Jun 5, 2019

AOC says Manafort should not be held in solitary confinement

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a series of tweets Wednesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort should not be placed in solitary confinement while being held on New York City's Rikers Island to face state fraud charges.

The state of play: The New York City Department of Corrections has said that Manafort may be in isolation for his own safety, but not necessarily in solitary confinement, per NBC News' Tom Winter. Isolation is used to protect prisoners from social quarrels but allows social time, while solitary confinement often entails much harsher treatment such as constant lighting and a lack of time out of one's cell.

  • Ocasio-Cortez responded to the distinction floated by Winter and others, stating that while isolation or protective custody is a separate type of confinement, she wants to ensure Manafort and others are kept out of solitary, calling it a form of "gov torture and human rights violations."
  • She tweeted: "'Protective custody' IS a separate practice, but does not necessarily exclude solitary. If he is in fact not being held in solitary, great. Release everyone else from it too."

The big picture: Manafort will be sent to Rikers, which lies in Ocasio-Cortez's district, after New York prosecutors sought to obtain state charges against him to circumvent a potential pardon by President Trump, per the New York Times. Manafort's lawyers could seek to have him moved to a federal prison instead. He is currently serving a 7.5-year federal sentence on bank and tax fraud charges.

Go deeper: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation

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Updated 43 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Over 500 schools in South Korea have either closed or postponed reopening, according to the Korea Times, which cites data from the Ministry of Education.

Why it matters: South Korea has been a model for how to handle the novel coronavirus, and the closures reportedly followed concerns from parents and teachers over child safety. The country's confirmed death toll has plateaued at 269 over the past few days, with few increases, per Johns Hopkins data.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Supreme Court: Senators Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  7. 🚀 Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's first crewed launch Saturday.

Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.