Connect with us

News

Fact check: Did Kyle Rittenhouse really sue LeBron James for defamation?

Published

on

Fact check: Did Kyle Rittenhouse really sue LeBron James for defamation?

Kyle Rittenhouse did not sue LeBron James for defamation. Here are details about that and other untrue claims this week.

CLAIM: Federal magistrate approved Kyle Rittenhouse’s $110 Million defamation suit against LeBron James.

THE FACTS: No such ruling was made. Rittenhouse has not filed a defamation suit against the Los Angeles Lakers star or anyone else, his spokesperson told The Associated Press. After 18-year-old Rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide charges in connection with the shooting of three people at a protest in Wisconsin, posts emerged on social media suggesting that he had filed defamation suits against some high-profile celebrities, including James. However, the claims are “absolutely not true,” according to David Hancock, a spokesperson for Rittenhouse and his family. “No legal actions have been taken against any organization or person in particular,” Hancock told the AP. He added that Rittenhouse and his legal team are not currently discussing any plans to file any defamation lawsuits. The report appeared to have originated on a satire website. Similar claims saying Rittenhouse had filed defamation suits have circulated on social media in recent days. On Sunday, the AP reported on false claims saying he had filed lawsuits against CNN, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, both hosts of “The View.” Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another during protests that followed the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, who faced charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree homicide, argued he acted in self-defense. A jury acquitted him on all charges on Nov. 19.

— Associated Press writer Josh Kelety in Phoenix contributed this report.

___

Video of first lady’s book reading manipulated to add child’s comment

CLAIM: Video captures a child yelling an expletive at Jill Biden as she begins reading a story to a group of students.

THE FACTS: The video clip was manipulated to insert audio of a child yelling a disparaging comment. It emerged Monday after the first lady sat down with a group of second grade students from Maryland to host a story time at the White House as part of the annual unveiling of holiday decorations. The altered video shows a child screaming, “Shut the f— up,” just as Biden introduces the picture book she wrote. But that comes from an unrelated video that has been shared online since at least 2019. While some people commenting on the video acknowledged that it was altered, and linked to the source of the audio, others shared the falsified video as real. The inserted audio has spread online for years, and first emerged in a video that appeared to show a young child cursing during a school graduation ceremony as adults tried to quiet the situation. It is unclear where the video was taken, but it has since become a widely-shared sound effect and has been edited into other videos, often in a comedic way. In the altered Biden video, the first lady began to introduce her 2012 book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” saying: “When my son was away, my granddaughter — just like you kids — really, really missed her daddy. So I wrote this book to tell other kids, ’cause there’s lots of kids who don’t know what it’s like —.” The sound of the yelling child was then inserted at that point to make it appear a student heckled Biden mid-sentence. A video of Biden’s full remarks shows she was not interrupted and finished her sentence.

— Associated Press writer Sophia Tulp in Atlanta contributed this report.

___

Ghislaine Maxwell trial audio isn’t accessible by phone line

CLAIM: Members of the public can call the phone number 844-721-7237 and enter access code 9991787 to listen to live audio of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial.

THE FACTS: The phone number is from a previous teleconference and the code is no longer active. Callers to this number who use the code will receive the message: “your access code was not recognized,” as verified through an attempt by The Associated Press. Further, there is no such telephone line to listen to the trial audio, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As Maxwell’s trial got underway on charges she groomed underage victims to have unwanted sex with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, social media users circulated a number of false claims related to the trial, as well as incorrect explanations for why it is not being publicly broadcast online or on TV. Among the false claims that emerged this week was the assertion that a phone number and access code published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in October would allow callers to listen in on the proceedings. Public telephone access to in-court criminal proceedings was previously provided in some cases “due to substantial restrictions on in-person attendance” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Office of the District Court Executive. The accommodation was discontinued in early November as in-person viewing was able to resume more regularly. Members of the media are not banned from the trial, either, as other social media users have falsely suggested. Reporters and members of the public are still able to watch the trial live, both in the courtroom, as well as in overflow rooms where it will be streamed for those who don’t get a seat, Judge Alison Nathan wrote in a Nov. 24 ruling. There are no other live feeds except those within the courthouse. Federal courts typically do not allow cameras like some state courts do. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to her charges and denied wrongdoing.

— Sophia Tulp

___

Stores can’t write off customer donations made at checkout

CLAIM: When a customer elects to donate to charity at a store’s checkout counter, the store can write off that donation on its own end-of-year taxes.

THE FACTS: Stores can’t write off a customer’s point-of-sale donations, because they don’t count as company income, according to tax policy experts. Stores are only allowed to write off their own donations, such as when a store donates a certain portion of all its proceeds to charity. A widely circulating meme, shared thousands of times this week on Facebook and Instagram, claimed that retailers ask customers to add a little more for charity when checking out in order to fund their own tax write-offs. That’s misguided, according to Renu Zaretsky, a writer at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “The only way a company can write off money is if it’s income,” Zaretsky said. “And this is not counted as income.” Rather than receiving a customer’s donation as income, the company serves as a holding agent for that money, Zaretsky said. Customers may tally up their cash register donations for their own tax returns, but stores are not allowed to claim those. However, if a company gives to a charity on its own, not through prompting a customer to give, it can write off that money, according to Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. Checkout charity campaigns bring in millions of dollars for charitable organizations each year, but customers should know they aren’t obligated to give when prompted, according to Zaretsky. They should also know, though, that a donation option at the cash register isn’t a sign of a money-hungry organization looking to lower its tax bill.

— Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed the report.

____

The World Economic Forum did not write about the omicron variant in July

CLAIM: The World Economic Forum published a story about the new coronavirus variant, now named omicron, in July 2021, months before South Africa first reported it to the World Health Organization this week.

THE FACTS: The WEF first published an article about detecting variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in July, but archived versions of the story show it did not mention omicron at that time. The article was updated in November after the WHO’s announcement, the archives show. Scientists in South Africa identified and reported the new variant, B.1.1.529, on Nov. 24, saying it was behind a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. By Nov. 26, the WHO had declared it a “variant of concern” and given it the name “omicron.” The next day, Twitter users circulated posts linking to the WEF article, suggesting that it showed the variant was not new at all. “They’re starting to make mistakes. WHO just said that ‘Omicron’ was first reported by South Africa on 11/24/21. However, WEF reported this EXACT same ‘variant’—B.1.1.529, out of South Africa—way back in July. Oops,” reads one post that was retweeted over 3,000 times. But previous versions of the WEF article stored by the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, show that it did not mention the new variant until recently, although the forum failed to note that the article had been updated until later. An archive of the page from July 12, when the story was first published, contains no mention of the new variant. Another version archived on Sept. 22 shows the article unchanged. A version from Nov. 26, after omicron was announced, shows the article had then been updated to say “South African scientists have discovered a new COVID-19 variant” and that it is called “B.1.1.529.” The article, however, still did not note that it had been updated — retaining the July 12 timestamp — as the false claims began circulating on social media, an archived version shows. A note was added later in the day saying: “This article was last updated on 26 November 2021.”

— Associated Press reporter Karena Phan in Sacramento, Calif., contributed this report.

___

Photos of London Olympics don’t show prior knowledge of pandemic

CLAIM: Photos of the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012 prove that the COVID-19 pandemic has been planned for a long time.

THE FACTS: The opening ceremony didn’t predict the COVID-19 pandemic, nor did its imagery relate in any way to the virus that would emerge and shut down the world eight years later, as a widely circulating Facebook post falsely claimed. The post shared images from the ceremony, from a scene featuring hospital beds, women in dresses and a giant, skeletal figure in a black robe with a white wand towering overhead, to falsely claim they prove the COVID-19 pandemic was premeditated. “Remember the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, with the giant death figure holding a needle, the dancing nurses and all of the children in hospital beds?” the post read. “It’s starting to make a lot more sense now. They have had this planned for a long time.” However, the costumes and figures in the ceremony had no relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic, and predated it by years. Instead, they paid tribute to Britain’s National Health Service and to iconic British children’s literature, including the “Harry Potter” franchise and its robed villain, Voldemort. “To the strains of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, a scene of children in hospital beds was overrun by literary villains including Captain Hook, Cruella De Vil, the Queen of Hearts and Voldemort, before a group of flying nannies – reminiscent of Mary Poppins – arrived from the skies to banish the nightmarish characters,” the Olympics website explains. Patients and hospital staff from a London hospital were among the performers in the spectacle, according to local press reports.

— Ali Swenson

___

Find AP Fact Checks here: https://apnews.com/APFactCheck

___

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

google news

News

Giants on verge of hiring next GM: Joe Schoen, Ryan Poles or Adam Peters

Published

on

Giants on verge of hiring next GM: Joe Schoen, Ryan Poles or Adam Peters

The Giants are on the verge of naming their fifth GM since 1979.

Friday should be the day.

San Francisco 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters’ Thursday trip to the Giants’ facility in East Rutherford, N.J., wrapped up the second and final round of interviews.

The Giants have narrowed the field to three: Buffalo Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, and Peters.

The Bills, Chiefs and 49ers all are still playing in this postseason, three of the eight teams still alive for this weekend’s Divisional playoff round.

The Giants, who have played and lost one playoff game in the last decade, are looking for a blueprint for modern relevance.

Schoen, 42, and Poles, 36, were the first two candidates to interview in both rounds: first via Zoom on Jan. 12, then with in-person visits this Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Peters, 42, turned around quickly from Monday’s virtual interview to Thursday’s visit.

The Giants started with nine candidates, whittled the list down to three, and now will pick their man to hopefully lead the franchise out of the darkness.

Schoen presents as the most obvious hire for what the Giants need: a respected and experienced talent evaluator who has helped build a winner and pick a great quarterback before. He also has interviewed with the Chicago Bears.

“We are looking for a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching,” co-owner John Mara said in a statement on Jan. 10.

Poles is an impressive candidate from a self-sustaining league powerhouse and Super Bowl championship team that drafted a great quarterback within the last five years.

