‘I and others…’

Testimony by former Fifa executive Chuck Blazer reveals an admission that he “and others” on the organization’s executive committee “agreed to accept bribes” connected to the award of the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.

And, as you’d imagine in a crisis like this, there’s plenty more where that came from, including a redaction that has prompted plenty of speculation.

Other former Fifa figures at the center of the corruption allegations also appear ready to talk.

The FBI is now – apparently alongside Swiss authorities – investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 finals. While as for Blazer himself, there might be trouble brewing at his second Trump Tower apartment:

It might also be worth taking a look at his blog “Travels With Chuck Blazer and his Friends” while it’s still online.

Finally, though, with much more – surely – to come in this story, if you read only one thing about the importance of slow, determined investigative journalism in the Fifa case, read this from the Washington Post:

***

* POLITICS * Former Texas Gov Rick Perry is set to announce his campaign for the Presidency on Thursday, which would make him the first candidate to seek the Presidency while under federal indictment. The Texas Tribune writes on why that distinction “cuts both ways” –

The indictment, handed up by a Travis County grand jury last summer, stems from Perry’s threat to veto state funding for the public integrity unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned following a drunken driving arrest. The unit, which handles ethics complaints against statewide officials and state lawmakers, is housed in Lehmberg’s office.

Backed by a high-powered legal team, Perry quickly sought to portray the two charges — abuse of power and coercion of a public servant — as a political witch hunt in the heart of Texas’ most liberal county. Fellow Republicans, including some potential 2016 opponents, rallied to his side, as did less likely supporters such as David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Obama, and Alan Dershowitz, the famed liberal law professor.

Nowadays, however, the indictment has become more of a headache for Perry than cause célèbre.

Hillary Clinton will also be in Texas on Thursday, when she is expected to give a speech on the subject of voting rights (and raise some money). Her speech will be her interview, apparently…

And Hillary got a third primary challenger on Tuesday, when former Republican Lincoln Chafee said he was seeking the Democratic nomination for President, becoming the first-ever citizen from Rhode Island to run for the highest office.

His platform so far seems to be: no wars, Edward Snowden can come home, and – seriously – adopting the metric system.

GOP candidate Sen Ted Cruz apologized after an unneccesary “joke” at the expense of Vice-President Joe Biden on the eve of the funeral of Biden’s son, Beau, who died at the weekend.

***

* WORLD * Texas executed Lester Bower on Wednesday night – the oldest person ever to be put to death in the state. Bower had been on death row for 30 years after being convicted of four murders more than three decades ago.

***

* MEDIA * The Queen is just fine, thanks, despite a small misspelling. Mind you, there was something or other… The Womens’ Institute are probably pretty happy they won’t have to find someone else to cut their centenary cake.

***

* SPORTS * After the first installment of the NHL final, with the Blackhawks coming from behind to take the series lead, 

Thursday sees the start of the NBA finals (and haven’t you ever wondered why the NHL uses the singular “final” and other sports the – technically correct – plural?) The Trib reports:

Frustrated and seeking some resolution on this weighty matter, we turned to academia. And not just any academia, the University of Chicago.

“The fact that we might choose to say ‘finals’ rather than ‘final’ (as the NBA does) makes sense given that the final round is a complex event with multiple parts: it is made up of at least four and at most seven distinct games,” U. of C. linguistics professor Chris Kennedy explained via email. “If we focus on the multiplicity, we should go with plural; if we focus on the unity, we should go with singular.

 

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