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Jeffrey Epstein: Questions raised over disgraced financiers death

Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry in 2017 Image copyright: REUTERS

Epstein was awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges Image copyright: REUTERS



The FBI has opened a formal investigation into how US financier Jeffrey Epstein was able to apparently kill himself in prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

His body was discovered early on Saturday at a facility in New York.

Last month Epstein was found semi-conscious in his cell after an apparent suicide attempt.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it “way too convenient” that Epstein could no longer incriminate others.

“What a lot of us want to know is, what did he know?” Mr de Blasio, who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination, told reporters in Iowa.

“How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?

“Well, that information didn’t die with Jeffrey Epstein. That needs to be investigated, too.”

Profile: Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew ‘groped’ woman, court files allege
Conspiracy theories started to emerge immediately following his death.

Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges last month and was being held without bail.

His death came a day after hundreds of pages of court documents were released that revealed new allegations against him and some of his high-profile associates.

What were the circumstances of Epstein’s death?
Epstein died shortly after being found unconscious early on Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, considered one of the most secure in the country.

Last month, shortly after he was denied bail, Epstein was found in his cell with injuries to his neck and taken to hospital, in what prison officials had been investigating as a possible suicide attempt.

There are conflicting reports as to whether Epstein was placed on suicide watch following that incident. The New York Times reported that he had been under observation, but was taken off the watch more than a week before his death.

“How on earth is he not under special protection? What’s really going on here? I think that’s a question that we must get a full answer to,” said Mr de Blasio.

Police officers cover a medical examiner car outside the New York hospital where Epstein was taken to

Epstein’s body was taken to a hospital in Manhattan where he was pronounced dead Image copyright: REUTERS


In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Republican Senator Ben Sasse said “heads must roll.”

“The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,” he said.

“Every single person in the Justice Department – from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer – knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” he added.

The attorney general said there were “serious questions that must be answered”. Mr Barr added that he was “appalled” by the news of Epstein’s death and said the justice department had opened its own investigation.

What reaction has there been from victims?
Elsewhere, Epstein’s alleged victims have expressed disappointment that he will no longer stand trial. “I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out,” Jena-Lisa Jones said in a statement.

” I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face the survivors of his abuse in court ,” another alleged victim, Jennifer Araoz, told CNBC.

“We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives.”

A lawyer for some of the alleged victims, Lisa Bloom, said she would still seek compensation for them.

“We would have preferred he lived to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused,” she wrote on Twitter.

“I’ve sat with my clients as they have cried and talked about how their lives were changed forever,” she told MSNBC. “They deserve compensation.”

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, said the news of Epstein’s death was “disturbing”.

“We are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in court,” he said in a statement. “We remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation… remains ongoing.”

What was he charged with?
Epstein was accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.

He was arrested on 6 July after landing in New Jersey on his private jet. He avoided similar charges in a controversial secret plea deal in 2008, and instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Jeffrey Epstein looks on during  a bail hearing in Jeffrey Epsteins sex trafficking case in this court sketch

Epstein faced up to 45 years in jail Image copyright: REUTERS


That plea deal was closely scrutinised in recent weeks and, last month, US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his role in it .

Prosecutors also accused Epstein of paying large amounts of money to two potential witnesses ahead of his trial, which was scheduled to take place next year.

He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Who was Jeffrey Epstein?
New York-born Epstein worked as a teacher before moving into finance.

Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best known for his wealth and high-profile connections.

He was often seen socialising with the rich and powerful, including President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew.

In a 2002 profile in New York Magazine, Mr Trump referred to Epstein as a “terrific guy” .


Trump and Epstein in the 90s

Donald trump once called Epstein a “terrific guy” Image copyright: GETTY IMAGES


But he later said the pair fell out “12 or 15 years ago” and reiterated last month that he was “not a fan of Jeffrey Epstein”.

Reports of Epstein’s wealth vary, with his Virgin Islands-based firm generating no public records.

Presentational grey line
History of the allegations
2002: The earliest allegations of abuse covered by the recent case take place.

October 2002: Donald Trump tells New York magazine he has known Epstein for 15 years , and that he is a “terrific guy…. it is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side”.

2005: One of Epstein’s alleged victims, aged 14, reports him to the police in Palm Beach – sparking the first investigation.

May 2006: Epstein is charged with unlawful sex acts with a minor. Later in the year, the case is referred to the FBI.

2007: A plea deal is struck with Alex Acosta, the US attorney in Florida. Instead of facing federal sex-trafficking charges, he pleads guilty to two charges of soliciting prostitution, including with a minor.

June 2008: Epstein is sentenced to 13 months in prison – a private wing of a county jail. He is also allowed to leave for work – up to 12 hours a day, six days a week. He does, however, have to register as a sex offender.

April 2017: Alex Acosta is appointed labor secretary by now-President Donald Trump.

November 2018: The Miami Herald publishes its explosive investigation into Epstein , the plea deal, and the dozens of women alleging abuse.

July 2019: Epstein is arrested on new sex-trafficking charges, which he denied. Alex Acosta resigns .

With many thanks to: BBC World News USA and Canada for the original story 

US wants chlorinated chicken in British supermarkets for post-Brexit trade deal

A US negotiating document demands the UK relax its agriculture standards to get a post-Brexit trade deal

Chicken breasts on a Kentucky Fried Chicken production line in January 25th, 2016 (Photo: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIES/AFP/Getty Images)

Chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef could be coming to British supermarket shelves, after a US trade document called for standards to be relaxed as part of a trade agreement.

