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Airline leaves group of children as young as eight ‘unaccompanied overnight after flight delayed’

Airline leaves group of children as young as eight ‘unaccompanied overnight after flight delayed’Hudson Hoyt was ecstatic for his first time at Camp New Friends.The 8-year-old, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon, flew east in early August for the camp's week-long summer program outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, specifically for children with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumours to grow on nerve tissue.It was a dream experience for Hudson – at least, until the return flight home via American Airlines, for which point Hudson's mother says he and eight other unaccompanied minors from the camp were temporarily stranded, deprived of food and met with conditions so poor it's made her son reluctant to fly again."I felt scared," Hudson, who suffers from anxiety, said in an interview with The Washington Post. "When the plane stopped moving, I was afraid I was never going to see my mum again."The first plane arrived late for a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to Hudson's mother, Kristie Hoyt, and the children were rushed to their Portland, Oregon, flight without stopping for food. But then the second plane was stalled by delays that were not communicated to the parents. First, fuel spilled on the tarmac. Then, she learned that the airline needed to find replacements for the pilot and co-pilot, who had worked too many hours.When Ms Hoyt asked for a direct phone number for someone with American Airlines who could keep her updated on the children's situation, the mother says she was denied. Updates came after a 12-year-old in the group called her and gave the phone to a flight attendant. The airline never reached out to her directly, she says, even though she was listed as the contact for two children on the trip.With their flight delayed until the next morning, the children's' problems worsened at the Charlotte airport. They stayed overnight in an unaccompanied-minor room, where some of the kids had to sleep on the floor because there were not enough beds and furniture, Ms Hoyt said. Hudson and his friends still hadn't eaten a full meal since breakfast at camp that morning, and the vending machines inside didn't work.Some of the children on the flight required medication with a full meal to prevent seizures and migraines, she says.Ms Hoyt detailed the saga in Facebook posts."American Airlines, how are you okay with leaving 9 unaccompanied children all with medical needs on a plane for over 5 hours and not giving their parents updates?" she wrote Friday night. "Or allowing the kids access to electricity to charge their phones to talk to their parents? You are disgraceful! And harming these children!"After their overnight stay at the airport, Hoyt says the children were rushed onto a plane at about 6am. The children did not receive breakfast aboard the plane as promised, she said, even when the takeoff time was delayed again because "the catering service wasn't delivered."The confusion came to a head when the kids arrived in Portland and the mother was asked to sign for a child who was not hers.In all, Ms Hoyt said the children went more than 24 hours without a full meal. In a 5am text from her son, which she later posted to Facebook, Hudson wrote: "[Our] plane has not take off yet I [have] not had lunch dinner or breakfast."After his adoption, Hudson has struggled with anxiety and abandonment issues, something his mother says they are working to overcome. She and other parents say they were never contacted by the airline, even though American Airlines' policy requires staffers to "call the contacts on the unaccompanied minor form" in the event of a delay or cancelled flight.Kelley Phillips, identified by KATU as another child on the plane, told the network she and her friends had "limited" access to the bathroom and were only provided with snacks."The only thing we had were crackers and soda, which isn't good because we need real food to be able to take our medication," she said.American Airlines issued a public statement of apology and attributed the overnight delay to a mechanical problem. It said the children were kept "safe and comfortable" in the care of airline personnel."Our team is in the process of reaching out to the families involved and sincerely apologises for this travel experience. We will be reviewing with our teams internally to understand how we can do better next time," the airline wrote.Hudson, she said, wants to go back to camp but now has trepidation about flying. After meeting with a counsellor Monday, however, they've narrowed that scope to American Airlines flights, specifically."We're just trying to work through the trauma of it," she said.The Washington Post



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New Mexicans Saw Young Girls With Epstein as He Shopped for His ‘Baby Ranch’

