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FIFA’s presidential election will take place today despite the soccer governing body’s worst scandal in its history.
Today, FIFA’s 209 member associations will vote for a new president. Current president Sepp Blatter is up against the only other candidate, 39-year-old Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. The president of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati said he will vote against Sepp and for al-Hussein.
Despite increasing pressure and calls for his resignation, Blatter, the 79-year-old who has held the presidency since 1998, looks likely to be re-elected for a fifth-term. In his first public remarks on the massive corruption scandal yesterday, he “deflected blame” saying “We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time.” Ahead of the elections, Blatter appealed for “unity, team spirit, and fair play.”
A bit of background.
On Wednesday, nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were formally charged by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption.
Seven current and former FIFA officials were arrested early Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland, and are expected to be extradited to the U.S. FIFA President Blatter was not among those arrested.
- The arrests are the result of a three-year investigation by the FBI, which found that the crimes and payments in question took place in the U.S. and were carried out via U.S. banks.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday.
Ruben Sprich / Reuters
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been charged for an alleged scheme to pay off a victim of “prior bad acts.”
The Justice Department has indicted Hastert on reporting evasion charges and lying to the FBI as part of an effort to conceal paying off a victim of “prior bad acts,” BuzzFeed News’ Washington, D.C. bureau chief John Stanton reports. The indictment, which does not specify the “prior bad acts,” charged Hastert with illegally transferring funds in an effort to avoid detection by the IRS and accused him of paying an individual $3.5 million to keep silent about “prior misconduct.” Hastert was elected Speaker of the House in 1999 after former Speaker Newt Gingrich retired.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Jurors in the trial of accused Colorado theater shooter James Holmes are examining his mental state.
Holmes is on trial for the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting on July 20, 2012, that left 12 people dead. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial is in its second month, and jurors are now hearing from experts about Holmes’ mental state. On Wednesday, court officials released images of a journal Holmes wrote and mailed to his former psychiatrist before the shooting. The first mental health expert, William Reid, testified yesterday and said Holmes was legally sane at the time of the crime. His finding was unexpected, and the defense tried unsuccessfully to get a mistrial. More experts are expected to testify.
“The 12 jurors will be forced to examine the hazy border between mental illness and legal insanity,” the New York Times writes. They started watching Reid’s 22-hour interview with Holmes, and the judge has said he plans to show them all of it. “To find Holmes guilty, prosecutors must show he was capable of distinguishing right from wrong, and that he had the capacity to form a ‘culpable mental state,’ or to know what he was doing,” BuzzFeed News’ Claudia Koerner writes. Holmes could be sentenced to death if he’s found guilty.
An image of a page from Holmes’ journal and Holmes in the courtroom.
Colorado Judicial Department, Andy Cross / Pool / Reuters
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, takes office today after a historic win.
In the country’s first peaceful transfer of power, Buhari will be sworn in as Nigeria’s president today after defeating a sitting president for the first time in the country’s history in March, according to AFP. Buhari is a former army general who seized power in a coup and was ousted after 20 months, but now describes himself as a “converted democrat.”
As president of Africa’s most populous nation, he will inherit a country facing growing threats from terrorists such as Boko Haram, fuel shortages, and growing state debts, the New York Times and AFP report. “The U.S. sees the inauguration of Buhari as a potential springboard to improving security and economic ties long hindered by military abuses and endemic corruption,” Bloomberg News’ Terry Atlas writes.
Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) presents a gift to president-elect Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters
College admissions advisors are working to make Asian kids less “Asian.”
Earlier this month, a coalition of 64 Asian-American groups filed a federal complaint alleging Harvard’s admissions process discriminated against Asians, but that came “as little surprise to the professionals specialized in getting kids into college,” BuzzFeed News’ Molly Hensley-Clancy writes. “There’s an entire cottage industry, in fact, made up of pricy college counselors who help Asian applicants overcome pervasive and damaging stereotypes and a brutally competitive admissions process that some say discriminates against Asian candidates,” Hensley-Clancy writes.
Separately, but also regarding race and college, a new Harvard survey conducted by the Harvard Crimson, the university’s daily newspaper, found that 74% of black graduating students felt racially marginalized.
Paul Marotta / Getty Images
Quick things to know:
Myanmar warns against “finger pointing” at regional talks on Friday addressing the region’s migrant crisis. (Associated Press)
Nine facts we learned about same-sex marriage support from a new global survey conducted by BuzzFeed News and Ipsos. (BuzzFeed News)
The FCC is working on a plan to offer low-income Americans subsidized broadband internet access. (New York Times)
A guide to vaping weed for the health-conscious pothead (BuzzFeed News) and what happens when you take three hits of 15 vape pens every hour on the hour for 15 hours? (BuzzFeed News)
There will finally be women in the FIFA16 video game. (BuzzFeed News)
The Serial podcast is officially returning for two more seasons. (BuzzFeed News)
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah will premiere on Sept. 28. (BuzzFeed News)
The National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the second year in a row. Vanya and Gokul F-T-W. (BuzzFeed News)
Scripps National Spelling Bee champions Vanya Shivashankar, 13, left, and Gokul Venkatachalam, 14.
Andrew Harnik / AP
“I want to remember my father’s life, not just his death.” “My father was killed in the 1994 Rwanda genocide against the Tutsi when I was only 5. It’s getting harder to remember what he was like when he was alive,” BuzzFeed’s Anna Dushime writes in this touching BuzzFeed Ideas piece.
Alice Mongkongllite/ BuzzFeed
FIFA’s cover-up of its internal investigation may now lead to its downfall. “With the FBI closing in on Zurich from all angles — and refusing to rule [FIFA President Sepp] Blatter himself out of their investigation — it may be that time is running out for the most powerful man in world football, and for everything he protects,” BuzzFeed News’ Heidi Blake writes in this thorough look at the systemic issues that have contributed to FIFA’s corruption crisis, including the alleged misrepresentation of FIFA’s own internal inquiry into World Cup bribing.
Google’s quest for complete control of your digital life. “Today’s keynote suggests Google is poised to surpass Apple when it comes to mobile design,” BuzzFeed News’ Charlie Warzel writes from the Google I/O event about Google’s ambitions to have an unprecedented level of control over your data, and by proxy, your privacy. “This information and privacy tradeoff is nothing new, but today’s keynote showed perhaps the fullest realization of the power of buying into an ecosystem whole hog,” Warzel writes.
If you want more, here’s our coverage on Google’s new photos app, its new tap-to-pay service Android Pay, and everything we learned at Google I/O.
A lesbian California teenager is going viral for the quote she chose for her yearbook. The 17-year-old told BuzzFeed News she picked the quote because she is a feminist and wanted to reflect those values. “As a woman, I face a lot of the issues and inequalities that feminism tries to combat, but as [a] human, regardless of gender, equality is one of the most important rights that we humans should demand,” she said.
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