Thursday, 21 November 2019
Items filtered by date: June 2019

About two months before Utah college student MacKenzie Lueck went missing, the man now suspected of her murder asked a local contractor to build a soundproof room in his home with hooks drilled into concrete walls and a secret entrance with a thumb lock, the contractor claims.

“Honestly? I don’t know what he wanted it for,” contractor Brian Wolf told ABC News’ Salt Lake City affiliate KTVX of suspect Ayoola Ajayi, 31.

“But my gut was not normal. I mean, who needs a room with a thumb locks and hooks? In my opinion it was for something bad.”

PHOTO: Mackenzie Lueck is pictured in this undated photo released by her family. (Family Photo)
 

Wolf said he turned down the job and "got the hell out of there," but remains haunted by the encounter.

“It’s mind-blowing,” he told KTVX. “It’s like something out of a movie.”

Attempts by ABC News to reach Wolf directly were not immediately successful.

PHOTO: Salt Lake City police take Ayoola A. Ajayi into custody in connection with missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 28, 2019. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)
 

Wolf told local Fox affiliate WXIN that when he asked Ajayi why he wanted a secret room about the size of a walk-in closet built, Ajayi told him that his Mormon girlfriend would be visiting and she didn’t know he drinks alcohol and he wanted to hide the booze in the secret room. The contractor said that Ajayi told him he would pay whatever the cost to have the room built.

(MORE: Man arrested for murder, kidnapping of missing Utah student )

He said he reported what he knew to police as soon as he saw the home on television news broadcasts.

PHOTO: A jogger runs pass a poster of Mackenzie Lueck at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, June 24, 2019. (Rick Bowmer/AP, FILE)
 

Ajayi, 31, was taken into custody at the home on Friday and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said at a news conference.

Charred tissue has been recovered that contains DNA consistent with samples found on Lueck's belongings, Brown said.

PHOTO: A police officer walks to a building where a man was taken into custody in connection with missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck Friday, June 28, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
 

Lueck, 23, was last seen in the early hours of June 17. She landed at the Salt Lake City International Airport around 2 a.m., then at 2:40 a.m. she took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in north Salt Lake City, police said.

Ajayi admitted to police that he and Lueck texted about 6 a.m. on June 16, but said that they did not text after that time, said Brown. He told police "he did not know what Mackenzie looked like and denied having seen a photo or online profile of Mackenzie, despite having several photos of her and a profile photo," Brown said.

His home was searched on Wednesday night when he was considered a person of interest, police said.

During that search, Ajayi's neighbors told police they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether Ajayi has retained a defense attorney.

On Friday, a northern Utah police department said that it investigated a rape allegation five years ago against Ajayi, but that the alleged victim declined to pursue charges, the Associated Press reported.

Published in News & Stories

A Utah man was taken into custody Friday for allegedly killing missing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck, according to the Salt Lake City police.

Ayoola Ajayi, 31, is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said at a news conference on Friday.

PHOTO: Ayoola Ajayi, 31, of Salt Lake City was arrested June 28, 2019, for the murder of Mackenzie Lueck.Salt Lake County

Charred tissue has been recovered that contains DNA consistent with samples found on Lueck's belongings, Brown said.

Giving Lueck's father the news was "one of the most difficult phone calls I've ever made," Brown said.

PHOTO: Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown holds a news conference on Friday, June 28, 2019 in Salt Lake City.Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
 

Lueck, 23, was last seen in the early hours of June 17. She landed at the Salt Lake City International Airport around 2 a.m., then at 2:40 a.m. she took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in north Salt Lake City, police said.

PHOTO: Salt Lake City police released photos of missing woman Mackenzie Lueck taken by security cameras at the Salt Lake City airport early on June 17, 2019.Salt Lake City Police
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The Lyft driver told police that Lueck met an individual at the park and did not appear to be in distress, police said.

The college senior was never seen again.

PHOTO: A jogger runs pass a poster of Mackenzie Lueck at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, June 24, 2019.Rick Bowmer/AP, FILE

All communications from Lueck's cell phone stopped on at 3 a.m. that morning, Brown said.

Phone records show that Lueck and Ajayi were both at Hatch Park within less than one minute of each other, Brown said.

Lueck's last communication was with Ajayi, Brown said.

