Monthly Archives: September 2017

Sports Corruption Ending?..FBI brings Armageddon to college basketball, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg


The federal government dropped a bomb on college basketball Tuesday, indicting 10 men in a wide-spread fraud and bribery scheme involving top recruits, college programs, agents, financial planners and the shoe and apparel company Adidas.

It’s thorough. It’s ugly. It’s unprecedented.

“Fraud and corruption in the world of college basketball,” Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney said at a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Assistant coaches at ArizonaAuburnOklahoma State and USC were all arrested and their programs are almost certainly in dire straights with both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and NCAA. The evidence here is based on an undercover FBI agent, wiretapped phones, recordings, written communication and financial transaction data. The feds win nearly every case for a reason. And the indicted haven’t even started flipping yet.

Also in the crossfire is so-called “University 2,” which in the complaints is described in a way that resembles the University of South Carolina and only the University of South Carolina – “a public research university located in South Carolina … with over 30,000 students …”

Then there is “University 6” which is described in a way that resembles the University of Louisville and only the University of Louisville, linking it to a $100,000 payout for one recruit and a potential $150,000 payout for another, all while on probation for a scandal involving using prostitutes to lure other recruits. “University 6” doesn’t appear to be in any legal trouble, yet, but the NCAA is another story.

Reading between the lines, it’s clear that Rick Pitino’s Louisville program has been caught up in an FBI probe that rocked the college basketball world Tuesday. (AP)

The above alone consist of a national championship program with a Hall of Fame coach (Louisville), a Final Four team from 2017 (South Carolina), historic powerhouses (Arizona, Oklahoma State), as well as major schools (USC and Auburn) with a history of NCAA problems.

Death penalty. Postseason bans. Mass firings. It’s going to be a scorched earth, the bill coming due on a sport that has operated in the shadows of corruption for generations.

Yet for college hoops none of it represents the scariest part of the three complaints laid out by the DOJ on Tuesday. This, a statement by said undercover FBI agent, should terrify every coach in America:

“Because this affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause, it does not include all of the facts that I have learned during the court of the investigation.”

Meaning, this is the tip of the iceberg.

“Our investigation is ongoing,” FBI assistant director Bill Sweeney warned. “And we are currently conducting interviews.”

“If you yourself engaged in these activities, I’d encourage you to call us,” said Kim, the Acting U.S. Attorney. “I think it’s better than us calling you.”

The operation that the feds laid out is college basketball recruiting 101. It began when a prominent financial planner from the sports world was ensnared in a securities fraud case and turned into a cooperating witness. He was able to bring an undercover FBI agent along as a supposed assistant for meetings, payouts, recorded conversations and so on.

Top basketball talent is worth more on the open market than the NCAA limit of scholarship, room, board and a small stipend. NCAA limits are an attempt to stop the wheels of capitalism, which like floodwater will simply readjust and go where it wants.

A top high school player can make a school and its coaches millions. His future potential can make shoe companies and others even more. His likely NBA earnings in this era of the one-and-done make him a coveted future client for agents, financial planners, even clothiers, real estate agents and car salesmen.

Families, aware of their son’s worth, have their hands out.

“The mom is like … we need our [expletive] money,” sports agent Christian Dawkins is alleged to have said during a July 27 meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room about the mother of a top recruit in the class of 2019, according to the indictment.

It came during a meeting between Dawkins, Brad Augustine, a prominent Florida-based travel team basketball coach, an assistant coach from “University 6,” the cooperating financial planner and the undercover FBI agent, who recorded it and bugged the room.

Paying the family to go to a certain school not only aids the school’s team on the basketball court, it builds up the relationship between the player/family and the assistant coach. The school gets a great talent, while the assistant coach creates additional trust with the player/family.

Those college coaches then receive kickbacks ($13,000 here, $9,000 there, according to the indictments) from Adidas or the agents/financial planner to steer the player to them when he reaches the NBA. A young player turning pro will almost always seek guidance on who should represent him, or who can give him a good deal on a car or a draft night suit.

One hand washes the other. Rinse and repeat.

None of this is any surprise for anyone who follows the sport. Proving it, though, has always been nearly impossible … neither the NCAA nor investigative reporters have the resources of the FBI, nor the ability to provide the legal pressure that flips someone into a cooperating witness.

