By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three Los Angeles-area men who prosecutors say ran a "pay-to-stay" scheme in which hundreds of foreign nationals paid to use their schools as cover for U.S. student visas were arrested on Wednesday on a federal grand jury indictment. According to the indictment the defendants, who operated four Southern California schools, are accused of taking in as much as $6 million in phony "tuition" payments from the foreign nationals and creating false student records and transcripts to fool immigration authorities. Unannounced visits by federal agents to a language school owned and managed by defendant Hee Sun Shim, 51, found only three students there, prosecutors said. "Immigration fraud schemes potentially compromise national security and cheat foreign nationals who play by the rules,” Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said in a written statement released by her office.
Authorities in Washington state have discovered an underground bunker they believe was used by a convicted bank robber who fled police custody in 2009 and evaded arrest until last year, officials said on Wednesday. Bradley Steven Robinett, who was featured on the television programs "America's Most Wanted" and "Washington's Most Wanted," was arrested in Oregon in June after several close encounters with police, the FBI said. On Tuesday, authorities discovered an underground bunker in a heavily wooded area of Lake Sammamish, eight miles east of Seattle, believed to have been used by Robinett during his five years on the run, the FBI said.
Colonial Williamsburg, the living museum devoted to preserving early American history, has offered to help Iraqi cultural experts safely store relics threatened with destruction by Islamic State militants, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The museum in Williamsburg, Virginia, has drafted an offer to work with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and other Iraqi archaeological and historical organizations to help protect and preserve artifacts of historical and cultural importance that are at risk, according to spokesman Joe Straw. Colonial Williamsburg president Mitchell Reiss, a former senior U.S. diplomat, said the museum would accept all the Iraqi artifacts it can handle. “At Colonial Williamsburg, we well know that a nation’s past is a foundation for its future,” Reiss said in a statement.
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — In a story March 5 about a train derailment in northern Illinois, The Associated Press erroneously reported the capacity of older tank cars involved in some accidents. The capacity is 30,000 gallons per car, not 70,000 gallons.
Seven Marines and four soldiers were presumed dead after an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a nighttime training mission off Florida's Gulf coast, where U.S. military officials continued a search-and-rescue operation on Wednesday afternoon. Some human remains had washed ashore, said a spokeswoman for Eglin Air Force Base in north Florida. Officials did not immediately release information on what caused the crash involving the Marines and four members of the Louisiana National Guard. A U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 11 service members aboard were presumed to have died in what could be among the deadliest domestic military training accidents in years.
(Reuters) - Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned on Wednesday, the latest official in the Missouri city to step down in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report on police abuses, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported on Wednesday. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Sandra Maler)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned on Wednesday, effective March 19, and will receive a severance payment and one year of health insurance, the city said on Wednesday in a statement. The city statement said it planned to launch a nationwide search for a new police chief. (Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Sandra Maler)
By Carey Gillam KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - The police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, resigned on Wednesday, following a scathing U.S. Justice Department report that found widespread racially biased abuses in the city's police department and municipal court. The resignation of Chief Thomas Jackson, which the city announced in a brief statement, is the latest in a string of departures since the Justice Department announced on March 4 that a months-long probe had uncovered a range of unlawful and unconstitutional practices. Protesters had called for Jackson's removal since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Jackson's departure follows those of Ferguson City Manager John Shaw and Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer earlier this week.
BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — Alabama police say a toddler has died after drinking from a bottle of grape soda believed to be laced with methadone.
NEW YORK (AP) — In the week since New York City jail officials took the rare step of locking down four of Rikers Island's largest facilities for 34 hours to stop gang violence, four inmates have been slashed and a fifth stabbed, according to jail statistics obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Here is a list of some of the noncombat crashes of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the model that crashed during a nighttime training mission off the Florida coast, killing seven Marines and four soldiers.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The war in Syria has plunged 80 percent of its people into poverty, reduced life expectancy by 20 years, and led to massive economic losses estimated at over $200 billion since the conflict began in 2010, according to a U.N.-backed report circulated Wednesday.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Hundreds of pages of court documents were unsealed last week in the criminal case against ex-Massey Energy coal boss Don Blankenship.
BOSTON (AP) — The board overseeing the Boston area's beleaguered public transit system voted Wednesday to offer free fares for one day and discounts for monthly pass holders as a goodwill gesture to commuters who endured massive breakdowns during a brutal stretch of winter weather.
A special prosecutor investigating an alleged grand jury leak by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane argued to the state's highest court Wednesday that Kane is challenging his appointment late in the game only to avoid criminal charges.
Action News has learned that the child sex assault re-trial against accused Philadelphia priest Andrew McCormick has ended in a hung jury.
CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — The Navy says negotiations are underway to decide what to do with a 50-foot yacht that washed ashore at a base near San Diego.
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) — Searchers struggled Wednesday to find the seven Marines and four soldiers killed when a helicopter crashed, hampered by the same fog that plagued a nighttime training mission.
By Susan Heavey and Alistair Bell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Controversy over emails could overshadow the launch of Hillary Clinton's expected presidential campaign after an influential Republican on Wednesday raised the prospect of congressional hearings into her use of personal email for work when she was America's top diplomat. Representative Trey Gowdy said he would like Clinton to testify in Congress by April about using a personal email address instead of a government one while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Clinton defended the practise on Tuesday, saying it was a "convenience" so that she wouldn't have to carry two mobile devices. Republicans likened Clinton's email habits to the secretive practices they say characterized President Bill Clinton's years in office.
Manuela Rodriguez, 52, is charged with first degree murder in the death of 7-month-old Rose Herrera in Chicago.