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Morning Scoop

Wednesday Scoop: Varsity Blues

🥣Plus, see how your favorite cereal ranks according to the L.A. Times.



Georgetown University, one of the colleges implicated in the scam. (image: Wikimedia Commons)

The big story…

50 Arrested in Largest College Admissions Scam

More than fifty people have been charged in one of the largest college admissions scams ever to hit the courts. Among those implicated are college prep organizations, college coaches, test administrators, wealthy parents, and a few celebrities you may have heard of including, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. These people all took part in a scheme to help students gain entry into elite colleges through bribing, falsifying test scores, and altering athletic records. The criminal investigation titled “Operation Varsity Blues” uncovered this vast cycle of wealth and fraud. U.S. attorney  Andrew Lelling noted, “This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”

In global news…

U.S. and Canada Only Countries Not to Ground Boeing 737 Max Planes After Crash

Multiple nations have temporarily halted Boeing 737 Max flights after a plane crash in Ethiopia killed all people on board, but the U.S. and Canada have continued to fly a majority of those models. CNN reports, “The move came after a Max 8 flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed Sunday into a field six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board.” Investigators are looking into the Ethiopian Airlines crash after the flight reported technical issues and asked permission to turn back before it crashed. This is the second time in less than six months that this model has crashed, following a new Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 flight went down over the Java Sea in October, killing 189 people.

In politics…

California Governor Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty Statewide

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday, March 12th that he will sign an executive order to suspend the state’s death penalty. This particular gubernatorial imposed moratorium will postpone the punishment of more than 700 convicted felons on death row, which is the largest death row population nationwide. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy’s report for CMN.

Also in politics…

Top Congressional Republicans Decry Progressive Policies as Socialist

Top congressional Republicans in Washington, D.C. have recently decried progressive policies as either “socialist” or “socialism.” From environmental regulations to voting rights extension as well as campaign finance reforms, a potential Third Red Scare is gradually on the rise in the country. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy’s report for CMN.

Trending today…

Metrocard Rat


Last but not least…

Track Review: Galapaghost’s Jellyfish

The track, “Jellyfish” has a music video, and on first glance it seems like hipster-bait. However, there is a deeper meaning. The video is described as portraying “that all familiar feeling of watching life pass you by, I wanted to encapsulate this emotion through a series of vignettes where we would explore both the contemplative beauty in the monotony of the drifting through daily life, and the chaotic energy of the dissatisfied mind.” Read more in Kevin Ashley’s review for CMN.

Today’s Morning Scoop was made possible by Duane Paul MurphyKevin AshleyNatalia Kolenko, and the CMN Staff. The L.A. Times has dropped a list (and infograph) of the ultimate cereal power rankings. Hint: Cinnamon Toast Crunch fans will be happy — Cookie Crisp fans not so much. P.S. Was this newsletter forwarded by a friend? Subscribe here to get the Morning Scoop straight to your inbox every day.


Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Grace Cooper is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she studied Nonfiction Writing and Psychology. When she's not obsessively reading or writing about the news, you can probably find her eating too much pizza and watching When Harry Met Sally for the hundredth time.

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