New Mexicans Saw Young Girls With Epstein as He Shopped for His ‘Baby Ranch’Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty/ReutersR. Kelly arrived under escort of U.S. Marshals on Friday at the same small New Jersey airport where Jeffrey Epstein was arrested last month.The singer and the money manager are charged in separate cases with having sex with multiple minors. Both have long been seen in the company of underage girls. And both cases raise the question of why so many people said nothing over the years. Saying something when you see something—the post-9/11 adage about terrorism—should also apply to the sexual abuse of underage girls.Of course, not everybody could be expected to have understood the significance of what they were seeing before Epstein’s proclivities became widely known. That included realtor Pat French of Santa Fe, New Mexico.Back in September of 1992, French was on the way to take her tween-turning-teen daughter and a friend to see the first woman to lead the Cherokee tribe, when she stopped at a luxury hotel to drop off some papers to a mega-rich New Yorker who was shopping for a ranch.  Send The Daily Beast a TipWhen she rang the doorbell to the suite at the Rancho Encantado that September day in 1992, Jeffrey Epstein was not who answered.“There were all these girls,” French told The Daily Beast this week. “A little bit older than my daughter. Not much.”French made what seemed at the time to be a completely reasonable assumption. “I thought, ‘Oh, these must be his daughters and friends he took along on the trip,’” French recalled. She did not know at the time that Epstein had no children.The girls took the papers, which described properties that French thought might interest Epstein. He had told her he was seeking isolation.“He wanted really far away from people,” French recalled.French proceeded on with her daughter and friends to see Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller receive an an award from the International Women’s Forum. Mankiller—now deceased, from cancer in 2010—was a leading champion of women’s rights as well as Native American rights and human rights in general. Mankiller was taking particular steps to combat the sexual abuse of children in her tribe. French never imagined that the girls she saw back at the plush Rancho Encantado were victims of evil such as Mankiller battled.“I had no idea about this man,” French later told The Daily Beast.French had no further dealings with Epstein. He chose to buy a ranch through another realtor, Rhonda King, who was also then a representative to the New Mexico state legislature.  The purchase of the 10,000-acre Zorro Ranch came with an additional, instant political connection, as Epstein bought it from the realtor’s uncle, former Gov. Bruce King. Epstein proceeded to build a 26,700 square foot hacienda-style hilltop mansion, the largest private home in Santa Fe County, perhaps the state. The former governor’s brother, New Mexico State treasurer David King, was quoted saying of Epstein, “He’s building what you want as a heavenly ranch.”Epstein was reported to have bought $ 600 bedsheets. He was said to have his bread flown in from New York.“They do have money,” a local builder remarked.But money was still money for Epstein. He sued Santa Fe County in 2000, alleging that he was being overcharged on property taxes because the ranch was worth only $ 30 million, not the $ 33 million it had been officially appraised. He demanded a refund of $ 20,000 he had already paid. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount. Visitors to the mansion included the leading candidate for governor in 2002, Bill Richardson, who was later quick to say that he was accompanied by his wife. Epstein contributed $ 50,000 to Richardson’s campaign. Epstein kicked in another $ 50,000 towards Richardson’s successful run for reelection in 2006.Gary King, the former governor’s son, was running for state attorney general that year and Epstein donated $ 15,000 to his primary campaign. Epstein also donated $ 10,000 toward Jim Bacca’s campaign to become head of the land commission and $ 2,000 toward Santa Fe County Sheriff Jim Solano's bid for reelection.In the meantime, Epstein was apparently flying in underage girls as well as fresh bread, usually through Santa Fe when he was using his Gulfstream, or the larger Albuquerque airport when using his Boeing 727. One of his accusers would say that she was raped at the ranch when she was 15.No doubt people at the airports and ranch workers and folks in town saw the girls. But nobody seems to have contacted the authorities even after the news broke in July 2006 that Epstein was being charged in Florida with having sex with underage girls. The following year, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to just one count of engaging a minor in prostitution. This unconscionable deal allowed him to serve just 13 months of nights and weekends in a private section of the Palm Beach County Jail. A resident of Santa Fe recalled to The Daily Beast that when she went into a local newsstand, the proprietor remarked, “Oh, he always used to come into town with all these girls.”Epstein Had His Own Lodge at Interlochen’s Prestigious Arts Camp for KidsUpon his release in 2009, Epstein was required by the plea deal to to register as a sex offender. Federal law required him also to register in any other jurisdiction where he maintained a residence, including what his lawyers termed his “vacation home” outside Santa Fe.On July 23, 2010, Epstein received a notice from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS) stating it had been notified by its Florida counterpart that Epstein was a registered sex offender.