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MIT director resigns after New Yorker exposes attempt to conceal Eptsein donations

MIT director resigns after New Yorker exposes attempt to conceal Eptsein donationsThe director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab stepped down on Saturday after a New Yorker magazine article revealed the lab tried to conceal donations from disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein, the university said. "This afternoon, Joi Ito submitted his resignation as Director of the Media Lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute," MIT President Rafael Reif said in a letter posted online. Ito could not be reached for immediate comment. The New York Times and New Yorker reported he said in an internal email, "After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately." Last month, Reif said the elite university would review its process for accepting donations after taking about $ 800,000 from foundations controlled by Epstein, who committed suicide while in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The New Yorker article uncovered deeper fundraising ties between the Media Lab and Epstein and said the institution had actively tried to conceal the extent of its connections with the disgraced financier. On Saturday, Reif described the acceptance of contributions from Epstein as a "mistake of judgment" and said he had instructed MIT's general counsel to bring in a prominent law firm to investigate the matter. "Because the accusations in the (New Yorker) story are extremely serious, they demand an immediate, thorough and independent investigation," Reif said. Ito previously apologized for having accepted donations from Epstein and had said he would raise an amount equivalent to the donations the lab received from foundations controlled by Epstein and "direct those funds to non-profits that focus on supporting survivors of trafficking." The New Yorker said Ito disclosed this week he received a further $ 1.2 million from Epstein for investment funds under Ito's control and $ 525,000 for the lab. Epstein also secured $ 7.5 million in donations for the lab from other wealthy individuals. On Saturday, Ito also resigned from the board of directors of The New York Times Co and of PureTech, a biotechnology firm, according to statements from the two companies.



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Homeowner shot a 14-year-old during burglary attempt. The 5 other teens with him were charged with murder

Homeowner shot a 14-year-old during burglary attempt. The 5 other teens with him were charged with murderSix teens were attempting to burglarize a vehicle in Illinois. The homeowner shot one of them and now the remaining 5 are being charged with murder.



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Jeffrey Epstein Pal Maxwell Loses Last-Ditch Attempt to Seal Papers

Jeffrey Epstein Pal Maxwell Loses Last-Ditch Attempt to Seal Papers(Bloomberg) — A federal appeals court unsealed hundreds of pages of long-awaited documents from a defamation lawsuit against one of Jeffrey Epstein’s closest friends, revealing details about claims that the money manager and his associates sexually abused underage girls.The appeals court in Manhattan on Friday denied a last-ditch request by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was close to Epstein for years, to reconsider an order to make documents public from the suit filed against her in 2015 by an alleged victim, Virginia Giuffre.Not all the documents were unsealed. The appeals panel made public more than a dozen filings related to Maxwell’s failed motion for summary judgment in the case, but the panel ordered a lower court judge to analyze subsets of other documents before making them public.Giuffre has claimed Epstein sexually abused her for two years starting in 2000, when she was 16. Giuffre alleges that Maxwell recruited her while she was working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and that the socialite participated in the abuse.In her suit, Giuffre claimed that Maxwell, daughter of the late British publisher Robert Maxwell, defamed her by publicly calling her a liar.Numerous documents stemming from the case are already public, including documents with allegations against well-known people.Maxwell had argued the documents should be kept under seal because of the shocking nature of the allegations, including Giuffre’s previously reported claim that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with the U.K.’s Prince Andrew while she was a minor. The allegations were first reported in a British tabloid several years before the lawsuit was filed.The case attracted public attention last month when a federal appeals court ordered U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska to unseal 2,000 pages of documents that may identify other people described in court filings as “prominent individuals” connected to the case.Epstein, a convicted sex offender who served 13 months in jail a decade ago after pleading guilty to soliciting a minor, was arrested in early July and charged with sexually assaulting teenage girls from 2002 to 2005. He has pleaded not guilty.Maxwell has long denied she was involved with Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. Last month, her lawyers told the appeals court that the media’s “furious feeding frenzy” justified keeping the documents sealed and she asked for a rehearing by a full panel of the appeals court.Read More: Epstein’s Socialite Pal Maxwell Seeks to Keep Files SealedGiuffre also sued Epstein’s lawyer, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, accusing him of defaming her by calling her a liar and denying her claims that he also sexually abused her. Dershowitz denies that he defamed her and says he was defending himself against her allegations.The documents were filed in connection with a summary judgment motion in Giuffre’s case, which was eventually settled. They could provide new information about Epstein’s alleged trafficking ring. Prosecutors say it involved dozens of girls, some as young as 14.Giuffre first accused Epstein in December 2014 when she attempted to join a civil suit filed by two of the money manager’s alleged victims who sought to nullify a federal non-prosecution agreement he struck as part of a guilty plea to lesser state charges.In her request to join the suit, Giuffre included descriptions of abuse by Epstein and other individuals, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders,” the appeals court said in its July 3 ruling.(Updates with details about nature of unsealed documents.)To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Jeffrey D Grocott, Peter BlumbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Ivanka Trump's attempt to highlight gun violence in Chicago backfired when the city's mayor slammed her misleading tweets as 'nonsense'

Ivanka Trump's attempt to highlight gun violence in Chicago backfired when the city's mayor slammed her misleading tweets as 'nonsense'Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was "not going to be distracted by nonsense tweets from people who don't know what they're talking about."



