Epstein's guards worked extreme OT shifts morning of death
NEW YORK (AP) — Guards on Jeffrey Epstein's unit were working extreme overtime shifts to make up for staffing shortages the morning of his apparent suicide, a person familiar with the jail's operations told The Associated Press.
The person said that the Metropolitan Correctional Center's Special Housing Unit was staffed with one guard working a fifth straight day of overtime and another who was working mandatory overtime. The person wasn't authorized to discuss jail operations publicly and spoke Sunday on the condition of anonymity.
Epstein's abrupt death cuts short a criminal prosecution that could have pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of a high-flying financier with connections to celebrities and presidents, though prosecutors have vowed to continue investigating.
The jail staff failed to follow protocols leading up to Epstein's death , according to a report from The New York Times , deepening the fallout from what led to his apparent suicide.
Epstein should have been checked on by guards in his cell every 30 minutes, but that didn't happen the night before his apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told the Times.
Mass shootings have Latinos worried about being targetsAdvertisement
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — When Michelle Otero arrived at an art show featuring Mexican-American women, the first thing she did was scan the room. Two exits. One security guard.
Then she thought to herself: If a shooter bursts in, how do my husband and I get out of here alive?
Otero, who is Mexican-American and Albuquerque's poet laureate, had questioned even attending the crowded event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center a day after 22 people were killed in a shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart.
That shooting and an earlier one in Gilroy, California, killed nearly two dozen Latinos. The violence has some Hispanics looking over their shoulders, avoiding speaking Spanish in public and seeking out escape routes amid fears they could be next.
A huge immigration raid of Mississippi poultry plants last week that rounded up 680 mostly Latino workers, leaving behind crying children searching for their detained parents, also has unnerved the Hispanic community.
'Let our voices be heard': March against immigration raids
CANTON, Miss. (AP) — The children of Sacred Heart Catholic Church streamed out into Mississippi's heat on a blistering Sunday afternoon, carrying what they said was a message of opposition against immigration raids their parents could not.
"I will not sit in silence while my parents are taken away," read a sign carried by two Hispanic boys. They were among a group of several dozen marchers who set out on foot from the church to the town square in Canton to protest the 680 migrant arrests at seven poultry plants in Mississippi last Wednesday.
"Imagine coming home and not finding your parents," said Dulce Basurto-Arce, an 18-year-old community college student, describing how parents of friends were arrested. "We are marching so no other kid has to go through what we went through. Let our voices be heard!"
Basurto-Arce spoke from the steps of the same courthouse in Canton where Martin Luther King Jr. once rallied protesters against segregation in a 1966 "March Against Fear" across Mississippi.
Churches were the backbone of the civil rights movement. Today, as President Donald Trump and Republican allies continue to defend the raids, churches have emerged as the top sources of spiritual and material support to the mostly Mexican and Guatemalan workers targeted by the raids.
5 children killed in fire at Pennsylvania day care centre
ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A day care centre where children could stay overnight as their parents worked was ravaged Sunday by a fire that killed five and sent the owner to the hospital, authorities said.
The victims in the lakeside city of Erie ranged in ages from 8 months to 7 years, Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said.
At least four of the victims were staying overnight at the residential house that had been turned into a day care centre, Erie Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the Erie Times-News.
The fire, reported at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, was funneling out of every first-floor window when firefighters arrived, Widomski said.
Valerie Lockett-Slupski, standing across the street from the fire-damaged house, told the newspaper she was the grandmother of four of the children, and that they were staying at the day care centre because their parents were working overnight. She said the family had two boys and two girls and had used the centre for almost a year.
Warren wows in Iowa as candidates' sprint to caucuses begins
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The chant — "2 cents, 2 cents, 2 cents" — started in the back of a crowd that packed sidewalks at the Iowa State Fair. Elizabeth Warren, basking in the spontaneous adulation of her proposed wealth tax, prompted roars with her call for the ultra-wealthy to "pitch in 2 cents so everybody gets a chance to make it."
A night before, the Massachusetts senator enjoyed similar treatment when Democrats at a party dinner jumped to their feet — some beginning to dance — at the opening bars of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," the song that would usher Warren on stage.
For someone whose White House ambitions were dismissed by some Democrats earlier this year, Warren's reception in Iowa this weekend was a clear warning sign to other candidates that hers is a campaign to be reckoned with in the state that kicks off the race for the party's nomination.
Warren was one of nearly two dozen candidates who paraded through Iowa this weekend, speaking at the state fair, the annual Wing Ding dinner and a forum on gun control. The sheer volume of visiting contenders signalled a new phase of the campaign, ending the get-to-know-you period and beginning a six-month sprint to the Iowa caucuses.
