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Appeals Court Delivers Its Decision to Jussie Smollett

Illinois judges uphold actor's conviction on hate crime hoax; he'll appeal to state Supreme Court

(Newser) - It's bad news for Jussie Smollett , the former Empire actor who was found guilty in 2021 of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report about an alleged hate crime against him in Chicago. An Illinois appeals court on Friday upheld his conviction, and his five-month jail sentence, after...

Bankrolled Poker Player: 'I Did Lie About Having Colon Cancer'

GoFundMe shuts down Rob Mercer, who now says he might have another kind of cancer

(Newser) - An amateur staked to a spot in the World Series of Poker Main Event by sympathetic donors after saying he was suffering from a terminal illness has admitted to making up the sob story. That was wrong, said Rob Mercer of Vallejo, California. "I did lie about having colon...

Alabama Woman Charged With Falsely Reporting Kidnapping

Carlee Russell claimed she was taken after seeing toddler by road

(Newser) - An Alabama woman who has acknowledged making up a story that she was kidnapped along an interstate after stopping to help a child has been charged in the case, officials said Friday. Carlee Russell faces two misdemeanor counts, false reporting to law enforcement and falsely reporting an incident, that could...

FBI: 'Bomb' at Northeastern Was a Staffer's Hoax

Jason Duhaime, 45, of Texas has been arrested and charged

(Newser) - Reports that an explosion last month at Northeastern University may have been staged are correct, according to the FBI. NBC News reports the law enforcement agency announced Tuesday that Jason Duhaime of Texas, who claimed he'd been injured in the Sept. 13 incident, has been arrested and charged with...

Someone Tried to Kill Argentina's VP. Many Don't Believe It

Conspiracy theories abound amid probe into assassination attempt on Cristina Fernandez

(Newser) - At least three people have been arrested over the assassination attempt against Argentina Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner earlier this month, and the investigation is ongoing, but some now think that probe may be a wild goose chase of sorts. As the New York Times frames it: "A...

'Cruel Prank' Led to Panic at Florida High School

Students will face charges, possible expulsion

(Newser) - A shooting scare at a central Florida high school was a "cruel prank" carried out by two groups of students who now face criminal charges and possible expulsion, police said. Rumors, lies, and conspiracy theories have been "floating around" on social media since Friday's lockdown at Mainland...

Inside the 'Real Tragedy' of Manti Te'o Catfish Hoax

Netflix doc shows 'just how easy it was for him to get hoodwinked,' writes SI's Jimmy Traina

(Newser) - In 2013, the sports world was turned upside down when Deadspin reported that the girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, who was said to have died of leukemia, didn't exist . Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who has since come out as a trans woman named Naya, admitted to creating...

His 'Deep Space' Image Wasn't Quite What It Seemed

Physicist clarifies after posting joke image of chorizo

(Newser) - A French physicist who received thousands of likes on a tweeted photo he claimed was from the James Webb Space Telescope has admitted the photo actually showed a very detailed slice of chorizo sausage. Etienne Klein, a director at France's Atomic Energy Commission, apologized after claiming the image of...

GoFundMe Scammer Pleads Guilty a Second Time
GoFundMe Scammer
Sentenced to a Year in Prison

GoFundMe Scammer Sentenced to a Year in Prison

Katelyn McClure could get more time on state charges

(Newser) - Update: New Jersey woman Katelyn McClure has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for her role in a 2017 GoFundMe scam. McClure, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, was also ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution, the Department of Justice says. The 32-year-old could face more prison...

British Man's False Teeth Story Fails the Reality Check

This bizarre, funny story may serve best as a lesson in good journalism

(Newser) - In early February, the story of Paul Bishop’s false teeth swept the British media and much of the globe. Nobody could resist the story. It offers humor, mystery, and the reassurance that there are diligent, honorable lab technicians looking out for us. The story also makes for catchy headlines....

