AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Oceania Australia New Zealand Email Address The New Zealand Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA), the body established to oversee the development of a new governance structure for the country’s horseracing industry, has struck a deal that will see Sportsbet launch live streaming of races in Australia. The New Zealand Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA), the body established to oversee the development of a new governance structure for the country’s horseracing industry, has struck a deal that will see Sportsbet launch live streaming of races in Australia.Through the agreement Flutter Entertainment-owned Sportsbet will feature live streams of thoroughbred and harness racing, as well as greyhound racing events, on its Australian site. Tabcorp, the long-term broadcast and wagering partner of the New Zealand TAB, will act as intermediary, facilitating delivery of the content.“The new deal involves Sportsbet taking live vision of all three codes of New Zealand racing, getting our racing in front of a big new audience in the Australian market that we’ve never been in, while bringing in a new revenue source for the industry,” TAB general manager for media and international Andy Kydd explained.“Sportsbet is the largest corporate bookmaker in Australia by a stretch and the second biggest operator in the market behind Tabcorp,” Kydd continued. “We are very grateful to Tabcorp for delivering the vision to Sportsbet, their biggest competitor in Australia.”The agreement follows a deal between RIITA and another Flutter-owned brand, Betfair, announced earlier this year. This saw Betfair agree to pay product fees to the TAB in return for offering odds on New Zealand racing. Similar agreements, as part of a wider drive to revitalise the country’s racing industry, are being negotiated with other Australian operators. Announced in April this year, the New Zealand government aims to halt the industry’s decline, with the existing horseracing levy to be phased out over the next three years. In 2018, the levy generated, NZ$13.9m (£7.4m/€8.0m/US$8.9m), representing 4% of overall betting profit in the country, with these funds to be reinvested in racing and sport going forward.This also saw the New Zealand Racing Board replaced with the RITA, to manage the transition to a new governance structure. While the government’s plans specifically ruled out implementing a licensing model for betting operators, it will look to impose a point of consumption tax on offshore operators taking bets in the market. This may be complemented by an expansion of legal products – and potentially a licensing system for certain verticals – after a public consultation to gauge public support for regulating new forms of online gambling was launched earlier this month. With technology developing rapidly, and gambling legislation unchanged since 2003, the government aims to ensure customers are protected from the negative effects of gambling. At present, only Lotto NZ and the TAB are permitted to offer gambling products online, though the government acknowledged that an increasing number of New Zealanders were gambling via offshore providers, especially in minority communities. NZ racing to boost wagering audience through Sportsbet deal Tags: Race Track and Racino Horse racing Topics: Sports betting Horse racing 15th August 2019 | By contenteditor
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Tokyo Olympics: BCCI provides fuel in Indian Olympic flame, to contribute Rs 10 crore Football Euro 2020, Switzerland vs Turkey LIVE: Switzerland to punish hapless Turkey; Follow Live Updates Cricket Cricket WTC Final LIVE: Muttiah Muralitharan voted ‘Greatest Men’s Test Bowler’ of 21st century Tokyo Olympics: Deepika Kumari to be sole entry to Tokyo Games as Indian women’s recurve team fails to qualify Latest Sports News by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeGrab the Redeem Code just released for Wilderness Hunter UMP & Shimmy Emote before it expires, Garena Free Fire India ‘Rampage Party Giveaway Day 2’UndoGarena Free Fire Redeem Codes Rewards of 15th June: Easy ways to redeem Free Fire active code check new list of codeUndoGarena Free Fire Redeem Code of 15th June, OB28 Update AnnouncedUndoThe NBA also opened the registration process for the competition at www.nba2kgc.com.“The global scale of the tournament reflects the incredible growth of basketball around the world,” said Matthew Holt, NBA Senior Vice President, Consumer Products & Gaming Partnerships. “The NBA 2K20 Global Championship offers a chance for anyone in the world to compete.”“We are thrilled to be working with these partners in creating this milestone event in gaming,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for the NBPI, the commercial arm of the NBPA. “Our players come from all over the world and this is a unique experience which will allow fans from every corner of the globe to engage and compete with them through NBA 2K.”