Truck driver pleads guilty to charges connected to immigrant deaths

The driver of a tractor-trailer found in July packed with dozens of undocumented immigrants, 10 of whom died, pleaded guilty to federal charges in San Antonio on Monday and faces up to life in prison.

James Matthew Bradley Jr., 61, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death, according to a Department of Justice news release.

By pleading guilty, Bradley admitted that “he conspired to transport and did transport undocumented aliens in the United States for financial gain … doing so with reckless disregard that they entered this country illegally,” which resulted in 10 deaths, the Justice Department said.

Pedro Silva Segura, a 47-year-old undocumented immigrant living in Laredo, Texas, and Bradley’s co-defendant, faces four charges, including two counts of transporting undocumented aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy. Silva is in custody and will be transferred to San Antonio. Others were charged as material witnesses.

On the morning of July 23, authorities found the tractor-trailer parked at a Walmart in San Antonio after a store employee called police for a welfare check. The employee became concerned after a man from the trailer asked for water, the police chief said.

When police came to investigate, an officer found “multiple people standing and laying at and around the rear of the trailer,” according to a federal criminal complaint against Bradley.

Officials found eight bodies inside the tractor-trailer and 31 people suffering from various injuries. Two more died after being hospitalized.

The air conditioner in the trailer was not working, officials said. The high temperature in San Antonio the previous day was 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

“We quickly called a ‘mass casualty incident’ and had about 29 units arrive out there and start transporting people,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said. “With heat strokes or heat injuries, a lot of them are going to have some irreversible brain damage.”

“Unfortunately, some of them were severely overheated, and that was a refrigerated truck with no refrigeration,” Hood said. “So we were very fortunate that they were found.”

Bradley originally said he was not aware of the cargo in his vehicle and only discovered it when he parked at the Walmart and went outside to urinate. A federal grand jury in Texas indicted him in August.

Bradley remains in custody and will be sentenced on January 22, 2018.

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Scott declares of state emergency ahead of white nationalist’s speech at University of Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is declaring a state of emergency in advance of a speech white nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to give at the University of Florida.

Scott warned in an executive order Monday that a “threat of a potential emergency is imminent” in Alachua County.

Spencer is slated to speak at the campus on Thursday.Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August.

Scott’s executive order will allow local law-enforcement authorities to partner with state and other law-enforcement agencies to provide security for the event.

The university has already said it expects to spend $500,000 on security. The governor is also activating the Florida National Guard to help with security if it is needed.

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Netflix to spend up to $8 billion on programming next year

Netflix and chill doesn’t come cheap.The company said Monday that it will spend as much as $8 billion on shows and movies in 2018, up from $6 billion earmarked for content this year. The boost in spending comes at a time when tech giants like Apple, Am…

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Netflix to spend up to $8 billion on programming next year

Netflix and chill doesn’t come cheap.

The company said Monday that it will spend as much as $8 billion on shows and movies in 2018, up from $6 billion earmarked for content this year.

The boost in spending comes at a time when tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Facebook are all using their sizable checkbooks to hunt for original shows and movies.

“We have a good head start, but our job is to improve Netflix as rapidly as possible … to stay ahead of the competition in the decades to come,” the company said in its earnings release Monday.

In particular, Netflix will be ramping up the number of original movies. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said on an earnings call Monday that the company plans to release “about 80” films next year.

Netflix’s big bet on original content has helped it acquire and retain customers even as it seeks to raise prices and faces pushback from media partners.

The company added more than 5 million new members in the third quarter, with the vast majority of them coming from international markets. It now has 109 million subscribers, up from 86 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced plans to raise prices on its standard and premium streaming subscription services. The change, set to go into effect later this year, will push the monthly cost of its most popular plan from $9.99 to $10.99.

“It’s really about slow and steady. We’ve been in no hurry,” David Wells, Netflix’s CFO, said on the call when asked about the timing for the price hike. “Many investors have sort of criticized us in the past for being under-priced.”

Meanwhile, Netflix faces the threat of media companies removing content from its service. In August, Disney said it would pull its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service.

Still, Netflix forecast strong growth in the upcoming fourth quarter. It expects to add more than 6 million members worldwide, in line with Wall Street estimates.

Netflix has doubled down on comedy with the recent release of a Jerry Seinfeld special. Mindhunter, a new series from director David Fincher, just came out. And the second season of Stranger Things, Netflix’s breakout show, is scheduled to be released this month.

During the quarter, Netflix also acquired a comic book publisher with the goal of using it to develop new films and series. The deal was the first acquisition in Netflix’s history, but on the call executives sounded open to similar buys.

At least one acquisition appears to be off the table: buying the beleaguered Weinstein Co. “It’d be extremely unlikely for us to be a bidder for the firm,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on the call.

Investor confidence in Netflix remains high. The stock topped $200 for the first time last week, and was up as much as 2% in after hours trading Monday following the earnings report

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Louisville fires Pitino ‘with just cause’

Despite Rick Pitino asserting he had no part in the activities alleged in an FBI corruption investigation, Louisville’s athletic board voted Monday to terminate his contract “with just cause,” according to The Associated Press.

Pitino’s lawyers appeared in front of the University of Louisville Athletic Association to state their case against termination. While Pitino himself did not attend the meeting, his attorneys submitted an affidavit on his behalf, according to ESPN.

“I do not dispute ULAA’s right to terminate my employment at its discretion,” Pitino’s affidavit stated. “But I vehemently reject its right to do so ‘for cause.’ I have given no ’cause’ for termination of my contract.”

The FBI’s investigation alleged members of the team’s basketball program used money from apparel sponsor Adidas to pay prospective recruits, but has not yet mentioned Pitino by name.

The basketball coach had been placed on unpaid administrative leave on Sept. 27 after word of the investigation broke. The board began the process to officially terminate Pitino for cause early this month.

Athletic director Tom Jurich was also placed on leave last month and the school suspended associate head coach Kenny Johnson and assistant coach Jordan Fair on Oct. 6.

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