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tv   America This Morning  ABC  March 13, 2019 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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making news in america this morning, the college admissions bribery scandal rocking the nation. actress felicity huffman leaving court. one of the dozens of high powered celebrities, executives and coaches accused of forging documents and photos cheating on s.a.t.s and bribing school officials to get their children into elite universities. new details overnight on those charged. the punishments they could face and the spotlight this morning on wealth and privilege in america. breaking overnight, severe weather. the new video just in. a tornado destroying several homes. many injuries reported. the storm heading into the plains today. blizzard conditions expected. under pressure, new calls overnight for boeing to ground its new 737 jet after that
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deadly crash. the ceo speaking to president trump. the unexpected delay in the investigation. consumer alert. a new batch of cosmetic products being recalled. the makeup possibly contaminated. plus, the obesity epidemic among cats and dogs. just how bad it's getting. and mitt romney and his birthday cake made of twinkies. the candle surprise explained. good wednesday morning, everyone. thanks for joining us. we begin with what prosecutors are calling the largest college admissions fraud scandal in u.s. history. >> they've dubbed it "operation varsity blues." 50 people are being charged and new details are coming to light this morning. the year-long sting operation has resulted in the arrest of hollywood actresses, top business executives, as well as college coaches.
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>> they're accused of taking part in a scam that paid millions of dollars in bribes to make sure the children of wealthy parents got into some of the most elite schools in the country. this morning, actress felicity huffman seen here leaving court last night with her back turned toward reporters is free after posting $250,000 bond. investigators say the "desperate housewives" star paid money to singer to guarantee admission to top colleges and universities. >> the fbi uncovered what we believe is a rigged system robbing students all over the country of their right at a fair shot to getting into some of the most elite universities in this country. >> reporter: also facing felony charges -- >> we may have. well, he may have embellished, lied a bit on our application. >> reporter: "full house" star lori loughlin. her fashion designer husband has already been arrested. in many cases prosecutors say
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singer paid off s.a.t. and a.c.t. proctors. the money was allegedly funneled tax-free through singer's fake charity. >> we're not talking about donating a building so the school is more likely to take your son or daughter. we're talking about deception and fraud. >> reporter: singer is also accused of bribing individual college coaches. prosecutors say one family paid singer $1.2 million and he in turn bribed the women's soccer coach at yale to recruit their daughter even though their daughter never played soccer. >> in return for bribes, these coaches agreed to pretend that certain applicants were recruited competitive athletes when, in fact, the applicants were not. >> reporter: prosecutors say a wiretap revealed one dad teamed up with singer to trick usc into thinking his son was a football player because it would increase the son's odds of getting into the university. according to the indictment, the father told singer, quote, that's totally hilarious, because his son's high school doesn't have a football team. in another instance prosecutors
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say a parent sent in this photo showing their daughter playing water polo in high school but, in fact, the photo was another student. >> singer and his associates use stock photos that they pulled off the internet, sometimes photoshopping the face of the child onto the picture of the athlete. >> reporter: singer has pleaded guilty to multiple charges including racketeering and conspiracy to defraud. his book "getting in" published in 2014 claims to be full of so-called secrets to gaining admission to your school of choice. among the parents facing charges real estate moguls, wine vineyard owners and entrepreneurs like todd blake who tweeted his excitement over his daughter's admission to usc last year tweeting, very excited my daughter will be attending usc next year. fight on, trojan family. and this morning, new fallout on the campuses of several prestigious universities. stanford has fired its sailing coach. usc has let go a director of its athletic program and the water polo coach and at wake forest
