7 FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption & Bribery Charges (Update: 14 People Indicted)

 

WHAT A SHOCK, FIFA IS CORRUPT …

Seven top FIFA officials were arrested overnight in a posh Zurich hotel. The raid was conducted as a part of a corruption probe allegations of bribery totaling more than £100m over past 25 years.

The most significant arrest was that of Jeffrey Webb, the vice president of the executive committee, who has previously been hailed by Blatter as a potential successor.

Other officials held by Swiss police include Eduardio Li, President of the Costa Rica Football Association, and Rafael Esquivel, President of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation, Costas Takkas, a former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation.

VIDEO – CNN

New York Times:

Swiss authorities conducted an extraordinary early-morning operation here Wednesday to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.

As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich. They went to the front desk to get room numbers and then proceeded upstairs.

The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.

The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.

The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals.

CNN – U.S. arrests officials, Switzerland opens separate investigation.

Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a 47-count indictment in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that detailed charges against 14 people of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. They include FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return provided “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.

“The defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” FBI Director James Comey said in a news release. “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.”

UPDATE I: Fifa corruption live: David Cameron calls for Sepp Blatter to stand down.

UPDATE II: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA Reign of Shame.

It is not true that everything has gotten worse in global soccer under Blatter. Safety has improved and, yes, the World Cup has been held in Africa. But just about everything has. To conclude that Blatter should quit rather than embark on a fifth term as FIFA president (assuming his seemingly inevitable election to a fifth term on Friday) feels so blindingly obvious that it’s not worth saying. But then the FIFA president is so thick-skinned it’s actually worth saying twice: Mr. Blatter, your time is up.

Why? Because the corruption charges against current and former FIFA vice presidents and others reflect an organization rotten to its core, operating in the absence of any meaningful oversight, without term limits for a president whose salary is of course unknown (but estimated by Bloomberg to be “in the low double-digit” millions), overseeing $5.72 billion in partially unaccounted revenue for the four years to December 2014, governing a sport in which matches and World Cup venues and in fact just about everything appears to have been up for sale, burying a report it commissioned by a former United States attorney into the bidding process for the next two World Cups, and generally operating in a culture of cavalier disdain personified by Blatter, whose big cash awards to soccer federations in poorer countries have turned the delegates from many of FIFA’s 209 member associations into his fawning acolytes.

UPDATE III: FIFA Arrests: Meet the 14 People Indicted by the Department of Justice.

The 14 people indicted in the global crackdown of FIFA corruption covers a dozen nationalities, although authorities allege the crimes and payments were carried out in the U.S. via American banks.

Seven were arrested in Zurich by Swiss authorities at the request of the U.S. Four other individuals and corporate defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc., Traffic Sports International Inc. and Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate the Traffic Group have already pleaded guilty, according to an indictment unsealed today.

1. Jeffrey Webb, 50, Cayman Islands:
2. Jack Warner, 72, Trinidad and Tobago:
3. Aaron Davidson, 44, USA:
4. Nicholas Leoz, 86, Paraguay:
5. Eduardo Li, 56, Costa Rica:
6. Alejandro Burzaco, 50, Argentina:
7. Eugenio Figueredo, 83, USA and Uruguay:
8. Jose Maria Marin, 83, Brazil:
9. Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua:
10. Rafael Esquivel, 68, Venezuela:
11. Costas Takkas, 58, United Kingdom:
12. Hugo Jinkis, 70, Argentina:
13. Mariano Jinkis, 40, Argentina:
14. José Margulies, 75, Brazil:

Daily Commentary – Wednesday, May 27, 2015 – Ohio Man Finds 21 Year Old Message in a Film Cannister

 
  • While looking for mushrooms in Western Michigan, Terry Smith found the camera case with the messages after it had traveled 40 miles down the Grand River



Daily Commentary – Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Download

STRIKE 2: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Deals Another Blow to Barack Obama’s Executive Amnesty

 

STRIKE 2: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today told Barack Obama where he can stick his pen …

Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States has dealt Barack Obama’s Executive order on Amnesty a tremendous blow. Two of three judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans sided on the rule of law and the US Constitution. Judges Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Elrod both ruled and refused to lift an injunction against President Obama’s deportation amnesty and said the president’s new program, known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), is a binding policy that should have gone through the usual public notice and comment period instead of being announced unilaterally by Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson late last year

A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied the Obama administration’s request to lift a hold on the president’s executive actions on immigration, which would have granted protection from deportation as well as work permits to millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

Two of three judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, left in place an injunction by a Federal District Court judge in Brownsville, Tex. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states against actions President Obama took in November. Many of the initiatives were scheduled to take effect this month.

