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The Latest Irresistible Headlines

    Police have charged Florida parents after a little girl was found after she was left alone at a park for 14 hours. WTVT reported the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office found a girl who they said is around 2 years old wandering around Haverhill Park alone. >> Read more trending news  According to a PBSO Facebook post, officers made announcements in the area and canvassed the park. They also tried a reverse 911 call, but got no results. Officers contacted Florida Department of Children and Families, which took possession of the child. Police said the girl’s parents, Jolanda Larose Alexandre, 38, and Makenson Alexandre, 34, reported their daughter missing at 11:40 a.m. and detectives went to their home to interview them. “They both stated they did not realize they left their child at the park Friday, March 22, 2019, around 7:00pm and she had been missing for more than fourteen hours,” the department said in the post. WPTV reported that DCF removed seven other children from the couple’s home. Both parents were charged with child neglect, authorities said.
  • With a new baseball season comes new gastronomical avenues at the ballpark. The 2019 season is no exception.  Will they all be hits and home runs or will there be some strikeouts with the new menus? >> Read more trending news 
  • A woman is dead after police say she was attacked by her pit bulls at an animal hospital in Irving, Texas. KXAS reported that Irving Police Department officials said the two dogs were quarantined at O’Connor Animal Hospital to be tested for rabies after they got loose and bit someone. >> Read more trending news  “The dogs were involved in an incident earlier in the month in which they bit someone,” Officer David Dickinson told KDFW. “They were here at the animal hospital being quarantined per regulations. (The owner) was attending to the dogs, coming up to the dogs, and it’s my understanding that she was walking the dogs when the event occurred.” The woman was later identified as 33-year-old Johana Natalie Villafane. Hospital staff allowed her to visit her dogs during the week. She was walking the dogs in an exercise area when she was attacked by her pets. KTVT reported police responded at 11:45 a.m. Saturday after employees saw Villafane bleeding on the ground and being attacked by the two dogs. Police said the dogs were shot and killed when they would not allow first responders and hospital staff near Villafane. Villafane was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
  • An Italian couple is under investigation after authorities say they performed a home circumcision on their 5-month-old son, causing the boy’s death.  The boy, whose parents are of Ghanian origin, was in critical condition when he was taken Friday night to a hospital in Scandiano in the province of Reggio Emilia, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported. He died overnight. >> Read more trending news This weekend’s death is not the first of a child who underwent an illegal circumcision in Italy. The BBC reported that a 2-year-old boy bled to death in December after undergoing a failed circumcision at a migrant center in the Roman suburb of Monterotondo.  The boy’s twin brother underwent the same surgery but survived after a stint in the intensive care unit.  In the December case, a 66-year-old man was charged with murder in the toddler’s death, the BBC reported.  The 2-year-old and his brother were born in Italy, but their parents were from Nigeria, according to the BBC. The man charged with killing the boy is an American of Libyan heritage.  The BBC reported that circumcision is unavailable in public health institutions. Italy’s Roman Catholic majority does not practice circumcision, but many of the country’s Muslim immigrants do.  Private clinics will perform the procedure, but the surgery can be costly. There are people willing to circumcise children for a fraction of the cost, the news agency reported.  In the December case, the procedure was performed at a refugee center run by the Monterotondo council and nonprofit group Arci. Arci officials condemned the incident in a Facebook post, in which they said in 2018, there should be “no sorcerers and midwives.” “The Monterotondo tragedy leaves the whole of Arci, starting with our Arci workers in Rome, sorrowful and upset,” the post read, as translated from Italian. One commenter argued for a near-complete ban on circumcision.   “Circumcision should be considered a sexual mutilation, apart from the few cases in which it is appropriate for medical reasons, and therefore prohibited and punished if practiced,” the woman, Claudia Lanzi, wrote.  Another woman, Barbara Pilati, asked how it is mutilation if it causes no damage. “It is made to children who cannot express their opinion,” Lanzi responded.  ANSA reported that between 4,000 and 5,000 immigrant children undergo circumcisions in Italy each year. About 35 percent of those procedures are done illegally.  Yassine Lafram, who heads the Bologna area’s Islamic community, condemned the fatal procedure on the infant Monday. “We learn of the terrible news of the death of a 5-month-old baby following an illegal circumcision with dismay,” Lafram told ANSA. “It’s a death that could certainly have been avoided and pains us deeply.”