PHOTO: Mackenzie Lueck is pictured in this undated photo released by her family.Family Photo
Mackenzie Lueck is pictured in this undated photo released by her family.more +

Ajayi admitted to police that he and Lueck texted about 6 a.m. on June 16, but said that they did not text after that time, said Brown. He told police "he did not know what Mackenzie looked like and denied having seen a photo or online profile of Mackenzie, despite having several photos of her and a profile photo," Brown said.

His home was searched on Wednesday night when he was considered a person of interest, police said.

During that search, Ajayi's neighbors told police they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, police said.

PHOTO: Salt Lake City police take Ayoola A. Ajayi into custody in connection with missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 28, 2019.Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP

Police found a "fresh dig area" there, Brown said.

"A forensic excavation of the burned area was conducted, which resulted in the finding of several charred items consistent with personal items of Mackenzie Lueck," he said.

PHOTO: A police officer walks to a building where a man was taken into custody in connection with missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck Friday, June 28, 2019, in Salt Lake City.Rick Bowmer/AP
more +

Lueck, a kinesiology major, was planning to graduate next year, according to the university.

"The death of Mackenzie Lueck is devastating news," university President Ruth Watkins said in a statement on Friday. "On behalf of the university, I express our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of Mackenzie during this very difficult time."

As her family and friends mourn, Lueck's connection to the suspect and details about the alleged crime remain unclear.

Investigators said Thursday they were looking to track down a mattress and box springdiscarded from his house, police said.

Ajayi spent six months in the Utah Army National Guard, a Utah National Guard spokesperson told ABC News. He was discharged in June 2015, the spokesperson said.

Ajayi "did not attend Basic Training or Advanced Individual Training," said the spokesperson. "As a result, he did not receive any certificates or awards from the Army National Guard. He was therefore ineligible to deploy or conduct any tours of duty with the Utah Army National Guard."

Published in Business and Economy

The move left Ms. Pelosi’s natural allies in the House’s Hispanic and progressive caucuses stunned and feeling betrayed. “Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus?” Mr. Pocan said on Twitter. Representatives Max Rose, Democrat of New York, and Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota, were later seen angrily confronting him on the House floor.

Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and a former co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the episode left him “very resentful,” and feeling as if the moderates had essentially forced the House to silence its natural inclinations.

“I just hope that in forcing us to do nothing, they don’t feel like they’ve actually accomplished anything,” Mr. Grijalva said. “I don’t know what the motivation was, to try to assert some power or what, but in the future, we shouldn’t hesitate bringing our agenda and our legislation forward because it might offend 23 or 24” centrists.

The episode also exposed divisions among the moderates themselves. On the House floor on Thursday, about 10 moderate freshman Democrats huddled near the marble dais, arguing about the way forward. One lawmaker said if they sided with the other party in a bid to force the House to consider the weaker Senate bill, “we might as well be Republicans,” according to one person familiar with the exchange who described it on the condition of anonymity.

Representative Abigail Spanberger, Democrat of Virginia, grew red-faced and emotional during the exchange, and stormed off the House floor, returning a short time later and accepting an embrace from Representative Katie Porter, Democrat of California. Both ultimately supported the bill.

It was a version of a point that had been made, in much gentler fashion, during floor remarks by Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee. He warned that the procedural move the moderates were threatening to join “is a vote to give control of the House floor to the Republicans.”

But the moderates said they had done the party a favor, getting the House to the only tenable position as quickly as possible.

Published in Politics

According to reports from The Sunday Times, Wolves are close to securing their first signing of the summer transfer window.

Wolves have been very quiet this summer, but it seems they are all set to land their first signing in the form of Ezri Konsa from Brentford.

The report claims that a deal in the region of £12m for the England U21 international is close to completion.

Nuno Espirito Santo is looking to bolster the defence, and Konsa would be a very good signing for the club.

The ball-playing central defender has been on the books of Brentford since the summer of 2018, and made a strong impression last season.

Konsa made 42 appearances in the Championship last season, scoring one goal.

He is arguably one of the finest young talents in the Championship and has the potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Wolves surpassed all expectations last season by finishing seventh in the Premier League, and expectations are high this time around.

It will be a big step forward for the 21-year-old and time will tell whether he can justify his price tag.