“We’re excited to partner with the NBA, NBPA and ESL to create this first-of-its-kind tournament for NBA 2K,” said Jason Argent, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations at 2K. “For anyone who is interested to test how their skills match up on a global scale, we encourage you to register and see if you truly have what it takes to become the best head-to-head player in the world.”From October to November 2019, aspiring NBA 2K20 players will compete in local online qualifiers in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions that will lead to online playoffs, which will determine who advances to the regional finals. Regional finals will be held as live events at the ESL studios in Los Angeles, Paris and Sydney, where each winner will receive $15,000 and other prizes from the NBA and 2K.The Global Finals will be held on February 22, 2020 at the ESL studio in Los Angeles, where eight finalists will compete to determine who will be crowned the first-ever global champion. The winner of the NBA 2K20 Global Championship will receive $100,000 in prizes.Developed by Visual Concepts, NBA 2K20 is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. For more information on NBA 2K20, please visit https://nba.2k.com/2k20/. Facebook Twitter ISL: Sunil Chhetri extends Bengaluru FC stay until 2023 Previous articleUEFA Champions League: adidas reveals official ball for group stageNext articleWatch LIVE as Vinesh fights for World Wrestling Championship bronze Kunal DhyaniSports Tech enthusiast, he reports on Sports Tech industry and writes on sports products. YourBump15 Actors That Hollywood Banned For LifeYourBump|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPost FunThese Twins Were Named “Most Beautiful In The World,” Wait Until You See Them TodayPost Fun|SponsoredSponsoredUndoDefinitionTime Was Not Kind To These 28 CelebritiesDefinition|SponsoredSponsoredUndoDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily Funny|SponsoredSponsoredUndoDefinitionMost Embarrassing Mistakes Ever Made In HistoryDefinition|SponsoredSponsoredUndoMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStory|SponsoredSponsoredUndo RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NBA bodies form alliance with ESL for $100,000 global championship The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have formed an alliance with world’s largest eSports company ESL to launch the NBA 2K20 Global Championship.The new competitive NBA 2K20 Global Championship, offering a $100,000 in prize money, is designed for aspiring NBA 2K20 players worldwide. The global tournament will feature head-to-head competition in a series of online and offline events that will take place from October 2019 to February 2020, culminating in a final event in the United States to crown the first-ever NBA 2K20 global champion. Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Latest Sports NewsSportSports Business Formula 1 By Kunal Dhyani – September 18, 2019 Cricket WI vs SA 2nd Test Day 3 Live: Start delayed due to rain, SA lead by 149 runs – Follow Live Updates Bengaluru Football BCCI to form committee to take call on compensating domestic cricketers SHARE Euro 2020 LIVE broadcast in more than 200 countries, check how you can watch Live Streaming of EURO 2020 in your country Cricket F1 French GP 2021: Max Verstappen pips Lewis Hamilton to win French GP, Perez finishes 3rd WTC Final Live- Ind vs NZ: Kyle Jamieson bags 5th five-wicket haul in 8th Test, rattles India in WTC final Latest Sports News
Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SECHAB.bw) listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange under the Beverages sector has released it’s 2000 annual report.For more information about Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SECHAB.bw) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SECHAB.bw) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SECHAB.bw) 2000 annual report.Company ProfileSechaba Brewery Holdings Limited is an investment holding company with 60% controlling interest in Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KLB) and Botswana Breweries (Pty) Limited. Kgalagadi Breweries produces lager beers, traditional beers, bottled water and soft drinks under license. The brewery has four traditional beer breweries, a clear beer brewery, a sparkling soft drinks production plant and six sales and distribution centres in Botswana. SABMiller has a 40% stake in Kgalagadi Breweries and has management control over the operation; offering manufacturing and technical expertise, brand building and distribution expertise. Botswana Breweries produces traditional opaque beer made from sorghum and maize under the brand names Chibuku and Phafana. The Botswana Development Corporation has a 25.6% shareholding in Sechaba Breweries Holdings Limited.
Saracens should be wary of a Racing side fulfilling their potential in this weekend’s European Champions Cup final LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Euro star: Maxime Machenaud scores in Racing’s semi-final win over Leicester. Photo: Getty Images Unfortunately the trio of Celtic stars signed by Racing for the start of the 2013 season never came good. Dan Lydiate left in late 2014 while Jamie Roberts and Johnny Sexton departed Paris last summer after two seasons of underachievement. Asked by Midi Olympique in January for his assessment of the first half of the season, Labit replied: “It’s going well, because our stars are real stars, guys easy to manage. I couldn’t accept what happened last year, to have to assemble our top players each month to explain to them what was wrong. Above all, I understood that it was best to hold these discussions in the privacy of the office. There they didn’t dent their pride. When you say things in the media, it’s different: you harm their image.”Labit acknowledged that country commitments didn’t help the trio of Celts during their two seasons in Paris but the disappointment he felt at their failure to adapt to a different environment