So now the lid is off the jar and where this ends is anyone’s guess.

Tuesday, college coaches were calling emergency staff meetings and coaches at all levels were consulting attorneys. This is an entirely different level than anyone has seen before, not a mostly toothless NCAA, but a motivated FBI and U.S. Attorney in New York looking to make a big media splash.

And splash they will. Even if there aren’t legal ramifications for everyone, the recruiting dirt that is about to get turned over will be unprecedented. The code of silence that has protected the sport and the NCAA’s system of “amateurism” is about to be cracked into a million pieces under FBI questioning, where a single lie is a felony.

The NCAA may be backed into a corner where it needs to blow up one of its signature revenue producers. And financial planners don’t just care about basketball. Football players make big money, too.

In basketball, nearly everyone has recruited Brad Augustine’s “1 Family Hoops” out of Florida, which is annually loaded with talent as one of Adidas’ signature programs. Nearly everyone knows powerful Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was arrested, too. All of the indictments Tuesday stem mostly from the acts of one financial planner and one agent.

There are many more who operate the same way. Who knows when the heat shifts to them.

Big, bigger … biggest scandal ever.

Tuesday was Armageddon for college basketball. Tomorrow and the tomorrow after that and the tomorrow after that promise to be worse.

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Russia Has a Destroyed Nuclear Submarine (Loaded with Nuclear Weapons) Lying at the Bottom of the Sea.


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Only four men had been killed in the incident so far, but after the submarine sank many men succumbed to the thirty-six-degree (Fahrenheit) water temperatures. After an hour the fishing boats Alexi Khlobystov and Oma arrived and rescued thirty men, some of whom later succumbed to their injuries. Of the original sixty-nine men on board the submarine when disaster struck, forty-two died, including Captain First Rank Vanin.

In the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union constructed a super submarine unlike any other. Fast and capable of astounding depths for a combat submersible, the submarine Komsomolets was introduced in 1984, heralded as a new direction for the Soviet Navy.

Five years later, Komsomolets and its nuclear weapons were on the bottom of the ocean, two-thirds of its crew killed by what was considered yet another example of Soviet incompetence.

The history of the Komsomolets goes as far back as 1966. A team at the Rubin Design Bureau under N. A. Klimov and head designer Y. N. Kormilitsin was instructed to begin research into a Project 685, a deep-diving submarine. The research effort dragged on for eight years, likely due to a lack of a suitable metal that could withstand the immense pressures of the deep. In 1974, however, the double-hulled design was completed, with a titanium alloy chosen for the inner hull.

Project 685, also known as K-278, was to be a prototype boat to test future deep-diving Soviet submarines. The Sevmash shipyard began construction on April 22, 1978 and the ship was officially completed on May 30, 1983. The difficulty in machining titanium contributed to the unusually long construction period.

K-278 was 360 feet long and forty feet wide, with the inner hull approximately twenty-four feet wide. It had a submerged displacement of 6,500 tons, and the use of titanium instead of steel made it notably lighter. It had a unique double hull, with the inner hull made of titanium, that gave it its deep-diving capability. The inner hull was further divided into seven compartments, two of which were reinforced to create a safe zone for the crew, and an escape capsule was built into the sail to allow the crew to abandon ship while submerged at depths of up to 1,500 meters.

The submarine was powered by one 190-megawatt OK-650B-3 nuclear pressurized water reactor, driving two forty-five-thousand-shipboard-horsepower steam-turbine engines. This propelled it to a submerged speed of thirty knots, and a surface speed of fourteen knots.

The sub had the MGK-500 “Skat” (NATO code name: Shark Gill) low-frequency passive/active search and attack spherical bow array sonar system, the same sonar used in today’s Yasen-class attack submarines, which fed into the Omnibus-685 Combat Information Control System. Armament consisted of six 533-millimeter standard diameter torpedo tubes, including twenty-two Type 53 torpedoes and Shkval supercavitating antisubmarine torpedoes.