“A convicted sex offender who resides in New Mexico shall register with the county sheriff no later than ten (10) days after establishing residence in this state,” the notice said.On August 17, Epstein registered in person with Detective Deborah Anaya at the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office. Anaya afterwards paid a standard visit to the offender's home. What wasn’t standard were the offender's conveyances, which she listed as two private jets and two helicopters, along with a fleet of land vehicles.Two days later, on August 19, Epstein received a second notice from NMDPS, which said, “You are not required to register with the state of New Mexico.” A NMDPS spokesman later told The Daily Beast, “While in New Mexico we expressly disapprove of such conduct as specific to this case, the determination made when someone must register in New Mexico is a fact-based inquiry. The state conducted a 'translation' on August 11, 2010, regarding Mr. Epstein's 2008 conviction for procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution in the state of Florida, i.e., a comparison of the out-of-state elements of the Florida conviction were compared against New Mexico law. It was determined at that time that because the victim was not under the age of 16, Mr. Epstein does not have a registration requirement in New Mexico.”The spokesman did not respond to a query as to how this squared with federal law, which would seem to say that the conviction in Florida required him to register in New Mexico even if the victim was not under 16. The Florida definition of a minor was the operative one in whatever state when it came to registering. The standard letterhead in both NMDPS notices was identical, but in retrospect the words “Bill Richardson, Governor” seem to jump out a little more in the second one. Richardson—a former Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration—was in the final months of his second and final term as New Mexico’s governor, but Gary King remained the state attorney general until 2015. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014 and may have imagined nobody would be any the wiser when he accepted $ 35,000 donated by five shell companies that Epstein had established. The companies—three of which were apparently named after streets in the gated Brooklyn enclave where Epstein was raised—are based in the Virgin Islands. That is where Epstein has two private islands and where numerous people also saw him in the company of apparently underage girls and where he also made numerous political contributions, and even hired a former governor's wife as his office manager.Epstein almost certainly would still be flying girls to New Mexico and the Virgin Islands, along with his residences in Palm Beach and New York and likely Paris had he not been indicted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office for sex trafficking. He was arrested when he stepped off his Gulfstream at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Epstein seems to have been abusing girls in New Mexico for at least 27 years. If he was traveling with underage girls after his widely reported conviction, no one should have imagined that he was doing so for any purpose other than should have been immediately reported to the authorities. So many people saw something and said nothing.Epstein apparently imagined people would keep saying nothing and he would remain at liberty. He has long leased grazing rights for 1,244 acres adjoining his Zorro Ranch and he renewed the lease in 2016 so it runs to 2021. He was reported in 2011 to have 39 Angus-cross cows and two bulls. The bulls are apparently for breeding.Epstein seems to have been obsessed with breeding. As The New York Times reported, he talked about using his seed to impregnate a herd of women, whom he seems to have regarded as just cattle at whatever age. He was said to have suggested to scientists that the human race would be improved by having what might in ranch terms be called an Epstein-cross.We can all hope that his line dies in prison along with him. Until then, look for Epstein to seek to curry favor with other inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center by putting money in their commissary accounts the same way he used to contribute to politicians in New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.Out in New Mexico, one of Epstein’s more remote neighbors was spared ever encountering him. But the artist Sina Brush did receive an unbidden letter from him not long after he built his mansion. He informed her that he was paying her $ 25,000 for her refuge of 40 years. The letter did not even ask she was interested in selling. She sent back a polite “no thank you” note despite his rudeness.   The modest parcel where Brush lives and works with an aging mare named Billie—“after the kid”—is one place that Epstein could not have bought with all his money. There, Brush enjoys a realm whose magical light and timeless peace have inspired many other artists, including not only Georgia O’Keeffe, but also Gerald Cassidy, Forrest Moses, Woody Gwyn and Fritz Scholde. Here is isolation that can also lead to what is the very best in us.“I’m not going anywhere,” she told The Daily Beast. “I need this kind of tranquility and beauty.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Salvadoran family mourns death of young father across U.S. border

