Apple, Michael Avenatti, Mel B, avocado recall: Monday’s top news

Michael Avenatti got tied up over Nike, the Robert Mueller fallout continued and Oprah showed up at Apple and did not tell everyone, “You get an iPad!” Here’s the news you’ll want to know today.

But first, a wild detour: A British Airways flight bound for Germany ended up 525 miles away – in Scotland.  

Prosecutors say Avenatti told Nike: Just do it 

Michael Avenatti was charged Monday with scheming to extort Nike, embezzle money and defraud a bank. Avenatti, the high-profile lawyer who once represented porn star Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump, was arrested Monday. In the Nike case, federal prosecutors in New York charged Avenatti with four counts of extortion and conspiracy for allegedly threatening to reveal purported evidence that Nike improperly paid high school athletes unless the company forked over more than $15 million, according to court records. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles separately revealed they charged Avenatti with embezzling a client’s money to pay his own expenses and defrauding a bank. 

Sick of investigations? Just wait.

Just like that, the long-awaited Mueller report is in, and I’m still catching my breath after the four-page summary of the special counsel’s investigation dropped this weekend. So, what now? More probes. A day after Attorney General William Barr cleared Trump of conspiring with Russians to win the 2016 election, Republican lawmakers said they would scrutinize what started the probe in the first place. The spotlight will be on the FBI, as Republicans suspect partisan corruption behind the inquiry. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday his panel will review the justification for surveillance warrants against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. Meanwhile:

  • Trump said special counsel Mueller acted honorably, reversing months of criticism.
  • Congressional Democrats question Barr’s decision that Trump didn’t obstruct justice.
  • “Today” host Savannah Guthrie interviewed Sarah Huckabee Sanders after the Mueller report, and Twitter had thoughts.

Long after the school shootings, more lives lost too soon

Jeremy Richman, whose daughter was one of 20 first-grade students killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting, was found dead of an apparent suicide Monday – the third suicide victim linked to a major U.S. school shooting in a little more than a week. Just a few days ago, the community of Parkland, Florida, was rocked by two apparent suicides involving survivors of the shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2018. On March 17, an alum of the Broward County school died of an apparent suicide. Sydney Aiello, 19, had lost a good friend in the Parkland rampage. Then, on Saturday, a male student at the Parkland school was found dead of an apparent suicide.

Important: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night or chat online.

Real quick

  • A guy in Ohio is on a beer-only diet for Lent. He’s lost 15 pounds.
  • Ranking the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 teams: Who will win it all?
  • ‘Spice Girls’ Mel B says she hooked up with bandmate ‘Ginger Spice.’
  • A Florida suburb is being infested by thousands of poisonous ‘cane’ toads.
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ is dark and full of brilliant episodes. 

Apple just got in the streaming, gaming and credit card games

Hollywood A-listers Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and more graced the Steve Jobs Theater stage to help with Apple’s latest announcements at a “special event” on Monday. Here’s what’s coming:

  • Apple TV+, a long-rumored ad-free, on-demand entertainment streaming service that pits Apple’ against the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu
  • Apple News+, a beefed-up newspaper and magazine service
  • Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service that will include more than 100 games
  • A titanium Apple Card credit card, coming this summer

Worse than a brown avocado

California avocados may have turned on us: A major avocado producer announced a voluntary recall of California-grown whole avocados due to potential listeria contamination. Henry Avocado Corp. said it has taken this step out of “an abundance of caution” based on routine inspection results. The company claims there are no reported illnesses associated with the recall. So how can you tell if you’ve snagged a recalled Cali ‘cado? Look for a “Bravocado” label on the sticker outside of the fruit. On organic avocados, look for “organic” and “California” labels on the sticker. 

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