Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Catholic Church's Pennsylvania dioceses have paid almost $84 million to 564 sexual abuse victims, according to an AP review.

The backdrop: In 2018, a 1,400-page report by the Pennsylvania attorney general detailed the egregious abuse of children by the state's Catholic clergy, as well as the strategies by which the Church was able to cover up the shocking allegations for years.

The big picture: The total payout is likely to grow significantly in 2020 as administrators work through numerous claims that have yet to be handled, with the money flowing from independently administered victims compensation funds set up in seven of the state's eight dioceses.

  • Two administrators who oversee the distribution of money in five compensation funds have gone through 500 of 1,500 claims filed.
  • Of those 500 claims, 391 victims have taken settlements, while 41 have been rejected for insufficient evidence.

Go deeper: Grand jury’s horrifying Catholic coverup report

Go deeper

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"


In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

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Updated 26 mins ago - Technology

Amazon launches new Alexa-enabled hardware

Amazon's new spherical Echo smart speaker. Screenshot: Axios

Amazon debuted a range of new Ring, Fire TV and Echo hardware on Thursday, including more environmentally sustainable versions of its audio and video gear. Among the products introduced are a cloud gaming service, a home monitoring drone and new spherical designs for its Echo and Echo dot smart speakers.

Why it matters: Amazon, like rivals Google and Apple, typically gives its consumer hardware a launch ahead of the holidays. Apple has already introduced new iPads, while Google has scheduled a Sept. 30 event, where it is expected to debut new audio and video gear, alongside updated Pixel phones.

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Why money laundering persists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2 million suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are filed by banks every year. Those reports are sent to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which has the job of determining whether the reports are evidence of criminal activity, and whether that activity should be investigated and punished.

The catch: FinCEN only has 270 employees, which means that FinCEN is dealing with a ratio of roughly 150 reports per employee per week. So it comes as little surprise to learn that most of the reports go unread, and the activity in them unpunished.

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