ran deep. It altered the club’s recruitment policy, too, as Travers explained in September. “We really want players who are ready to serve the club rather than players looking after their own interests,” he said. “The investment of the president – whether it is the recruitment, the training centre, the future stadium – is all about the performance. And too often in the past, we have forgotten that.”Stardust: Joe Rokocoko and Dan Carter are newer members of the Racing squad. Photo: Getty ImagesHence the signing last year of a clutch of top-class players no longer burdened by international commitments: former All Blacks Chris Masoe and Joe Rokocoko, France flanker Yannick Nyanga and, of course, Dan Carter. The Kiwi fly-half arrived at the end of November, a month after steering his country to victory in the World Cup final, and his impact has been immense, and not just on the pitch. “In his first week here Dan spoke to the guys in English – François van der Merwe translated – and he said that the training wasn’t up to standard,” Goosen told me at the start of this year. “I think every guy just lifted a notch because we have so much respect for him.”But Goosen emphasised that Carter isn’t the only player responsible for Racing finally fulfilling their potential. The “great vibe” in the squad, he explained, is down to everyone pulling together, not to mention the new-look Labit. “I don’t get involved with controversy,” Labit said in January. “These days I only talk about what truly matters to me: my team.”European Champions Cup final: Racing v Saracens, Sat 14 May, 4.45pm, Lyon. Live on BT Sport and Sky Sports Racing’s two Laurents, Travers and Labit, have the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine down to a tee. The former, Racing’s forwards coach, is full of busy bonhomie, always ready to give a few touchline comments to broadcasters as he watches his team in the Top 14. In contrast, Labit likes to look on from the stand with a brooding intensity.When your correspondent interviewed the pair at Racing’s training ground in the summer of 2014, Travers greeted me with a cheery cry: “Ah, my English cousin!” laughing at a scalp that was as follicly-challenged as his own. Labit was different. It was clear the interview was a chore and not a pleasure, at least initially. But the frosty demeanour thawed the longer the interview wore on, Labit a rugby obsessive with concise, insightful opinions across a range of issues. He even smiled on a couple of occasions.I escaped without feeling his wrath, not so South African referee Jaco van Heerden, who a couple of months later felt the full force of Labit’s fury after Racing had lost to Stade Francais in a Top 14 encounter. Enraged by a controversial Stade try and two yellow cards for his players, Labit accused van Heerden of “amateurism” and of staging a “hold-up”. His comments earned the Racing coach a 15-match ban, and the anger of his own brother, a teacher, who had also seen his sibling hit with a ten-week suspension the previous season for “reprehensible behaviour” during Racing’s play-off against Toulouse.Double act: Racing’s coaches Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers. Photo: Getty Images“After the incident with the South African my brother actually said to me, ‘How do you expect me to educate my kids when they see you doing that?’” Labit told Midi Olympique earlier this season. “That made me think. I am first and foremost an educator. So I decided to change.”And change he has. Sort of. The ranting and raving are a thing of the past, no doubt to his brother’s relief, but he’s still refreshingly candid in much of what he says. The fact Racing finished last season without a trophy, or even an appearance in a final, rankled with Labit. He felt dissatisifed, with himself and his squad. One of his first targets was Johan Goosen, the gifted South African threequarter.“His contract still runs for two years, but he knows he’ll have to change his attitude,” said Labit last summer. “If not, then there’s a good chance that he won’t be here for a third year of his contract. You expect a player of his age to be more serious about things… you have certain expectations of a professional player. He’ll have to pull up his socks if he wants to play.”Cutting edge: Johan Goosen has been in great form for Racing this season. Photo: Getty ImagesGoosen admitted he was surprised by the criticism, but he responded in the best way possible, producing the high-quality rugby this season that won him a Springbok cap at the age of 20. For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.
By Húbert BallesterosHúbert “Huber” Ballesteros is a peasant leader from Fensuagro (National Unitarian Agricultural Trade Union Federation) and the Patriotic March. He is a member of the executive committee of the CUT (Unitary Workers Federation). He is a political prisoner in La Picota Prison in Bogotá, Colombia. In this article he highlights the Colombian regime’s brutal suppression of any form of dissent.Sept. 15 — The Colombian government has introduced laws and ratified international conventions of the United Nations, the Organisation of American States and the International Labor Organisation.The commitments made to these multilateral institutions would make one think that in our country the state defends human rights and guarantees the right of workers to organize in a trade union — but the reality is very different.That thousands of trade union leaders have been assassinated and thousands exiled and