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Brazil gang leader puts on silicon mask and wig in attempt to flee jail disguised as his daughter

Brazil gang leader puts on silicon mask and wig in attempt to flee jail disguised as his daughterA Brazilian gang leader tried to escape from prison by dressing up as his daughter when she visited him behind bars and walking out the penitentiary's main door in her place, authorities said on Sunday. Clauvino da Silva, also known as "Shorty", donned a silicon girl's mask and long dark-haired wig for his attempted jail break in the western part of Rio de Janeiro.  But prison officials said the nervousness displayed as he tried to leave the prison in his disguise gave him away. His plan was apparently to leave his 19-year-old daughter inside the jail. Police are looking into her possible role as an accomplice in Saturday's failed escape attempt from Gericino prison. The gang leader had apparently planned to leave his 19-year-old daughter in the prison Credit: Rio de Janeiro Penitentiary Administration Secretariat /AP Rio's State Secretary of Prison Administration released photos showing da Silva in the mask and wig, wearing tight jeans and a pink shirt with a cartoon image of donuts. They also released a video in which da Silva can be seen removing the mask and some of the clothes, and saying his full name. Authorities say da Silva was part of the leadership of the Red Command, one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil that controlled drug trafficking in a large part of Rio. After the failed escape bid, da Silva was transferred to a unit of a maximum-security prison and will face disciplinary sanctions, officials said.



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Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tanker

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the British government said on Thursday, raising the stakes in a test of nerves between Tehran and the West. Britain urged Iran to “de-escalate the situation in the region” after the British Heritage oil tanker operated by BP was approached. The incident took place exactly a week after British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker, which London said was violating sanctions by bringing oil to Syria.



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'The boys are together again:' Second son dies a week after mother's drowning attempt

'The boys are together again:' Second son dies a week after mother's drowning attemptSherri Telnas now faces two homicide charges after her youngest son, Jacob Ray, died a week after she is accused of trying to drown him and his brother.



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Venezuelan deputy faces trial for drone 'hit' attempt on Maduro

Venezuelan deputy faces trial for drone 'hit' attempt on MaduroA Venezuelan politician accused of an attempt to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro using explosing drones will face trial after a court on Monday accepted charges against him, his lawyer said. Opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens faces 30 years in prison if found guilty of the brazen attempt to kill Maduro as he attended a military parade in downtown Caracas on August 4, 2018. Two drones packed with explosives flew towards President Maduro, causing panic among soldiers and civilians when they detonated during his speech.



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NRA shuts down production at TV channel amid leadership coup attempt and legal troubles

NRA shuts down production at TV channel amid leadership coup attempt and legal troublesThe National Rifle Association has shut down production at NRA TV.The NRA on Tuesday also severed all business with its estranged advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRA TV, the NRA’s live broadcasting media arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.While NRA TV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities – Ackerman employees who included Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the NRA.It remained unclear whether the NRA might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits between the NRA and Ackerman, and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent NRA board members first criticised NRA TV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.“Many members expressed concern about the messaging on NRA TV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s longtime chief executive, wrote in a message to members that was expected to be sent out by Wednesday.“So, after careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming.”In a notice to Ackerman’s chief executive, Revan McQueen, sent on Tuesday night, the NRA said it “regrets that a long-standing, formerly productive relationship comes to an end in this fashion.”Ackerman, in its own statement, said it was “not surprised that the NRA is unwilling to honour its agreement to end our contract and our long-standing relationship in an orderly and amicable manner.”“When given the opportunity to do the right thing, the NRA once again has taken action that we believe is intended to harm our company even at the expense of the NRA itself,” the company added.It said it “will continue to fight against the NRA’s repeated violations of its agreement with our company with every legal remedy available to us.”The development is the latest in what has been a tumultuous year for the NRA. It has struggled to right its finances; faced investigations in Congress and by Letitia James, the New York attorney general; and witnessed a leadership struggle that pitted Oliver North, the NRA’s former president, against Mr LaPierre.Last week, The Times reported that the NRA had suspended Christopher W Cox, its longtime second-in-command, after a legal filing by the NRA implicated him in a failed plot to oust Mr LaPierre. Mr Cox has strongly rejected such allegations.NRA officials had grown leery of the cost of creating so much live content for NRA TV, which was started in 2016, and wondered whether it was worth the return on its investment. The site’s web traffic was minuscule, with 49,000 unique visitors in January, according to a report provided by comScore.Some NRA board members and officials were also unnerved by the breadth of its content, which strayed far beyond gun rights and encompassed several right-wing talking points, including criticism of immigration and broadsides against the FBI. A show hosted by Ms Loesch that put Ku Klux Klan hoods on talking trains from the popular children’s programme Thomas & Friends drew outrage from some within the organisation.But the dispute between the NRA and Ackerman goes deeper than NRA TV. It has its origins in threats by Ms James last summer to investigate the NRA’s tax-exempt status. The NRA began an audit of its contractors, and has said that Ackerman, which was paid roughly $ 40m (£31.5m) annually by the NRA, refused to comply. Ackerman has disputed that allegation.Ackerman has assailed the role of the NRA’s outside attorney, William A Brewer III, over the size of his legal fees, and has seen him as its chief antagonist. The contention has a bitter family twist because Mr Brewer is the brother-in-law of Mr McQueen, Ackerman’s chief executive.The schism between the organisations has been shocking. They had a closely intertwined partnership going back to the “I’m the NRA” campaign in the 1980s, and Ackerman came to be known as the voice of the NRA.But by Tuesday night, splitting up was seen as inevitable.“This is just an affirmation of what we’ve known is going to happen,” said Joel Friedman, an NRA board member.The New York Times



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Vietnam jails US citizen for 'state overthrow' attempt

Vietnam jails US citizen for 'state overthrow' attemptA US citizen was sentenced Monday to 12 years in Vietnamese prison for “attempting to overthrow the state”, a lawyer and state media said, as the one-party country squeezes dissent. Vietnamese-American Michael Nguyen was detained in July last year while travelling in the country with two activists, who were also arrested. The trio were accused of setting up a group to prepare armed protest and the occupation of official “headquarters” in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, according to state-run news site VnExpress.



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