Report: West Ham and Everton want Rodrigo Moreno

 

 

 

Published in News & Stories

Malcom struggles at Barca

Malcom made the switch to FC Barcelona in July of 2018 from Ligue 1 outfit, Bordereaux.

The Brazilian is believed to have cost the Catalonian side somewhere in the region of £36m.

However, since making his big move to Spain, Malcom has struggled for game time.

The 22-year-old would manage just 24 appearances across all competitions this past season, scoring just four and assisting two.

Neymar return

After such an average debut season with Barcelona, Malcom is now being tipped to be sold this summer.

Spanish outlet AS are claiming that Malcom could be the player Barca sell to make room for Neymar.

Barca’s three none European spots in their senior side are currently taken up by Malcom, Arthur and Arturo Vidal.

So, if they sign Neymar, Barca will need to move on one of the above-mentioned trio and AS believe that could well be Malcom.

The report from AS mentions that Barca would prefer to sell the Brazilian to the Premier League with both Arsenal and Tottenham interested.

The Gunners have been linked with Malcom already this past season and he could well be on their list of targets this summer as they do appear to be searching for a wide player.

Over the last few weeks, Arsenal have been rumoured to be interested in a number of wide players.

The main players linked have been Ryan Fraser, Yannick Carrasco and Nice’s Keita Balde.

Related: Arsenal’s Jeff Reine-Adelaide sell-on clause revealed as top clubs circle Angers striker

Arsenal & Kieran Tierney: Celtic left-back returns to UK, Gunners to up transfer bid

Published in Sports

© Reuters. JFK Presidential Library celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos was spotted schmoozing in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s booth during the Super Bowl in February, the media world exploded with anticipation about Amazon’s imminent domination of sports media.

But two years after first dabbling in live sports streaming, Amazon has yet to settle on a strategy as it continues to experiment and analyze consumer behavior, Marie Donoghue, Vice President of Global Sports Video, told Reuters.

“We’re literally at day one in sports, so we’re learning and experimenting,” Donoghue said in New York this week in her first interview after she took over the sports media division of the world’s largest online retailer last fall.

The arrival of Donoghue, a nearly twenty-year veteran of Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co’s ESPN cable network and who was responsible for shows including the ’30 for 30′ series and ‘OJ: Made in America,’ signaled a new level of seriousness to Amazon’s pursuit of live sports.

While the real impact of her arrival remains to be seen, that hasn’t stopped chatter of a big tech takeover of live sports as Amazon, Facebook Inc (O:), Twitter Inc (N:) and Alphabet Inc’s (O:) YouTube’s threaten to loosen TV’s grip on one of the last remaining reasons to pay for live television.

Tech companies and startup digital platforms – like DAZN, which in October agreed to pay boxing champion Canelo Alvarez a minimum of $365 million for five years, the richest contract in sports history – are also seen driving up the cost of media rights when major contracts start coming up for renewal in 2021.

Will Amazon lead the pack in pursuing streaming rights for live sports? “We don’t talk about specific rights … as a matter of course, but also because we’re just not sure yet,” Donoghue said.

Since 2017, Amazon has snapped up digital rights to some of England’s Premier League soccer matches, U.S. Open Tennis Championships in the UK and three seasons of Thursday Night Football, among others.

Donoghue said the current focus is on how to enable Amazon Prime subscribers to control nearly every component of their viewing experience, including how, when and where they watch.

As a streaming service, “we don’t have to serve the same content in the same way to everybody,” she said.

To figure out which sports products are successful and what to offer next, Amazon is analyzing market research and its own viewership data, as well as consumers’ use of its X-Ray tool for digging into details about shows.

It also co-streams Thursday Night Football on its Twitch video game streaming platform, which has an interactive extension that lets viewers predict game developments, including who they think will win.

“We’re watching all of that,” Donoghue said. “We want to use live sports to drive value for Prime customers.”

 

Published in News & Stories

Facebook has taken down a sponsored post scammers shared with hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting users. The fraudsters used the post to attract victims to a fake bitcoin trading platform they marketed with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

‘My way of giving back to the people’

According to the UAE-based media outlet The National, the fraudsters – who have operated the scam from Ukraine and Argentina for weeks – directed victims to a fake story about the Crown Prince, claiming that he wants to help people by making them rich with a Bitcoin trading platform.