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered the results Friday of an investigation into possible collusion in the 2016 presidential election to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, ending a two-year saga that, at times, pitted President Donald Trump against his own Justice Department.  >> Read more trending news  In a passage of the report quoted by Barr, Mueller said there was no evidence Trump “was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” >> Barr: Mueller found no evidence of Trump-Russia conspiracy On Sunday, the Justice Department delivered a summary of Mueller’s findings to the House Judiciary Committee. It was not immediately  clear when, if ever, the report would be released to the public. Update 1 p.m. EDT March 25: Asked Monday about the release of Mueller’s report, Trump said such a move “wouldn’t bother me at all.” The president spoke with reporters Monday while hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We can never, ever let this happen to another president again,” Trump said. Update 12:05 p.m. EDT March 25: Speaking to reporters Monday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., promised to 'unpack the other side of the story' of Mueller's probe. Among other topics, Graham vowed to review the FBI's use of a dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant issued for Carter Page, who served as a campaign adviser to Trump. >> Who is Carter Page; how is he connected to the Nunes memo? Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 25: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that the lack of evidence found to support allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election should come as no surprise. 'A Chinese philosopher ... said, ‘It is hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if it is not there,’” Peskov said, according to The Washington Post. “Centuries have passed, but unfortunately there has been no understanding of this on the other side of the ocean.” Russian media didn't closely follow all the leaks that accompanied the Mueller probe, but referred to the investigation from time to time as an example of what they described as U.S. hysteria against Russia. Russian officials and state media, who have vehemently denied that the Kremlin wanted Trump to win and was helping him in the campaign, on Monday relished news of Mueller’s findings. 'The results of Mueller's investigation are a disgrace for the U.S. and its political elites,' Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information committee at the Federation Council, tweeted on Monday. 'All of the accusations were proved to be trumped up.' Update 10:15 a.m. EDT March 25: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear arguments in a mystery case connected to the Mueller investigation, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Supreme Court won’t hear 'Mystery Case' in Mueller probe Little is known about the case, which involves an unidentified foreign company owned by an unidentified foreign government. The company has been trying to get out of a subpoena for grand jury testimony in the Mueller probe.  Update 9 a.m. EDT March 25: President Donald Trump celebrated the findings of the probe early Monday in a series of tweets. >> Mueller report: Trump claims 'Complete and Total’ exoneration Update 10:25 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump was at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, when he first learned the details of what Attorney General William Barr said in his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report for Congress, according to the Associated Press. The AP cited White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, who briefed reporters aboard Air Force One as the president was flying back to Washington. “This is very good,” Gidley said the president told him. The president watched TV in his office aboard Air Force One and made phone calls according to CNN, which described the atmosphere during the flight as “jovial.” Update 8:25 p.m. EDT March 24: Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report Sunday, issuing a statement calling the report “a total vindication of the President of the United States.” “After two years of investigation, and reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media, the Special Counsel has confirmed what President Trump said (all) along; there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election,” Pence said. “This total vindication of the President of the United States and our campaign should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections,” he said. Update 7:45 p.m. EDT March 24: Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary on the Mueller report “inadequate.” Feinstein said in a statement Sunday that Barr’s summary “demonstrates why Congress needs to obtain the full report and underlying evidence.” She also said she’ll call on Barr to release the whole report and underlying material to Congress for proper Congressional oversight of the investigation. Feinstein said Barr was obviously biased in his summary of the report. “Mueller elected to describe the facts, leaving it to Attorney General Barr to decide whether the president committed a crime. However, months ahead of his nomination,  Barr wrote a 19-page memo concluding the president couldn’t commit obstruction, so it’s no surprise he reached the same conclusion now,” she said in the statement. Update 7:00 p.m. EDT March 24: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report. Pelosi and Schumer said Barr’s letter “raises as many questions as it answers.” The pair are calling for the Justice Department to release the full report. “The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public,” Schumer said on social media. The statement calls into question Barr’s ability to be objective about the Mueller