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American Media CEO David Pecker Granted Immunity In Michael Cohen Case

David Pecker, the CEO of American Media Inc.,the publisher of the National Enquirer, has been granted immunity and is cooperating with federal prosecutors as part of the investigation of Michael Cohen and payments made to two women who claim to have had affairs with Donald Trump Court documents unsealed at the time of Cohen’s guilty plea earlier this week outline a pattern of cooperation between AMI and the Trump campaign starting in 2015. Prosecutors claim that AMI and the Enquirer tipped off the Trump campaign of potentially damaging stories. In the case of Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007, AMI’s Dylan Howard arranged a $150,000 payment for her limited life rights. Pecker is a friend of Trump’s and would have access to emails and other records to corroborate prosecutors’ claims about the payments and whether Trump was aware of them. ...Read more

Ex-Michigan State Gymnastics Coach Charged In Larry Nassar Case

A former Michigan State gymnastics coach was charged Thursday with lying to police during the investigation into the school’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Kathie Klages, who resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending Nassar, is now the third person other than Nassar to face criminal charges in the case. If convicted of the felony and misdemeanor counts, she could face up to four years in prison. Klages has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her that Nassar abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. It wasn’t immediately clear if Klages has a criminal defense lawyer. A message seeking comment Thursday was left with attorneys defending her in civil lawsuits. The charges were announced by special independent counsel Bill Forsyth, who was appointed by the state attorney general to investigate the university. ...Read more

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Set Nov. 23 Date For $9M Match-Play Event

Tiger Woods on Wednesday afternoon tweeted that the rumored winner-take-all match against Phil Mickelson will become a reality. The PGA Tour shortly after confirmed the news. The two golfing icons will play 18 holes in an event titled, “The Match.” MGM Resorts International will host the event on Friday, November 23, at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, the winner taking home $9 million. According to the PGA Tour, the event will be carried on pay-per-view and on-demand services. Woods, 42, and Mickelson, 48, are longtime competitors dating back to their days playing junior golf in Southern California. Their relationship has had it’s ups-and-downs but they are currently both involved in the United States teams for the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. ...Read more

‘Big Bang Theory’ to End in 2019 After 12-Season Run

CBS’ long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” will end after its upcoming 12th season. The final season will debut Monday Sept. 24, before moving to its regular Thursday time slot on Sept. 27. When the series ends next May, it will finish as the longest-running multi-camera series in television history with 279 episodes. In a joint statement, Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions said, “We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ during the past twelve seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to an epic creative close.” ...Read more

MLB Releases 2019 Schedule With Games In Monterrey, Mexico And More

Major league baseball will return to Monterrey, Mexico, for six games in 2019, starting with spring training games between Colorado and Arizona in March. In the regular season, Cincinnati will host St. Louis on April 13-14, and the Los Angeles Angels will play the Houston Astros on May 4-5. All games will be played at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey, the home of the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. The Rockies will be making their third trip to Mexico. The Diamondbacks have played 10 exhibition games there, all in Hermosillo. The Reds and Cardinals will be making their first trips to Mexico. The Angels and Astros have previously played exhibitions there. The Dodgers and Padres played a regular-season series in Monterrey in May. ...Read more

Ex-Brazil Soccer Boss Gets 4 Years In Prison In FIFA Probe

A former South American soccer official convicted on corruption charges in FIFA bribery scandal has been sentenced in New York to four years in prison. Jose Maria Marin, a former president of Brazil’s soccer federation, was sentenced on Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court.  Dozens of people and entities have been charged in the U.S. with a scheme to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.The former president of Peru’s soccer federation, Manuel Burga, was acquitted in December. ...Read more

Senate Democrats Call For Delaying The Hearings For Judge Kavanaugh’s Nomination To Supreme Court

A number of Democrats are calling for the Senate to delay the hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, this coming after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on charges including tax fraud. Additionally, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including two campaign finance violations involving payments to silence women who allegedly had an affair with President Trump before the 2016 election. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday that he believed the hearings should be delayed, in large part because Kavanaugh has previously shown support for the idea that a president cannot be indicted.  ...Read more

Actor Ben Affleck To Enter Rehab For Alcohol Addiction

Ben Affleck is heading back to rehab for the third time. The actor, 46, is seeking treatment for alcohol addiction. The move to enter a treatment facility came after his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, was photographed arriving at his home on Wednesday. The two were later seen leaving the house together. On Monday, the Justice League star was photographed receiving an alcohol delivery outside of his Brentwood, Calif. home. Affleck was seen outside of his house as he picked up a Pacifico beer-branded box filled with what appeared to be scotch whisky in a blue case and some other unidentifiable bottles. Affleck’s first time in rehab was in 2001, and then in March 2017, he announced that he had again completed treatment for alcohol addiction. ...Read more

Former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violations

Former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts, including two campaign finance violations involving payments to silence women he believed could be detrimental to the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen testified in federal court that Donald Trump himself directed Cohen to commit a crime.  Cohen’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12, with bail set at $500,0000. The government calculates he should spend between 51 and 63 months in prison. Federal prosecutors claimed Cohen concealed more than $4 million from the IRS and, in 2016, made $280,000 in payments to two women who planned to speak publicly about their affairs with a “presidential candidate.”  In all, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion; one count of making false statements to a financial institution; one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporation contribution; and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate. ...Read more

Current Miss America And Former Winners Demand Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson Resign Amid Bullying Accusations

Nineteen former Misses America are calling on leaders of the Miss America organization to step down amid allegations from reigning Miss America, Cara Mund, that she was subject to bullying. Mund claimed in a letter to former pageant winners she had been bullied, manipulated and silenced by leaders within the organization since receiving the crown, which top officials have vehemently denied. Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson said she was “surprised” and “saddened beyond words” by Mund’s accusations. She added that she has since reached out to Mund to discuss her concerns. Carlson previously hosted “The Real Story” and co-hosted “Fox and Friends.” She left Fox News in 2016, the same year she filed a sexual harassment suit against late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. On Jan. 1 of this year, Carlson, a former Miss America winner herself, announced her new role as chairwoman after crude emails from the organization’s executives, some involving vulgar comments about the pageant’s previous winners, surfaced. The scandal led to the resignation of CEO Sam Haskell, COO and President Josh Randle and board chair Lynn Weidner. ...Read more