Tag Archives: ring

Operator of notorious South Korean online sex trafficking ring sentenced to 40 years


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‘Swaths of country believe Democratic Party a front for a paedophile ring’: Obama rails against tech and right-wing media


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US diplomat calls for 'decisive action' in Afghan alleged abuse ring

US diplomat calls for 'decisive action' in Afghan alleged abuse ringAfghan authorities must take “decisive action” following reports of an alleged paedophile ring operating in schools in eastern Afghanistan, a senior US diplomat said Tuesday. The comments by Alice Wells, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, come after British newspaper The Guardian last month detailed accounts of the abuse, which allegedly affected more than 500 victims in Logar province south of Kabul. “We call on Afghan authorities, including the Attorney General’s Office, to take decisive action on deeply troubling reports of sexual abuse in Logar schools,” Wells wrote on Twitter.



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Police Employees Charged in 911 Medical Fraud Ring

Police Employees Charged in 911 Medical Fraud RingNEW YORK — For years, Angela Meyers, a 911 operator with the New York Police Department, fielded emergency calls, then filed reports about the calls within the department.But according to court documents, when someone called 911 after a car accident, Meyers did something else: She also passed victims' information to an insurance fraud ring in Queens.Meyers was one of six current and former New York Police Department employees charged in federal court Thursday with conspiracy and bribery. They are accused of being part of a citywide medical insurance fraud ring that sent thousands of car accident victims to specific health clinics, doctors and lawyers in exchange for kickbacks.Law enforcement officials arrested 27 people in connection with the scheme — 23 of those were expected to appear in Manhattan federal court Thursday.A key component to the scheme were the five 911 operators and an active police officer, Yanaris Deleon, who provided victims' confidential contact information to the scheme's ringleaders, prosecutors said. Four of the five 911 operators were active employees; one had previously resigned, police said."There is no place for corruption within the NYPD," James P. O'Neill, the police commissioner, said in a statement. "By tarnishing the shield, as well as their sacred oaths, these employees will be held to the highest account the law provides."According to court documents, the 911 operators and Deleon provided victims' contact information to the scheme's fraudulent "call center."The call center would then contact those victims and coax them to visit prearranged medical clinics and lawyers, court documents say. Those call center offices would then pay the ringleader of the scheme, Anthony Rose, 51, in exchange for that information, according to authorities.Prosecutors said the department employees received thousands of dollars for their part in the scheme."These actions have undermined the integrity of our emergency and medical first responders," said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan. "This office is committed to rooting out corruption wherever it is found and will not rest until those who seek to profit by corrupting our public institutions are brought to justice."The fraud ring employed a network of people within hospitals, medical service providers and law enforcement. Rose, who is from Queens, ran the scheme from at least 2014 to November 2019, prosecutors said.As recently as June, Deleon texted Rose on encrypted messaging app WhatsApp and provided a list of "nearly two dozen names and telephone numbers" of accident victims, court documents said.Prosecutors estimate that as many as 60,000 car accident victims may have had their confidential information improperly disclosed.Rose ordered his co-conspirators to target car accident victims from low-income neighborhoods because they were more vulnerable, according to court documents. He told his fraudulent call center not to target victims in Manhattan, court documents said, because "those people got attorneys.""We need all the 'hood cases," Rose told the call center people, according to the documents. "We want all the bad neighborhoods."In addition to the Police Department sources, Rose also bribed employees at hospitals and medical centers to violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, and disclose confidential patient information for car accident victims, the documents say.The investigation is continuing, prosecutors said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Adam Schiff, a Trump Punching Bag, Takes His Case to a Bigger Ring