report. “Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report,” according to Pelosi and Schumer’s statement. “And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility,” the statement said. Update 6:00 p.m. EDT March 24: The Mueller report is divided into two parts, according to the summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. The first part of the report describes the Mueller team’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and outlines Russia’s attempts to influence the election, including the crimes committed by people associated with the Russian government, Barr said. A primary focus for the Mueller team was whether any Americans, and specifically associates of President Donald Trump, worked with the Russians in interfering with the election, which would be a federal crime. “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” according to the Mueller report. >> Related: Mueller report: Trump claims 'Complete and Total’ exoneration The second part of the report, according to Barr’s summary, focuses on whether Trump obstructed justice.  The Mueller report leaves “unresolved whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction,” Barr said in his summary. “While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on obstruction allegations, Barr said. Mueller left a decision on obstruction of justice charges against Trump to the Justice Department. Barr confirmed he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that Trump’s conduct did not constitute a crime. >> Related: What is in the Mueller report? Update 5:20 p.m. EDT March 24: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, responded to President Donald Trump’s statement Sunday afternoon that the Mueller report offered him “complete and total exoneration.” Nadler disputed Trump’s characterization of the report, clarifying what Mueller actually said in the report. “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’” Nadler said Nadler also confirmed his plan to call Attorney General William Barr to testify before the committee. “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before (the House Judiciary Committee) in the near future, Nadler said on Twitter. Update 5:10 p.m. EDT March 24: Attorney General William Barr detailed the resources special prosecutor Robert Mueller used during his two-year investigation in his summary of the report to Congress. Barr said the Mueller team “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.” Barr said Mueller’s report also does not recommend any further indictments. Update 4:50 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump and members of his administration feel vindicated by the Mueller report. Trump just sent his first tweet on the report since Robert Mueller sent it to the Justice Department on Friday. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!,” the president wrote. His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued this statement after Attorney General William Barr sent a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress Sunday afternoon. 'The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.” Update 4:15 p.m. EDT March 24: The summary included these points: -The investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller did not find President Donald Trump or any of his campaign team coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. -The probe also did not find sufficient evidence that the president illegally obstructed justice, but the Mueller team stopped short of exonerating the president, according to The Associated Press.  -Barr’s summary said Mueller did not reach any conclusions on the president’s conduct. -Barr also said in the summary that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not consider constitutional questions relating to criminal charges against a sitting president in reaching their conclusion, the AP reported. Update 3:30 p.m. EDT March 24: Rep. Jerry Nadler said the Department of Justice issued a letter saying it is “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement” in terms of the findings in the report. Related: What is in the Mueller report? Nadler tweeted quotes from the letter, which can be read in full here. Update 3:10 p.m. EDT March 24: Congress has been told to expect a Mueller report summary with in the hour, The Associated Press reported, according to two unnamed sources familiar with plans from the Justice Department. Update 2:30 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump has been relatively quiet leading up to the release of the report, according to The Associated Press. Sources not authorized to speak publicly claim Trump is relieved no new indictments have come from the probe. The AP reported that Trump has been in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend, golfing and spending time with family. He’s also been less engaged on Twitter, only posting “Good Morning, Have A Great Day!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Sunday morning. Update 9 p.m. EDT March 23: Attorney General William Barr scoured special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report on the Russia investigation with his advisers Saturday, deciding how much Congress and the American public will get to see about the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Moscow’s efforts to elect him, according to The Associated Press. Barr was on pace to release his first summary of Mueller’s findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said. Update 1:50 p.m. EDT March 23: Congress will not receive a summary of Mueller’s findings  Saturday, multiple media outlets have reported. The Washington Post cited a “senior Justice Department official” for this information, while Politico tweeted that “two sources familiar with the discussion” confirmed the news. President Trump flew Friday to his Mar-a-Lago resort with senior White House officials and lawyers, The Washington Post reported. Original report: The delivery of the report to Barr officially concludes the probe that has cast a shadow over the Trump administration from its earliest days. Trump, who flew to Florida on Friday, has not yet commented on the report. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House would not be seeing the report -- at least not for now. Barr, in a one-page letter, told Congressional leaders he would be able to advise them of the “principal conclusions” of the report as soon as this weekend. In the letter, Barr confirmed that there was no requests made by Mueller to take a specific action – such as subpoenaing a witness – that was not granted by the DOJ. “There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.' >> Read the letter William Barr sent to members of Congress It is up to Barr how much of the report Congress or the public will be able to see. Trump has said he would not care if the report was released to the public. According to an anonymous DOJ source, there will be no further indictments born out of the investigation, meaning Mueller’s work is done. >> Who has Robert Mueller already indicted in his investigation? Since the investigation began in May of 2017, Mueller’s team of prosecutors has indicted or accepted plea deals from 35 people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, issued a joint statement, saying “it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress. . . . The American people have a right to the truth.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A state lawmaker in Michigan is proposing to lower the drunken driving limit from .08  to .05.  Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, proposed the law hoping to prevent anyone who has had any alcohol from getting behind the wheel at any time. “Drink or drive. Choose one. It should never be both,” Hammoud told The Detroit News. The bill, HB 4420-2, increases penalties for driving drunk. It would require ignition interlocks for anyone ever convicted of a DUI. >> Read more trending newsWhile Hammoud, who says he does not imbibe, said the lower limit would make highways safer, a lawyer who has dealt with alcohol-related offenses for 22 years, said that will be the case. “You and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no one is drunk at .05,” William Maze told The Detroit News. “It’s stupid to even suggest it.” This isn’t the first time a lower BAC limit has been proposed.  The National Transportation Safety Board suggested to drop it to .05 in 2013. Mothers Against Drunk Driving did not endorse the plan. Utah, however, did set the limit at .05 last year, NBC News reported in December. Hammoud has the support of MADD’s national president, Helen Witty, who accompanied him at his news conference, announcing the lower limit, saying, “Research shows that critical driving skills are impaired at .05 BAC. significantly increasing the risk of a horrible, 100-percent preventable crash.” The NTSB has found that a driver with a .05 BAC can have some reaction issues when it comes to coordination, steering, emergency response and vision. But they’re not sure of the full impact of the alcohol has on driving abilities. But the NTSB also said that a BAC of .02 can have decline in visual functions and may impact the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. 
  • A teenager is receiving praise for stepping into action to rescue a blind Chihuahua after hearing some cries from a sewage drain. NJ.com reported 15-year-old Anthony Malagrino was walking home from school Friday when his cousin, Jennifer Hornreich, said he “heard some desperate cries coming from a sewage drain.” >> Read more trending news  It turned out the cries were coming from Peanut, a 16-year-old Chihuahua who is blind in one eye and has hearing loss that was reported missing March 17. “She will cry and shake if I am not around,” Peanut’s owner, Mark Randall Harris, said in a message to a missing dogs Facebook page. Harris spent days looking for her with his neighbors, NJ.com reported. Harris lives on the same street as Anthony. Hornreich told NJ.com her cousin took the sewer cover off and got in the sewer to rescue the dog. “I couldn’t believe it,” Hornreich said. “He jumped right into action.” Harris said he ran out of his house as soon as he learned Peanut was found and sent Anthony a thank you note on behalf of himself and Peanut. It also included some reward money, according to NJ.com. “Words can not express my gratitude for finding Peanut,” Harris said in a note to Anthony. “We have spent 16 years together and she is very dear to me. I can’t thank you enough.” According to Harris, Peanut’s veterinarian said she was found just in time. Her organs were shutting down and her body temperature was severely low.
  • An employee at a Missouri Enterprise Rent-A-Car is accused of spiking the drinks of co-workers with LSD because he wanted to get rid of his co-workers’ “negative energy.” Lt. Clinton Wooldridge said two employees of the Arnold, Missouri, location were dizzy and shaky but couldn’t figure out why, so they were taken to an area hospital, KMOV reported. Police questioned the 19-year-old employee, whose name has not been released, who officials said admitted he put LSD in two workers’ water bottles, because he wanted to change their energy, KMOV reported. >> Read more trending news  The business’ manager said she saw the employee holding a water dropper and he was doing something to her water jug, but she said she didn’t drink from it, The Leader reported. The Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group said the workers’ reaction is what happens with LSD. No charges have been filed until the lab results come back. If the water tests positive, the employee could face charges, KMOV reported. The water was tested at the business, but the results were inconclusive, The Leader reported. The employees allegedly drugged were OK after the effects wore off.
