Fox News 2024-06-11 09:11:53


Rich and powerful socialite learns her fate after crash that killed 2 boys crossing the street

A rich and powerful Los Angeles socialite was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Monday for the deaths of two boys as they were crossing the street with their mother and younger brother.

Rebecca Grossman was sentenced after being convicted of second-degree murder and other charges stemming from the Sept. 29, 2020 crash that killed Jacob Iskander, 8, and his brother, 11-year-old Mark Iskander, as they were crossing the street.

Nancy Iskander, a biotech executive, grabbed her son, Zachary, who was 5 at the time, and dove out of the way. But she and her youngest son witnessed the crash.

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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino rejected a request from prosecutors that Grossman be sentenced to 34 years to life, saying such a lengthy term is “just not warranted here,” Fox Los Angeles reported. He said the children’s deaths were an “unimaginable loss,” but he noted Grossman’s lack of a criminal record and philanthropic history. 

Brandolino did, however, acknowledge Grossman’s “incredibly selfish behavior” after the crash but said “she’s not a monster as the prosecution attempts to portray her here.”

“The loss of these two innocent lives has devastated their family and our community. Ms. Grossman’s blatant disregard for human life is a stark reminder of the grave consequences of irresponsible behavior behind the wheel,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said. 

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“Our office pursued this case with the intent to seek justice for the victims and their loved ones, advocating for a sentence that would reflect the severity of the crime. We will continue to support the victims’ family during this difficult time,” he added. 

Grossman, 60, had prescription drugs and alcohol in her system at the time of the 2020 crash, prosecutors told Fox News Digital. Although she was married to a prominent Los Angeles surgeon, Dr. Peter Grossman, she was racing her boyfriend, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson, home from a restaurant. Each of them were driving Mercedes-Benz SUVs above 70 mph.

She never expressed remorse, Nancy Iskander previously said. Prosecutors said Grossman never returned to the scene and failed to aid the boys.

“I am not a murderer, and I ask you to recognize that true fact,” Grossman wrote in a letter to the judge. “My pain, my recognition of the pain the Iskanders suffer, and the pain I watch my family endure, are punishments that I already suffer and will for the rest of my life. Please consider this suffering when you consider what more punishment to impose on me in this case.”

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Grossman has already served 111 days in jail and paid nearly $50,000 in restitution. 

Supporters of former President Trump attending his massive Las Vegas rally over the weekend revealed who they want to see share the Republican ticket alongside him in November.

Fox News Digital spoke to a number of attendees, whose answers were wide-ranging with even a few surprises thrown in.

“I’d say [Florida Sen.] Marco Rubio, and my reason is he’s in line with all of our beliefs, he’s in line with all Trump’s beliefs,” one supporter told Fox. “Marco Rubio is young, energetic, and we need somebody young, we need somebody in four years that can take over that has energy and youth and will keep the path that President Trump is going to line up for us.”

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Her husband agreed, while another rallygoer simply said, “I’d like to see [Arkansas Sen.] Tom Cotton.”

Another supporter told Fox he wanted to see Trump select North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, citing his experience in business, which he said was something needed in America.

“I have my pick, and not many people agree with me, but I’d like to see Gen. Flynn,” one man told Fox, referencing former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who briefly served under Trump at the start of his administration in 2017 and has been a staunch supporter since he first ran for president in 2016.

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One man, who identified himself as a veteran, said he wanted Trump to pick Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who ran against him in the Republican presidential primaries.

“I think that would be a great deal. Trump is pro-military, and me being a veteran and Ron DeSantis being a veteran, I don’t think you can get a better combo, in my opinion,” he said as two of his fellow attendees agreed.

Another suggested former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would be the best choice and called on her and Trump to “work together and get this country right back to where the country can be safe again.”

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“And be great,” his fellow rallygoer added, while another suggested South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

One woman wouldn’t name a preference as she declared the only thing that mattered was making sure Trump won.

