Tuesday, April 9
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is looking at jail time after she and 13 other people agreed to plead guilty to participating in what prosecutors have called the largest college admissions scam uncovered in US history.
Prosecutors on Monday (local time), as part of a plea deal, agreed to recommend a prison term at the “low end” of the four to 10 months Ms Huffman faces under federal sentencing guidelines.
She also agreed to pay a $20,000 fine and restitution.
The 14 are among 50 people, including wealthy parents and college team coaches, accused by federal prosecutors in Boston of engaging in schemes that involved cheating on college entrance exams and paying $25 million in bribes to secure their children admission at well-known universities.
Huffman, who is married to the actor William H. Macy, said in a statement she was “ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community”.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” the former best actress Oscar nominee said.
Macy was not charged and authorities have not made any comment.
All of the parents will have to return to Boston to enter formal guilty pleas, but no new court dates were set.
Huffman, was among 33 parents charged in March with participating in the scheme designed to get children into universities including Yale, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. Actress Lori Loughlin who was one of those charged is not part of the group entering guilty pleas.
Giant retailers Coles and Woolworths are in trouble again because of their discarded shopping trolleys.
This time it is the Port Augusta City Council in South Australia that has them in its sights after being forced to fish piles of them tossed into the sea off a local wharf.
The Council in SA’s north began removing the trolleys from the base of the local wharf in the Upper Spencer Gulf last year, amid longstanding concerns over community safety.
It had issued notices warning locals not to jump from the wharf into the water because they risked “serious injury”.
Some piles had reached up to six-metres-high prior to their removal with the top of some piles visible from the wharf
There has been an unexpected surge in flu cases across the nation and health authorities are urging people to start getting their jabs straight away.
The South Australia government has started early distribution of free vaccines in an effort to curb the spread.
There have been more than 26,000 confirmed influenza cases since the start of 2019, which is significantly higher than previous years.
New South Wales and Queensland have each had more than 7,000 since the beginning of January.
But South Australia is leading the per capita trend, with almost 4,485 cases compared to 1,139 at the same time last year.
“Normally it’s relatively quiet at this time of year for influenza, so this is a somewhat exceptional year,” World Health Organisation flu specialist Professor Ian Barr said.
Distribution of the free vaccine for people aged 65 years and older has already started in South Australia, while distribution for children under five and all other eligible groups started on Monday.
“The winter demand management strategy — I’ve never heard of it being released before Easter,” SA Health Minister Stephen Wade said.
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