  • Police in North Carolina are searching for a gunman after they said a person was shot inside the AMC Theaters at the Concord Mills Mall on Sunday evening. >> Read more trending news  Police said the male victim was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities said the shooting happened around 6 p.m. during an argument over seating in the theater and was not an active shooter situation. Officials said they did not believe the suspect and the victim knew each other.  Concord police said the shooter left the mall before police arrived. Officials said the suspect is described as a man with short dreads wearing a black and white striped shirt and said to be with a woman. Authorities closed the mall immediately after the shooting.  Moviegoers described a chaotic scene that included people running and falling over each other, crime scene tape and blood on the ground inside the movie theater. A teenager who heard the gunshots said he did not know if he was more nervous or scared. 'It sounded like gunshots, it sounded like popping noises and everyone started running so I started running so I didn't have to be in the chaotic moment,' Brach Walker said. Jonathan Winchell said he traveled from Greenville, South Carolina, because Concord was the closest theater showing the film he wanted to see. 'What's scarier is the fact that it's not so scary because it happens all the time,' Winchell said. 'Anyone being shot should be a horrendous, unlikely, should never happen.' Winchell said he also let a stranger use his phone so they could let their family know they were safe as law enforcement evacuated the mall. AMC officials said guns are not allowed in the theaters. According to the AMC Theater Code of Conduct, 'Carrying or displaying weapons of any kind -- real or toy -- are not allowed.' It also bans fighting, engaging in intimidating, disordering, or disruptive behavior. No other information has been released. If you have information regarding this case, you are encouraged to call the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000.
  • California authorities are investigating an alleged arson attack at an Escondido mosque early Sunday after the suspect left a note referencing the terrorist attacks in New Zealand that killed 50 people on March 15, KNSD reported. >> Read more trending news  The fire broke out at 3:15 a.m. at the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque, the television station reported. 'If it’s an arson, it’s possibly a hate crime as well,' Escondido Police Department Lt. Chris Lick told KNSD. Lick said the note was found in the parking lot of the mosque but did not reveal its contents, the Sacramento Bee reported. >> Image of Jacinda Ardern projected on world’s tallest building The fire caused minor damage to the building's exterior, the newspaper reported. Seven people were inside the mosque when the fire broke out, KNSD reported. They were able to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Yusef Miller, a member of the Muslim community in Escondido, told KNSD it was fortunate the fire happened before the early morning prayer service. 'God bless that it didn’t happen that way,” MIller told the television station. “We’re not surprised by this incident,' Miller said. 'But, we’re very on edge right now.”

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A widely shared Facebook post shows a lone prayer closet remaining on the site of a home where an EF4 tornado ripped through in Alabama. Earlier in March, a tornado carved a path across Lee County, Alabama destroying homes and ripping up trees.  Only a few buildings and homes were able to make it, including a local grandmother’s prayer closet. According to 11 Alive, Chaplain Jason Smith was out with Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team and noticed the prayer closet.   In his Facebook post, he reports the entire family who lived there survived. “Listen to me please,” he wrote in the post.  “I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet.  It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived.  Are you kiddin me!!! My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody! --Jason--” As of this article, the two-week old post has been shared over 96 thousand times and garnered more than 62 thousand likes.