imprisoned exposes the systematic repression that the state metes out to any organisation that dares to oppose its policies.It is in this scenario of repression of the trade union movement that I was arrested on Aug. 25, 2013, on the day I was in Bogotá approaching the government to negotiate the list of demands presented by agricultural organizations, which at the time had been on a national strike since Aug. 19 of that year.At that point, several comrades active in the strike in regions all over the country had already been assassinated or imprisoned.From that moment to date, almost 100 members of the Patriotic March have been assassinated and around 300 have been imprisoned.This is a situation completely incompatible with the Colombian people’s demands for peace and with what has up until now been preliminarily agreed upon between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP insurgency at the negotiating table in Havana, Cuba.Preliminary agreements have been reached on the land issue, political participation and on finding a solution to the problem of illegal drugs.How can one understand and explain to the international community that, while in Havana solutions to the problems faced by peasant farmers are discussed and provisional agreements are being reached, in Colombia those same peasant farmers are being assassinated and imprisoned for demanding solutions to the same problems?How does the Colombian government intend to implement the agreements from Havana on political participation if it continues to persecute and assassinate trade union leaders and activists from the political opposition?Something which worries us is that the Colombian regime refuses to implement the economic and political changes needed to achieve a sustainable peace.It is not surprising that the so-called “justice” used in times of war appears to be maintained, even though there is a move towards peace.This is an inquisition style of justice used as an instrument of repression at the service of the interests of the powerful.This doesn’t mean to say we are not optimistic about the peace process. On the contrary, we are encouraged by its progress — but we are aware of the dangers it faces.In my personal case, the prosecution accuses me of the crimes of “rebellion” and “financing terrorism.” This case is based on the paid testimonies of people working for them and uses as “evidence” documents planted by the military intelligence services and police on computers supposedly captured from guerrilla leaders during military operations.The entire legal process, including the supposed investigation into the charges brought by the prosecution before the judge, has been plagued by irregularities.Everything has been clearly planned and directed by the executive branch of the government, and the judicial system has been the tool used to punish my trade union activity and public involvement in the political opposition.We fear that the judge will not take into account all the evidence, which shows that all of this is a vulgar legal setup whose aim was to stop the protest and resistance of peasant communities.We are facing a legal system that is politicized and that works to impose the state policy of criminalization of social protest.As a political prisoner, my hope for justice for myself and others and that our legal processes adhere to national and international standards can only be achieved with the support and solidarity of the trade union and social movement at a national and international level.We also hope that an agreement reached on the issue of justice at the negotiating table in Havana will recognise that social leaders and trade unionists are not insurgents, that social struggle and critical thought are not crimes in a state which presents itself to the world as a democracy.La Picota Men’s Prison, Bogotá, September 2015tinyurl.com/pzcrgjkFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Help by sharing this information May 31, 2021 Find out more Amadou Vamoulké knows his way around Yaoundé’s Kondengui prison and special criminal court better than he does around his own home, which was under construction when he was arrested on 29 July 2016.He will appear before the special criminal court’s judges tomorrow for the 50th time on charges of “misusing funds” – not for his person benefit but for the benefit of Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), which he ran from 2006 until his arrest in 2016.Prosecutors have never produced any evidence in support of this trumped-up charge in any of the hearings, which continue to be held in violation of the defendant’s most basic rights. Vamoulké will complete his 1,600th day in preventive detention this week, which is three times longer than allowed by Cameroon’s penal code and six times longer than allowed by the special criminal court’s regulations.