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    Jury selection has begun in the trial of an aspiring agent and a former amateur coach charged with bribing big-school coaches to boost their business relationship with amateur basketball players. The trial of business manager Christian Dawkins and ex-amateur league director Merl Code began Monday in Manhattan federal court. Testimony in a trial projected to last two weeks will surround bribes paid to an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina and later Oklahoma State University, an assistant coach at the University of Arizona and an assistant coach at the University of Southern California. Those now ex-coaches have pleaded guilty to charges and await sentencing. Judge Edgardo Ramos told prospective jurors that the scandal also affected Creighton University and Texas Christian University. Code and Dawkins have pleaded not guilty.
  • Twin brothers were charged with driving under the influence after the car they were driving crashed, injuring deputies already on the scene of a fatal accident. >> Read more trending news  Deputies were investigating an accident between a commercial truck and car that killed a 19-year-old woman when the two vehicles failed to stop and crashed at the scene, according to Harris County Constable’s Office. Deputy Troy Brinkley and K9 Evo were in their vehicle when it was hit, KHOU reported. Brinkley suffered neck and back pain. Evo was evaluated for injuries and was OK. Deputy Matthew Self was directing traffic and suffered a sprained ankle when he jumped out of the way to avoid being hit. Both deputies were taken to a hospital and are expected to be OK, officials said. The drivers, brothers James and Joseph Bramlet, failed field sobriety tests, KHOU reported. Both were charged with driving under the influence. James Bramlet was also charged with unlawful carry of a weapon, KHOU reported.
  • Nine explosions hit multiple churches, hotels and other locations in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing nearly 300 people and injuring hundreds more, according to The Associated Press and other media outlets. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 22: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday mourned the victims of Sunday’s bomb attacks in Sri Lanka and promised the government would provide “all possible assistance” to Americans and Sri Lankans alike. >> Sri Lanka attacks: Who are the National Thowheed Jamath? “We urge that any evil-doers be brought to justice expeditiously and America is prepared to support that,” he Pompeo said. “We also stand with the millions of Sri Lankas who support the freedom of their fellow citizens to worship as they please.” Pompeo confirmed that Americans were among those killed in Sunday’s attack, though he didn’t specify the number of American victims. “It’s heartbreaking that a country which has strived so hard for peace in recent years has been targeted by these terrorists,” he said. >> Sri Lanka attack: Danish billionaire loses three of his four children in bombings Update 9:50 am. EDT April 22: A Denver man has been identified as one of the nearly 300 people killed Sunday in bombings in Sri Lanka, his employer confirmed Monday. Dieter Kowalski worked as senior leader of the operation technical services team for Pearson, an education management company. Though the company is based in England, Kowalski worked in Pearson’s Denver office, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.  “Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was,” Pearson CEO John Fallon said in a statement shared with company employees and posted Monday on LinkedIn. “They tell of a man to whom we could give our ugliest and most challenging of engineering problems, knowing full well that he would jump straight in and help us figure it out. Dieter, they tell me, was never happier than cheer-leading for our customers and our company and inspiring people in the best way he knew how – by helping them to fix things and doing it with joy, happiness and grace.” Fallon said Kowalski died shortly after arriving at his hotel Sunday for a business trip. Update 7:55 a.m. EDT April 22: Three children of Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns Bestseller clothing, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. The 46-year-old Danish billionaire, who is also the largest shareholder in ASOS, and his family were on vacation in Sri Lanka, the AP reported. Authorities said 39 foreigners were among the 290 people killed in Sunday’s attacks.  Meanwhile, a vehicle parked near St. Anthony’s Shrine, one of the churches that was bombed Sunday, exploded Monday as police tried to defuse three bombs inside, according to the AP. At least 87 bomb detonators have been found in Colombo, officials said. Police have detained at least 24 suspects in connection with Sunday’s bombings. Update 5:15 a.m. EDT April 22:  Government officials said the National Thowheed, a Sri Lankan militant group, was responsible for Sunday’s deadly attacks, the Guardian is reporting. However, a government spokesman said an “international network” helped the attackers. Seven suicide bombers caused six of the nine explosions Sunday, a forensic analyst told The Associated Press. Authorities also said a second Chinese citizen and two Australian citizens were among those killed in Sunday’s attacks. So far, the dead include citizens of the United States, India, Britain, China, Australia, Japan and Portugal, the AP reported. Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka military official said crews defused a homemade pipe bomb discovered late Sunday on a road to the airport outside Colombo, the AP reported. Update 12:10 a.m. EDT April 22: The death toll in the bombings has increased to 290 and more than 500 people have been wounded, according to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara. Among those killed are five Indians, who were identified in tweets from India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, The AP reported. China and Portugal also said they lost citizens, and the U.S. said “several” Americans were also killed in the bombings. The AP reported Sri Lankan officials said they would examine reports that intelligence failed to heed or detect warnings of a possible suicide attack.  “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence,” Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando said in a tweet, according to The AP. “Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.”  Update 9:50 p.m. EDT April 21: Japan has confirmed at least one citizen death and four injuries from the bombings. The country has issued a safety warning to Japanese people in the country, telling them to avoid mosques, churches and public places like clubs, malls and government offices, The AP reported. Foreign Minister Taro Kono expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka and sent his condolences to victims of the explosions. He also said Japan was committed to “combating terrorism.” Update 5:40 p.m. EDT April 21: The Associated Press reported that, according to internet censorship monitoring group NetBlocks, social media has been blocked across the country after the attacks. Most services, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have been temporarily blacked out to curb false information spread, according to Sri Lankan officials. According to NetBlocks, such blackouts are usually ineffective. Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Sri Lanka shuts down social media in wake of Easter attacks “We are aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media platforms,” Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement to The AP. “People rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones and we are committed to maintaining our services and helping the community and the country during this tragic time.” Update 3:28 p.m. EDT April 21: Police have 13 suspects in custody, impounded a vehicle they believed was used by suspects and located a safe house used by the attackers.  Related: Photos: Easter Sunday blasts at Sri Lanka churches, hotels kill dozens No one has claimed responsibility for what Sri Lankan officials have described as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Update 9:28 a.m. EDT April 21: Police have so far arrested three people in connection to the blasts, The Guardian reported. A motive for the bombings is still unclear, investigators said.  Update 8:46 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 207 people were killed and 450 hurt in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. Officials said eight blasts targeted three churches, three hotels, a guesthouse and an area near a Dematagoda overpass, the AP reported. Authorities reportedly have arrested seven people in connection with the incidents. Update 8:07 a.m. EDT April 21: Sri Lankan officials say at least 190 people, including at least 27 foreigners and two police officers, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the eight explosions, which rocked at least three churches and three hotels, as well as a guesthouse, officials said. Update 7:35 a.m. EDT April 21: President Donald Trump tweeted condolences to the Sri Lankan people Sunday morning. “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka,” Trump tweeted. “We stand ready to help!” Update 7:19 a.m. EDT April 21: Hours after explosions at Sri Lankan churches and hotels left dozens dead and hundreds more injured, Pope Francis prayed for the victims during his annual Easter message at the Vatican. Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing “I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community (of Sri Lanka), wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, according to Vatican News. He later added: “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished, and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.” Every year after leading Easter Mass, the pope delivers an “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world”) message, which addresses global issues and conflicts. Update 5:32 a.m. EDT April 21: Two more blasts have been reported in Sri Lanka. A seventh explosion hit a hotel in Dehiwala, and an eighth blast was reported in the capital, Agence France-Presse is reporting. Update 4:20 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 156 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 35 foreigners, officials said. Update 3:34 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 137 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 45 people in Colombo, 67 in Negombo and 25 in Batticaloa, officials said. At least nine of the people killed were foreigners, the news agency reported. More than 500 people were hurt in the explosions, according to The Associated Press. Original report: Explosions hit three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing dozens of people and injuring nearly 300 more, news outlets are reporting. According to The Associated Press, blasts occurred Sunday morning at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and a church in Batticaloa. Explosions also rocked the Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri La hotels in Colombo, the BBC reported. The Agence France-Presse news agency said 52 people died in the blasts. At least 283 people were taken to the hospital, the AP reported. Suicide bombers may have caused at least two of the church blasts, a security official told the AP.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is lobbying for a presidential primary debate in his home state, which is a projected battleground in the 2020 presidential election. Casey's letter Monday to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says holding a primary debate in Pennsylvania would benefit the party in a state that holds great electoral importance to Democrats. Casey said Democrats can't afford to lose Pennsylvania if they hope to beat President Donald Trump, after Trump in 2016 became the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988. Casey described Trump's victory as a 'wake-up call' and said a debate in the politically divided state would help Democrats. The DNC is planning a dozen debates, and has announced two locations — starting with Miami this June and Detroit in July.
