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Jeffery Epstein commits ‘apparent suicide’

The millionaire reportedly hung himself.

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New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services / Handout / Reuters

Accused sex trafficker and multimillionaire Jeffery Epstein carried out an “apparent suicide” overnight, according to officials on Saturday morning, following his failed attempt to kill himself in July.

His death was discovered at 7:30 a.m. but the exact circumstances are unclear at this point. However, several news outlets reported that it was a suicide by hanging.

Last month, the financier was found half-conscious in his prison cell with injuries to his neck and was treated at a nearby hospital, reports say, before returning to his cell at New York State’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

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

Accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sexual acts at his Manhattan and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, he was arrested on July 6 after landing in New Jersey on his private jet.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing several of Epstein’s accusers, said in response to the death that “we would have preferred he lived to face justice”.

She added that civil cases will proceed against the financier’s estate, adding that “we’re just getting started.”

Epstein’s death comes less than 24 hours after the court unsealed a large pile of documents that laid out the disturbing details about what the accused did to underage girls and those that may have been bystanders.


Conspiracy?

Conspiracies and rumours are awash on social media and across the news sphere as details are revealed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death, according to a statement from the prison.

A unverified and anonymous source told NBC News that Jeffery Epstein was not on a constant suicide watch. He was housed in his own cell and was alone, according to the reporting.

Epstein had connections with the rich and powerful across the United States, including current President Donald Trump, who has denied knowing about the sex trafficking, and former President Bill Clinton, among others.

Trump and Epstein are connected in a lawsuit that was put forward by Katie Johnson accusing the president of raping her when she was 13 years old, a move that was met with skepticism on the part of journalists.

The woman withdrew the lawsuit shortly before the election in 2016, and there has been no further legal accusations of Trump wrongdoing connected to Epstein.

Trump in recent years, as Epstein has gotten into trouble, has tried through his lawyers to downplay the connections between himself and the financier. ■

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Campus

Trudeau outlines plan to pass trade deal

CUSMA will come before parliament.

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File photo.

After the new North American free trade deal approved by U.S. Senate, the Canadian government plans to ratify the deal next week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Tuesday in a news conference after a three-day cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, saying that it’s the government’s utmost priority to push forward with the Canadian-U.S.-Mexico agreement, known domestically as CUSMA, as millions of jobs depend on the new trade pact.

“On Monday, we will present a ways and means motion, and on Wednesday we will table legislations to ratify the deal,” said Trudeau, describing what will take place next week.

In order for the Liberals to pass this legislation in a minority government, they will neeed the support of another party in the House of Commons. Trudeau had expressed is hopes that all parties will negotiate and cone on ratification together.

“What we are doing is reminding everyone in the House and across the country of how important it is to secure the most important trading relationship for future generations.”

CUSMA has been on the top of the list of government priorities that were discussed during the cabinet meetings in Winnipeg.

The cabinet ministers also listened to expert guest speakers, who discussed other important matters including the fight against climate change, the current state of the country’s economy and pressing global affairs, among other critical matters facing the new minority government.

The trade deal, a result of a year of sometimes rocky negotiations with with the Trump administration, has been passed in the U.S. Senate and is awaiting the president’s signature. It has also been approved in Mexico.

Justin Trudeau said in Winnipeg “we are going to make sure we move forward in the right way and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible.”

Conservatives who are the main opposition, are generally supportive of the deal, but have vowed to grill the Liberals over its specifics when the House of Commons resumes sitting on Monday. ■

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United States

Weinstein charged with rape, sexual assault

The disgraced media mogul faces up to 28 years in prison for these charges alone.

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File photo of Harvey Weinstein via PBS.

A Los Angeles district attorney on Monday charged disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

If Weinstein is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement, reported Reuters.

It comes the same day that Weinstein is on trial for a separate but similar case in New York. ■

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Trump

Trump impeached by U.S. House

Trump could be the third-ever president impeached.

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File photo of U.S. President Donald Trump via Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. House of Representatives late on Wednesday impeached Republican President Donald Trump with a vote largely along party lines, passing at two articles of impeachment put forward by the majority Democrats claiming abuse of power and obstruction of justice, handing the fate of the president over to a trial in the GOP-held Senate.

The ballots marked by lawmakers in the House came after a day of debate that saw Democrats calling Trump a threat to democracy as Republicans fought back, claiming the proceedings were a partisan coup with Rep. Kevin McCarthy calling it the “least credible impeachment in American history.”

Democrats in the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, accuse the 73-year-old president of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate former Vice President and current presidential hopeful Joe Biden in return for military aid. Trump is also charged with obstructing congressional probes by directing officials and departments to ignore legal summons.

Impeachment is an extraordinary check on presidential power written into the United States Constitution by the founders that allows for the removal of presidents by Congress over the vague “high crimes and misdemeanours” — and Trump is the third president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

As the House made history, Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, rallied supporters from Battle Creek, Michigan. 

Article One was supported by 230 Democrats while two Democrats voted against the article, which accuses Trump of abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Democrats lost one ballot when voting in favour of Article Two, which alleges abuse of power.

Sole Independent Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, voted with Democrats on both articles. None of the 195 Republicans in the House supported the articles, as expected by political analysts, while Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted only “present”.

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