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Trump’s campaign recently entered the next phase of the running mate search by requesting documents from several prospective contenders, including Rubio, Burgum and Ohio Sen. JD Vance. 

Trump has suggested he will likely wait until July’s Republican National Convention in Milwaukee to name his pick.

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WNBA player mocks Caitlin Clark after foul — promptly gets booed by home crowd

The Connecticut Sun, one of the WNBA’s best teams at 9-1, had little trouble dealing with Caitlin Clark and the 3-9 Indiana Fever during the first half at Mohegan Sun Arena. 

The Sun took a commanding 55-35 lead into halftime, but the most notable moment during the first half came when Sun guard DiJonai Carrington fouled Clark shortly after Clark received an inbound pass from teammate Kristy Wallace.

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Clark, who came off a screen, caught the pass and started towards the basket. Carrington was late getting to Clark thanks to the screen by Aliyah Boston, and she bumped Clark. 

But Carrington didn’t like the call and thought that Clark exaggerated the foul. After the whistle, Carrington started mocking Clark. Boos came from the crowd while Carrington made the gesture. No surprise, there’s a very large contingent of the crowd that’s inside Mohegan Sun Arena to see Clark. 

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It’s hard to hear on TV, but it was clear from inside the arena that a large section of the crowd didn’t care for Carrington mocking Clark, particularly since she clearly fouled the Fever rookie. 

Interestingly, the in-arena replay showed the foul, but the replay team elected to cut the video off rather than show Carrington’s mocking gesture. 

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Several people pointed out on social media that Carrington flopped earlier in the game, though Clark did not mock her for it, nor was video posted of the incident. 

That being said, Carrington certainly held her own defensively against Clark, including a strip of the Fever guard that led to a buzzer-beating layup prior to the end of the first half. 

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Clark was coming off the second 30-point game of her WNBA career, scoring 30 points in an 85-83 win over the Washington Mystics on Friday.

Polling guru floats idea for Dems after Biden’s latest disapproval ratings

Election data guru and founder of “FiveThirtyEight” Nate Silver Monday suggested that President Biden’s latest disapproval ratings might be enough cause for the Democratic front-runner to drop out of the 2024 presidential election. 

“But Biden just hit a new all-time low in approval (37.4%) at 538 yesterday. Dropping out would be a big risk. But there’s some threshold below which continuing to run is a bigger risk. Are we there yet? I don’t know. But it’s more than fair to ask,” Silver posted on Monday. 

He went on to state that Democrats would have been given a fighting chance if the 46th President of the United States had eliminated himself from the upcoming election earlier. 

“What’s clearer IMO is that Democrats would have been better served if Biden had decided a year ago not to seek a second term, which would have allowed them to have some semblance of a primary process and give voters a say among the many popular Democrats across the country,” he wrote. 

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“If I’d told you 10 years ago a president would seek re-election at 81 despite a supermajority of Americans having concerns about his age, and then we’d hit 8% inflation for 2 years, you wouldn’t be surprised he was an underdog for reelection. You’d be surprised it was even close!,” he said

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Responding to a critic who accused him of focusing too much on why Biden should drop out and not enough on former President Trump, Silver said he believed Trump should also bow out of the race.

“‘Trump should drop out too!’ is such [a] weird dunk on people who are pointing out that Biden has big challenges. Yes, Trump should drop out! I agree! Biden would lose by 7 points [against a different candidate], but I agree, the Republican Party and the country would be better served by a different nominee.” Silver wrote.

Biden and some of his top advisors reportedly don’t believe the bad poll numbers. 

According to a new Fox News Poll, Trump and Biden are in a dead heat in Virginia, a state that Biden won by 10 points in 2024. 

The poll, released last Thursday, shows Biden and Trump with 48% each in a head-to-head matchup in the Old Dominion State.

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FDA issues dire warning over ‘microdosing’ chocolate bars: ‘Do not eat, sell or serve’

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about a mushroom-infused chocolate bar that has reportedly sent some people to the hospital.

