Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be convicted of sex abuse to date, has been sentenced to six years in prison for the “callous” assault of two choirboys in the late 1990s. Pell, 77, was found guilty of one count of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child last December after a secret five-week trial. On Wednesday, Judge Kidd said Pell’s attack on the victims was “breathtakingly arrogant” adding that the cardinal had assaulted the boys with “callous indifference to the victims’ distress.”
The U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts charged 50 people, including two television stars, CEOs and coaches, in federal court as part of a long-running, nationwide $25 million conspiracy to illicitly gain admission for their children to top colleges and universities. Both Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House, Fuller House) were charged as part of the alleged scheme, which dates to 2011.
For the second time in as many months, British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union. Tuesday’s defeat came only 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the 28-country bloc. Lawmakers rejected her deal 391 to 242, which was similar to the previous vote. They are now set to decide in the next few days whether to leave the E.U. without an agreement — an idea likely to be rejected due to its potentially devastating economic impact — or to ask the E.U. to delay Brexit beyond the scheduled March 29 departure date.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign a sweeping order on Wednesday putting an executive moratorium on California’s troubled death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor, his office said. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.
Several more countries have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8, joining much of the world, including the entire European Union, to take the action in the wake of the second deadly crash of the model – leaving the US as one of the few holdouts. Despite the growing number of countries to ban the use of the MAX 8 and other models in the Boeing line, the US Federal Aviation Administration — long considered the world’s gold standard for aircraft safety – continues to back the jet’s airworthiness.