“Never in Cameroon’s history has a journalist been subjected to such a level of judicial persecution,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “After 1,600 days in prison and what is about to be a total of 50 hearings, all that has been demonstrated in this case is the vacuousness of the charges against him, the crude attempts to conceal evidence attesting to his innocence, and the vile plot to crush this prominent journalist despite his age and poor health. Everything seems to have been done to ensure that he dies slowly in prison without ever having been tried.”The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Vamoulké’s provisional detention has “no legal basis” and that “the violations of the right to due process are of such gravity that they confer an arbitrary character on [his] detention.”The Working Group, which issued these definitive findings in June after being referred the case by RSF in 2019, also called for his immediate release, voiced “deep concern” about the “gravity” of his condition and said it had referred the case to the UN special rapporteur on the right to health, a mechanism that RSF had also already activated. We await the rapporteur’s findings.The fate of Cameroon’s journalists, who have often been exposed to terrible abuses in recent years, is a source of concern abroad. There was an international outcry last June when, more than ten months after the events, the Cameroonian authorities confirmed that the journalist Samuel Wazizi had died in very suspicious circumstances while being held incommunicado by the military. The findings of the independent inquiry promised by President Paul Biya are still awaited six months later.Cameroon is ranked 134th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Organisation Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case Follow the news on Cameroon to go further December 14, 2020 1,600th day in prison, 50th court appearance for top Cameroonian journalist News CameroonAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsInternational bodies ImprisonedImpunity Receive email alerts RSF_en News May 19, 2021 Find out more Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice system CameroonAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsInternational bodies ImprisonedImpunity News News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call to the Cameroonian authorities to end their completely unprecedented persecution of the former head of the country’s state radio and TV broadcaster, who has been held since 2016 and is due to appear in court this week for the 50th time on a trumped-up charge for which no evidence has ever been produced. April 23, 2021 Find out more
in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, Market Studies, News David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years’ experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected] May 16, 2018 1,818 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Annual Percentage Rate Credit Scores Mortgage Payments Mortgage Rates Zillow 2018-05-16 David Wharton A “fair” credit score between 640 and 679 could cost a borrower around $720 a year in extra mortgage payments than a borrower with an “excellent” score, according to a new Zillow study.Zillow analyzed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) terms offered to borrowers on Zillow Mortgages and found that “a borrower with a fair score will pay 7 percent more over the life of a 30-year mortgage for the same home as an otherwise identical borrower with a credit score above 760.” To put that in clearer numbers, that 7 percent would add up to nearly an extra $21,000 during the life of that mortgage. Or, as Zillow puts it to provide context, “roughly equal to one year’s tuition costs for an out-of-state student at a public university, or the cost of a new car.”Breaking things down further, Zillow posited a hypothetical “ buyer with an excellent credit score in Los Angeles earning the area’s median income and purchasing the typical L.A. home.” That buyer could likely expect to be offered an average APR of 4.50 percent. With a standard 20 percent down payment, that borrower would pay around $31,000 a year on a $645,000 home, eventually totaling $942,000.Were that borrower’s credit score to be 80 points lower, firmly in “fair” territory, and received a commensurate APR of 5.12 percent, it would cost the borrower an extra $2,300 per year—or nearly $70,000 more over the life of the loan.“Under these same assumptions, the total additional costs over the life of a 30-year loan on a typical local home for those with fair credit compared to excellent credit range from $129,000 in San Jose to around $9,000 in Pittsburgh among the larger metros,” stated the Zillow report.To read Zillow’s full report on the impact of low credit scores, including full details of their study’s methodology, click here. About Author: David Wharton Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: Goldman Sachs Mortgage Relief Settlement Actions Near $1B Next: Mortgage Diversity Group Elects New Advisory Council for 2018 Low Credit Scores Add Up Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Annual Percentage Rate Credit Scores Mortgage Payments Mortgage Rates Zillow The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Print This Post Home / Daily Dose / Low Credit Scores Add Up Subscribe
