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More Than 400 People Charged for $1.3 Billion in Medicaid and Medicare Fraud

DOJThe Justice Department charged more than 400 people across the country in a major crackdown on health care fraud, officials said Thursday. The accused individuals cost the federal government $1.3 billion in false Medicare and Medicaid billings, according to authorities

The investigation focused on opioid-related crimes as the government continues to try to address the public health crisis that has been sweeping the country. Many of the health care providers charged had billed Medicaid and Medicare for drugs that were never purchased, while others took advantage of addicts by giving out unnecessary opioid prescriptions for cash or charging for false treatments, according to the Justice Department.

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DeVos civil rights chief apologized to sexual assault survivors in meeting

Candice JacksonThe Education Department's acting civil rights chief, Candice Jackson, apologized directly to campus sexual assault survivors Thursday for a comment she made that appeared to discredit such claims, according to advocates in the room.

The meeting was the first of three that Jackson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are having on campus sexual violence as they decide whether to change controversial Obama-era guidance on how colleges and universities should handle the issue. They are also sitting down with those accused of assault and higher education leaders as they weigh the department's approach to the hot-button issue.

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Sheldon Silver, former NY Assembly Speaker, Has Corruption Conviction Overturned

Sheldon Silver conviction overturnedThe corruption conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was overturned Thursday by a federal appeals court that cited a recent Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the definition of what it takes to convict a public official.

The three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said it could not conclude that a rational jury would have convicted the Democrat if it had been properly instructed on what constitutes an "official act."

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Hobby Lobby exposes UAE-Israel antiquities trade

Hobby LobbyA complaint alleging gross theft of Iraq's cultural heritage filed against Hobby Lobby, a US-based arts and craft retailer, highlights the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) rise as a global centre for illegal antiquities traffic and cooperation between UAE and Israeli dealers on the black market.
Hobby Lobby fined for buying ancient Iraqi artifacts

Last week, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3m fine to settle a federal lawsuit that accused it of buying smuggled ancient Iraqi artefacts that were shipped under false documentation.

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Gunmen kill one, wound eight at Ohio maternity party

Ohio maternity party shootingTwo gunmen killed a woman at an Ohio maternity party and wounded eight others, including children and a pregnant woman who lost her fetus in the melee, local media reported on Sunday.

The gunmen, who have not been identified, burst into the house in Colerain Township, outside Cincinnati, on Saturday evening, not long after the pregnant woman revealed she would soon give birth to a boy, according to the Cincinnati Inquirer.

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Pew: Most Republicans View Higher Education as Bad for America

58% of GOP views college bad for AmericaRepublicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of the impact of several of the nation’s leading institutions – including the news media, colleges and universities and churches and religious organizations – and in some cases, the gap in these views is significantly wider today than it was just a year ago.

While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.

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Judge Overturns Utah's 'Ag-Gag' Ban On Undercover Filming At Farms

Utah Ag-gag law overturnedA federal judge has ruled Utah's ban on secretly filming farm and slaughterhouse operations is unconstitutional, striking down what critics call an "ag-gag" law that Utah enacted in 2012.

The ban violates the First Amendment's free-speech protections, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby said.

Shelby rejected the state's defense of the law, saying Utah had failed to show the ban was intended to ensure the safety of animals and farm workers from disease or injury.

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