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.

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11 mins ago - Science

The summer of Mars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Three missions from three different nations are heading to Mars in the next month — including one from the United Arab Emirates, a newer player in planetary exploration that is expected to launch its first spacecraft to the Red Planet this evening.

Why it matters: More nations are now going to space as the costs of launch and development are driven down. Mars is a step farther that is reserved for those with the most ability and resources — missions to the planet are a mark of scientific and technical prowess on the global stage.

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 13,113,181 — Total deaths: 573,288 — Total recoveries — 7,268,022Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 3,364,547— Total deaths: 135,615 — Total recoveries: 1,031,939 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing again.
  4. States: Houston mayor proposes two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans fear return to school


Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±7% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most U.S. parents say it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall — including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans — in this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that don't reopen. The new findings suggest that this pressure campaign could backfire with many of the voters to whom Trump is trying to appeal ahead of the election.