball signed shoes, pictures, balls and other trinkets at the mall’s Sports Authentics store for about two hours.

Some observers took to social media to berate Ball for charging such a high price, considering he is averaging only ten points a game.

Joe Jackson Sets Quincy Jones Straight

(SL) – Michael Jackson’s family is not happy with comments made by music producer Quincy Jones during a recent interview. In an interview with Vulture.com, Jones claimed Jackson “stole a lot of songs,” including “Billie Jean” and Donna Summer’s “State of Independence,” adding that Michael was Machiavellian and greedy.michael-jacksonPage Six reports Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, said Jones was jealous of Michael because he’s “never worked with someone with all of that talent.” He said if anyone was responsible for stealing it would be Jones, who was the producer for both songs.

Other relatives said they believe Jones has been carrying a vendetta against Michael for years. They say it began when the two disagreed on whether Jones deserved a shot at a Grammy for having produced the 1982 smash-hit album “Thriller.”