The fraudsters even included a fake quote from the Crown Prince, saying that the phony trading platform is “my way of giving back to the people.”

The fake Bitcoin trading platform, Bitcoin Loophole, claims that its users can make at least $13,000 in 24-hours. According to the website of the scammy service, people can earn such outrageously high profits with the use of automated Bitcoin trading bots.

“The best part is that anyone can use it and make money – even if you have never traded before or if you are a seasoned professional,” Bitcoin Loophole’s website reads.

Despite marketing the scam with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, he is not even mentioned on Bitcoin Loophole’s website. Only Steve McKay, the creator’ of the fake automated trading platform sees a mention.

A quick Google search revealed that McKay is not even a real person, the scammers have used a stock photo from Shutterstock to trick victims into believing he is the creator of Bitcoin Loophole and other fake crypto trading platforms like Bitcoin Code.

Thousands of victims in Bitcoin scam

While the precise number of victims remains unknown, The National stated that the scammers have successfully duped “thousands” who have shared their personal details with the perpetrators.

The sponsored post on Facebook had over 37,000 social reactions, 8,100 comments, and nearly 5,000 shares.

The fake story where the users were directed by the sponsored post included an article written by “Michael Alvarado” who claimed that he had made 26,000 AED ($7,080) with Bitcoin Loophole in two weeks.

The scammers used the image of US-based freelance journalist Timothy Seppala who has already confirmed that the fraudsters used his picture without his permission.

In the story – where readers could find fake quotes from the Crown Prince and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates –, the fraudsters posted a link to Bitcoin Loophole and urged users to spend 918 AED ($250).

After The National contacted Facebook about the scam, the social media platform had removed the sponsored post.

“We want people to be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook. Claiming to be another person on Facebook violates our community standards, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams,” a spokesman for Facebook said.

The Abu Dhabi government has also taken steps in the case, reminding its citizens to be aware of internet fraud.

“It is strongly advised that people check the authenticity of campaigns asking for pledges or donations in case of fraud, particularly online and on social media,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office stated.

Celebrities on target

This was not the first time when fraudsters have used fake endorsements from famous persons and celebrities to promote fake Bitcoin schemes.

Earlier this year, CCN reported that an 82-year-old British woman had lost all of her money to scammers who used a Facebook ad featuring investor and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

Others stars of Dragon’s Den – including entrepreneur Peter Jones –  were used by fraudsters to promote Bitcoin scams as well as actor Hugh Jackman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

 

 

Published in Headliners

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An investor watches a board showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian markets were busy going nowhere on Thursday as confusion shrouded the chances of any progress in the Sino-U.S. trade standoff, while bulls scaled back wagers for a drastic cut in U.S. interest rates.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible this weekend but warned he was prepared to impose U.S. tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports if talks fail.

Trump also raised the possibility that he may impose a lower, 10% duty on a $300 billion list of Chinese imports, instead of the proposed 25% rate.

Enroute to the G20 meeting in Japan on Air Force One, Trump later tweeted he was “off to save the Free World!”

“The best that can be hoped for is a ceasefire that avoids incremental tariffs and helps set the stage for further talks, and this isn’t a scenario that equities should necessarily be celebrating,” said analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE:) in a note.

Investors were clearly on the sidelines with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipping 0.01% in very light trade.

Japan’s added 0.3%, helped by a pullback in the yen, while Australian stocks eased 0.4%. E-Mini futures for the were 0.03% firmer.

Wall Street had been equally circumspect, with the ending Wednesday down 0.04%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.12% and the Nasdaq rose 0.32%.

LESS THAN 50

Trump had also weighed into U.S. monetary policy on Wednesday, accusing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell of doing a “bad job” and “out to prove how tough he is” by not cutting interest rates.

Markets are convinced the Fed will indeed ease at its next meeting in July, but had to scale back bets on a half-point cut following cautious comments from various policy makers.

Futures are 100% priced for a cut of 25 basis points, and imply a 22% chance of 50 basis points.

Treasury yields edged up in response, though the two-year is only just above 19-month lows at 1.77%.

That in turn eased the selling pressure on the U.S. dollar, which inched up to 96.175 on a basket of currencies from a three-month trough of 95.843.