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the head volleyball coach also fired. no students have been charged but their fate remains unclear. prosecutors say many of them were unaware of what their parents did. loughlin was in canada when the charges were announced. she is expected to turn herself in today but coming up in about ten minutes, we'll take a closer look at the case against felicity huffman and lori loughlin and the punishments they could face if convicted. now to the other big story this morning, boeing is facing even more pressure to ground its 737 max 8 jets after that deadly crash in east africa. all of the european union has now grounded the plane and the man in charge of new york city's three local airports is now speaking out urging the faa to take action. abc's stephanie ramos has the latest. good morning, stephanie. >> reporter: kenneth, good morning. today ntsb, faa and boeing officials are expected to meet with ethiopian officials about where the black boxes from the plane that crashed will go. it's likely ethiopians won't be
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able to extract that data, so it may have to happen in a second country. today, the faa continues to face major criticism for not grounding boeing's 737 max jets after the ethiopian airlines crash and months after a different crash in indonesia this past october. but other countries not taking cues from the faa. instead, they've already grounded the aircraft. lawmakers are calling for the faa to act. >> i think it makes sense to ground the aircraft until we have better information. >> reporter: the chief of new york airports and new york's governor andrew cuomo also calling on the faa to strongly consider grounding the fleet. flight 302 took off sunday morning carrying 157 people and just six minutes later that plane slammed into this field. the black boxes have been found, but the lead investigator says they won't even begin to examine the black boxes until they can clear the debris field. >> if there's a problem with the airplane, the world needs to know now. >> reporter: in the u.s., there
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are only 72 maxes out of thousands of planes, and at least two u.s. pilots have complained about them in the past reporting that an automated system seemed to cause their boeing 737 max plane to tilt down suddenly. they recovered after disconnecting the autopilot. the faa in a new statement says there's no basis to order grounding. these travelers going from houston to orlando not feeling so confident. >> i want to try to get on a different flight. >> reporter: here in washington, the white house says the president spoke with boeing's ceo who says he's absolutely confident in the safety of the airplanes. now, if you're concerned, both american airlines and southwest list the plane you're traveling on during the booking process. kenneth. >> stephanie ramos, thank you. the pilot of a small plane was killed after crashing into a home near cincinnati. no one was home at the time. the plane was being used for aerial photography and surveying and had been flying for about four hours before going down.
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no word yet on the cause of the crash. u.s. relations with venezuela are hitting a new low as the country's blackout enters day seven. desperate people, many unable to find clean water, food or cash are protesting. president nicolas maduro claims without evidence that the u.s. sabotaged the power grid. abc's tom llamas on the ground in venezuela tells us the u.s. is firing back. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo has responded to president maduro saying the u.s. played no role in the power problems. he is blaming maduro's, quote, incompetence but the u.s. taking no chance and pulling out all u.s. personnel saying the conditions here are just deteriorating and we have seen that everywhere we've gone from seeing people bathe in that river of filth to seeing mothers carrying large jugs of brown water with their small children to the hospital and to the airport where there is still no power. >> our thanks to tom and maduro's government also blames opposition leader juan guaido for the blackouts.
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the u.s. is threatening to impose new sanctions on the regime. back here at home we turn now to the weather. a tornado destroyed at least ten homes in southeastern new mexico. several injuries are repe in p colorado. let's take a look now at your wednesday forecast. good morning. this major storm is a dual threat. on the warm side, widespread rain that's going to cause widespread thunderstorms and flash flooding and on the cold side we are bracing for blizzard conditions. snowfall from wednesday going into thursday, 12 to 18 inches between rapid city down towards denver and we could get as much as 26 in some isolated pockets. this is part of a big system that's going to bring about road closures and roofs may collapse and then severe thunderstorms throughout the deep south. i'm accuweather meteorologist paul williams. coming up, the city with the most aggressive drivers in the most aggressive drivers in the country. also ahead, a new safety
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recall this morning. the makeup products now being recalled. million bill from the power company. what this amazing millennial did coming up next.
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we're back with a new survey on road rage. this disturbing video outside boston went viral back in january. >> stop the car. >> a court hearing is scheduled in this case today. a new survey out this morning ranks the city with the most aggressive drivers. boston did not make the top five. l.a. topped the list followed by philadelphia and i know that from experience after living there, then sacramento, atlanta and san francisco. we learned overnight about a murder mystery involving a former priest accused of child sex abuse. police say 70-year-old john
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capparelli was found shot inside his home near las vegas. before he moved to nevada, he was accused of abuse in new jersey. police have not said whether his death is connected to those abuse claims. a former adviser to pope francis has been sentenced to six years in prison. australian cardinal george pell was convicted of sexually abusing two boys. he's the most senior member of the church convicted in the abuse scandal. a consumer alert this morning affecting women's beauty products. claire's stores is recalling three makeup products because of possible asbestos contamination. they include compact powder, contour palettes and eye shadows. the company says fda testing showed possible asbestos fibers in some samples. no illnesses have been reported. so imagine this, getting your electricity bill and seeing the amount due is nearly $38 million. >> yikes. >> talk about sticker shock. that happened to a man here in new york who lives in a small apartment but being just 27 years old, he did what some
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think most millennials would do. instead of calling the power company, he sent a tweet and demanded they, quote, fix it. they did. turns out he only owed $74. no word on what caused the error. what the company says was the biggest error ever made. >> doing the math here, $38 million, $74. yeah, a little bit of a difference. >> a little bit. >> i can cover that. >> a little bit. coming up, two blockbusters moves in the nfl. also ahead, the disturbing news about the health of our cats and dogs. but first a closer look at the college admissions bribery scandal and the punishment two hollywood stars could be facing. corey is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor,
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hasn't executed anyone since 2006. governor gavin newsom will be explaining the moratorium later on today. and we have more now on that massive college admissions scam and the two hollywood actresses who are charged in the case. >> felicity huffman and lori loughlin are accused of conspiracy to commit fraud to help their daughters get into elite colleges. this morning, two hollywood stars now facing possible jail time in the college admissions cheating scandal rocking the country. prosecutors say felicity huffman paid $15,000 to ensure that a proctor would improve her daughter's test scores. according to the indictment huffman's daughter scored 400 points higher compared to her preliminary s.a.t. score. >> we're talking about deception and fraud. fake test scores, fake athletic credentials, fake photographs. bribed college officials. >> reporter: huffman, an emmy winner and an academy award nominee is known for playing lynette scavo on "desperate housewives." >> are you asking for a bribe. >> reporter: she faced a federal judge while her husband william
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h. macy sat front row in the courtroom. macy is not named in the complaint. also embroiled in the scandal, lori loughlin, the actress who rose to fame on "full house" playing the kind-hearted role model aunt becky. >> you've worked very hard for your success. you should be proud of yourself. >> reporter: loughlin and her fashion designer husband behind the brand massimo are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters considered as recruits for the crew team even the girls had never rowed before. the company even reportedly took pictures of their children on rowing machines. >> i don't really care about school as you guys all know. >> reporter: loughlin's daughter olivia jade is a popular influence on social media with more than a million followers where she can be seen talking about college life. olivia faced backlash for this video she posted last year. >> i do want the experience of like game days, partying. >> reporter: she later apologized and called school a privilege. in a 2017 interview loughlin sat next to her other daughter isabella and was asked about sending her off to college. >> i think i'm in complete denial. >> yeah? >> i really am because
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think about it too much, it will make me cry so i got to stop. >> reporter: legal experts say the punishments for the two if convicted could be quite different. >> loughlin is accused of spending $500,000 and doing it twice. huffman cused of $15,000 and doing it once. there's a big difference legally in terms of a possible sentence between those two. the danger for both of them though is that this is the sort of celebrity justice you don't want if you're a celebrity. because a judge is going to want to send a very firm message to both of them and to the country. >> huffman and loughlin's aduld the charges. today is another sentencing day for president trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort. just last week he was sentenced to 47 months in prison for bank and tax fraud. today a federal judge in washington will sentence him on conspiracy charges, and he could face up to ten more years behind bars. we have a medical headline this morning. but not for people, for pets. a new survey finds more than
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half of all pets in the u.s. are overweight or obese including 60% of cats and 56% of dogs. the survey found most owners are overwhelmed by the number of food choices for their pets and by conflicting nutritional advice. >> that's why we call them fat cats. in sports a blockbuster trade in the nfl. star receiverdell beckham jr. is heading from the giants to the browns. in return the giants will get two of cleveland's top picks in the upcoming nfl draft. and we learned overnight that former pittsburgh running back le'veon bell has agreed to join the new york jets. the terms of the deal not yet official. and one more sports headline in college basketball, number one gonzaga lost to st. mary's in the wcc title game. well, up next in "the pulse," mitt romney's birthday candles. also ahead, the shocking twist during "the bachelor" finale and the role that air supply played. plus, one boy's soccer moves you just have to see. >> whoa. moves you just have to see. >> whoa.