The FDA released an advisory message about Diamond Shruumz “microdosing” chocolate bars on June 7. The chocolate bars contain a “proprietary nootropics blend” that is said to give a “relaxed euphoric experience without psilocybin,” according to its website.

“The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with America’s Poison Centers and state and local partners, are investigating a series of illnesses associated with eating Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars,” the FDA’s website reads.

“Do not eat, sell, or serve Diamond Shruumz-Brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars,” the site warns. “FDA’s investigation is ongoing.”

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“Microdosing” is a practice where one takes a very small amount of psychedelic drugs with the intent of increasing productivity, inspiring creativity and boosting mood. According to Diamond Shruumz’s website, the brand said its products help achieve “a subtle, sumptuous experience and a more creative state of mind.”

“We’re talkin’ confections with a kick,” the brand said. “So if you like mushroom chocolate bars and want to mingle with some microdosing, check us out. We just might change how you see the world.”

But government officials warn that the products have caused seizures in some consumers and vomiting in others.

“People who became ill after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars reported a variety of severe symptoms including seizures, central nervous system depression (loss of consciousness, confusion, sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea, and vomiting,” the FDA reported. 

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Six people reportedly experienced such severe reactions that they sought medical care.

“All eight people have reported seeking medical care; six have been hospitalized,” the FDA’s press release said. “No deaths have been reported.”

Diamond Shruumz says on its website that its products are not necessarily psychedelic. Although the chocolate is marketed as promising a psilocybin-like experience, there is no psilocybin in it.

“There is no presence of psilocybin, amanita or any scheduled drugs, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience,” the website claims. “Rest assured, our treats are not only free from psychedelic substances but our carefully crafted ingredients still offer an experience.”

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“This allows you to indulge in a uniquely crafted blend designed for your pleasure and peace of mind.”

Officials warn consumers to keep the products out of the reach of minors, as kids and teens may be tempted to eat the chocolate bars.

“This product may appeal to children and teenagers as it is marketed as a candy,” the FDA advises. “Parents and caregivers should consider discussing the information in this advisory with their children and take extra care to avoid this product being consumed by younger people.”

The FDA and CDC are actively investigating the products.

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Fox News Digital reached out to Diamond Shruumz for comment, but did not hear back.

Sparks fly between Byron Donalds and Al Sharpton in tense interview

Rev. Al Sharpton engaged in a heated back and forth with Rep. Byron Donalds on Saturday after the MSNBC host suggested the Florida Republican had put a “positive spin” on the Jim Crow era.

Sharpton hammered Donalds – who is reportedly on former President Trump’s shortlist for his 2024 running mate – for what he said last week regarding the quality of life for Black families during Jim Crow-era racial segregation.

“During Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Donalds said at a GOP event in Philadelphia. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative – Black people have always been conservative-minded – but more Black people voted conservatively.”

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During Saturday’s “PoliticsNation,” Donalds said Democrats had lied and mischaracterized his comments. He denied that he had suggested the Jim Crow era was “better” for Black Americans, saying he noted it was simply an “empirical fact” that Black marriage rates were better at the time.

Sharpton claimed that Donalds had “inferred” families, especially Black families, were better off during the 1950s and 60s.

“I never said that,” Donalds replied.

Sharpton urged Donalds to apologize and said he may have unintentionally “sanitized” a time when Black Americans could not vote.

The two spoke over one another as Sharpton took issue with why Donalds had mentioned Jim Crow rather than calling it the 1950s.

Sharpton later noted that Donalds had moved from New York to Florida for politics and is in an interracial marriage before asking how he could “live with himself” for “acting like Jim Crow was a good era or better era for Blacks.”

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“OK, that’s real cute. That’s real cute. I did not say that, and I’m not going to sit here and have you insinuate that against me because right now you’re lying about what I said,” Donalds replied.

Donalds then asked when Sharpton was “going to get it through [his skull]” that he did not suggest Jim Crow was a good or better time.