Peters has pedigree from his work building the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 roster and contributing to the 49ers’ enviable recent success – though he did help draft Trey Lance, a raw developmental QB selected No. 3 overall last spring following a trade up.

All three candidates would be first-time GMs. But so far, the two coaches ticketed to likely interview for the head coaching job – Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores – would not be first-time head coaches.

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll would seem to be the ideal and most likely fit at head coach if Schoen lands the job. Daboll’s work helping Bills QB Josh Allen harness his raw talent to dominant levels is the envy of the entire league.

He is a New England Patriots product just like Joe Judge. In fact, he would have been Judge’s pick as Giants offensive coordinator two years ago if he’d been available.

But he would come with an offense and an experience with quarterbacks that the offensively-challenged Giants desperately need.

Former Eagles Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson, 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, and Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham all seem like candidates who could get a look, as well, based on connections to the GM candidates, the Giants’ needs or what might create a favorable match.

But a full list really won’t come together until the GM hire occurs. Wednesday’s request for Quinn only went out early because multiple candidates had him on their list, and the Giants didn’t want to see Quinn hired before talking to him, a source said.

The Giants were the last of eight teams with full-time head coaching vacancies to submit for a head coaching interview.

Now it’s time to hire the right man for the job and let him lead the search for the next coach who Mara and Steve Tisch will charge with turning their lost ship around.

“There are no package deals,” Mara said last week. “We want to get the general manager ideally done first and, obviously, we’ll talk about the candidates for head coach, but it’s not going to be a package deal. I want to go through a complete process here, interview as many people as possible. I don’t want to rush into anything – we made that mistake in the past.”

2022 OPPONENTS SET

The Giants’ home and away opponents for next season are locked in.

Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

google news
Continue Reading

News

Northern Colorado men’s golf picked No. 3, women picked No. 5 in Big Sky poll

Published

on

Northern Colorado men’s golf picked No. 3, women picked No. 5 in Big Sky poll

Both University of Northern Colorado golf teams are expected to finish in the top half of the Big Sky this season, according to the league coaches poll released on Thursday.

The UNC men were picked to finish third out of seven teams, behind Sacramento State (33 points) and Weber State (32), with 27 points. The Hornets and Wildcats each received three first place votes, while the Bears received one.

Northern Colorado’s roster includes senior Jack Castiglia and junior TJ Shehee, both of whom have already earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors in the first half of the season and picked up individual wins.

The UNC women were picked to finish fifth out of 11 teams. They received 63 points and were ranked behind Sac State, Northern Arizona, Idaho and Weber State. Sac State is heavily favored on the women’s side.

Northern Colorado finished second at the Kelsey Chugg Invitational and earned a top 10 finish at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic. Senior Jenna Chun and juniors Amy Chitkoksoong and Abbi Fleiner.

Both programs are led by first-year coach Clayton Sikorski and assistant David Tottori. Previously, the men were coached by Roger Prenzlow, who retired last season. The women were coached by Ben Portie, who left for a job closer to his family.

Sikorski said he believes the men have an opportunity to contend for the Big Sky title this season, while he hopes the women can surprise the rest of the conference and break into the top three.

The men’s team will begin the second half of the season on Feb. 17-19 when it plays at the John Burns Invitations, hosted by the University of Hawaii. This is the first of five tournaments the team will play before the Big Sky Championship is held from April 25-27.

The women will start their spring season at the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational, hosted by Southern Utah, from March 10-12. Their season consists of four tournaments before the league championship on April 18-20.

Both tournaments will be held at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Full Big Sky preseason rankings

Men

1 – Sacramento State2 – Weber State3 – Northern Colorado4 – HartfordT5 – BinghamtonT5 – Idaho7 – Southern Utah

Women

1 – Sacramento State2 – Northern Arizona3 – Idaho4 – Weber State5 – Northern Colorado6 – Southern Utah7 – Idaho State8 – Portland State9 – Eastern Washington10 – Montana State11 – Montana

google news
Continue Reading

News

Adam Thielen’s foundation to provide grant for new Humboldt fitness center

Published

on

Adam Thielen’s foundation to provide grant for new Humboldt fitness center

The Thielen Foundation, headed up by Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, took a keen interest in the Harding-Humboldt football co-op that formed last year in St. Paul. The foundation reached out to head coach Otto Kraus, now the athletic director at Harding, because it knew of the increased costs that come with forming a new co-op, from uniforms to equipment.

The foundation also informed Kraus it was looking for an athletic facility it could help improve in the city.

Kraus suggested Humboldt’s fitness center.

“Because we are in desperate need of updating this facility,” Humboldt athletic director Matthew Osborne said at this week’s board of education meeting, “and they are prepared to come through with a grant to help us do that.”

The meeting agenda said the fitness center “has been deteriorating for the past couple of decades without any maintenance or new equipment for students and athletes.” It was not included in the district’s new five-year facility plan.

The Thielen Foundation will donate up to $75,000 to the reconstruction and renovation of the fitness center to stock it with “modern fitness training equipment, in addition to adding new flooring, paint, flat screen television, and a new sound system.”

The project is slated to be completed this spring.

google news
Continue Reading

Trending