  • SpaceX has suffered a serious setback in its effort to launch NASA astronauts into orbit this year, with the fiery loss of its first crew capsule. Over the weekend, the Dragon crew capsule that flew to the International Space Station last month was engulfed in smoke and flames on an engine test stand. SpaceX was testing the Dragon's abort thrusters at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when Saturday's accident occurred. The company said the test area was clear and no one was injured. This Dragon was supposed to be reused in a launch abort test in June, with another capsule making the first flight with a crew of two as early as July. The SuperDraco abort thrusters are crucial to protect astronauts in flight; they're designed to fire in an emergency and pull the capsule safely away from the rocket. NASA said Monday it's too early to revise the target launch dates, given that the accident is still so fresh. 'This is why we test,' NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement over the weekend. 'We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and safely move forward with our commercial crew program.' The University of Southern California's Garrett Reisman, a former NASA astronaut who directed space operations for SpaceX until last year, said it was a 'tough day ... not good' for SpaceX. 'But thankfully no one got hurt and with everything we learn from this anomaly Crew Dragon will be a safer vehicle for all her future crews,' he tweeted. Until Saturday, SpaceX was on a roll to resume crew launches from Florida. The March test flight, to the space station and back, went smoothly. The SuperDraco thrusters embedded in the sides of the capsule, however, were not used during the demo. SpaceX said it will make sure, through the accident investigation, that the Dragon is one of the safest spacecraft ever built for astronauts. The California-based company released few details, though, on the accident itself and how it might impact future flights. Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, now with Syracuse University, said via email Monday that it's 'too early to tell what the implications may be.' NASA astronauts have not launched from Cape Canaveral since the last shuttle flight in 2011, instead hitching rides on Russian rockets at steep prices. The space agency turned the job over to two private companies — SpaceX and Boeing — to build new capsules to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. Earlier this month, NASA announced major delays for test flights of Boeing's Starliner crew capsule. The initial trip to the space station, without astronauts, is targeted for August, with the first Starliner crew potentially flying by year's end. NASA stressed that next week's launch of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule remains on track. The supply ship is set to blast off from Cape Canaveral on April 30. SpaceX has been making deliveries to the space station since 2012. The crew Dragon is a much-enhanced version of the cargo version. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • Indiana State Police on Monday will release 'very significant information' about the 2017 deaths of two teenage girls who were killed during a hiking trip, an agency spokesman said. No arrest warrants have been issued and no arrests have been made in the killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams, Sgt. Kim Riley said. But he said the agency would release new information about the investigation into the unsolved slayings during a news conference in Delphi, the city near where the girls were found dead in February 2017. State Police Superintendent Doug Carter will discuss how the investigation had gone in a 'new direction,' according to police. Carter will be joined by a State Police captain but they won't take questions, Riley said. The teenagers' bodies were found in a rugged, wooded area one day after they went hiking near their hometown of Delphi, a community of about 3,000 people roughly 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis. Within days of the killings, investigators released two grainy photos of a suspect walking on the abandoned railroad bridge the girls had visited, and an audio recording of a man believed to be the suspect saying 'down the hill.' That evidence came from German's cellphone, and police have hailed the girl as a hero for recording potentially crucial evidence. Investigators have reviewed thousands of leads looking for the man. Police also have released a composite sketch from eyewitnesses who believe they saw the man in Delphi. ___ For the latest developments in this case: https://apnews.com/099ee1da042941dfb96d90377e08dde4