US officials set out the need for “comprehensive market access” for American agricultural goods in a 15-page document outlining its key negotiating objectives for any post-Brexit trade deal.

‘Unwanted barriers’
In the document, the Office of the US Trade Representative said it would seek to “establish a mechanism to remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of US food and and agricultural products”.

It also sets out an objective to “secure comprehensive market access for U.S. agricultural goods in the UK by reducing or eliminating tariffs,” putting US-based meat products on the same level as British beef and pork.

US President Donald Trump talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May

US President Donald Trump talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May (Photo: Amilcar Orfali/Getty)

US President Donald Trump had claimed that the UK will be at the front of the queue for a trade deal after Brexit, but campaigners have warned about the potential impact of bringing the UK’s standards in line with the US market.

‘UK standards must not be sacrificed’
The UK’s National Farmers Union warned the government not to “sacrifice” world-leading British agriculture standards to secure an agreement.

In a release, the group’s President Minette Batters warned: “It is imperative that any future trade deals, including a possible deal with the USA, do not allow the imports of food produced to lower standards than those required of British farmers.

“British people value and demand the high standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety that our own farmers adhere to.

“These world-leading standards must not be sacrificed in the pursuit of reaching rushed trade deals. We should not accept trade deals which allow food to be imported into this country produced in ways which would be illegal here.”

The body called on politicians to make clear that “food imports into the UK [must be] produced to at least our own high standards.”

The RSPCA also warned that “cruel farming practices” banned in the UK could return under the deal.

David Bowles of the animal welfare charity warned “We cannot allow the US to open the flood gates to imported goods produced under much lower farm animal welfare standards than we currently accept. Farmers here could be undercut by these cheaper, lower-quality imports with shoppers facing products currently illegal.”

A Downing Street spokesperson insisted: “We have always been very clear that we will not lower our food standards as part of a future trading agreement.”

The US Ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, also hit out at the claims in a Telegraph column.

US Ambassador to the UK Robert Wood Johnson [Getty Images]
Johnson described the US agricultural practices of chlorine-washing chicken and feeding growth hormones to cattle as “the future of farming”, dismissing concerns as “fear-mongering.”

The ambassador criticised the EU agricultural standards the UK follows, claiming they have created a “Museum of Agriculture.”

The document also sets out the need for the relaxing of UK industrial regulations through “greater regulatory compatibility.”

With many thanks to: Inews for the original story

Donald Trump says the ‘NHS and anything else’ is on the table in post-Brexit trade deal negotiations

The comments have led to a rush of denials from those Tory MPs keen to takeover Brexit negotiations

Donald Trump has confirmed the US wants a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal to include the NHS.

After holding talks with Theresa May on the second day of his state visit in London, Mr Trump claimed a “phenomenal” trade deal could be agreed, which included the NHS.

“I think everything with a trade deal is on the table,” he said.

“When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table – so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely.”

Downing Street accused of sexism for giving Melania Trump a ‘bespoke tea set‘

However Mrs May played down the claims, telling reporters: “But the point in making trade deals is of course that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal for the future.”

Brexit fears
Mr Trump’s comments confirm the worst fears for many sectors in the UK that the scope of any post-Brexit trade deal with the US will include demands for American companies running services.

It also suggested the US will want access to UK markets for its agri-food producers, which has sparked concerns Britain could be flooded with food products with lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

US President Donald Trump (L) and Prime Minister Theresa May [Getty Images]
It came after US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson suggested over the weekend “all things that are traded will be on the table” including the health service.

Cabinet denials
The comments have led to a rush of denials from senior Tory MPs keen to takeover Brexit negotiations.

“I can’t conceive of any future prime minister, for any party, ever agreeing that we would allow NHS procurement to be part of trade talks, because the NHS as a publicly-run, publicly-owned institution is part of our DNA,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“That’s not to say that pharmaceutical products, drugs, those kind of things which are freely traded between countries could not be discussed. But the ownership of the NHS, and NHS services, I can’t imagine that ever being part of a trade deal.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt greets US President Donald Trump [Getty Images]
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also chimed in to say “the NHS is not for sale”.

“Yes we’d love to make it cheaper to buy your life-saving pharmaceuticals,” he said. “But the NHS will not be on the table in any future trade talks.”

He took to the president’s proffered communication medium, Twitter, to tell Mr Trump what he thought of the idea.

Matt Hancock

Dear Mr President. The NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks – and never will be. Not on my watch.

15:01 – 4 Jun 2019
Twitter Ads information and privacy
7,325 people are talking about this

The Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth, went further describing US insurance firms gaining access to the health service as a “nightmare scenario”.

“If our NHS is taken over by US corporations, it will undermine it as a free, universal public service.”

Refusal to rule NHS out
However International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a key Brexit voice in Cabinet, refused to rule out the NHS from future trade discussions.

Ivanka Trump (L), daughter of US President Donald Trump, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox [Getty Images]
Asked if the NHS would up for grabs, he told LBC radio: “Well the government would determine – the government of the day of whatever party – would determine exactly what the regulations were around the NHS, what you would not have would be any interference with the NHS unless the government of the day wanted it to be so and that’s how it should be.
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With many thanks to: inews and Benjamin Butterworth for the original story

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That’s how deep their greed, hatred, racism and misconceived notion of racial supremacy goes…..

After General Custer’s “men” slaughtered a village they would be seen cutting open pregnant native women’s stomach’s extracting the fetus and scalping the unborn child..

With many thanks to: Idependent Worldwide News for the original posting

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