“Maybe it’s because our skull has ears and we heard what you said,” Sharpton fired back.

Sharpton and Donalds continued to talk over one another before pivoting to a different topic.

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Donalds previously defended his comments on social media. He argued that Democrats are “trying to say I said Black people were doing better under Jim Crow. I never said that. They are lying.”

“What I said was you had more Black families under Jim Crow, and it was the Democrat policies under [the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare], under the welfare state, that did help to destroy the Black family,” Donalds said. “I also said you’re seeing a reinvigoration of Black families today in America, and that is a good thing.”

Man gets sent to mental hospital for trying to start first gay club in his country

A Pakistani man is currently in a mental hospital after he tried establishing the first gay club in the country, according to a recent report.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was interviewed by the Telegraph on Sunday shortly before he was institutionalized. The man explained that he filed an application to the deputy commissioner of Abbottabad to establish a gay club, which he tentatively called Lorenzo Gay Club.

The application reportedly explained that the club would be designed to be a “great convenience and resource for many homosexual, bisexual and even some heterosexual people residing in Abbottabad in particular, and in other parts of the country in general.” The application also noted that “there would be no gay (or non-gay) sex (other than kissing).”

The man was then detained by authorities and transported to a mental hospital in Peshawar, which is roughly 125 miles west of Abbottabad, according to the report. 

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“I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum,” the man told the Telegraph. “If the authorities refuse, then I will approach the court and I hope that like the Indian court, the Pakistani court will rule in favor of gay people.”

“I [speak] about human rights and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended,” he added.

According to the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Pakistan still criminalizes homosexual acts through Section 377 of its national penal code.

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“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine,” the law reads.

The OHCHR document states that Pakistan’s provisions against homosexual acts “have been found to constitute a clear violation of international human rights law.”

According to Human Dignity Trust, a non-profit based in London, only gay men are criminalized under the Pakistan Penal Code.

“There is some evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, with LGBT people occasionally being subject to arrest,” the non-profit’s website reads. “There have been consistent reports of discrimination and violence being committed against LGBT people in recent years, including murder, rape, assault, and the denial of basic rights and services.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to the deputy commissioner of Abbottabad for comment.

Researchers make stunning find on how African elephants interact with each other

A recently-published study claims that the sounds of African elephants may have a lot more significance than humans think.

The research, which was published in a journal called Nature Ecology and Evolution on Monday, found that African elephants call each other unique names.

The study explains that researchers followed elephants around to observe how they communicated to each other, particularly by taking careful note of which elephants called out sounds and which elephants appeared to respond.

The names came in the form of low rumbles, which elephants can hear from long distances. Some of the sounds elephants make are too low to be heard by humans, which was a challenge in the study.

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Researchers then used a machine learning model to see if a computer program could determine which elephant which was being addressed at a time. The machine only guessed the correct elephant around 28% of the time. An author of the study told the Associated Press that researchers were not expecting an astronomically-high percentage of correct guesses.

“Just like humans, elephants use names, but probably don’t use names in the majority of utterances, so we wouldn’t expect 100%,” Cornell University biologist Mickey Pardo explained.

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Experts also played recordings of the animals’ “names” to individual elephants in order to observe their reactions. The elephants responded strongly by flapping their ears, lifting their trunks and appearing energetic when they heard their names.

Elephants are one of very few species that are believed to call each other by unique names, other than humans. Dolphins and parrots are believed to also use names within their species.

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Wildlife biologists have long known that elephants are social creatures, but one of the study’s co-authors says that the research “crack[s] open the door a bit to the elephant mind.”

“Elephants are incredibly social, always talking and touching each other — this naming is probably one of the things that underpins their ability to communicate to individuals,” Colorado State University ecologist George Wittemyer told the Associated Press.

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International businessman busted for ‘wine-and-dine scheme’

An New York-based international businessman once described as one of “the most global consultants and speakers in the world,” was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay back over $6 million to victims of a wine-and-dine fraud scheme he operated. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Monday that 58-year-old Omar Khan was sentenced to two years in prison in connection with an investment fraud scheme involving rare and expensive wines and the impersonation of his attorney during the scheme.

