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Donald Trump fuels conspiracy theories about Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide

Donald Trump fuels conspiracy theories about Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicideJeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide in prison on Saturday has launched new conspiracy theories online in a saga that has provided fodder for them for years.  Fuelled by Epstein’s ties to princes, politicians and other famous and powerful people, online theorists quickly offered unsubstantiated speculation – including some retweeted by President Donald Trump – that Epstein’s death wasn’t a suicide, or it was faked. That chatter picked up on the conjecture that resurged after Epstein’s July 6 arrest on allegations that he orchestrated a sex-trafficking ring designed to bring him teenage girls. Some of his accusers have described being sexually abused by the wealthy financier’s friends and acquaintances. The combination created fertile ground for theories and misinformation to breed on social media. Epstein, 66, had been denied bail and faced up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial next year. Death of financier | Epstein's final days His relationships with Mr Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew were at the centre of those online rumours and theories, many of which question what politicians knew about Epstein’s alleged sex crimes. Mr Trump retweeted a message from conservative actor and comedian Terrence K. Williams, who suggested Epstein’s death might be linked to Mr Clinton. Williams also questioned how Epstein could have died by suicide if he had been on suicide watch. The claim is completely unsubstantiated, and, according to reports, officials say Epstein had been placed on suicide watch last month but then taken off within a week. Clinton spokesman Angel Urena responded on Twitter: “Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?” The 25th Amendment spells out a process for the president’s cabinet to remove him from office. Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet? t.co/Pa8M8pAenr— Angel Ureña (@angelurena) August 11, 2019 Many theories have already been easily debunked. For example, days after his arrest online memes and Facebook statuses wrongly claimed the Obama administration, in order to protect former President Clinton, forged a once-secret deal in 2008 in Florida that allowed him to plead guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution to avoid more serious charges. The deal was actually executed before President Barack Obama took office, under former President George W. Bush. Meanwhile, a manipulated photo , shared by thousands on Twitter and Facebook, falsely claimed to show Epstein with Mr Trump and a young Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter. Both Mr Clinton and Mr Trump have denied being privy to Epstein’s alleged scheme. Mr Urena said the former president "knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York." He said that, in 2002 and 2003, Mr Clinton took four trips on Epstein’s plane with multiple stops and that staff and his Secret Service detail travelled on every leg. Hey @realDonaldTrump, you were friends with Jeffrey Epstein and were at parties with him. His death happened under your watch. Before you tweet out conspiracy theories, you may want to first talk with your AG Bill Barr and your head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. t.co/YZXV8oaAKS— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 10, 2019 Mr Trump has acknowledged knowing Epstein but said he "had a falling out with him a long time ago." Other Epstein theories floating online have been darker, especially after Epstein was found injured on the floor of his cell last month with bruises on his neck. Some online commentators described it as a "murder attempt." "Men in high places want Epstein dead," one Twitter use wrote. Other politicians also took to social media to question the circumstances. Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the state where some of Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse crimes took place, suggested the possibility that others might have been involved in Epstein’s death when he called on corrections officials to explain what happened at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan. "The Federal Bureau of Prisons must provide answers on what systemic failures of the MCC Manhattan or criminal acts allowed this coward to deny justice to his victims," he tweeted. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now an attorney for Trump, tweeted out several questions about Epstein’s death. "Who was watching? What does camera show? … Follow the motives" Giuliani tweeted Saturday afternoon. What does the word watch mean in the phrase suicide Watch? Who was watching? What does camera show? It is inconceivable Epstein could have hung himself if there was a suicide Watch? Follow the motives.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) August 10, 2019 The FBI and the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General will investigate the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr said. "Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered," Barr said in a news release. Epstein’s suicide was likely recorded by jail cameras, according to Preet Bharara, the former federal prosecutor in Manhattan. "One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured," he tweeted. Epstein’s arrest last month launched separate investigations into how authorities handled his case initially when similar charges were first brought against him in Florida more than a decade ago. US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last month after coming under fire for overseeing that deal when he was U.S. attorney in Miami. Epstein’s lawyers maintained that the new charges in New York were covered by the 2008 plea deal and that Epstein hadn’t had any illicit contact with underage girls since serving his 13-month sentence in Florida.

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Patrick Crusius: El Paso shooting suspect fuels fears of increasing white supremacist threat