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — The fundraising website GoFundMe has fully refunded every one of about 14,000 people who donated more than $400,000 to a New Jersey trio now charged with concocting a cruel hoax involving a seemingly selfless homeless man, a gas can and a $20 bill.The scam first warmed, then broke the hearts of thousands of Americans before it was exposed as an alleged fraud last month.“All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded,” company spokesman Bobby Whithorne said in a statement. “GoFundMe always fully protects donors, which is why we have a comprehensive refund policy in place.”“While this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it’s unacceptable and clearly it has consequences,” he continued. “Committing fraud, whether it takes place on or offline is against the law. We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico,” referring to two of the three people charged in the alleged scheme.Whithorne went on to say that fraudulent campaigns make up “less than one tenth of one percent” of all GoFundMe initiatives, but that “one fraudulent campaign is one too many.”In the fall of 2017, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico launched a GoFundMe fundraising campaign with a disarming tale about an allegedly homeless veteran named Johnny Bobbitt using his last $20 to help McClure out of a roadside jam when she ran out of gas. It was a tale she repeated alongside Bobbitt in a Nov. 2017 interview on ‘Good Morning America.’McClure told ‘GMA’ that it was close to midnight one night in 2017 and she was driving alone on I-95 when her car ran out of gas as she was on an exit ramp. “I pulled over to the side of the road as far as I could and I was going to get out and walk to the nearest gas station because it was not that far away, and that’s when I met Johnny,” she said. “He walked up and he said, ‘Get back in the car. Lock the doors. I’ll be back.’ I was just like, ‘OK.” McClure claimed she was stunned when Bobbitt used $20 he had collected from panhandling that day to buy her gas. “I almost couldn’t believe it,” McClure added. “I said, ‘Thank you…I swear, I’ll be back. I promise I’ll be back to give you [the] money back.’” For his part, Bobbitt seemed expressed humility in his interview with ‘GMA.’“I just got her gas to help her get back on her way,” he claimed at the time. “I didn’t think anything about it. I wasn’t expecting anything in return,” he told “Good Morning America.” “That’s how I got the money to start with — from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can’t constantly take and not give back.” But according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina, “the entire campaign was predicated on a lie.” Last month, McClure, 28, D’Amico, 39, and Bobbitt, 34, were charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges, though McClure now claims that she was duped into participating in the scam by the other two. Yet prosecutors charge that she knew it was a hoax from the start.“Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake.”In one of the texts cited by Coffina, McClure allegedly wrote to a friend, “OK, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn’t. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff.” If convicted, each of them faces five to 10 years in prison, prosecutors said. ‘They hit the casinos hard’Coffina said the suspected fraudsters might have gotten away with the scam had Bobbitt not filed a lawsuit against McClure and D’Amico in August, accusing them of withholding the funds from him. The money is all gone, most of it allegedly squandered by McClure and D’Amico on luxury handbags, a New Year’s trip to Las Vegas and a BMW; the couple also used the donated funds to pay back $9,000 they owed to relatives and “hit the casinos hard,” Coffina said. Bank records showed they withdrew more than $85,000 at or near casinos in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, he said.They were ordered to appear in court on Christmas Eve, but their attorneys waived their appearances, and future court dates have yet to be scheduled. Bobbitt was arrested Wednesday night by the Philadelphia Police Department on charges of being a fugitive from justice, according to Philadelphia police. He is expected to be extradited to Burlington County to face charges related to the GoFundMe case. Reached Thursday, an attorney for McClure and D’Amico told ABC News, “We have no comment. Have a nice day.” Media blitzIn numerous media appearances, McClure claimed she was driving to meet a friend in September 2017 when she ran out of gas around midnight on the I-95 exit ramp near Philadelphia. Bobbitt, who was sleeping under a nearby overpass, came to her rescue, she would say. She claimed Bobbitt spent his last $20 to buy her gas.“I pulled over to the side of the road as far as I could and I was going to get out and walk to the nearest gas station because it was not that far away, and that’s when I met Johnny,” McClure said last November in a “Good Morning America” interview. “He walked up and he said, ‘Get back in the car. Lock the doors. I’ll be back.’ I was just like, ‘OK.’”She said Bobbitt used his panhandling money to get her out of the jam.“I almost couldn’t believe it,” McClure added. “I said, ‘Thank you… I swear, I’ll be back. I promise I’ll be back to give you [the] money back.’”Hoping to repay Bobbitt for the apparent generous act, McClure said she and D’Amico set up a GoFundMe online. The fund was launched on Nov. 10, 2017, just hours after D’Amico took a photo of McClure posing with Bobbitt near the I-95 exit ramp, Coffina said.“I just got her gas to help her get back on her way. I didn’t think anything about it. I wasn’t expecting anything in return,” Bobbitt told “Good Morning America.” “That’s how I got the money to start with — from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can’t constantly take and not give back.”‘No Good Deed’Coffina said investigators believe McClure and D’Amico first met Bobbitt about a month before they launched the GoFundMe campaign near the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, close to the I-95 off-ramp where Bobbitt was living on the streets at the time.Asked who came up with the idea of the scam, Coffina noted a 2012 Facebook post written by Bobbitt that was “remarkably similar” to the narrative on the GoFundMe page.