Adam Schiff, a Trump Punching Bag, Takes His Case to a Bigger RingLOS ANGELES — The crowd was buzzing with Hollywood types — actress Patricia Arquette, producer Norman Lear — at a private film screening on Sunset Boulevard one recent Sunday afternoon. But here in liberal America, the biggest celebrity in the room was not someone who makes a living in what people call "the industry."It was Rep. Adam Schiff, the straight-laced former federal prosecutor who was on the brink of prosecuting his biggest defendant yet: President Donald Trump.These are heady but perilous days for Schiff, the inscrutable and slightly nerdy chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who is leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump. Adored by the left, reviled by the right, he has become a Rorschach test for U.S. politics. Depending on one's point of view, he is either going to save the republic or destroy it.Here in his home district, at the screening of "The Great Hack," a film about misinformation in the 2016 election, Lear introduced Schiff as a "current American hero." As the audience leapt to its feet in a standing ovation, the congressman emerged from backstage in standard Washington uniform — navy blazer, white shirt, light blue tie — his manner as inoffensive as his attire."We thank them for their patriotism," Schiff said somberly, praising whistleblowers, including the anonymous one whose complaint against Trump prompted the impeachment inquiry, "and we hope others will follow their courageous example."Now Schiff, 59, is poised to take a much bigger stage as his inquiry moves from a secure office suite in a Capitol Hill basement into nationally televised public hearings. He will make the case against Trump to a divided nation, in what amounts to an epic courtroom drama meant to unveil evidence of the president's pressure campaign to enlist Ukraine to smear his political rivals — a moment that is bound to be must-watch TV.At home in his district, which stretches from West Hollywood to Pasadena and north to the San Gabriel Mountains, Schiff is well acquainted with the celebrity lifestyle.He lives with his wife, Eve (yes, Adam and Eve), and their two children in suburban Maryland, but they also have an apartment in Burbank, home to Walt Disney Studios. He favors vegan Chinese food and drives an Audi whose license plate frame bears a line from the movie "The Big Lebowski" ("I don't roll on Shabbos"), from which he can quote at length. He has dabbled at screenwriting, once drafting a script that featured a prosecutor as the hero. He tried stand-up comedy, too, during a fundraiser at the Improv in Hollywood."He did a whole riff on being a nihilist," said one of his best friends, former congressman Steve Israel, who joined him onstage. "Basically, we got told to stick to our day jobs."But if Schiff has a sense of humor (his friends insist he does have a dry one), he rarely shows it in Washington, where he has carefully cultivated his image as the stylistic and substantive opposite of Trump: calm, measured, reserved and brainy.He makes no secret of his disdain for the president, who refers to him as "Little Pencil Neck" or "Shifty Schiff" when he is not replacing the congressman's surname with a similar-sounding expletive. In an interview, Schiff called Trump a "grave risk to our democracy" who is conducting an "amoral presidency" and has debased his office with "infantile" insults."What comes through in the president's comments and his tweets and his outrage and his anger toward me in particular is, this president feels he has a God-given right to abuse his office in any way he sees fit," Schiff said.Trump and his allies, sensing the threat posed by Schiff's inquiry and divided over how to defend the president against damning testimony, have united in trying to undermine the congressman's credibility. They sought unsuccessfully to have the House censure him and have accused him of running a "Soviet-style impeachment inquiry."On Saturday, Trump proclaimed him "a corrupt politician" on Twitter and claimed that if Schiff "is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes."Republicans who work side by side with him on the Intelligence Committee contend that he has changed as his star has risen alongside Trump's. A figure they once saw as a serious and studious policy wonk they now describe in viscerally negative terms, as a liar and a hypocrite who will stop at nothing to oust a duly elected president.Schiff has an "absolute maniacal focus on Donald Trump" said one committee Republican, Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio, who accused Schiff of routinely lying to the press and the public about what happened in private interviews and conducting the inquiry's initial hearings out of public view so he and other Democrats could distort the findings.And Schiff has let the publicity go to his head, Turner said: "Schiff finds the media intoxicating. And he is pretty much willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top of the media cycle."Schiff has made some missteps. His dramatized description of the president's phone call with the leader of Ukraine drew attacks from the president and Republican lawmakers, who said he was fabricating evidence — and surprised even a close friend, Alice Hill, who knows the congressman from their days as young prosecutors in Los Angeles."I was a bit surprised because he is reserved and not prone to overstatement, very careful with his words, very careful with the facts and keeping to the facts," she said, adding, "It felt out of character."And Schiff's assertion that he had not had any contact with the whistleblower who incited the inquiry drew a "false" rating from The Washington Post; the whistleblower had approached his panel for guidance before filing his complaint. Schiff conceded he "should have been much more clear" about that.Democrats, who are united behind Schiff, counter that the attacks are opportunistic; Republicans, they said, are attacking Schiff over process because they cannot defend the president on the merits of his behavior.There is little room for error as Schiff pushes the inquiry forward in the coming months. His performance could determine not only Trump's future but also his own. Schiff is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and viewed by some as her possible successor. At a recent news conference, Pelosi — not ordinarily one to cede control — took the rare step of sitting with reporters to watch admiringly as the congressman spoke."He's a full package," Pelosi said in an interview, praising Schiff as "always gracious, always lovely." She added, "He knows his purpose, and his purpose is not to engage in that silliness that the president is engaged in."A lawyer educated at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Schiff tried his first big case three decades ago when, as a young federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, he secured the conviction of an FBI agent who was seduced by a Soviet spy and traded secrets for gold and cash. In 1996, he won a seat in the California Senate; in 2000, he was elected to the House by beating a Republican who had been a manager in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.In Washington, Schiff joined the Blue Dogs, a group of conservative Democrats, and made a name for himself as a national security expert. He joined the Intelligence Committee in 2008 — drawn to it, Israel said, because he viewed it as "a quiet place for bipartisanship."His breakout moment came in 2014, when the Republican-led House established a committee to investigate attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Schiff had argued that Democrats should not participate in what he viewed as a partisan exercise, but Pelosi put him on the committee.But it was the election of Trump that elevated Schiff's profile and made him a sought-after speaker and fundraiser in Democratic circles. As the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee last term, when Republicans still had the majority, he vigorously investigated Russian election interference and questions around whether the Trump campaign had conspired with hostile foreign actors, becoming the most recognizable public face explaining the biggest story in Washington on national TV. When Democrats won the majority in the House, he helped Pelosi draft an investigative strategy.Schiff was a late convert to the impeachment push; like Pelosi, he held back until revelations about Ukraine emerged. For the last five weeks, he has spent much of his time in a secure room four floors below the Capitol, overseeing the closed-door questioning of witnesses. He opens each witness interview and sometimes steps in to conduct questioning himself."The American people have a right to know — they have a need to know — how deep this misconduct goes," he said, adding, "There's no hiding the president's hand in any of this."These days, Schiff has tried to tightly control his public profile. He goes on television less than he used to and zips wordlessly through the Capitol, trailed by a phalanx of aides and a scrum of journalists, smiling wanly as they pepper him with questions.It has all given him "a new appreciation" of the struggles his celebrity constituents face in maintaining their privacy, he said. And he is well aware that, out there in the rest of the U.S., he has become a polarizing figure."I feel I've become kind of a human focus group," he said during a panel discussion after the screening here. "People will stop me in the airport in close succession. One will come up to me and say, 'Are you Adam Schiff? I just want to shake your hand — you're my hero,' immediately to be followed by someone else who says, 'Why are you destroying our democracy?' "The congressman paused and concluded that both couldn't be right "because last time I checked, I'm the same person."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Look at this all-diamond ring designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newsom