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♪ out of nothing ♪ out of nothing at all "the pulse" starts with the music of air supply, which was featured on last night's season finale of "the bachelor." >> millions watched bachelor colton profess love for cassie who had left him in a previous episode. they spent a night in the fantasy suite and now they say they're moving toward engagement. colton wouldn't confirm whether he's still a virgin. >> also last night, hannah b. was announced as the next bachelorette. she was sent home during colton's bachelor season. her search for love begins in may right here on abc. >> welcome. >> thank you. >> can't wait. next mitt romney and his birthday candles. strange or just playing it safe? >> decide for yourself. the utah senator responding to people on social media mocking him over the way he blew out the
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candles on the birthday cake made of twinkies. his favorite snack. he blew out the candles one by one. one guy on twitter saying mitt romney is a deeply weird dude. >> later senator romney had a good explanation. he said he had a cold and didn't want to get everyone else sick so that's -- >> that's good. >> playing considerate. >> slt. >> you don't want to blow all over the twinkie cake. >> one by one at a time. fine. david beckham, look out. this british boy has some mad soccer skills. >> this is 11-year-old soccer prodigy ramell carter on a treadmill. >> seriously. >> he even speeds it up and still keeps control of the ball. >> oh, my gosh. >> he already has an endorsement deal with nike. let's hope whatever shoes they give him, he doesn't explode out of them. >> oh, my goodness. that kid is good. finally on this hump day, we all feel like this seal. >> watch him. getting a little drowsy and then dozing off in the seaweed. >> a diver off the coast of england caught this sleepy seal
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let's end this. good morning everyone. it is wednesday, march 13th. i've assured everyone at the desk i won't spill my coffee. >> yesterday i was in the splash zone. shamu stadium. >> that's why it smelled so good up here yesterday? >> yes, it did. >> smells like creamer. >> always smells better than it tastes, right? little breezy outside, right? >> yeah. >> i promise the winds will calm down and today will be a lot less aggressive than yesterday. more enjoyable. 25 at fairfield. about 10 at sfo. here's a look at our temperatures. there's a windchill out there. all of us are in the 40s. ukiah at 36. los gatos at 39 degrees.
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san francisco, brentwood, warmest at 49. let's see where we end up. how about low to mid-60s. 60 to 65. lakeport at 57. we'll take a look at your 12-hour planner. here's alexis. >> we have high wind advisories in effect fort san mateo bridge, the benicia bridge. as mike said, it is calming down. that was the breeziest part of my commute. taking you now to roadwork in marin county, south on 101 between hamilton drive and golden gate bridge. they're working on the emergency road repair leaving only one lane open. i think they have another lane open at this point. i'm not seeing any delays. that is scheduled to go another 30 minutes at 5:00 this morning. i'll check in with cal trans. another update in a few minutes. >> thank you, alexis. we begin with that bombshell college admissions cheating
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scandal. we're learning new details this morning about how the arrested actress. felicity huffman went down. >> fbi agents showed up to her home with their guns drawn. they told her about the charges, handcuffed her and took her into custody. meanwhile, we've learned full house actress, lori loughlin will surrender today. wrorpter kate larsen has more. >> actress felicity huffman released on $250,000 and mobbed in court after being arrested in the largest alleged college admission scam ever. her husband, actor william h. macy seen entering the courthouse in los angeles. huffman is one of 50 people charged, including actress lori loughlin in operation varsity blues. >> you're kidding? >> she played on full house. she's also facing arrest. >> i'm sad she did that. >> it's disappointing to me. >> fans of the sitcom
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surprised that love lynn was named in the scandal. >> i love -- i would watch that since i was a child and she has a moral standard. >> love lynn and her husband allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters considered as recruits for the usc crew team even though they didn't row. showing one of their daughters on a rowing machine. >> in this day and age, that's white privilege. >> her daughter olivia is a social media influencer. >> i want the experience of, like gamedays, partying. i don't rile care about school as you know. >> asking for a bribe? >> desperate housewives star allegedly paid $15,000 to help arrange for her daughter to take the proctor could secretly arrange to correct her answers. >> i would do anything for


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