“He reported that he helped a woman who had both run out of gas and had a flat tire at a Walmart, spent his last supper money to get her on her way and fix her flat tire,” Coffina said. “I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”Among the few things about the story that’s true is that Bobbitt served in the Marine Corps and was homeless, Coffina said.Military records obtained by ABC News show that Bobbit served in the Marines as an ammunition technician from December 2002 to February 2004, and was awarded a National Defense Service Medal.“He deserves our appreciation for his willingness to serve our country as a United States Marine and he has our sympathy and concern for the homelessness that he’s experienced, as well as his publicized struggle with addiction,” Coffina said.“But it is imperative to keep in mind that he was fully complicit in the scheme to defraud contributors, promoting the campaign in multiple media appearances and posing with D’Amico and McClure for a Philadelphia Inquirer story in front of a gas station that he did not buy gas from.” In August, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit accusing McClure and D’Amico of committing fraud by taking more than half of the money they raised for themselves.His pro bono attorney alleged in court papers that the couple treated the donations like their “personal piggy bank to fund a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford.”D’Amico and McClure denied the allegations.In September, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the missing GoFundMe donations and raided the couple’s home, seizing a BMW and other belongings.Coffina said that even after burning through most of the money and getting sued by Bobbitt, D’Amico was allegedly thinking of ways to keep the scam going, including landing a book deal.“He was certain the payday from the book deal they were pursuing would dwarf the money from the GoFundMe campaign,” Coffina said. “A few months later, when the dispute with Bobbitt became public, D’Amico was not dissuaded. Instead, he pitched a title for the book that would encompass the controversy, ‘No Good Deed.’”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Myriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 291,000 people worldwide.More than 4.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks. Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.3 million diagnosed cases and at least 82,387 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:7:25 a.m.: ‘We’ll never be completely open until we have a cure,’ Los Angeles mayor saysLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that the city will “never be completely open until we have a cure,” as county health officials recommend stay-at-home orders remain in place for months longer to help suppress the spread of the novel coronavirus. “I think we have to all recognize that we’re not moving beyond COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it,” Garcetti told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on Good Morning America.Garcetti urged residents “not to overreact” to the comments made Tuesday by Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the public health director of Los Angeles County, who recommended that the county extend stay-at-home orders for at least three more months. The county’s original stay-at-home order is set to expire Friday. “But it’s important to take this serious because [the virus] is as dangerous today as it was the first day that it arrived in our cities and our country,” Garcetti added. “So quite frankly, there’s no so-called open state or open country that doesn’t continue to have health orders telling us to cover our faces, physically distance and to tell people that you’re safest working from and staying at home. That’s all that the county health director was saying, and we can’t expect that to disappear in a matter of weeks or even a few months.”The mayor said he hopes the city’s K-12 school will be able to reopen in “some sense,” though he cautioned “it won’t be in the way that we’ve known school in the past” and vulnerable children won’t be able to go back “for some time.” “It might be fewer days a week, it might be staggered because we have to maintain that physical distance,” Garcetti said. “Look, we have to tell the hard truths and protect our people. At the same time, we take steps forward.” “We’ve never been fully closed. We’ll never be completely open until we have a cure,” he continued. “I do believe that we can take steps but monitor those numbers, listen to the scientists and the medical professionals and make the tough calls even when there’s criticism.” More than 32,000 people in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 1,570 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Garcetti said he was proud of how his city and the county has stood up its own testing centers, which he said is essential for reopening. “We have a capacity of 20,000 tests a day just in Los Angeles County, whereas the country is doing 300,000 tests a day and we’re just 3% of the population,” he said. “We’ve got to keep that going and we have to make it regular. For kids to go back to school, we need testing. For workers to get back to work, we need testing.” “We were the first city in America to offer widespread testing to people with and without symptoms,” he added, “because we’ve got to find the silent spreaders that are amongst us as well.”7:06 a.m.: Hong Kong reports locally-transmitted cases for first time in 23 daysHong Kong reported two new locally-transmitted infections of COVID-19 on Wednesday, after 23 straight days with only imported cases.Health officials are working to trace any close contacts of the two new patients.