Salvadoran family mourns death of young father across U.S. borderLike many Salvadoran migrants before them, Marvin Gonzalez and his eight-year-old daughter Joselyn set off from their farm surrounded by corn and sugarcane one morning in early July with dreams of better lives in the United States. Gonzalez, 32, planned to reunite the girl with her mother in North Carolina, and later send for his current wife from El Salvador. The two made it across the U.S. border in late July.



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Young girl falls to death from cruise ship ‘after being accidentally dropped by grandfather’

Young girl falls to death from cruise ship ‘after being accidentally dropped by grandfather’A young girl has fallen to her death from a cruise ship in Puerto Rico after reportedly being accidentally dropped overboard by her grandfather.The American toddler, believed to have been 18 months old, plunged from the 11th deck of the Freedom of the Seas while the boat was docked in San Juan.She landed on the concrete port below and was pronounced dead shortly after the accident on Sunday afternoon.The girl fell about 150ft after slipping through her grandfather’s arms as he held her by an open window, according to local media reports.“Unfortunately, the news of a baby’s accident on a cruise ship is true,” confirmed Anthony Maceira Zayas, Puerto Rico’s secretary for public affairs and Ports Authority executive director.The Caribbean island’s Department of Public Security added in a statement: “We regret the sad event that occurred on the Freedom of the Seas cruise and we sympathise with the family of the girl who died.”The girl’s family are believed to be from Indiana.Another passenger on the cruise told Spanish-language television station Telemundo PR they heard the toddler’s mother screaming following the fall.“That cry of pain does not compare with any other cry,” they added.A spokesperson for Royal Carribean, which owns the ship, told The Independent: “We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family.“We’ve made our care team available to assist the family with any resources they need. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”The girl had been on holiday with her parents, younger brother and maternal and paternal grandparents, according to Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.Puerto Rico Police’s San Juan homicide department are investigating the toddler’s death, but they are not yet thought to have interviewed her family.Investigators have been speaking to witnesses who saw the fall and are expected to examine CCTV footage.The Freedom of the Seas, which can accommodate 3,634 passengers, was about to embark on a seven-day Carribean cruise when the accident happened.The ship, which is the world’s 15th largest passenger boat, was delayed leaving the port but eventually set sail for Sint Marteen at 8.30pm local time (12.30am Monday GMT).



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Jeffrey Epstein – live updates: Billionaire and former Trump associate in court over sex trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14

Jeffrey Epstein - live updates: Billionaire and former Trump associate in court over sex trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14Jeffrey Epstein is facing sex trafficking and conspiracy charges over accusations he exploited numerous underage women and maintained a network of enablers who allowed the abuse to carry on for years. Mr Epstein, a politically-connected billionaire financier and onetime associate to the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was arrested over the weekend after returning to the US on his private jet from a trip to Paris. Prosecutors suspect him of a list of sex crimes, including the recruitment of underage girls for sexual activity, paying minors for massages and later molesting them, as well as other crimes that allegedly took place in his New York and Florida homes. He was scheduled to appear in a Manhattan federal court on Monday over the allegations dating back to the early 2000s. Mr Epstein previously avoided a major prison sentence after pleading guilty to state prostitution charges nearly 11 years ago. He skirted most of his 13-month sentence with the help of a work-release program that allowed Mr Epstein to leave the jail facilities almost every day.Please allow the liveblog to load



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Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire charged with sex trafficking and abusing girls as young as 14, unsealed indictment reveals

Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire charged with sex trafficking and abusing girls as young as 14, unsealed indictment revealsBillionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with sex trafficking of underage girls, with the financier facing allegations that he abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York and Florida.The indictment, unsealed in a Manhattan court room, charges Mr Epstein with two counts: sex trafficking and conspiracy.Mr Epstein is accused of seeking out minors, some as young as 14 years old, and paying them hundreds of dollars to engage in sex acts.The indictment also states that Mr Epstein allegedly paid would-be victims to recruit additional to ensure a “steady supply of new victims to exploit”.“In this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit in locations including New York and Palm Beach,” the indictment alleges. Prosecutors say that between at least 2002 and 2005 Mr Epstein ”sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls”.According to the indictment Mr Epstein was allegedly aware that many of his victims were younger than 18 “because, in some instances, minor victims expressly told him their age”.Mr Epstein is set to appear in court later today and his lawyers say he will plead not guilty to all charges. Prosecutors were likely to argue he is a flight risk and should remain in jail instead of being released on bail pending trial. The former hedge fund manager’s friends have included President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.Mr Trump told New York magazine in 2002 that Mr Epstein was a “terrific guy”.“He’s a lot of fun to be with,” the president said at the time. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”Mr Epstein was arrested on Saturday at an airport near New York City after his private jet touched down from France. According to the newly-unsealed indictment, girls would be encouraged to give Mr Epstein nude or partially nude “massages” that would then escalate to “include one or more sex acts”.Prosecutors allege that sometimes Mr Epstein would personally reach out to girls to schedule such encounters and at other times employees – one in Manhattan and two in Palm Beach – would be directed to do it.When Mr Epstein would travel by private jet from New York to Palm Beach, an employee or associate would “ensure that minor victims were available for encounters upon his arrival in Florida,” according to the indictment.Federal authorities want Mr Epstein to forfeit his New York mansion as part of the case.The latest case comes more than a decade after the Miami US attorney's office abandoned a 50-page indictment alleging sexual abuse by Mr Epstein.In 2005 police opened an investigation in Palm Beach after it received reports that Mr Epstein had allegedly sexually abused minors in his mansion there. Mr Epstein denied wrongdoing. In a 2008 plea deal that the businessman struck with Mr Trump’s current labour secretary – and then federal prosecutor – Alexander Acosta, Mr Epstein pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges. The deal meant he avoided possibly being charged with federal sex trafficking charges.After the deal, Mr Epstein served 13 months in jail where he had would be allowed to work in an office during the day.Several of Mr Epstein’s accusers challenged this Florida deal in court, who say they were denied a chance to have their views heard, violating the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.In February of this year, a US district judge in the state agreed, ruling that the plea agreement violated the law in that prosecutors should have informed the financiers accusers of the deal at the time.Democrats in the House of Representatives confronted Mr Acosta about his role in the deal earlier this year, during a hearing before the House Appropriations subcommittee on a routine budget matter.Mr Acosta argued that his office’s efforts ensured that Epstein faced jail time and had to register as a sex offender.“I understand the frustration,” Mr Acosta told the subcommittee. “I think it’s important to understand that he was going to get off with no jail time or restitution. It was the work of our office that resulted in him going to jail.”Federal prosecutors filed court papers in the Florida case last month saying that Mr Epstein’s 2008 deal, known as an NPA, must stand. “The past cannot be undone; the government committed itself to the NPA, and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. They acknowledged, however, that the failure to consult victims “fell short of the government’s dedication to serve victims to the best of its ability” and that prosecutors “should have communicated with the victims in a straightforward and transparent way.” Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report



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Ocasio-Cortez responds after Pelosi dismisses young House progressives

Ocasio-Cortez responds after Pelosi dismisses young House progressivesNew York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who dismissed her and other progressives who voted against their chamber’s bill to send $ 4.6 billion in emergency aid to the U.S. southern border. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said, according to the New York Times. “That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday.



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Hawaii skydiving crash victims included young couple, sailor

Hawaii skydiving crash victims included young couple, sailorAll 11 people on board a skydiving plane died when it crashed and burned at a small airfield north of Honolulu last week. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office has identified seven victims, including a young couple from Colorado celebrating their first wedding anniversary, several skydiving instructors and a Navy sailor. The Navy said Lt. Joshua Drablos, 27, was “an invaluable member” of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, based in Kunia, Hawaii.



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Warren has big lead among young progressives, NextGen poll finds

Warren has big lead among young progressives, NextGen poll findsSen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders have broken out as frontrunners for young voters, according to a new straw poll conducted by the progressive group NextGen, pulling ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden.



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Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill it

Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill itA young black bear was shot and killed by Oregon officials after becoming so habituated to humans that people reportedly took selfies with it.



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