Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo Found Guilty

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 2/13/19

Joaquin Guzmán, more known by his nickname “El Chapo”, has been found guilty on all ten counts and will be sentenced to spending the rest of his life in prison. Guzmán, who was the head of the Sinaloa cartel, the largest drug cartel in the world spanning continents and killing hundreds in the process, will be sentenced on June 25.

Meanwhile, his drug cartel operations will be unaffected, as the days leading up to his arrest saw him minimally involved in the matters. The trials, which have taken place for almost three months, saw many witnesses, both enemies and allies of Guzmán, recount his stories and crimes of drugs, weapons, and corruption in the Mexican government.

Defense Attorney Eduardo Balarezo said that he was “disappointed” at the decision of the judge, but he respected it. Another lawyer of Guzmán said that he was in a good mood after the trial. Multiple witnesses said that Guzmán smiled when walking past his wife, putting his hand on her heart. The same lawyer overheard Guzmán that he was “hopeful” about his sentencing later this year.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Wikipedia, FiveThirtyEight

PG&E Files for Bankruptcy After California Wild Fires

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 1/29/19

PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) filed for bankruptcy early this morning as claims grew of the 2018 California wildfires, or Camp Fire, being started by them. They announced that they were filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the amount of money they had to pay off in reparations for the disaster, going from the largest power company in the state to a now bankrupt business.

In a statement, PG&E CEO John Simon said that the company will work “to create a more sustainable foundation for the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable service.” They’ll file for bankruptcy under the Northern District of California, but have to wait through a 14-day process in order for it to be official.

The Camp Fire, which PG&E are claimed to be the starters, killed 86 people and destroyed over 14,000 homes. The company announced that bankruptcy is the only way they can fully pay off the reparations, and that they were currently seeking approval of a $5.5 Billion financing agreement.

Sources and Pictures: Wikipedia, CNN, Brainer D Dispatch, CNN Business

Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying on Russia Probe

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 11/30/18

Former Trump Campaign Attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty for lying under investigation for an alleged Trump Tower project in Moscow. Many prospects and journalists are calling this a major decision of Robert Mueller, head of the investigation into the Trump Campaign’s ties with Russia.

Months ago, Cohen had a testimony in front of Congress under oath for allegedly cooperating with the Russians in an effort to finalize a deal to build another Trump Tower in Moscow, and later admitted to Mueller that he had lied under oath about said deal.

As the Mueller investigation itself is drawing to a possible closure, there are still many questions that are still to be answered, including whether Trump himself or another closely related staffer or campaigner worked with Russia. President Trump tweeted, “This is an illegal Hoax that should be ended immediately,” late yesterday, as both sides of the aisle are voicing their opinions on the matter.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Wikipedia, CNN Politics, Flickr

12 Dead in Thousand Oaks, California Shooting

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 11/9/18

Over the night of Wednesday, the seventh, reports came in that shots were fired at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular venue for country music and dinner in Thousand Oaks, California, north of Los Angeles. Now after the shooting, twelve have been confirmed dead including multiple college students from nearby California – Lutheran as well as a police officer, although it’s uncertain whether he was on duty or not.

The shooter was later identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a veteran of the US Marine Corps who lived with his mom just minutes away from the bar. In fact, witnesses say that Long used to frequently travel to the bar, stating that “he was part of the community.” Long also had a marriage in 2009 but divorced in 2011 and later dissolved the marriage in 2013.

Long’s neighbor noted that his mom “lived in fear” of Long, as the neighbor noted, “it took half a day for the police to get him out of the house.” FBI agents confirmed after the shooting that Long took his own life after killing 12 others. The FBI also stated that there are no other dangers in the area and that service dogs and personnel will be deployed to help survivors.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, FBI, Wikimedia Commons

Audi CEO Rupert Sadler Arrested

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 6/18/18

Just hours ago, Audi CEO and Chairman Rupert Sadler was arrested in Germany in an investigation into diesel and emissions of the cars made by Audi. In a press release, a spokesman for Volkswagen (Audi’s parent company) Nicolai Laude confirmed that Sadler was arrested, but declined to comment on the current investigation.

Sadler had been CEO of Audi since the start of 2010, and had been promoted to CEO in the midst of Volkswagen’s alleged cheating in different emissions tests. From 2008 to 2015, Volkswagen allegedly installed software in their cars to cheat during emissions testing, when in reality the cars were said to pollute up “10 to 40 times more” than other cars, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whom made the allegations Sept. 18, 2015.

The arrest had also come just a week after prosecutors searched Sadler’s home for any evidence, and also just days after Germany placed a $1.2 Billion dollar penalty on Volkswagen for their alleged cheating and software used during emissions testing. All ready, Volkswagen’s stock in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange had fallen by more than 2%.

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, Flickr, CNBC, CNBC Explains, CNN Money, Wikipedia

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy out by Parliament Vote

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 5/1/18

Last night in Spain, Mariano Rajoy was ousted from his spot as Prime Minister of Spain by the country’s parliament based on previous corruption and scandals. In fact, Rajoy has become the first Prime Minister in Spain’s modern history (1977 – Now) to be ousted by the parliament.

In return, the leading candidate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), the main opposition of Rajoy’s party, the Popular Party, Pedro Sanchez, will become the next Prime Minister of Spain. Rajoy’s sudden replacement can be linked to previous scandals involving the Popular Party, with the party supposedly using slush funds to help fund election campaigns.

It is yet to be determined where Rajoy will be next, but prosecutors say they will investigate into previous accounts of corruption. Rajoy lost the parliamentary vote with a decent margin. Out of 350 members of the parliament, 180 voted him out, 169 voted to keep him in, and one absentee was recorded.

Sources: CNN, Reuters, Daily Mail

Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy

Photo Credit: Shop Catalog

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 5/18/18

Cambridge Analytica, the company that worked with Trump’s campaign was accused of accessing private user’s data and personal interests on Facebook in order to advertise to them, bringing them into the center of a lengthy scandal, including a testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook to explain what happened to his company, and what could be done to prevent it.

Now, the data sharing firm has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy at the US Bankruptcy Court of New York Southern Division, the same division that covers New York City. The processes of bankruptcy started in early May, with both Cambridge Analytica and their parent company, SCL Elections, starting bankruptcy procedures.

In the tech firm’s filings, they stated that their “assets” or valuable sources of money, number from $100,000 to $500,000, while their “liabilities”, or responsibilities that they will need to pay for, number from $1 million to $10 million, due to the past scandal as well as their former Director of Research, Christopher Wylie, had to testify against a Senate Committee on Wednesday.

Sources: CNN, BBC, USA Today