“We are all very concerned,” Dr. Chui Tak-yi, undersecretary of Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau, told a press conference Wednesday. “We must heighten our alertness. Citizens cannot let their guards down and must continue to carry out anti-epidemic measures.”The semiautonomous Chinese city now has 1,051 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including four deaths.6:13 a.m.: California authorities says Tesla can reopen factory with new safety measuresTesla can reopen its sole U.S. vehicle factory in California as soon as next week, so long as the electric carmaker adopts extra safety recommendations amid the coronavirus pandemic, local officials said.The Alameda County Health Department released a statement late Tuesday announcing that the plant in Fremont, some 40 miles southeast of San Francisco, will be allowed to go beyond basic operations this week and start manufacturing vehicles on Monday if Tesla holds up its part of the agreement.“We reviewed the plan and held productive discussions today with Tesla’s representatives about their safety and prevention plans, including some additional safety recommendations,” the health department said in the statement. “If Tesla’s Prevention and Control Plan includes these updates, and the public health indicators remain stable or improve, we have agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their Minimum Business Operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week.”The Alameda County Health Department noted that it will be working with the Fremont Police Department to verify whether Tesla “is adhering to physical distancing and that agreed upon health and safety measures are in place for the safety of their workers as they prepare for full production.”Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter earlier this week that he was restarting production at the Fremont factory in defiance of the county’s ordinance. Operations at the plant apparently continued into Tuesday, although the company met a Monday deadline to submit a site-specific plan for worker safety.“I will be on the line with everyone else,” Musk tweeted. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”It’s unclear whether Tesla would face any punishment for the reopening.5:10 a.m.: Russia reports over 10,000 new cases for 11th straight dayRussia reported more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday for the 11th day in a row, as the country emerges as a new hot spot in the coronavirus pandemic.There were 10,028 new infections confirmed in Russia over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 242,271, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.Russia has the second-largest national tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind the United States. The country reported a record 11,656 new infections on Monday.Russia also has one of the world’s fastest rates of new infections in the coronavirus pandemic, second only to the U.S.However, the country’s death toll from the disease remains relatively low with just 96 new fatalities reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 2,212, according to the coronavirus response headquarters.4:41 a.m.: Pakistan reports record daily spike in COVID-19 casesPakistan saw more than 2,000 new infections of the novel coronavirus in a single day for the first time since the outbreak began.The country’s health ministry said Wednesday there were a record 2,255 new cases of COVID-19 registered over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 34,312.The spike comes just days after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan began a phased reopening of the nation after a weekslong lockdown.Khan has argued that the country’s poorest were worst-affected by the coronavirus restrictions, as a vast majority of the population earn barely $75 a month, mostly doing daily wage work. 3:28 a.m.: Fresno City Council president cited for three counts of assault after confrontation with protestersFresno City Council President Miguel Arias was cited for three counts of assault after a group of anti-lockdown protesters approached his home Tuesday afternoon, police said.The unarmed protesters showed up at Arias’ residence to demand the reopening of businesses and the lifting of social-distancing restrictions in the California city. A spokesman for the Fresno Police Department told ABC News there was sufficient evidence that Arias committed assault against the protesters.Video allegedly taken by one of the protesters purportedly shows the city council president shoving a man down a staircase away from the front door of his apartment.Arias claims the protesters tried to break into his home and refused to leave.“Not only did they go into private property that’s gated that requires security to get through, but they showed up to my front door and banged on my front door,” Arias told Fresno ABC station KFSN-TV. “Folks didn’t want to give way to my private property, so I moved them out of the way.”Investigators are still trying to determine whether there was an attempted break-in. Police said they are beefing up security at the homes of other city leaders at this time as a precaution. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.