Look at this all-diamond ring designed by Jony Ive and Marc NewsomAt Apple, Jony Ive's designs disrupted the computer and mobile phone markets. Now, in his (imminent) post-Apple life, Ive has delivered a fresh spin on the diamond ring.The so-called "(RED) Ring," which Ive designed alongside Marc Newsom, his partner in the new design firm LoveFrom, is made entirely out of diamond. The striking piece of jewelry is carved out of a larger block of diamond that was grown in a lab.The ring sold at auction in Dec. 2018 for $ 256,250 during a Red charity event held during Art Basel in Miami. The Sotheby's listing makes it clear that the buyer was paying for something that hadn't yet been created — it's hard to resize an all-diamond ring, so this had to be custom-made.The description reads:Now, the ring is finally finished and there are photos to prove it. The stone used to make it comes from Diamond Foundry, a San Francisco business that specializes in lab-grown diamonds. SEE ALSO: What Apple's products could look like without Jony Ive leading designThe (RED) Ring's diamond started as a lab-grown 45-carat "rough diamond." It was then cut down and shaped into a ring by Diamond Foundry's team using the design from Ive and Newsom.Proceeds from the sale of the ring benefited Red directly. The brand, founded in 2006, works with companies to create licensed products that serve to raise awareness for and fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa. WATCH: New details have emerged about Jony Ive leaving Apple



