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Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah charged in wire fraud scheme

The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah has been arrested and charged with running a wide-ranging telemarketing fraud scheme. Shah faces charges alongside her assistant, Stuart Smith, who was also featured on the reality TV franchise. Shah and Smith have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering for allegedly selling “lead lists” for business opportunities that were nonexistent. The pair is accused of defrauding hundreds of victims, the Justice Department said. 

The indictment (which can be viewed here) alleges the two carried out the scheme from at least 2012, in which they “generated and sold lead lists to other participants for use by their telemarketing sales floors with the knowledge that the individuals they had identified as ‘leads’ would be defrauded by the other participants.” The scheme involved selling services claiming to help victims manage their online businesses and make them more profitable. In reality, the “‘services’ would provide little or no value to the victims’ businesses.”

Shah’s extravagant lifestyle was featured prominently in “Real Housewives” series, showing her hosting elaborate parties, buying designer outfits and employing a group of assistants who traveled with her.

Jen Shah, RHOSLC star, arrested for wire fraud

Via www.nbcnews.com
 

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Media allowed into migrant facility in Texas crowded with over 4,000 adults and children

For the first time on Tuesday, the Biden administration allowed journalists inside its main border detention facility for migrant children. U.S. Customs and Border Protection allowed two journalists from The Associated Press and a crew from CBS to tour the facility in Donna, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal crossings.  Thousands of children and families have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks and packing facilities, and the White House has been under pressure to bring more transparency to the process. 

The visit to the facility revealed a tent structure severely overcrowded with more than 4,100 people, including children and families. The facility is intended for 250. Most were unaccompanied children processed in tents before being taken to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services and then placed with a family member, relative or sponsor. The children were being housed by the hundreds in eight “pods” formed by plastic dividers, each about 3,200 square feet (297 square meters) in size. Many of the pods had more than 500 children in them.

Biden has declined to resume the Trump administration’s practice of expelling unaccompanied immigrant children. Several hundred kids and teenagers are crossing the border daily, and parents refused entry into the U.S. have sent their children across the border alone, hoping they will be placed with relatives eventually.

1st news media allowed inside overcrowded migrant facility under Biden

Via abcnews.go.com
 

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Darren Till vs. Marvin Vettori canceled at UFC Fight Night main event

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event on April 10 between middleweights Darren Till and Marvin Vettori has been canceled. Till was ruled out of the contest due to a collarbone injury, according to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting. 

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and his coaches had called Till as the “front-runner” to be his next opponent. Vettori, the No. 6 middleweight, is 4-0 since falling to Adesanya in 2018. Till is 1-3 in his last four and enters off last summer’s loss to Robert Whittaker. 

Other recent losses came in matchups with Jorge Masvidal and Tyron Woodley, who he fought for the welterweight title in 2018. But the No. 5 middleweight is capable of more, considering he went 5-0-1 to start his UFC career. 

Darren Till out of UFC main event vs. Marvin Vettori on April 10 due to broken collarbone

Via www.espn.com
 

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NFL owners ratify 17-game schedule for 2021 season

NFL owners approved to add a 17th game to the schedule beginning in 2021, the NFL’s first significant regular-season schedule change since 1978. The change will also result in the league reducing preseason games from four to three — the maximum amount of games the new CBA allows. 

One of the biggest changes to the schedule will be the interconference alignment for the 17th game. Teams will play five interconference games instead of four as AFC teams will get the home game for the 2021 season (which will rotate to the NFC the following season). The NFC East will play the AFC East, NFC West vs AFC North, NFC South vs. AFC South, and NFC North vs. AFC West — as the matchups are determined from division finish from the 2020 season.  Under new the scheduling formula, every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.

The season will begin on Sept. 9, with the conclusion of the regular season on Jan. 9. The NFL postseason would start the weekend of Jan. 15-17 and Super Bowl LVI would be played on Feb. 13, 2022 — the latest Super Bowl kickoff ever.

Breaking: NFL Owners Approve 17-Game Season for 2021

Via www.si.com
 

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White House to launch major push to expand offshore wind power

The White House on Monday launched an ambitious program to greatly boost the development of offshore wind power in the United States, initially focusing on the Eastern Seaboard. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other administration officials said the plan calls for deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power across the country by 2030. The United States currently has only 28 megawatts of capacity and one functioning offshore wind farm.

Officials estimate that reaching the goals will create more than $12 billion annually in capital investment along both U.S. coasts and create tens of thousands of jobs in the industry and in spin-off areas. McCarthy said in a statement issued by the White House: “President Biden has declared very clearly that when he thinks of climate, he thinks of people and jobs — good-paying, union jobs.”