In that time, the historically large field will winnow, front-runner Joe Biden will be tested more forcefully and a fierce competition will unfold for candidates to be seen as the more viable alternative. They'll be competing for the support of Democratic voters who say their top priority is to land on a nominee who can defeat President Donald Trump.
Trial to start in million-dollar suburban Utah drug ring
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As America's opioid crisis spiraled into a fentanyl epidemic, prosecutors say one young Utah man made himself a drug kingpin by creating counterfeit prescription painkillers laced with the deadly drug and mailing them to homes across the United States.
Former Eagle Scout Aaron Shamo, 29, will stand trial beginning Monday on allegations that he and a small group of fellow millennials ran a multimillion-dollar empire from the basement of his suburban Salt Lake City home by trafficking hundreds of thousands of pills containing fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid that has exacerbated the country's overdose epidemic in recent years.
The federal government's case is expected to offer a glimpse at how the drug, which has killed tens of thousands of Americans, can be imported from China, pressed into fake pills and sold through online black markets to people in every state.
Prosecutors have alleged that dozens of the ring's customers died in overdoses, though the defence disputes that and Shamo is charged only in connection to one: a 21-year-old identified as R.K., who died in June 2016 after snorting fentanyl allegedly passed off as prescription oxycodone.
Shamo's family, though, said he's been singled out even as deeply involved friends are offered more lenient plea deals. His father, Mike Shamo, said his son was a chess whiz as a kid who experimented with marijuana in his teen years, but later earned his Eagle Scout badge crocheting blankets for a hospital.
Epstein suicide sparks fresh round of conspiracy theories
Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide Saturday morning in a federal jail launched new conspiracy theories online in a saga that has provided fodder for them for years, fueled by Epstein's ties to princes, politicians and other famous and powerful people.
Online theorists Saturday 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 sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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.
When light is lethal: Moroccans struggle with skin disorder
CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) — Determined for her 7-year-old son to attend school despite a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight, Nadia El Rami stuck a deal with the school's director: Mustapha would be allowed in the classroom, but only if he studies inside a cardboard box.
Mustapha Redouane happily accepted the arrangement. He knew his mother's idea would silence the school's worries about his condition, a rare genetic disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP, which can make sun rays and other sources of ultraviolet light extremely damaging to the skin and eyes. The disorder is more common in North Africa than much of the world.
"I hate the sun anyways. It gives me blisters," he said, sitting on his mother's lap, his face covered with the dark brown freckles that the school director considered a distraction to other students.
Now 8, Mustapha has already had 11 operations to remove cancerous growths on his skin.
His family is among thousands around the world struggling with XP, and increasingly sharing advice and seeking new treatments. In Morocco, families are also fighting for recognition, government help — and the simple right to go to school.
North Korea boosts Kim's rising status as global statesman
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — There's no question that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in full control of his nation. But a recent change to how he's being formally described in the North Korean Constitution may allow him even more diplomatic leverage as he steps with increasing confidence onto the world stage for negotiations over his powerful weapons program.
Despite a flurry of unprecedented summits between Kim and the world powers that surround him, the outcome of that crucial diplomacy is very much in question amid currently deadlocked nuclear disarmament talks and an outburst of North Korean weapons tests in recent weeks.
North Korea on Friday said that its rubber-stamp parliament will hold its second meeting of the year on Aug. 29. It follows weeks of intensified North Korean weapons tests and belligerent statements over U.S.-South Korea military exercises and the slow pace of nuclear negotiations with the United States.
Kim has said he said he would seek a "new way" if Washington doesn't change its hard-line stance on sanctions relief by the year's end, though experts doubt he'll fully abandon diplomacy and give away his hard-won status as a global statesman.
President Donald Trump on Saturday said that Kim wrote him a "beautiful" three-page letter in which he expressed desire to meet once again to "start negotiations" after U.S.-South Korea military exercises end, and also apologized for the flurry of short-range missile tests.
Americans protest on medals stand at Pan Am Games
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Two Americans used their medal-winning moments at the Pan American Games to draw attention to social issues back home that they feel are spiraling out of control.
During their medals ceremonies at the multi-sport event in Lima, fencer Race Imboden took a knee and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist. Both athletes could represent the U.S. less than a year from now at the Tokyo Olympics, where similar protests would be seen by a much wider audience.
"Racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list" of America's problems, Imboden said in a tweet sent after his team's foil medals ceremony. "I chose to sacrifice my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed.
"I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change."
Berry raised her fist as America's national anthem was played to honour her win in the hammer throw. She called out injustice in America "and a president who's making it worse."