Aug 22, 2019

Key prison officials knew Epstein wasn't to be left alone in cell: WashPost

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Key Bureau of Prisons staffers knew there was an order not to leave Jeffrey Epstein alone in his jail cell ahead of facing sex trafficking charges, but they apparently ignored the directive in his final hours, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: If at least 8 officials did not follow key instructions in the 24 hours before Epstein's death, as is alleged, it would be a stunning systemic failure at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center.

  • Investigators suspect that at least some of those staffers knew Epstein had been left alone in a cell before he died, according to WashPost, citing people familiar with the matter.

Details: Sources told WashPost they're trying to determine the extent of such knowledge, but cautioned the apparent disregard for instruction does not necessarily mean there was criminal conduct.

  • It could simply be bureaucratic incompetence by individuals within the organization, the news outlet notes.

The big picture: The report comes days after Attorney General Bill Bar ordered the removal of acting director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz, following the suicide of Epstein in the New York prison.

  • Barr has said previously there were "serious irregularities" at the MCC and that the Justice Department would ensure that those responsible for the oversight would be held accountable.

Go deeper: What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.