  • Sri Lankan officials said Monday that they believe a little-known Islamic group called the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) is likely responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks on hotels and Christian churches that killed nearly 300 in the nation’s capital. >> Read more trendin>> Read more trending news g news  Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said Monday that there had been 'several warnings from foreign intelligence agencies about the impending attacks' and that the NTJ had been mentioned in those warnings. >> Sri Lanka attack: Danish billionaire loses three of his four children in bombings While the NTJ is based in Sri Lanka, officials there say they believe the group had help from outside of the country. 'We don't see that only a small organization in this country can do all that,' Senaratne said. 'We are now investigating the international support for them, and their other links, how they produced the suicide bombers here and how they produced bombs like this.' Who is NTJ and where did they come from? Here’s what we know about the organization now. Who are they?   The group is believed to have broken off from the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, an Islamist group in the country. The SLTJ is known for inciting hatred against Buddhists. The secretary of the group - Abdul Razik – was arrested in 2016 for insulting religion and “angering a religious devotee.” Razik later apologized for what he said about Buddhists. What does Thowheed Jamath mean? The name roughly translates as National Monotheism Organization, according to the Washington Post. Who is the group’s leader? The alleged leader is Mohamed Zaharan, according to Indian intelligence agencies. Is there a large Islamic presence in the nation? No, Muslims make up on 9.7 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, according to the CIA World Fact Book. Were they on authorities radar for possible terror activities? The NTJ was mainly known for vandalizing Buddhist statues, prior to Sunday’s attack. However, a little more than a week ago, police issued a three-page intelligence report to security officials in the country that radical Islamic groups, including NTJ, planned to attack Catholic Churches. Senaratne called for the resignation of the police inspector general, Pujith Jayasundara, for failing to stop the attacks. Where is Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka is an island off the southern tip of India.
  • The White House lawn is the scene of its biggest social event of the year: the annual Easter Egg Roll. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are hosting Monday's festivities on the South Lawn for more than 30,000 adults and children who will stream through the gates all day. The main event is the traditional rolling of hard-boiled eggs across the lawn, but the first lady has announced two new additions to the lineup of festivities: musical eggs and a game of hopscotch named for her 'Be Best' children's initiative. There's also a nook where Mrs. Trump and other officials will read storybooks and a station for kids to make greeting cards to send to U.S. troops. The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.
  • A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be released from jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. The three-paragraph, unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond rejects both Manning's argument that she was erroneously found in civil contempt of court and her request for bail while the contempt decision is litigated. Manning has been jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8 after refusing to testify to the Wikileaks grand jury. Since her incarceration, criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange have been unsealed and U.S. officials have requested his extradition . Manning's lawyers argued that her testimony is unnecessary in part because Assange has already been charged. Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks before then-President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence. Manning's lawyers also argued that she told authorities everything she knew during her court-martial investigation and that her incarceration was unnecessarily cruel because the jail is unable to provide adequate medical care in connection with gender-reassignment surgery Manning underwent. Prosecutors responded that they believe Manning, who was granted immunity for her grand jury testimony, may have more to say about her interactions with Wikileaks than has been previously disclosed, and that Manning is out of line for disrupting the grand-jury process simply on her speculation that she is being singled out for harassment. They also say that the jail has gone out of its way to accommodate her medical needs. Prosecutors have called Manning's leak to Wikileaks one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history. Monday's opinion was issued by judges Allyson Duncan, a George W. Bush appointee; Paul Niemayer, a George H.W. Bush appointee; and Robert King, a Bill Clinton appointee. Manning's lawyer said she expected to issue a statement later Monday. Under the terms of the judge's contempt finding, Manning will remain jailed until she agrees to testify or until the grand jury's term is concluded. That date is unknown.
  • Just when you think things couldn't get any weirder in Florida, this happens: A person dressed as an Easter bunny hopped in, seemingly to help a woman who was fighting a man in downtown Orlando Sunday, according to video posted on Instagram by a promoter who goes by Workkk. >> Read more trending news  The incident on Instagram shows a fistfight between a woman and a man as bystanders record cellphone video. Then, the Easter bunny jumps in and starts punching the man while he’s on the ground. The video shows police breaking up the fight as the Easter bunny gets hugs and praise from bystanders.>>Click here to see the video Was this a stunt? For now, it's unknown, but one thing is for sure: The incident did not come as a surprise to locals, who stood around and laughed as it all went down. “Beat his (expletive)!” one person said repeatedly. “The Easter bunny’s shaking, ha,ha,ha,ha!” another onlooker said. A police report has not been released.