On March 28, 2024, Khan pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated identity theft.

“Whether a fraudulent scheme involves business ventures, cryptocurrency, or expensive wines, the career prosecutors of this Office will bring justice to the perpetrators of these crimes,” said Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Omar Khan fleeced his victims of millions of dollars, leaving devastation in the wake of his lies, but he now justly faces two years in federal prison and has been ordered to make restitution to his victims.”

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The DOJ said that between 2015 and 2019 Khan orchestrated a global fraud scheme involving the solicitation of investments for wine tasting and networking events.

Khan was the founder and operator of Firm-1, a management consulting firm in New York City, and his site described him as one of “the most global consultants and speakers in the world.”

He was also called a “fanatical wine connoisseur” by Forbes Magazine in an article profiling Khan that was published on July 2, 2015, titled “The Elite Supper Club for Business Experts and Wine Fanatics.”

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To find investors for ventures and events involving rare, vintage wines and expensive dinners, Khan would host networking events for wealthy and successful individuals, the DOJ said.

One of those dinners took place on Dec. 13, 2017, which was called “An Evening of Daring Duos and Tantalizing Trios.” During the event, Khan had vintage wines served along with Nantucket bay scallops, oysters, caviar, risotto cooked in bone marrow broth and other expensive food items.

The DOJ said, according to charging documents and statements made in court, Khan sold the idea that if guests invested in other expensive dinners, networking events and ventures, they would earn a profit on their investment.

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But he also allegedly lied to prospective investors to induce investments, and with only a few exceptions, he embezzled the investment money and used the funds on personal expenditures.

When he was unable to pay them back, Khan made false statements to the investors.

In one example, Khan met a New York retiree, identified as Victim-1, who attended one of the dinner parties in early 2015. Khan remained in communication with Victim-1 and developed a friendship, until eventually Khan solicited the victim to become an investor.

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In the beginning, Victim-1 invested small amounts of money, but that progressed to larger sums. For instance, in 2018, Khan convinced Victim-1 to invest about $5 million with a famous French vineyard in Bordeaux, France.

Khan pitched the investment as a consulting deal involving a New York club backed by the vineyard. He then stalled for several months and made up excuses about why the deal had not been closed, the DOJ alleged.

In an email to Victim-1, Khan said the money “was on the move,” but the next day he falsely claimed the IRS placed a lien on his business account for unrelated activity in Dubai.

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In February 2018, Khan told another victim, identified as Victim-2, that his bank delayed a transfer to the victim because of a lack of authorization documents.

The next month, Khan told Victim-2 that his attorneys sent legal demands to the bank to resolve the issued.

In both emails, Khan claimed to have forwarded emails from his attorney about the bank wire that was delayed. He also said in the email that his attorneys had “issued a legal demand” to the bank to resolve the issue.

The DOJ said the emails that appeared to be sent from Khan’s lawyer were fraudulent, adding he had sent them while impersonating his own attorney.

More victims began to emerge and on Sept. 3, 2019, several filed a civil lawsuit against Khan, alleging he convinced them to invest in wine dinners and ventures on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentations.

After a series of articles by the New York Post that shed light on Khan and the lawsuit, he fled the country to Sri Lanka. He was expelled from Sri Lanka in February 2024 and arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

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“Omar Khan’s wine-and-dine scheme did not age well. For four years, Khan exploited the prestigious reputation of the wine industry to embezzle millions of dollars from well-intended investors using empty promises of future, lavish networking events while offering excuses for the lack of returns,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said. “He utilized his public notoriety as a wine aficionado to lure and coax his victims into financing significant amounts, costing some the entirety of their investments.”

Along with being sentenced to two years in prison, Khan was sentenced to a year of supervised release and ordered to pay the victims $6,699,582 in restitution.

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