  • Federal prosecutors in New York and California announced charges Monday in separate cases against attorney Michael Avenatti. >> Read more trending news Authorities in New York arrested Avenatti on Monday to face allegations out of the Southern District of New York that he attempted to extort Nike and charges of bank and wire fraud out of the Central District of California. >> Read the complaint against Avenatti filed in New York Update 3:20 p.m. EDT March 25: In a statement obtained by CNBC, a Nike spokesperson said the company “has been cooperating with the government’s investigation into NCAA basketball for over a year.” “When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors,” the statement said. “When Mr. Avenatti attempted to extort Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, aided the investigation.” Authorities said Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator attempted to extort Nike of more than $20 million by threatening “to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.” Citing a pair of unidentified sources, The Wall Street Journal reported the unnamed co-conspirator allegedly involved in the case was attorney Mark Geragos. Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 25: Investigators with the IRS launched a probe into Aveantti more than a year ago, after an official noticed “irregularities” while attempting to collect payroll taxes from Avenatti, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nick Hanna said. The bank and wire fraud “allegations ... paint an ugly picture of lawless conduct and greed,” Hanna said, calling Avenatti “a corrupt lawyer who ... fights for his own selfish interests by misappropriating close to $1 million that rightfully belonged to one of his clients.” Hanna said Avenatti negotiated a settlement for one of his clients in December 2017 as part of an intellectual property dispute. Under the settlement, Avenatti’s client was expected to get $1.6 million in January 2018. However, Hanna said Avenatti presented his client with a false settlement agreement that listed March 2018 at the date by which the payment was due. The payment was made to an account controlled by Avenatti on Jan. 5, 2018. “Mr. Avenatti then used his client’s money to pay expenses for his own coffee business, Global Baristas LLC which did business as Tully’s coffee as well as to pay his own expenses,” Hanna said. Avenatti was arrested Monday in New York to face federal charges on both the east and west coasts. Avenatti is facing a maximum of 50 years in prison if he’s convicted of the bank and wire fraud charges in California. Federal prosecutors in New York also charged Avenatti in a separate case in which he was accused of attempting to extort Nike. Update 2:20 p.m. EDT March 25: Authorities in California are providing more details Monday in the case against Avenatti. Update 2:15 p.m. EDT March 25: Avenatti’s former client, Stormy Daniels, said in a statement Monday that she was “saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged.” “I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly,” Daniels said. Avenatti represented Daniels in her court battle to throw out a non-disclosure agreement she had signed before the 2016 presidential election. The agreement barred her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years before the election. Original report: Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York said Avenatti attempted “to extract more than $20 million in payments from a public traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.” The company was identified in a criminal complaint as Nike. Earlier Monday, Avenatti had announced plans to hold a press conference Tuesday “to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike.” Authorities said in a complaint filled in court that Avenatti and another person threatened to release damaging information about Nike if the company “did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments” to Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator. Avenatti “threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the annual (NCAA) tournament at which he would announce allegations of misconduct by employees of Nike,” prosecutors said.  “Avenatti stated that he would refrain from holding the press conference and harming Nike only if Nike made a payment of $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s in possession of information damaging to Nike... and agreed to ‘retain’ Avenatti and (the unnamed co-conspirator) to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ -- an investigation that Nike did not request.” Authorities said Avenatti told Nike’s attorneys in a phone call on Wednesday that, “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap ... I’m not (expletive) around.” Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles announced Monday they were charging Avenatti with wire and bank fraud in a separate case. Authorities plan to detail charges against him at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • An Italian couple is under investigation after authorities say they performed a home circumcision on their 5-month-old son, causing the boy’s death.  The boy, whose parents are of Ghanian origin, was in critical condition when he was taken Friday night to a hospital in Scandiano in the province of Reggio Emilia, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported. He died overnight. >> Read more trending news This weekend’s death is not the first of a child who underwent an illegal circumcision in Italy. The BBC reported that a 2-year-old boy bled to death in December after undergoing a failed circumcision at a migrant center in the Roman suburb of Monterotondo.  The boy’s twin brother underwent the same surgery but survived after a stint in the intensive care unit.  In the December case, a 66-year-old man was charged with murder in the toddler’s death, the BBC reported.  The 2-year-old and his brother were born in Italy, but their parents were from Nigeria, according to the BBC. The man charged with killing the boy is an American of Libyan heritage.  The BBC reported that circumcision is unavailable in public health institutions. Italy’s Roman Catholic majority does not practice circumcision, but many of the country’s Muslim immigrants do.  Private clinics will perform the procedure, but the surgery can be costly. There are people willing to circumcise children for a fraction of the cost, the news agency reported.  In the December case, the procedure was performed at a refugee center run by the Monterotondo council and nonprofit group Arci. Arci officials condemned the incident in a Facebook post, in which they said in 2018, there should be “no sorcerers and midwives.” “The Monterotondo tragedy leaves the whole of Arci, starting with our Arci workers in Rome, sorrowful and upset,” the post read, as translated from Italian. One commenter argued for a near-complete ban on circumcision.   “Circumcision should be considered a sexual mutilation, apart from the few cases in which it is appropriate for medical reasons, and therefore prohibited and punished if practiced,” the woman, Claudia Lanzi, wrote.  Another woman, Barbara Pilati, asked how it is mutilation if it causes no damage. “It is made to children who cannot express their opinion,” Lanzi responded.  ANSA reported that between 4,000 and 5,000 immigrant children undergo circumcisions in Italy each year. About 35 percent of those procedures are done illegally.  Yassine Lafram, who heads the Bologna area’s Islamic community, condemned the fatal procedure on the infant Monday. “We learn of the terrible news of the death of a 5-month-old baby following an illegal circumcision with dismay,” Lafram told ANSA. “It’s a death that could certainly have been avoided and pains us deeply.”