Man Going to Prison for Post About COVID, Grocery Stores

He falsely said an infected person was licking groceries

(Newser) - A Texas man who posted a COVID-19 hoax on social media in the weeks after the pandemic was declared will spend the next 15 months in federal prison. FBI agents in San Antonio launched an investigation in April 2020 after authorities were sent a screenshot of a Facebook post in...

Up to 5K Turned Out for Hoax Concert. It Did Not End Well

Belgian police officer hospitalized after clashes in Brussels

(Newser) - An April Fools' joke in Belgium did not go over well Thursday as police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a crowd that had gathered to attend a concert, which turned out to be a hoax. An announcement posted to Facebook in March promised a slate of famous...

TV Anchor Quit for Harvard Job. Then She Noticed 'Anomalies'
TV Anchor Quit for Harvard Job.
Then She Noticed 'Anomalies'
in case you missed it

TV Anchor Quit for Harvard Job. Then She Noticed 'Anomalies'

Nidhi Razdan of NDTV says she fell victim to a 'sophisticated and coordinated phishing attack'

(Newser) - Nidhi Razdan spent 21 years as the lead anchor of India's NDTV, which one might think would give her the chops to take on a position as an associate professor of journalism at Harvard. In fact, in June she said she was giving up her job to do that...

Ohio Man Sentenced for Impersonating Missing Boy

Prosecutors said Brian Rini caused Timmothy Pitzen's family 'enormous pain'

(Newser) - An Ohio man who caused fresh heartbreak for the family of a long-missing boy has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Brian Rini, now 25, was 23 years old when he claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen , an Illinois boy who has been missing since...

Employee Pleads Guilty After Lying About COVID

Trying to get paid leave, an Atlanta man told his company he'd tested positive

(Newser) - An Atlanta employee who went well beyond just calling in sick has been convicted. Santwon Antonio Davis, 35, falsely told his employer he had COVID-19, NBC reports. The company had to shut down a plant temporarily, costing it $100,000, and four of the man's colleagues had to go...

A 'Professor' Dies of COVID, but Maybe She Never Existed
After 'Professor' Dies of COVID,
Bizarre Hoax Theory Emerges
in case you missed it

After 'Professor' Dies of COVID, Bizarre Hoax Theory Emerges

It appears the professor never existed and the related Twitter feed was bogus

(Newser) - It's a convoluted tale without a lot of answers at the moment. It revolves around an apparently fictitious professor at Arizona State University, the announcement of that professor's death on Twitter of COVID-19, and a prominent crusader against sexual harassment in the sciences. Digging in:
  • The death: Last

Trump on Coronavirus: It's Dems' 'New Hoax'

Claims Democrats are 'politicizing' contagious disease, says administration is 'totally prepared'

(Newser) - As the coronavirus continues to infiltrate countries around the world, President Trump is knocking Democrats in the US for "politicizing" the contagious disease. NBC News reports that Trump made his remarks at a campaign rally in North Charleston, SC, Friday evening as he continued to minimize the risk of...

Coronavirus in Meth? Cops Defend the Hoax

A health expert argues 'they're undermining their credibility'

(Newser) - Police across the country are issuing fake warnings about meth infected with coronavirus—and a health expert is none too pleased. Police departments in St. Francis County, Ark.; Johnson City, Texas; Taveres, Fla.; and Decatur County, Kan.; are among those that have shared the warning about COVID-19, which has killed...

Jussie Smollett Saga Takes Yet Another Turn

Former 'Empire' actor files counterclaim against city of Chicago

(Newser) - The latest in the Jussie Smollett legal saga: The former Empire actor has countersued Chicago after the city sued him in April in an attempt to recoup the cost of the police investigation into what authorities say was a hoax attack staged by the actor in January. Smollett had already...

Well-Known Columnist Apparently Got 'Swatted'

Someone called cops, told them Leonard Pitts Jr.'s wife was being murdered in their home

(Newser) - "It was an interesting way to start the morning," says columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., and that may be just a bit of an understatement. After someone made a hoax call to police reporting that the wife of the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist was being murdered inside their Bowie, Md....

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