Prince Andrew in Bangkok on Nov. 3, 2019. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images

London's Metropolitan Police says it did not have the "appropriate authority" to investigate a 2015 claim from one of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers that she had sex with Prince Andrew while allegedly trafficked by Epstein, AP reports.

Driving the news: The force concluded in 2016 that it "was the wrong agency to investigate," London's Metropolitan Police Commander Alex Murray said on Thursday. Andrew stepped away from his royal duties last week, following a BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with Epstein.

  • 10 companies cut ties with the duke's business mentoring initiative in the wake of the interview, after which he lost public support by "not expressing sympathy for Epstein’s many young female victims," per AP.

What they're saying: Andrew has denied ever having a sexual relationship with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was 17 when she first had sex with the duke in 2001.

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

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Lawmakers demand answers from World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.

Obama: Americans could be "collateral damage" in Trump's war on mail-in voting

Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama tweeted Friday that everyday Americans could become "collateral damage" if President Trump continues to attempt to slash funding for the U.S. Postal Service as part of his campaign against mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Trump linked his baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud on Thursday to the current impasse in coronavirus stimulus negotiations.

Elon Musk is channeling Henry Ford in auto manufacturing

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has spent more than a decade trying to disrupt the traditional auto industry, is sounding more and more like the man most closely associated with it: Henry Ford.

Why it matters: In his quest to build affordable electric cars for the masses, Musk is starting to embrace many of the ideas pioneered by Ford's founder — things like vertical supply chains and an obsession with manufacturing efficiency. A century ago that approach helped to popularize the American automobile by lowering the cost of the Model T.