  • Police opened an investigation Monday into a deadly officer-involved shooting in north Charlotte. >> Read more trending news Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney told WSOC-TV that officers responded just after 9 a.m. to the Burger King on Beatties Ford Road, near Interstate 85.  Dozens of police cruisers could be seen surrounding the fast-food restaurant, which was roped off with crime scene tape. Putney said officers responded to a call about an armed man at the business. The man gave employees an uneasy feeling, Putney said, so they called police. When officers arrived, they spotted the man outside the Burger King, according to Putney. Authorities said the man was still armed when officers arrived, and they repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon. Putney said an officer felt there was a lethal threat and shot the man at least once. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released. A witness told WSOC-TV the armed man had gotten into an argument with an employee inside the restaurant and that another man intervened and was assaulted by the suspect. Police have not confirmed that witness's account. Police said no officers were hurt. The shooting remains under investigation, and no other details have been released.
  • ORLANDO, Fla. - The trailer for the new movie, Lucy in the Sky,  portrays Natalie Portman as an astronaut struggling to readjust to life on Earth after seeing 'the whole universe.' The film is loosely based on real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak, who became embroiled in an affair with fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein. But when they broke up, and he began to date U.S. Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, Nowak became enraged. She made national headlines when she drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando and packed a trench coat, black wig, pepper spray, a BB gun, rope, trash bags and an 8-inch knife in an attempt to kidnap Shipman. Nowak was discharged from NASA and the Navy.

Washington Insider

  • A day after Congress was told the Mueller investigation had not found evidence of coordination or conspiracy involving Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections, a leading GOP Senator vowed to fully investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, arguing that President Donald Trump may have been the victim of overzealous investigators inside the Justice Department. 'The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who told reporters at the Capitol on Monday morning that it's time to find out more about how the investigation began during the 2016 campaign, how it meshed with the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails, and whether there had been bias inside the Justice Department and FBI against President Trump. While Graham said he would conduct oversight via the Senate Judiciary Committee, the South Carolina Republican also said he wants a more formal review by the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. 'What I want to do is see if he'll appoint a Special Counsel,' Graham said, as he argued that President Trump had been unfairly targeted. Graham said he would look at the role of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch - who tried to step back from the Clinton email investigation, which led to the broader involvement of former FBI Director James Comey. 'What was the conflict that made Loretta Lynch so unable to preside over the Clinton email investigation?' Graham asked. While Graham ticked off the boxes of a series of questions which have dominated conservative talk radio over the past two years, the ally of the President made clear he agreed with the Mueller report findings on one very key issue - that the Russians were responsible for the hacking of the Democratic Party in 2016. “It was the Russians - it wasn’t some 300 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere,” Graham said, making reference to a quote by President Trump, who at times has rejected assertions that Russian Intelligence was responsible for the hacking of emails from Clinton campaign and DNC officials. Graham said he also wanted answers on how the Obama Administration handled the initial developments in the Russia investigation - which came during the 2016 campaign. 'Nobody went to President Trump to tell him, there may be some people in your orbit that are connected to the Russians and working with the Russians,' Graham said at a news conference. At the White House, President Trump kept his comments limited about the Mueller report, saying he would not oppose the release of the details of the report, if that’s what Attorney General Barr wants to do. Asked during an event in the Oval Office whether the Special Counsel had done his job honorably, Mr. Trump responded: 'Yes, he did.' “I wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker,” the President added.