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Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ring

Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ringA Utah man was convicted Friday of running a multimillion-dollar opioid ring that sent hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly pills across the country in a scheme that authorities said helped fuel the nation's opioid epidemic. A jury reached the verdict after deliberating less than a day in the case against Aaron Shamo. "He's 29 and his life is over," defense attorney Greg Skordas said after the verdict was read.



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Metal detectorist finds £10,000 gold ring in garage 40 years after discarding it as worthless

Metal detectorist finds £10,000 gold ring in garage 40 years after discarding it as worthlessA metal detectorist who discarded a gold ring in his garage for 40 years after a museum told him it was worthless has discovered its real value is £10,000. Tom Clark, 81, dug up the buried treasure while scanning an area of farmland near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1979, then put it inside a metal tin and forgot about it. But the retired leather craftsman came across the rare seal ring eight years ago while sorting through items from his mother's house after she passed away. He got the item valued and was astonished to discover that it was actually a 670-year-old medieval artefact dating back to 1350. It is due to be auctioned off in Derbyshire on Tuesday (Aug 27) and is expected to sell for between £8,500 and £10,000. The turn of events is similar to the plot of BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, when brothers Del and Rodney come across a watch in their garage which is then auctioned off for millions of pounds. Mr Clark said: "I had completely forgotten about it. At the time I'd only been metal detecting for 10 years and didn't realise the ring was anything special. It was all twisted and broken when I dug it up." He took the rare ring along with some others to a museum to have them valued at the time, but was told they were all fairly modern. "I put them all in a tin and left them in the garage at my mother's house," he said. "A few months ago, I was sorting through some stuff in my own garage that had come from my mother's house and there it was – the tin with the rings in it." Tom is auctioning off the ring, which is expected to make between £8,500 and £10,000 Credit: Hansons / SWNS/Hansons / SWNS Mr Clark, now a much more experienced collector, said he instantly knew it was a seal ring dating back to the 1300s and would have belonged to someone important given its decoration and quality. He added: "It's rare and elegant. I'd love to know who it belonged to." A Latin inscription on the ring translates as 'I hide the true message'. Mark Becher, Historica expert at auctioneer Hansons, said: "It's a fascinating piece of medieval jewellery and I'm delighted Tom rediscovered again after all these years."



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New Jersey's Teterboro Airport was travel hub of Jeffrey Epstein's sex traffic ring

New Jersey's Teterboro Airport was travel hub of Jeffrey Epstein's sex traffic ringJeffrey Epstein's planes recorded at least 730 flights to and from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey between 1995 and 2013, according to flight logs.



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Iran announces arrests, death sentences as CIA spy ring busted

Iran announces arrests, death sentences as CIA spy ring bustedIran arrested 17 suspects and sentenced some to death after dismantling a CIA spy ring, an official said Monday, as tensions soar between the Islamic republic and arch-enemy the United States. Security agencies “successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network,” the head of counter-intelligence at the Iranian intelligence ministry, whose identity was not revealed, told reporters in Tehran. Tehran has been at loggerheads with Washington and its allies since May 2018, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a landmark 2015 deal putting curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.



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