The submarine joined the Red Banner Northern Fleet in January 1984 and began a series of deep diving experiments. Under Captain First Rank Yuri Zelensky the submarine set a record depth of 3,346 feet—an astounding accomplishment considering its American equivalent, the USS Los Angeles class, had an absolute maximum depth of 1,475 feet. Crush depth was estimated at approximately 4,500 feet. The submarine had a special surfacing system, “Iridium,” which used gas generators to blow the ballast tanks.

The Soviet Navy considered K-278 invulnerable at depths greater than one thousand meters; at such depths it was difficult to detect and enemy torpedoes, particularly the American Mark 48, which had a maximum depth of eight hundred meters. Although the submarine was originally to be a test ship, it was eventually made into a fully operational combat-ready ship in 1988. It was given the name Komsomolets, meaning “member of the Young Communist League.”

On April 7, 1989, while operating a depth of 1266 feet, Komsomolets ran into trouble in the middle of the Norwegian Sea. According to Norman Polmar and Kenneth Moore, it was the submarine’s second crew, newly trained in operating the ship. Furthermore, its origins as a test ship meant it lacked a damage-control party.

A fire broke out in the seventh aft chamber, and the flames burned out an air supply valve, which fed pressurized air into the fire. Fire suppression measures failed. The reactor was scrammed and the ballast tanks were blown to surface the submarine. The fire continued to spread, and the crew fought the fire for six hours before the order to abandon ship was given. According to Polmar and Moore, the fire was so intense that crewmen on deck watched as the rubber anechoic coating tiles coating the outer hull slid off due to the extreme heat.

The ship’s commanding officer, Captain First Rank Evgeny Vanin, along with four others, went back into the ship to find crew members who had not heard the abandon ship order. Vanin and his rescue party were unable to venture farther—the submarine was tilting eighty degrees headfirst—and entered the rescue chamber. The chamber failed to dislodge at first, but eventually broke free of the mortally wounded sub. Once on the surface, the abrupt pressure change caused the top hatch to blow off, throwing two crew members out of the chamber. The chamber, as well as the captain and the rest of the rescue party, sank under the waves.

Only four men had been killed in the incident so far, but after the submarine sank many men succumbed to the thirty-six-degree (Fahrenheit) water temperatures. After an hour the fishing boats Alexi Khlobystov and Oma arrived and rescued thirty men, some of whom later succumbed to their injuries. Of the original sixty-nine men on board the submarine when disaster struck, forty-two died, including Captain First Rank Vanin.

Komsomolets sank in 5,250 feet of water, complete with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear-armed Shkval torpedoes. Between 1989 and 1998 seven expeditions were carried out to secure the reactor against radioactive release and seal the torpedo tubes. Russian sources allege that during these visits, evidence of “unauthorized visits to the sunken submarine by foreign agents” were discovered.

Categories: Strange News, Submarine, sunken ships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORRIFIC FLESH-EATING PARASITE CALLED “THE NEXT PLAGUE” COULD SPREAD IN U.S., SPURRING VACCINE EFFORT.


GettyImages-1516298An Afghan mother holds her son who has Leishmaniasis as they wait for treatment at the Health Net Clinic October 23, 2002 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite transmitted by the sandfly resulting in a harsh-looking ulcer.

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Leishmania is the second-most deadly parasite in the world. According to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Institute, 20,000-30,000 people die from Leishmaniasis annually. Other estimates put the annual death toll at 50,000. About 350 million people are at risk across an estimated 90 countries, and some scientists have called the parasite the next plague. If you are infected with the visceral variety of Leishmaniasis and don’t treat it, you will likely die within a few months.

With mounting fears about a future increase in U.S. cases, a group of scientists in Georgia is racing to create a vaccine—and their new study shows they may be almost there.

Female sandflies transmit leishmania when they bite people, and the painful disease the parasite causes comes in three varieties. Visceral leishmaniasis, which attacks internal organs, is deadly.  With mucosal leishmaniasis, the parasite spreads along the moist surfaces of the body—the linings of the mouth and throat, for example—and can scar these mucus membranes. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, the most common form, produces bumpy and cratered lesions. “People suffer a lot because [leishmaniasis] kills slowly and most of the time it devastates your face,” Alexandre Marques, a parasitology professor at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, told Newsweek.

