1 Hollywood Stars Among 50 Charged in College Entrance Exam Cheating Plot
What’s worse, being named a liar and a cheat by authorities…or having your name splashed across the world and named as a liar and a cheat? That’s what actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are waking up to today – and they’re on a list of nearly 50 others charged in what’s being called the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” federal officials say elite and wealthy parents paid bribes of up to six-million-bucks to get their kids into elite colleges. In all, officials say ringleader William Singer collected $25-million to get the privileged into schools including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling says there can be no separate college admission for the wealthy and there will be "no separate criminal justice system either." For his part, Singer is already pleading guilty. He’s copped to charges of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The con involved cheating on ACT and SAT exams or creating fake sports profiles to get the students into college on a sports team. Others charged include CEOs, two SAT or ACT exam administrators, and nine coaches at the targeted schools.
2 Senate To Vote On Trump's Border Declaration
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote tomorrow on the resolution blocking President Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. Conventional wisdom is that no one should be placing bets on anything, but several Republicans are expected to join Democrats in rejecting the President's order. McConnell noted that Trump's move “has generated considerable discussion” among Republicans. And word is, that Republican leaders are trying to tamp down the number of defections from the GOP. They’re voting on resolution of disapproval measure the House recently passed. Keeping in mind that President Trump has promised to veto the measure. What then? Getting enough votes for a veto override is seen as unlikely. Meantime, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer maintains there is no emergency at the U.S.-Mexican border. He argues that there is no factual basis to support Trump's declaration. Schumer noted that Trump aims to take money away from the military to help construct a massive border wall.
3 FAA No Basis To Ground Boeing 737 MAX
The FAA says it has no evidence that would warrant grounding the Boeing 737 MAX airliner after last weekend's crash in Ethiopia. The agency says it's been reviewing all data on the popular jet, but hasn't found any systemic performance issues that would provide a basis for grounding it. A number nations around the world grounded all flights on that aircraft yesterday because of safety concerns. Still, if any issues come up that affect the plane's airworthiness, the FAA says it will take action. Countries around the world have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX following last weekend's crash that left over 150 people dead. It was the second deadly crash involving the plane in six months. Meanwhile… there are reports that American pilots have been complaining about the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes for months. The “Dallas Morning News” reports that one captain called the flight manual "inadequate and almost criminally insufficient." The Morning News said it found five complaints about the model in the federal database. The complaints are about the same safety mechanism cited in preliminary reports of the Indonesia crash in October that killed 189 people. Only the United States and Canada are still allowing those jets to fly in large numbers.