The appeals court found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed.

Also denied was a request by the administration to limit the injunction to the states bringing the lawsuit. The ruling is a second setback for programs the president hoped would be a major piece of his legacy, raising new uncertainty about whether they will take effect before the end of his term and casting doubts on the confidence of administration lawyers that their case was very strong.

Remember when Obama said he didn’t have the power to pass such amnesty and then did it anyhow?

IRS Hacked … Says Thieves Stole Tax Info From 100,000 Taxpayers

 

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Scratch that … IRS HACKED.

Reason number one why I would never use the IRS electronic filing system. The IRS is admitting that they were hacked and the E-thieves stole the tax information of over 100,000 taxpayers. According to reports, the hackers used the website app service called “Get Transcript”to gain access. The IRS states that the hackers used this app to download forms full of personal information between February and May of 2015.

It’s only a matter of time before the IRS blames this on their budget that was cut.

ABC News:

Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part of an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.

The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said.

“We’re confident that these are not amateurs,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with.”

Koskinen wouldn’t say whether investigators believe the criminals are based overseas — or where they obtained enough personal information about the taxpayers to access their returns. The IRS has launched a criminal investigation. The agency’s inspector general is also investigating.

Police Officer Shot and Killed in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

 

DO POLICE  LIVES MATTER?

A police officer has been shot and killed Monday night in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Although the name of the deceased has not yet been released, it is reported that he was a four-year veteran of the force and also served in the Air Force.

Crime Scene

Police in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, are searching for a man who shot and killed an on-duty officer Monday night.

Chief Michael Geier said the man fled the scene in a Dodge pickup. Authorities are questioning a person in connection with incident.

Elijah Ortiz y Pino heard four gunshots and then came around a corner to see someone giving CPR to an officer.

Police hunt man who killed New Mexico officer.

Police in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, are searching for a man who shot and killed an on-duty officer Monday night.

Chief Michael Geier said the man fled the scene in a Dodge pickup. Authorities are questioning a person in connection with incident.

Elijah Ortiz y Pino heard four gunshots and then came around a corner to see someone giving CPR to an officer.

Tragically, a total of 46 officers have died in the line of duty in 2015. The police officer shooting death in New Mexico comes on the foot-heals of the shooting death of a New Orleans area officer was shot and killed on Sunday as he sat in his car

#Boycott PacSun … Retailer PacSun Disrespects America and Those Who Fought and Died to Keep USA Free … Feels the Wrath of Customers After Stores Shill Upside Down American Flag T-Shirt on Memorial Day Weekend

 

IDIOTS … YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARKET THIS T-SHIRT AND AMERICA HAS THE SAME RIGHT TO NEVER, EVER SHOP AT PAC SUN EVER AGAIN.

Are you serious? The retailer PacSun thought it in their best interest to display a t-shirt on Memorial Day weekend of an up-side down American flag. Really? This is how you disrespect the memories of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep America free? Just what kind of a bunch of dirt-bags are you? Although, you have every right to market and sell what ever you damn well please, as American men and women have spilled their blood to give you that right, “We the People” also have every to boycott your stores and never, ever, ever buy another thing from you.

#BoycottPacSun

And personally, I do not care whether you decide to pull the article of clothing from your stores because of the massive backlash you are about to receive, you have shown exactly what you are. YOU ARE A DISGRACE!!! Is it bad enough that you would disgrace the American flag, but you do so on Memorial Day.

PAC SUN short_Flag_facebook

Pic: The Blaze via Facebook

The Blaze:

Retailer PacSun is feeling the wrath of customers and military veterans after a photo of a T-shirt on display in one of its stores on Memorial Day weekend went viral.

The shirt features an upside-down American flag, a symbol that U.S. Flag Code makes clear is only to be used “in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” The shirt was reportedly first spotted at the store’s location at Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama.

“Screw you PACSUN,” one Facebook user wrote in reply to the company’s “buy one, get one 50% off” Memorial Day promotion post. He signed his comment, “veteran.”

“As a combat veteran I refuse to step into your store ever again,” another apparent veteran wrote.

“Not shopping here anymore,” a disgruntled Facebook user added, echoing the sentiment of hundreds of others.

PACSUN shirt

UPDATE I: PacSun removes T-shirt featuring upside-down American flag following controversy.

A $24 T-shirt that was for sale online and at some PacSun stores could now cost the company thousands of dollars in lost sales.

The upside-down American flag upset one shopper in Alabama, who took to social media. Countless other shoppers chimed in tweeting “respect the flag #BoycottPacSun” and “there are repercussions to your free speech. I will never spend another penny there.”