The treatment has problems of its own, largely because the disease is most prevalent in developing nations. The medication for leishmaniasis is fairly effective and affordable, but only for those who can easily access hospitals with trained staff and enough of a supply. And a course of treatment takes four weeks, which can be financially devastating. But if patients discontinue treatment too early, they may relapse.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology appear on the brink of creating a successful vaccine that could prevent people from being affected with Leishmaniasis in the first place. As described in their study published today in ACS Central sciencethe researchers injected virus-like particles into 12 mice genetically engineered to have immune systems similar to humans. The approach was designed to attract major immune system forces to attack Leishmania. Another 12 mice were unvaccinated.

After infecting all 24 mice with Leishmania parasites, none of the vaccinated mice developed the disease. All 12 of the unvaccinated ones developed the sickness.

However, mice aren’t people. We don’t know how long it will take before enough tests show that the vaccine is safe and effective in humans. Marques, who was also part of the research team, laments that current funding is not sufficient enough to support further research.

Will this parasite start affecting Americans? People who engage in ecotourism (traveling to pristine areas in an environmentally responsible manner) have already come home with the sickness. The increase in U.S. cases was significant enough to trigger the country’s first-ever guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of leishmaniasis.

And some experts are concerned that warming temperatures could expand the habitat of the insect vector. The parasite cannot be transmitted between people, only from certain species of sandflies, and these species live in tropical and subtropical regions. But if the climate warms enough, the flies could extend their range to the southern United States, and bring the deadly, flesh-eating parasite with them.

Recent history shows how readily the disease can spread. Last year, leishmaniasis moved across the Middle East by refugees fleeing Syria. For those who survive the infection, the resulting disfigurement can be devastating.

Categories: Illegals, Immigration, Middle East, Strange News, Syria, Terrorists, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s How Much Illegal Immigration Costs Us Every Year..$30 Billion


REPORT: Here’s How Much Illegal Immigration Costs Us Every Year

President Donald Trump’s promise to shut down the government if Democrats fail to fund construction of the planned wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is starting to look even better, with a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

The collection of studies details how tax credits received by illegal immigrants and wage write-offs that U.S companies claim in their illegal employment costs American taxpayers almost $30 billion a year.

The price

With the annual costs of building the southern border wall projected at just $6.2 billion a year for 3.5 years, the impact in savings from reduced immigration should quickly neutralize construction costs. The new CIS report includes recommendations to Congress for shutting down loopholes that both illegal immigrants and U.S. companies which hire undocumented workers benefit from through the IRS.

In addition to these tax savings, American workers stand to benefit from the wages that are appropriated by illegal immigrants every year. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that up to $118 billion in annual wages goes to foreign laborers who lack the credentials required to work every day in America.

The president, who made tax reform a key agenda item during his 2016 campaign, is likely to respond with executive action to the CIS report.

A “Backgrounder” article published on the CIS webpage states:

The economic rewards of unauthorized employment of aliens are not limited to the higher wages of the illegal workers and the lower labor costs of their employers. Unauthorized alien workers and their employers also enjoy multi-billion dollar tax deductions and tax credits that were enacted into law for the benefit of law-abiding workers and businesses.

Closing the loophole

This report says nothing about the variety of indirect ways that immigration negatively affects the economy, however. An earlier studyfrom a conservative advocacy organization estimated that illegal immigrants cost American taxpayers $100 billion a year.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), most of these costs are associated with the “underground economy,” or strains on the economy that affect secondary financial systems. For example, the inflation of vehicle insurance costs that comes from millions of uninsured, illegal immigrant motorists.

FAIR also cited costs that come from high incarceration rates among immigrant populations and welfare programs designed to assist unemployed immigrant families.

An illegal immigrant breaks the law during their very first act as a visitor to the U.S. by crossing the border without authorization. Soon after, if this same immigrant decides to seek employment as an undocumented worker, they will have broken the law a second time by refusing to pay taxes.

It is just as criminal that American corporations may depend on saving money from immigrant labor before applying for federal tax credits for doing so. The implementation of tax laws to prevent the abuses of this system has been needed for a very long time.

Categories: Congress, Democrats, Illegals, Immigration, Liberals, Obama, Terrorists, Uncategorized, Unlawfull | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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