Biden administration plans major reboot for U.S. offshore wind power

Via www.nbcnews.com
 

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President Biden calls for state mask mandates following CDC director warning of COVID-19 surge

President Biden is calling on states to reinstate mask mandates following a warning from the CDC about the possibility of a new surge in COVID-19 cases. 

The President said on Monday said ‘this is not a time to lessen our efforts’ in the COVID-19 pandemic, adding he agrees with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s comments in which she expressed a feeling ‘of impending doom’ about COVID-19 cases ticking up in the United States.  Biden said:  ‘Our work is far from over. The war against COVID-19 is far from won. This is deadly serious … If we let our guard down now, we could see a virus getting worse, not better.’ 

Biden also criticized ‘some of the reckless behavior we’ve seen on television over the past few weeks,’ and called on states that have lifted their mask mandates to reinstate them. The CDC previously warned against states rolling back COVID-19 restrictions too soon, and Walensky on Monday pleaded with Americans to ‘just please hold on a little while longer. We must work together now to prevent a fourth surge.’ 

Biden calls for mask mandates, CDC director fears ‘impending doom’ from COVID surge

Via abcnews.go.com
 

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Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka advance to Miami Open quarterfinals

The No. 1 seeded women’s tennis player in the world Ash Barty defeated Victoria Azarenka in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2021 Miami Open on Monday in Miami Gardens, Fla. No. 2 seeded Naomi Osaka also advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight sets win over Elise Mertens, 

Barty defeated Azarenka 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 in a match that lasted nearly two hours;  She is the defending champion of the tournament, which was last played in 2019 after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Barty will face No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals.

Osaka beat Mertens 6-3, 6-3; she had three aces, three double faults and converted five of 14 break points in the win.  Osaka faces Jessica Pegula or Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals Wednesday in Miami Gardens.

Miami Open Masters 2021 Results: Naomi Osaka’s Win Highlights Monday’s Action

Via bleacherreport.com
 

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MLB relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for vaccinated players, coaches and staff

MLB players who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will have more relaxed protocols that will allow them to “mostly restore their normal lives. In a memo sent to teams Monday, MLB “strongly encouraged” players and team staff to get vaccinated and outlined the new guidelines for individuals who are vaccinated or are part of a team that has 85 percent of individuals in Tier 1 fully vaccinated.

Individuals who meet the new requirements can gather in hotel rooms and exercise without masks. They will also be allowed to go out to restaurants and meet outside with anyone while traveling, and they won’t have to inform a compliance officer when they leave the team hotel. Carpools and card games on airplanes can resume, while teams with 85 percent of Tier 1 individuals vaccinated will be allowed to go maskless in dugouts and bullpens.

Those players will only have to test for COVID-19 twice per week and will not be required to quarantine if they are determined to be a close contact of someone with the virus, provided they are asymptomatic.

MLB relaxes protocols for vaccinated players

Via www.espn.com
 

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Helicopter crashes in Alaska glacier killing 5, seriously injuring 1

Five people were killed and one was hospitalized following a helicopter crash in an Alaskan glacier, officials said. The Alaska Department Of Public Safety said Alaska State Troopers were alerted Saturday night of reports of an overdue helicopter and crash in the Knik Glacier, roughly 54 miles east of Anchorage. 

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center dispatched a rescue team and found five occupants dead. One survivor was found and transported to a hospital. They are in serious but stable condition, as of Sunday afternoon, the department of public safety said.

5 dead after helicopter crash in Alaskan glacier

Via abcnews.go.com
 

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Nashville experiencing ‘life-threatening’ flooding with at least 4 people dead and over 100 rescued

Torrential rains across Tennessee flooded homes and left roads impassable, prompting over 100 people to be rescued in the Nashville area. Authorities said four were found dead on Sunday in the flood’s aftermath. Mayor John Cooper said at a news conference Sunday that Nashville received more than 7 inches of rain, the second-highest two-day rainfall total ever recorded.

Nashville Fire Chief William Swann said at least 130 people were rescued from cars, apartments and homes, while about 40 dogs were moved from a Nashville boarding kennel, Camp Bow Wow, to another location. Mayor Cooper said first responders are working with the Red Cross to canvass affected neighborhoods. Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said three bodies were found after Seven Mile Creek flooded. The body of a 70-year-old man, a 46-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man. Drake said a 65-year-old man’s body was found on a golf course. 

Many rivers and creeks were at or near their highest level since 2010, according to the National Weather Service. Floods in May 2010 caused 21 deaths in Tennessee and an estimated $1.5 billion in damage in Nashville.

At least four people dead, 130 rescued after Nashville floods

Via www.nbcnews.com
 

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