On Monday afternoon, PacSun decided to stop selling the T-shirt and released the following statement to Eyewitness News: “As a retailer grounded in youth culture, PacSun values artistic and creative expression though the brands that we sell in our stores. Out of respect for those who have put their lives on the line for our country, we have decided to stop selling the licensed flag T-shirt and are removing it from our stores and website immediately. We thank the men and women in uniform for their extraordinary service.”

AMBER ALERT Issued for 9 Year Old Caitlyn Elizabeth Williams Missing Since 5/23/15 in Benbrook, TX (Update: Arrest Warrent Issued for Uncle, Jessie Nicholas Williams)(Update: Missing Girl Found Safe in Bossier City, Louisiana … Jessie Nicholas Williams Killed by Authorities)

 

An AMBER ALERT has been issued in Texas for 9 year old Caitlyn Elizabeth Williams who has been missing since Friday, May 23, 2015 in Benbrook, TX. Caitlyn Williams was last seen Friday, May 23 when she was supposed to spend the weekend with a friend, but did not return home Sunday. However, her parents did not report her missing until  Monday. Police say they discovered Caitlyn never made it to her friend’s house that Friday. The FBI has joined the investigation of her disappearance.

amber-alert-texas_Caitlyn Williams

UPDATE I: Police have issued an arrest warrant for the girl’s uncle, 24-year-old Jessie Nicholas Williams.

Police say Caitlyn and her uncle were spotted twice over the weekend, at a hotel and a hair salon.

Caitlyn is white, 4-foot-4 and about 95 pounds. She has long brown hair, but police suspect it may have been cut at the salon. She was wearing bluejeans and a yellow shirt with “Benbrook Field Day” written on it. She was last seen riding a pink, purple and white bicycle near her home in the 1100 block of Wade Hampton Street.

Jessie Williams is described as white, 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Caitlyn Williams_missing

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Williams, who’s accused of kidnapping his niece.

Benbrook police say they believe missing 9-year-old Caitlyn Williams’ hair may have been cut to change her appearance.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the girl, who police say was taken by her uncle, 24-year-old Jessie Nicholas Williams of Arlington. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Williams, who’s accused of kidnapping his niece.

According to Police Chief James Mills, the uncle and niece have been spotted twice in the North Texas area since she was last seen Friday afternoon.

They were first spotted at a hotel on Altamesa Boulevard off Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, and were also seen at a beauty salon off Bryant Irvin Road.

Police say the uncle, who has no history of mental illness, is driving a rented Chevy SUV.

UPDATE II: AMBER ALERT: Girl, abductor could be headed to Central Texas.

Anyone who sees either Caitlyn or her uncle can call Benbrook police at 817-249-6076 or 911

UPDATE III: Search for Benbrook girl ends at Louisiana motel.

Nine-year-old Caitlyn Williams, missing since Friday, was found safe in Bossier City, Louisiana on Tuesday, according to the Benbrook Police Department.

The suspect in the case and Caitlyn’s uncle, Jessie Nicholas Williams, was killed in a struggle with authorities.

An FBI task force member was shot in the leg during the incident, but he is expected to recover, a Benbrook police spokesman said. The federal agency confirmed to News 8 that tips led agents to the Louisiana motel. They had been tracking his cell phone and credit card activities.

Amber Alert: Girl Found Safe in Louisiana, Uncle Killed.

A missing 9-year-old Benbrook girl abducted by her uncle is safe in Bossier City, Louisiana, Benbrook police say, after her uncle was killed in a struggle with an FBI Task Force officer Tuesday afternoon.

Benbrook Police Officer Sandy Eubanks said Tuesday afternoon that a tip led law enforcement to a motel room where the girl’s uncle was killed during a struggle with law enforcement.

“The Amber Alert that was issued resulted in numerous tips that led officers to a motel room in Bossier City, Louisiana. Just a little bit earlier, the FBI attempted to take the suspect into custody. An FBI Task Force officer was shot and wounded and the suspect was killed. The child was safely recovered,” Eubanks said.

The wounded officer, whose name has not been released, was shot in the leg and is expected to recover.  Police were not able to comment on the condition of the 9-year-old girl, though they did say she is expected to be reunited with her parents in North Texas soon.

Daily Commentary – Tuesday, May 26, 2015 – New Orleans Police Officer Shot Dead While Parked In Police Cruiser (Update: Officer ID’d as (HANO) Police Officer James Bennett, Jr.)

 
  • The hunt is on for the suspect who shot and killed a New Orleans Housing Authority Officer while on duty 05/24/15

Daily Commentary – Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Download

UPDATE I: The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office identified the victim Monday as 45 year old James Bennett, Jr. Rest in Peace.