Patrick Crusius: El Paso shooting suspect fuels fears of increasing white supremacist threatPatrick Crusius, the suspected gunman in the El Paso mass shooting, was being investigated for hate crimes on Sunday as a familiar portrait began to emerge of the alleged shooter.  Just as it was the case in a series of recent tragedies in the US, the suspect in Texas was a young, white man who had had apparently espoused racist ideology.  The attack comes amid increasing concerns about the threat of domestic terrorism associated with racism and white supremacy in the US and around the world.  Police are investigating the El Paso mass shooting as a hate crime after an anti-immigrant manifesto, apparently written by the suspect, was posted online.  Crusius, of the Dallas area in Texas, was arrested after at least 20 people were killed and 24 injured in a shooting at a Walmart in Texas. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said police had found a manifesto that may have been written by Crusius and posted online. “Right now we have a manifesto from this individual, that indicates to some degree, it has a nexus to potential hate crime,” Mr Allen said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers gather near the scene of a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso Credit: AP He added that authorities were still working to “validate” that it was written by the suspected shooter. The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the mass shooting, CNN reported, citing a source.  The “manifesto” was posted to 8chan, a no-censorship site where other extremist manifestos have appeared. Though the writer denied he was a white supremacist, the document said "race mixing" was destroying the nation and recommended dividing the United States into territorial enclaves determined by race. It claimed the shooting was a response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”, referring to the so-called “Great Replacement”, a white supremacist conspiracy theory that claims people of European descent are being overwhelmed. It also expressed support for the suspect in the Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 51 people were killed. The author complained that the AK-47 rifle that he chose was "not designed to shoot rounds quickly, so it overheats massively after about 100 shots are fired in quick succession". To counter this he said he'd wear a heat-resistant glove. About | Hate crime The writer said he probably spent less than a month preparing for the shooting. "I have to do this before I lose my nerve," he noted. Strangely, the document includes a rant against automation and corporate America. "The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades," the document read. He then describes his death as "likely inevitable". "If I'm not killed by the police, then I'll probably be gunned down by one of the invaders. "Capture in this case is far worse than dying during the shooting because I'll get the death penalty anyway," he wrote. Crusius was described as quiet, antisocial and a bit “strange,” the Washington Post reported, citing people who grew up with him in Plano. Asked during a CNN interview about reports of disturbing online posts made by the suspect, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would not be surprised in any way. "I think those can help shed light on why he did it," Mr Paxton said. "They are still interviewing him." The latest atrocity comes a week after a gunman opened fire at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. At least three people died and 12 injured when Santino William Legan, 19, carried out the rampage before he killed himself. While no motive has been established for the attack, investigators were examining Legan's social media accounts, including an Instagram account in which he referenced a white supremacist book. In October last year, 11 people were left dead after a gunman attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers, the 46-year-old suspect, appeared to be the author of a rash of violently anti-Semitic posts on the Gab.com social networking website. Six months later, a man armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego on Saturday, killing one woman inside and wounding three others in a "hate crime" on the last day of Passover.  John Earnest, the 19-year-old suspect, apparently published an anti-Semitic open letter on a far-right message board hours before the attack. Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court Credit: Reuters That manifesto was reportedly similar to one posted on the same message board by Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist who was behind the March 15 mosque attacks in Christchurch. And while the massacre at the Parkland school in Florida in February last year was not designated a hate crime, the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, had been fixated on racist imagery.  Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said political polarisation and a rise of far-right nationalism was contributing to hate crime around the globe. “We’re seeing a coalescence of traditional hate crime with political violence,” he told the LA Times last week. In July, FBI. Director Christopher Wray told Congress that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first three quarters of the year, roughly the same number of international arrests over that time period.  Beto O’Rourke, one of the Democratic presidential candidates, said Mr Trump’s rhetoric has triggered violence, though he stopped short of blaming him for the El Paso shootings. “He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country," Mr O’Rourke said. "And it does not just offend our sensibilities, it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.”

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Pope Francis Warns Oil Executives That Fossil Fuels Threaten Humanity

Pope Francis Warns Oil Executives That Fossil Fuels Threaten HumanityPope Francis met with oil and gas executives and investors in a closed-door

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Study on hurricane casualties fuels talk of statehood for Puerto Rico

Study on hurricane casualties fuels talk of statehood for Puerto RicoCritics of the federal response to Maria, comparing it to the relief efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, believe it would have been more effective if the U.S. territory were a state with representation in Washington.

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GOP Tax Bill ‘Designed’ To Kneecap Renewable Energy In Favor Of Fossil Fuels, Democrats Say

GOP Tax Bill ‘Designed’ To Kneecap Renewable Energy In Favor Of Fossil Fuels, Democrats SayThe Republican tax bill aims to cripple the solar power, wind power and electric vehicle industries at the behest of GOP campaign donors from the fossil fuel sector, seven Democratic senators said Tuesday.

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Nationwide Greek worker’s union strike fuels fiery clashes

Nationwide Greek worker’s union strike fuels fiery clashesWorkers’ unions called the strike to protest new belt-tightening measures that to be imposed beyond the end of Greece’s third bailout next year. The left-led coalition government agreed to the reforms as part of a deal with the country’s international creditors to release funds from its next bailout installment. Air traffic controllers were holding a four-hour work stoppage in the middle of the day, leading to the rescheduling or cancellation of more than 150 flights.

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Washington Post Report Fuels Chaos in White House

Washington Post Report Fuels Chaos in White HouseDonald Trump's White House was thrown into further disarray with a new report that he shared classified information with Russian diplomats. Former Press Secretary Josh Earnest and former Clinton aide Neera Tanden join Ari Melber to discuss the fallout.

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High school rape in US fuels Trump-era debate on immigration

High school rape in US fuels Trump-era debate on immigrationA rape at a Washington area high school has drawn intense scrutiny as part of the immigration debate launched under President Donald Trump, since the two alleged attackers are Latinos who entered the United States illegally. The attack feeds perfectly into the Trump narrative that the United States has porous borders and does not give priority to native-born Americans, and that unauthorized immigrants mean more and more violent crime. Jose Montano, 17, and Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, are accused of brutally raping a 14-year-old classmate in a bathroom during school hours.

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Slaying of thief fuels Italy's debate on legitimate defense

Slaying of thief fuels Italy's debate on legitimate defenseROME (AP) — Italian opposition politicians from the far right populist parties and other conservative forces on Sunday demanded a new law quickly on legitimate defense to protect law-abiding citizens.

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Trump win fuels donations, IUD demand at Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center in AustinBy Jilian Mincer and David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) – Planned Parenthood is reporting a spike in donations and demand for long-acting contraceptives since Donald Trump's election as U.S. president while abortion foes hope to gain momentum in their quest to cut public funding to the women's health organization. Officials with Planned Parenthood said its patrons are worried about the impact of a Trump presidency on access to abortions and birth control in the United States. Planned Parenthood, which draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions, is bracing for one of the toughest battles in its 100-year history.

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