The dollar bounced modestly on the yen to 107.76 and away from a low of 106.77. The euro likewise eased back to $1.1371 from a top of $1.1412.

The dollar’s gains took a little of the shine off gold, which broke a six-session winning stretch and eased to $1,410.12 per ounce.

Oil prices ran into profit-taking in early Asia, having gained overnight on a larger-than-expected drawdown in crude stocks as exports hit a record high and surprise falls in refined product stockpiles. [O/R]

futures eased 54 cents to $65.95, while lost 48 cents to $58.84 a barrel.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

 

Published in News & Stories

The Federal Aviation Administration discovered another potential risk in Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jets, which were grounded in the U.S. and abroad in March after 346 people died in two separate crashes involving the plane.

Reuters first reported the potential risk, which Boeing will now need to address, on Wednesday. The issue was found during a simulator test performed last week, according to the news agency, and is believed to be different from the flaws that investigators linked to the crashes earlier this year.

Details of the specific risk were not made clear in Reuters’ report, though CNN said a risk had been discovered in the computer system that could push the plane’s nose down, citing sources familiar with the testing.

The FAA confirmed later Wednesday that it had found another potential risk in the 737 Max 8 jets.

The FAA said that an independent review panel, the Technical Advisory Board, was reviewing the agency’s ongoing work on restoring the 737 Max 8’s service. 

“On the most recent issue, the FAA’s process is designed to discover and highlight risks,” the FAA said.

The agency said Boeing would have to “mitigate” the new risk.

Boeing is under severe scrutiny after one of its 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed in Indonesia and another crashed in Ethiopia five months later, both times killing everyone on board. A malfunctioning anti-stall system and a design flaw in the aircraft’s flight simulator software is believed to be linked to both of the crashes.

In May, The New York Times reported that Boeing had discovered that its flight simulators could not replicate the conditions that occur when the anti-stall system malfunctions, giving pilots a false impression of how much force they would need to employ to regain control of the jet once the anti-stall system was activated.

The pilots who died in the 737 Max 8 crashes struggled to disengage the planes’ automated anti-stall software and failed to regain control of the aircraft as the anti-stall system repeatedly pushed the aircraft’s nose downward.

Following the lead of countries around the world, President Donald Trump issued an emergency order grounding all 737 Max 8 planes in the U.S. in response to the deadly crashes.

Boeing officials acknowledged there were design flaws in the simulation software in May. Last week, the company’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg also admitted that Boeing made a “mistake” by failing to tell regulators that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the Max jet didn’t work properly.

When speaking to reporters in Paris last week, Muilenburg expressed confidence that the jets would be cleared to fly later this year, according to The Associated Press.

But the FAA on Wednesday said it was not following a “prescribed timeline” to bring the jets into service.

“The [FAA] is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 MAX to passenger service,” the agency said. “The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so.”

Published in Business and Economy

The smell of rotten love is more of a stench, like dying roses and salty tears. It’s intoxicating and it changes the atmosphere of your reality. Sour love turns into resent, then hate, and sometimes love again.

But in the case of Ellie Goulding and Juice WRLD‘s new collaboration “Hate Me,” the much-coveted emotion was snapped away from their respective relationships without an Infinity Gauntlet. Now all that’s left is the emotional debris and memory of better times in the wake of the devastation.

Goulding’s latest sounds like a soft, mid-tempo, mild case of the blues. She absolutely loathes an ex who has a new girlfriend, and she wants him to know, telling her everything that he doesn’t do with his new girl that he did with her. She knows that he doesn’t kiss her with his eyes closed. She knows that he moved on so fast because he wants to replace her. She spews the toxic fumes that cloud the atmosphere, enabling Juice WRLD to come in and immerse himself in the feels of the moment.

His verse is equally as jarring as he reflects on a lover’s animosity towards him, revealing how she believes that he’s easily replaceable. He gets migraines from the pain that the relationship causes. Together, the two sound sick of the entire situation. And medicine won’t clear up the infection — only time apart will.

“Hate Me” follows Goulding’s recently released videos for both “Sixteen” and “Flux.” She was also featured on the Game of Thrones album For the Throne – Music Inspired by the HBO Series.

Listen to the toxic environment of “Hate Me” up above.

Published in Entertainment
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