The shooting was reported at 7 a.m. Sunday, the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. The victim’s car rolled forward and struck a curb after the shooting.

“The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement following the officer’s death. “Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer’s friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time.”

Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald Arrested & Charged with Domestic Violence and Child Endangerment in California … AGAIN!!! (Update: Bears Release McDonald)

 

HEY NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL, I KNOW ITS NOT SOMETHING AS SERIOUS, TERRIBLE AND VIOLENT AS DEFLATING A FOOTBALL, BUT MAYBE THIS ARREST OF RAY MCDONALD FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WILL BE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO SAY THAT HE BROKE NFL RULES AND PUNISH HIM, HMM? 

As Yogi Berra would say, it’s like deja vu all over again … Ray McDonald, the defensive end for the Chicago Bears was arrested Monday morning in San Jose, California for domestic violence. According to The Santa Clara Police Department, McDonald was arrested at 7 a.m. local time Monday in San Jose and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment.

ray-mcdonald-mug shot

Mug Shot photo of Ray McDonald released by the Santa Clara Police Department,
Monday, May 25, 2015.

Police say Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald has been accused of domestic violence in California, the latest arrest for the former San Francisco 49er.

The Santa Clara Police Department confirmed that McDonald was arrested at 7 a.m. local time Monday in San Jose and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment. He will be booked at the Santa Clara County Jail.

According to Santa Clara police, McDonald was arrested after officers said he “physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby.” Police were called to an apartment in Santa Clara, California, but found that McDonald had left and was later found at a home in San Jose.

The San Jose address at which McDonald was arrested is that of a house that belongs to ex-49ers teammate Justin Smith, according to property records. Smith has not been implicated in the incident in any way.

This was not the first time that Ray McDonald finds himself in trouble with the law. The San Fransisco 49ers cut McDonald following his previous arrest for domestic violence.

UPDATE I: Bears Release Ray McDonald After Domestic Violence Arrest.

The Chicago Bears rolled the dice on signing defensive end Ray McDonald after a history of domestic abuse accusations and arrests, and on Monday their gamble didn’t pay off as the team released McDonald following a domestic violence arrest.

“We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear,” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. “He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him.”

Well isn’t that something and a change of heart from the fickle Chicago Bears. Wasn’t it just back in March that Chicago Bears team chairman George McCaskey was singing the praises of  Ray McDonald and that he said he was “impressed” at “how sincere he was and how motivated he is”. Remember that Mr. McCaskey? Guess what, YOU WERE WRONG!!!

McCaskey acknowledged in March that he changed his mind about McDonald after their face-to-face meeting and a phone call to McDonald’s parents.

“We have a 96-year tradition of doing things a certain way, of bringing a certain type of player into our team,” McCaskey said at the time. “And those were my concerns going into the conversation with Ray. But I think you look at every situation individually. You try to find out as much information as you can that’s reliable to make the best decision you can about whether to offer a player the privilege of becoming a Chicago Bear.

“I was impressed with how sincere he was and how motivated he is. He understands, I think, that he could have well been facing the end of his football career. And he loves football, and he wants that career to continue. So I was impressed with his motivation.”

3 Dead After Record Breaking Storms in Texas & Oklahoma; 12 Missing in Hays County

 

TEXAS – OKLAHOMA FLOODS …

Total devastation in Texas and Oklahoma, some dead and many still missing as rising flood waters ravaged and destroyed buildings and homes.

Hays County, Texas suffered extensive damage following torrential rain that destroyed more than 350 homes and displaced 1,000 residents, leaving several missing, including the family of a former Nueces County commissioner. There are a reported 12 people missing in Hays County, Texas. The Blanco River, which flows through San Marcos, shot past its previous flood record of 33.3 feet to 40.21 feet late Saturday. Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in 24 counties, including Hays and Houston, where heavy winds damaged an apartment building and left two people injured Sunday.

VIDEO – USA TODAY

Record-setting rains left officials in Texas and Oklahoma scrambling to assess the scope of the damage and destruction Monday as an emergency coordinator told reporters that a dozen people were missing in one county.

The 12 people missing in Hays County, Texas, come from families who had gathered for the long weekend, said Ken Bell, emergency coordinator for San Marcos, one of the cities hardest hit by the storms and flooding.

The group likely includes children, Bell said.

A day after severe weather left three people dead and washed away hundreds of homes in Texas and Oklahoma, the storms are easing up.

But it doesn’t mean the threat is gone.

The torrents that those storms dumped are still too much for river and creek banks to contain, and runoff was peaking early Monday, threatening continued flooding, the National Weather Service warned.

SUV Swept Away In Texas Floods

Walmart at Texas 80 and Blanco River

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