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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

Democrats propose raising debt ceiling through midterms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House and Senate leadership announced on Monday that they plan to attach a proposal to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022 to a short-term, government funding bill. The bill must pass before the end of the month or Congress risks a shutdown.

Why it matters: Democrats are taking a huge risk by trying to force through an increase of the debt limit in its must-pass funding bill. The move is wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats who are hoping they can get at least 10 centrist Republicans to balk, as well as an effort to put Republicans on record opposing it.

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.

7 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

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