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Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Rick Friedman/Getty Images

A judge ruled on Thursday that federal prosecutors, including Trump's labor secretary Alexander Acosta, violated the law by striking a sweetheart plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, in which Epstein averted federal prosecution for his participation in an international sex operation, reports The Miami Herald.

Details: Acosta, who at the time was the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, opted not to prosecute Epstein on federal sex traffic laws and instead struck a deal that ultimately granted him immunity. More than 30 of Epstein's victims were not notified of the arrangement. "Particularly problematic was the Government's decision to conceal the existence of the [agreement] and mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility," the judge wrote.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

1 hour ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.

Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

"We’ve got about 1,000 of them running around out there," Ryan Tuohy of Starship tells Axios. Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.

As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."

Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets.