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Former West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans, who screamed "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol" on January 6, is sentenced to 3 months in prison

The former Republican state legislator who live-streamed the insurrection, pleaded guilty to one felony count of civil disorder earlier this year. Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the Capitol in Washington on January 6.AP Photo/John Minchillo A man who live-streamed himself inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 was sentenced to three months in prison. Derrick Evans, a former West Virginia state lawmaker, pleaded guilty to one felony earlier this year. "We're in, we're in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!" Evans said on the live-stream.  Derrick Evans, a former West Virginia state legislator who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and proudly declared "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!" amid the siege, was sentenced to three months in prison this week.The Wednesday sentencing came after Evans pleaded guilty to one felony count of civil disorder in March. He initially faced four charges stemming from his role in the insurrection, including disorderly and disruptive conduct and violent entry. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 850 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some rioters lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.Evans was a newly-elected member of West Virginia's house of delegates when he participated in the riot. Sworn in just weeks before the siege, Evans initially refused to step down from his government role, despite calls from his colleagues.He was arrested and charged two days after the insurrection and ultimately resigned on January 9, 2021, saying in a formal letter that he took full responsibility for his actions and "deeply regretted" any pain or embarrassment he caused his fellow West Virginians. During the attack, Evans live-streamed a Facebook video of himself and others as they laid siege to the Capitol, according to prosecutors. He later deleted the video from his account, but a five-minute clip of the stream was later posted on Reddit, showing Evans chanting "Trump! Trump! Trump!" as a crowd of rioters pushed open the doors of the Capitol.For the next few minutes, Evans narrated the rioters' efforts to breach the Capitol, offering verbal updates as the crowd pushed into the building. "We're in, we're in! Derrick EVANS is in the Capitol!" Evans said on the live-stream, according to court records. The video goes on to show Evans and others perusing the Capitol halls as he shouted "We're in baby!" and "Freedom!"In his statement of offense, Evans acknowledged recording the video. An attorney for Evans did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Prior to traveling to Washington DC in January 2021, prosecutors said Evans posted images on social media in support of Trump, including one that read "January 6. We're Comin'!"During a Wednesday sentencing hearing, Evans appeared virtually and told U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth that he had let down his family and regretted his actions, according to NBC News. Lamberth expressed sympathy and told Evans that he initially planned to sentence him to six months, the outlet reported. The judge reportedly told Evans that he believed the defendant could "live a good life again" after serving his prison sentence. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 23rd, 2022

A Proud Boy who got close enough to Sen. Chuck Schumer to send the lawmaker running on January 6 pleads guilty to Capitol riot felony charge

Joshua Pruitt was captured on security footage throwing a sign and a chair inside the Capitol Visitors' Canter on January 6, 2021. Rioters outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Brent Stirton/Getty Images A Capitol rioter who marched with the Proud Boys on January 6, 2021, pleaded guilty to one obstruction count. Joshua Pruitt, 40, initially faced eight charges stemming from his role in the insurrection. Prosecutors say Pruitt was caught on camera throwing a sign and a chair while inside the Capitol. A former Proud Boy who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, pleaded guilty last week to one felony obstruction charge for his role in the insurrection.Joshua Pruitt, 40, initially faced eight counts stemming from the attack, including civil disorder, destruction of government property, and acts of physical violence in a Capitol building. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 850 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some rioters lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.Pruitt faces up to 20 years in prison, though guidelines suggest his sentence is more likely to fall between 51 to 63 months. He is set to be sentenced in August. In plea papers, Pruitt acknowledged that he nearly came face-to-face with then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer amid the chaos of the siege. After admitting to throwing a chair toward police officers inside the Capitol, Pruitt said he came across Schumer's security detail waiting for an elevator as they attempted to move the lawmaker to safety. "As they waited, a member of Senator Schumer's security detail saw Pruitt and one other man approaching. The security detail and Senator Schumer reversed course and ran away from the elevator, back down the ramp, and away from Pruitt," he acknowledged in court documents.Footage from inside the Capitol that day shows Pruitt — donning a "Punisher" tank top and tactical hand glove — throwing a "Quiet Please" sign and a chair across a room in the Capitol Visitors' Center, according to court documents. Prosecutors said he was also present for confrontations between Capitol police and rioters.After an officer announced that shots had been fired, Pruitt and several other rioters made to leave. Pruitt said he eventually exited the building by climbing out a window. Later that day he sent a text confirming that he was "about to go at it with the cops" and saying "inside was fun."An attorney for Pruitt did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Pruitt was first arrested that night for breaking a citywide curfew. He remained on pre-trial release for some time before several violations sent him back to jail. He continues to be detained ahead of his sentencing. Last year, Pruitt told CNN that he became affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group whose members were out in droves during the Capitol riot, at a pro-Trump MAGA march in November of 2020. Pruitt told the outlet he found himself fighting with a group of anti-Trump protesters at the rally, when suddenly he was surrounded by a group of Proud Boys providing him backup. "I actually did not even know who the Proud Boys were at the time, but they saved me from getting jumped," he said.Video of Pruitt being initiated into the group by leader Enrique Tarrio later went viral. Earlier this year, Pruitt said he no longer associates with members of the Proud Boys but told CNN that he rejected the government's request to cooperate in their conspiracy cases against members of the group. On Monday, five top Proud Boys were charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol attack, including leader Enrique Tarrio. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 6th, 2022

A former GOP lawmaker — who was pardoned by Trump after prosecutors said he spent campaign funds on video games and plane tickets for his pet rabbits — was fined by the FEC

Trump pardoned Duncan Hunter after he pleaded guilty to using $250,000 of campaign funds on things like fast food and family trips. In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, file photo, California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks after leaving federal court in San Diego.Gregory Bull/Associated Press Former GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter was pardoned by Trump in December 2020. Hunter pleaded guilty to stealing $250,000 in funds and was sentenced to 11 months in prison before the pardon. The FEC said Hunter and his wife were fined $12,000 and their campaign committee was fined $4,000. Former Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California was fined by the Federal Election Commission over the misuse of campaign funds, the FEC announced this week.Hunter was pardoned by former President Donald Trump in December 2020 after he and his wife, Margaret, pleaded guilty to improperly using $250,000 of campaign funds on personal expenses."The Hunters stole money from the campaign for items as inconsequential as fast food, movie tickets, and sneakers; as trivial as video games, Lego sets, and Playdoh; as mundane as groceries, dog food, and utilities; and as self-indulgent as luxury hotels, overseas vacations, and plane tickets for their family pet rabbits, Eggburt and Cadbury," prosecutors said.Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison, which he was set to begin serving shortly before Trump pardoned him and his wife. At the time, the White House said the Hunters' cases should've been handled by the FEC instead of in criminal court, but other California Republicans blasted the pardon.The FEC said Friday the Hunters' cases had been closed and that they had agreed to pay a civil penalty of $12,000. The campaign committee agreed to pay a separate fine of $4,000.In an FEC document made public this week, the Hunters said they would agree to pay the fine "solely for the purpose of settling this matter only and without admitting liability."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 3rd, 2022

Judge tells ex-prison guard convicted of sexually assaulting a female inmate he can join the military or go to jail

A judge told a man who admitted to sexually assaulting a shackled inmate to chose between jail or the military, saying: "You are under the gun, young man." A Kentucky judge ordered Brandon Scott Price, a 28-year-old former jail guard convicted of sexually assaulting a female inmate, to enlist in the military rather than serve jail time.Franklin Countil Jail A judge in Kentucky offered a man convicted of sexual assault the option to rejoin the military in lieu of jail time this month. Brandon Scott Price, 28, was convicted of sexually assaulting a female inmate at Franklin County Regional Jail where he worked as a guard.  While judges are free to make these determinations, military regulations prevent applicants from being court-ordered into service without a waiver.  A Kentucky judge ordered an Army veteran convicted of sexual assault to rejoin the military or go to jail, The State Journal reported Friday.Brandon Scott Price, a 28-year-old former prison guard, was convicted of sexually assaulting a female inmate at the Franklin County Regional Jail. Price was initially charged with third-degree sodomy, which is a Class D felony, but he pleaded down to a lesser charge of second-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor, his attorney told Insider.Judge Thomas Wingate sentenced Price on Friday to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, but said Price could avoid jail time if Price enlisted in the military within 30 days, according to The State Journal of Frankfort, Ky. "If you don't enroll in 30 days, you can report to the Franklin County Regional Jail," Wingate said. "You are under the gun, young man. You gotta do it."Despite the judge's request, however, enlistments are subject to military regulations that would require Price to seek a waiver for his sexual assault conviction from military officials. The military has spent more than a decade struggling to limit sexual assault among troops and punish perpetrators. A female inmate claimed that she was sexually assaulted and filed a lawsuit against Franklin County and several former jail staff, including Price, in July 2019.According to the lawsuit, in January 2019, the inmate experienced a medical emergency and needed to be transported to the hospital. "Though Price's shift was near its end, Price volunteered to transport (the inmate) to the hospital," the lawsuit explained. "Price transported (the inmate) alone, in violation of Jail policy and industry standards and practices."Price stayed with the inmate for five hours at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center while making "sexually-charged comments" to her and talking about his connections to someone responsible for parole decisions at the Kentucky Department of Corrections, the lawsuit alleged.On the way back to the prison from the medical facility, Price pulled the van he was driving over and assaulted the woman, according to the suit. The lawsuit alleges Price propositioned the inmate with an offer to help her get early release in exchange for a sex act, and then assaulted the woman while she was shackled.When Price was interviewed about the incident he said he "made a stupid mistake" and "let a female inmate touch me inappropriately." He was later arrested after an investigation by jail officials. "You're getting a huge break," Wingate said during Price's sentencing. "You made a terrible mistake, which I know personally cost the county money."While judges are free to make these determinations, they carry very little legal weight. Army Regulation 610-210 — which covers Army recruitment guidelines — says that an applicant is ineligible if "as a condition for any civil conviction or adverse disposition or any other reason through a civil or criminal court, [they are] ordered or subjected to a sentence that implies or imposes enlistment into the Armed Forces of the United States." Applicants can apply for a waiver, but must demonstrate "sufficient mitigating circumstances that clearly justify approving the waiver." The history of these waivers is murky, at best. During the War on Terror the military granted thousands of moral waivers for drug offenses, violent felonies and sex offenders. One such beneficiary, Steven Green, had three misdemeanor convictions before enlisting in the Army where he ended up at the center of a notorious war crime committed in Iraq in 2006. Price's attorney told Insider that he previously served in the Army, which is why the judge decided on the terms of his probation. "It is not uncommon for judges to put unique conditions like this based on the defendant that is in front of them and create conditions that will best serve them to stay on the straight and narrow," Whitney Lawson, an attorney for Price, told Insider. "It's just that this one happened to have the military element to it."Lawson said Price has already started the process of renlisting, but it has been difficult. "The problem is, you can ask ten people whether he can reenlist and in what branch and they'll give you nine different answers so we're trying to work through that," Lawson told Insider. It's unlikely Price would be granted a waiver for his get-out-of-jail-free card, but this isn't the first or last time a judge or lawmaker will equate jail with military service. In December, Florida Senator Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) filed a bill in the state legislature that would allow those convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors to enlist rather than go to jail. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

The SEC could be the last, best hope to keep members of Congress from insider trading. The agency already has one Republican senator on its radar.

The agency's investigation of Sen. Richard Burr presents a test of the SEC's appetite for keeping members of Congress from insider trading. Rebecca Zisser/InsiderSen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Some experts see the SEC as the agency best suited to police insider trading by members of Congress. It is investigating GOP Sen. Richard Burr and his brother-in-law over a stock sell-off. Burr has faced scrutiny over whether he dumped shares based on an intelligence briefing. It was the STOCK Act's moment in the sun.Days before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the United States and sent markets crashing, Sen. Richard Burr sold off a significant portion of his stocks, raising suspicion that he was trading based on inside information gleaned from daily intelligence briefings. The Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into whether Burr violated a law known as the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK, Act. After months of work, the department closed the case without bringing charges against the Republican senator from North Carolina. The US Senate Select Committee on Ethics, meanwhile, has taken no public action against Burr.But Burr is not entirely cleared. Almost a year later, another enforcement agency — the Securities and Exchange Commission — continues to pursue him on civil grounds.The SEC's investigation presents a test of the agency's appetite for enforcing the STOCK Act, a 2012 law designed to defend against conflicts of interest and force lawmakers to become more transparent about their personal finances.But federal authorities have never prosecuted a federal lawmaker under the STOCK Act, and lawmakers have serially ignored the law's requirement to disclose their personal stock trades within 30 to 45 days of them being made.Gary Gensler has been chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission since April.Yuri Gripas/ReutersThe SEC is independent, but it can only do so muchIn interviews, former SEC and congressional staffers said the SEC has certain advantages over the Justice Department that could position it as the enforcement muscle behind the STOCK Act. Foremost, while the Justice Department has a tradition of independence, it nonetheless exists within an executive branch led by either a Republican or Democratic president.The SEC's status as an independent commission, with seats divided between Democratic and Republican appointees, could therefore protect it from criticism that cases are politically motivated. And the commission has decades of experience monitoring markets for unusual activity and bringing insider-trading cases."The SEC understands how the financial markets work and, frankly, has a lot of expertise in bringing insider-trading cases," said Tyler Gellasch, a former Senate aide who helped draft the STOCK Act. "It also helps that the SEC is an independent agency, so its actions are often viewed as more cautious, and less overtly partisan."An SEC spokesperson declined to comment.Still, hurdles abound for any law-enforcement agency in the policing of elected lawmakers' financial trading.In the Burr investigation, the Justice Department ran into novel legal issues surrounding the communications of lawmakers. For example, when the Justice Department seized Burr's cellphone, it needed to navigate around restrictions raised by the Constitution's speech or debate clause, which broadly shields lawmakers from scrutiny over legislative activity.The SEC is nevertheless pressing ahead. The commission went to federal court in Manhattan to force Burr's brother-in-law Gerald Fauth to sit for an investigative interview. According to an SEC filing, Burr called Fauth after selling off more than $1.6 million in stock. After 50 seconds on the phone, Fauth called his broker and dumped his own stock, the filing shows.Fauth sat for the interview in late November.Proving insider trading 'gets sticky'In the face of the Justice Department investigation, Burr said he based his trading on publicly available information about the emerging coronavirus, such as news reports from CNBC. His case underscores how investigators can struggle to decipher when information — from a briefing or other closed-door setting — reaches the point of providing a degree of material, nonpublic detail that could lead to insider trading."Where it gets sticky is when the member of Congress has additional information that is not known to the public, that is more specific, and that a reasonable investor would want to know. And what the Burr case illustrates is the difficulty for the government of distinguishing between information that is, in some respects, public and, in other respects, not," said Daniel Hawke, a partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter and former chief of the SEC's market-abuse unit.Hawke noted that the political sphere also features a wider exchange of information that would make it difficult for the SEC or another law-enforcement agency to draw a connection between a lawmaker's stock trade and inside information. For the SEC, it's not as simple as monitoring the trading around the time of a business move such as a merger or acquisition.Unlike an M&A context, "where maybe only a handful of people working on a deal actually know what's going on, one of the challenges on the Hill is that it's an information exchange," Hawke said. "Information is being received and disseminated constantly. Figuring out how to surveil that, how to determine what information is significant and what information isn't — that's very difficult and time-consuming, and takes a lot of manual effort." The STOCK Act only goes so farWhile independent, the SEC also faces a real political dilemma when investigating a member of Congress.In 2019, former Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, pleaded guilty to insider trading and reached a settlement with the SEC resolving charges that he tipped his son off to negative trial results for a pharmaceutical drug. A federal judge later sentenced Collins to more than two years in prison, but then-President Donald Trump pardoned him in December 2020. The STOCK Act didn't come into play in Collins' case because he learned of the negative trial results in his capacity as a member of the drug company's board, not as a member of Congress. The House and Senate have oversight powers over the agency and regularly summon the SEC leadership to appear at committee hearings. SEC Chair Gary Gensler testified before the House Committee on Financial Services in October.The SEC also relies on congressionally authorized funds for its annual budget, meaning that any investigation into a lawmaker is inherently an inquiry into the commission's appropriators.For government-ethics advocates, that state of affairs has revealed how Congress failed — perhaps by its own choosing — to set up a robust enforcement regime for the STOCK Act.The answer, advocates said, is to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks while serving in Congress."That's the serious way to do this," said Meredith McGehee, a government ethics expert who lobbied on the STOCK Act."Everything else is a Band-Aid."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 15th, 2021

Greenwald: Biden Administration "Eager To See Assange Punished" Over 2016 Election

Greenwald: Biden Administration 'Eager To See Assange Punished' Over 2016 Election Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com, In a London courtroom on Friday morning, Julian Assange suffered a devastating blow to his quest for freedom. A two-judge appellate panel of the United Kingdom's High Court ruled that the U.S.'s request to extradite Assange to the U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges is legally valid. As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government's long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it. Assange's representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today's victory for the U.S. means that Assange's freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the High Court in London on December 5, 2011 where he attended a ruling in his long-running fight against extradition to Sweden (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images) In endorsing the U.S. extradition request, the High Court overturned a lower court's ruling from January which had concluded that the conditions of U.S. prison — particularly for those accused of national security crimes — are so harsh and oppressive that there is a high likelihood that Assange would commit suicide. In January's ruling, Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected all of Assange's arguments that the U.S. was seeking to punish him not for crimes but for political offenses. But in rejecting the extradition request, she cited the numerous attestations from Assange's doctors that his physical and mental health had deteriorated greatly after seven years of confinement in the small Ecuadorian Embassy where he had obtained asylum, followed by his indefinite incarceration in the U.K. In response to that January victory for Assange, the Biden DOJ appealed the ruling and convinced Judge Baraitser to deny Assange bail and ordered him imprisoned pending appeal. The U.S. then offered multiple assurances that Assange would be treated "humanely" in U.S. prison once he was extradited and convicted. They guaranteed that he would not be held in the most repressive "supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado — whose conditions are so repressive that it has been condemned and declared illegal by numerous human rights groups around the world — nor, vowed U.S. prosecutors, would he be subjected to the most extreme regimen of restrictions and isolation called Special Administrative Measures ("SAMs”) unless subsequent behavior by Assange justified it. American prosecutors also agreed that they would consent to any request from Assange that, once convicted, he could serve his prison term in his home country of Australia rather than the U.S. Those guarantees, ruled the High Court this morning, rendered the U.S. extradition request legal under British law. What makes the High Court's faith in these guarantees from the U.S. Government particularly striking is that it comes less than two months after Yahoo News reported that the CIA and other U.S. security state agencies hate Assange so much that they plotted to kidnap or even assassinate him during the time he had asylum protection from Ecuador. Despite all that, Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde announced today that “the court is satisfied that these assurances” will serve to protect Assange's physical and mental health. The effective detention by the U.S. and British governments of Assange is just months shy of a full decade. Ecuador granted Assange asylum in August 2012 on the ground that his human rights were imperiled by U.S. attempts to imprison him for his journalism. For the next seven years, Assange remained in that embassy — which is really a tiny apartment in central London — with no outdoor space other than a tiny balcony, which he typically feared using due to the possibility of assassination. Ecuador withdrew its asylum in 2019 after its sovereignty-protective president Rafael Correa was succeeded in office by the meek and submissive Lenin Moreno. Trump officials led by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador Richard Grenell persuaded and coerced the new Ecuadorian president to withdraw Assange's asylum protection, clearing the way for London police to enter the building and arrest him on April 11, 2019. Ever since, Assange has been imprisoned in the high-security Belmarsh prison, described in the BBC in 2004 as “Britain's Guantanamo Bay.” He has thus spent close to seven years inside the embassy and two years and eight months inside Belmarsh: just five months shy of a decade with no freedom. The British government justified Assange's 2019 arrest by pointing to pending charges of “bail-jumping": meaning that he sought and obtained legal asylum from Ecuador in 2012 rather than attend a scheduled hearing in a British court over whether he should be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about claims of sexual assault made by two Swedish women. Swedish prosecutors closed that investigation in 2017, citing the time that had elapsed. But once he was arrested, Assange was sentenced by a British judge on the bail-jumping charges to 50 months in prison, close to the maximum punishment allowed by law (one year). With the Swedish case closed, Assange was set to finally be free after he served that 50-month jail term. Knowing Assange's release was finally imminent, the U.S. Government quickly acted to ensure he remained in prison indefinitely. In May 2019, it unveiled an 18-count felony indictment against him for espionage charges, based on the role he played in WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and diplomatic cables, which revealed multiple war crimes by the U.S. and U.K. as well as rampant corruption by numerous U.S. allies throughout the world. Even though major newspapers around the world published the same documents in partnership with WikiLeaks — including The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais and others — the DOJ claimed that Assange went further than those newspapers by encouraging WikiLeaks’ source, Chelsea Manning, to obtain more documents and by trying to help her evade detection: something all journalists have not only the right but the duty to their sources to do. Because the acts of Assange that serve as the basis of the U.S. indictment are acts in which investigative journalists routinely engage with their sources, press freedom and civil liberties groups throughout the West vehemently condemned the Assange indictment as one of the gravest threats to press freedoms in years. In February, following Assange's victory in court, “a coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups urged the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite” Assange, as The New York Times put it. That coalition — which includes the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Committee to Protect Journalists — warned that the Biden DOJ's ongoing attempt to extradite and prosecute Assange is “a grave threat to press freedom,” adding that “much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely — and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do.” Kenneth Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times that “most of the charges against Assange concern activities that are no different from those used by investigative journalists around the world every day.” Shortly after the indictment was issued, I explained in a Washington Post op-ed why the theory on which the indictment was based “would make journalism a felony” (and indeed, just eight months after I wrote that op-ed warning of the dangers to all journalists, the Brazilian government copied the U.S. indictment of Assange and the theories it embraced in its unsuccessful effort to prosecute me for the reporting I did that exposed corruption by senior Brazilian security officials and prosecutors). “Brazil’s Attack on Greenwald Mirrors the US case against Assange,” was the headline used by the Columbia Journalism Review to condemn the charges against me as a blatant retaliatory act against my reporting. But the Biden administration — led by officials who, during the Trump years, flamboyantly trumpeted the vital importance of press freedoms — ignored those pleas from this coalition of groups and instead aggressively pressed ahead with the prosecution of Assange. The Obama DOJ had spent years trying to concoct charges against Assange using a Grand Jury investigation, but ultimately concluded back in 2013 that prosecuting him would pose too great a threat to press freedom. But the Biden administration appears to have no such qualms, and The New York Times made clear exactly why they are so eager to see Assange in prison: Democrats like the new Biden team are no fan of Mr. Assange, whose publication in 2016 of Democratic emails stolen by Russia aided Donald J. Trump’s narrow victory over Hillary Clinton. In other words, the Biden administration is eager to see Assange punished and silenced for life not out of any national security concerns but instead due to a thirst for vengeance over the role he played in publishing documents during the 2016 election that reflected poorly on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Those documents published by WikiLeaks revealed widespread corruption at the DNC, specifically revealing how they cheated in order to help Clinton stave off a surprisingly robust primary challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). WikiLeaks’ reporting led to the resignation of the top five DNC officials, including its then-Chair, Rep. Debbie Wassserman Schultz (D-FL). Democratic luminaries such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Al Gore's 2000 campaign chair Donna Brazile both said, in the wake of WikiLeak's reporting, that the DNC cheated to help Clinton. Press freedom groups expressed indignation this morning over the U.K.'s ruling approving Assange's extradition. Rebecca Vincent, Director of International Campaigns and UK Bureau Director for the international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, said: “This is an utterly shameful development that has alarming implications not only for Assange’s mental health, but also for journalism and press freedom around the world.” The organizational statement issued this morning from Reporters Without Borders went further: We condemn today’s decision, which will prove historic for all the wrong reasons. We fully believe that Julian Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism, and we defend this case because of its dangerous implications for the future of journalism and press freedom around the world. It is time to put a stop to this more than decade-long persecution once and for all. It is time to free Assange. The Freedom of the Press Foundation (on whose Board I sit) issued a statement this morning which described the ruling as “an alarming setback for press freedom in the United States and around the world.” The group's Executive Director, Trevor Timm, said that “these proceedings, and today's ruling, are a black mark on the history of press freedom,” adding: "That United States prosecutors continued to push for this outcome is a betrayal of the journalistic principles the Biden administration has taken credit for celebrating.” It is difficult at this point to avoid the conclusion that Julian Assange is not only imprisoned for the crime of journalism which exposed serious crimes and lies by the west's most powerful security state agencies, but he is also a classic political prisoner. When the Obama DOJ was first pursuing the possibility of prosecution, media outlets and liberal advocacy groups were vocal in their opposition. One thing and only one thing has changed since then: in the interim, Assange published documents that were incriminating of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, and Democrats, as part of their long list of villains who they blamed for Clinton's defeat (essentially everyone in the world except Clinton and the Democratic Party itself), viewed WikiLeaks' reporting as a major factor in Trump's victory. That is why they and their liberal allies in corporate media harbor so much bloodlust to see Assange imprisoned. Julian Assange is a pioneer of modern journalism, a visionary who was the first to see that a major vulnerability of corrupt power centers in the digital age was mass data leaks that could expose their misconduct. Based on that prescient recognition, he created a technological and journalistic system to enable noble sources to safely blow the whistle on corrupt institutions by protecting their anonymity: a system now copied and implemented by major news organizations around the world. Assange, over the last fifteen years, has broken more major stories and done more consequential journalism than all the corporate journalists who hate him combined. He is not being imprisoned despite his pioneering journalism and dissent from the hegemony of the U.S. security state. He is imprisoned precisely because of that. The accumulated hostility toward Assange from employees of media corporations who hate him due to professional jealousy and the belief that he undermined the Democratic Party, and from the U.S. security state apparatus which hates him for exposing its crimes and refusing to bow to its dictates, has created a climate where the Biden administration and their British servants feel perfectly comfortable imprisoning arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation even as they continue to lecture the rest of the world about the importance of press freedoms and democratic values. No matter the outcome of further proceedings in this case, today's ruling means that the U.S. has succeeded in ensuring that Assange remains imprisoned, hidden and silenced into the foreseeable future. If they have not yet permanently broken him, they are undoubtedly close to doing so. His own physicians and family members have warned of this repeatedly. Citizens of the U.S. and subjects of the British Crown are inculcated from birth to believe that we are blessed to live under a benevolent and freedom-protecting government, and that tyranny only resides in enemy states. Today's judicial approval by the U.K. High Court of the U.S.'s attack on core press freedom demonstrates yet again the fundamental lie at the heart of this mythology. * * * To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please subscribe, obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/10/2021 - 08:52.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 10th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Gen Z voters eye GOP over cancel culture

And Democrats may blow campaign promises and give the rich a big tax cut. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Democrats risk losing millennial and Gen Z voters over 'cancel culture' and vaccine mandatesDemocrats may blow campaign promises and give the rich a big tax cutInternal memo shows how freaked-out progressives plan to beat Republicans in 2022Insider1. OPPORTUNITY FOR GOP: Millennials and Gen Z pose an existential threat to the Republican Party. But the GOP has found two wedge issues that appear to be gaining traction with young voters. One of these is "cancel culture," which young conservatives rank as a top issue, especially on college campuses.Here's what the data suggests thus far:Cancel culture is mostly a nonfactor for most voters: "But among young voters, it looms large," my colleague writes. "According to Pew polling last year, two-thirds of adults under 30 said they'd heard a lot about the issue, compared with just a third of those 50 and older."Some Democrats also see the topic as a growing vulnerability: "Cancel culture is very similar to critical race theory," a prominent Democratic pollster told Insider. "When you look at polling on this kind of thing, the public agrees more with Republicans at some base level than Democrats. So it's just a question of how salient it becomes."Experts say the issue's popularity has risen amid the changing face of America: Vladimir Medenica, a political science professor at the University of Delaware who helps direct a national survey of young voters, said the fear of cancel culture was closely linked to young white men's anxiety about losing economic and social status.More details: "White men are the most conservative group among young voters and the most likely to say white people are losing out economically," my colleague writes. "In one poll, more than 40% of young white men said discrimination against white people was as serious as discrimination against racial-minority groups."Read more about how the GOP is using opposition to vaccine mandates to help make inroads with younger voters.2. House censures Paul Gosar for posting violent anime video: Lawmakers voted to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and remove him from his committee assignments after he posted an anime video that was edited to depict him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were the only Republicans who voted to punish Gosar. Before the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Democrats that depriving a Republican of committee assignments established a precedent that the GOP would remember should it retake control of the House. For his part, Gosar compared himself to Alexander Hamilton, adding it was "it was not my purpose to make anyone upset." More on the first censure of a House lawmaker in over a decade.How he's responding: Gosar posted a meme of himself on Gettr, the conservative social-media platform. He also retweeted the same video that led to his censure.3. Internal memo shows how freaked-out progressives plan to beat Republicans in 2022: A progressive training group inspired by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota says the key to beating Republicans next year is getting more skilled organizers on the ground earlier to ensure Democratic message is resonating in communities of color. A strategy memo the nonprofit Re:Power shared exclusively with Insider concludes that unless Democrats do so, they will continue to bleed support from single parents; Black, Latino, and Asian voters; and young people from underrepresented communities. Read more about how progressives are responding to Democrats' gubernatorial loss in Virginia and poor showing in New Jersey.4. Democrats may blow campaign promises and give the rich a big tax cut: President Joe Biden could get the bulk of his economic agenda passed by New Year's Eve, but some Democrats worry it may contain a measure that contradicts their promises: It could give more tax cuts to the wealthy than for poor Americans. The plan designates $285 billion to raise the cap on the state-and-local-tax deduction to $80,000 from $10,000, reversing part of President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts. It's the single largest program currently within the House's package. But Democrats remain divided over its inclusion, with one senator telling Insider "It doesn't make any sense at all."Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Drew Angerer/Getty Images5. The debt-ceiling game of chicken is back: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the US could continue to pay its bills only until December 15. With mere weeks to stave off catastrophe, neither party has changed its tune. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won't offer Democrats the same deal he gave in October. Here's where things stand.6. Overdose deaths topped 100,000 in one year: "​​Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades, accelerated in the past two years, and, according to new data posted Wednesday, jumped nearly 30% in the latest year," the Associated Press reports. Experts say "the growing prevalence of deadly fentanyl in the illicit drug supply and the pandemic" were drivers of the grim milestone. "Drug overdoses now surpass deaths from car crashes, guns, and even flu and pneumonia."7. "QAnon Shaman" is sentenced to 41 months in prison: Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman, received one of the longest prison sentences so far stemming from the January 6 insurrection. Chansley pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding rather than risk facing a longer sentence had he gone to trial. In a nearly half-hour address, Chansley invoked Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi as he presented himself to Judge Royce Lamberth as a remorseful, changed man who took responsibility for his conduct during the riot. Here's what happened inside the courtroom during the wild sentencing.Malcolm X talking to reporters in Washington, DC, on May 16, 1963.AP Photo, File8. Two men convicted of killing Malcolm X are set to be exonerated: The Manhattan district attorney's office said two of the three men convicted of the assassination of the civil-rights leader more than 50 years ago were expected to be formally absolved of the conviction later today, The New York Times reports. The reversal follows a reexamination by the Manhattan DA's office, lawyers from the Innocence Project, and a civil-rights attorney that discovered evidence was previously withheld by the FBI and the New York City Police Department. More on the news.9. Striking John Deere workers sign a new contract: United Auto Workers members voted 61% to 39% in favor of the agreement with terms to increase pay and boost retirement benefits over six years, ending a five-week strike. More than 10,000 John Deere workers at 14 locations went on strike last month after contract negotiations with the company failed. It was the company's first strike since 1986. More on the new contract.10. Staples Center is being renamed Crypto.com Arena: The home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings, where Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Phil Jackson hoisted NBA titles together, is set to have a new identity next month. Axios reports that the deal cost more than $700 million. More on one of the largest naming-rights deals ever.Today's trivia question Today is Mickey Mouse's birthday. Which president celebrated the Disney icon's 50th birthday at the White House? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: William Howard Taft is the most recent president to have been censured by a chamber of Congress. Taft was "accused of trying to influence a disputed Senate election," the Congressional Research Service writes of the 1912 Senate resolution.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 18th, 2021

Matt Gaetz said his office is open to hiring Kyle Rittenhouse as a congressional intern if he"s "interested in helping the country in additional ways"

A 12-member jury is currently deliberating whether Rittenhouse is guilty of five felony charges, including first-degree homicide. Florida lawmaker Matt Gaetz said Rittenhouse would "probably make a pretty good congressional intern."Alex Wong/Getty Images; Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images Matt Gaetz said on Wednesday that he thought Kyle Rittenhouse would make a good congressional intern. "We may reach out to him and see if he'd be interested in helping the country in additional ways," Gaetz said of Rittenhouse. A jury is currently deliberating if Rittenhouse is guilty of five felonies, including first-degree homicide. Florida congressman Matt Gaetz said he thought Kyle Rittenhouse would make a good congressional intern and said he may contact him to make the job offer happen if he's "interested." In an interview on Newsmax on Wednesday, Gaetz spoke up in defense of Rittenhouse, saying he deserved a "not guilty" verdict even as a 12-person jury continues to deliberate the verdict. "He deserves a not guilty verdict, and I sure hope he gets it because you know what, Kyle Rittenhouse would probably make a pretty good congressional intern," Gaetz said. "We may reach out to him and see if he'd be interested in helping the country in additional ways."Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. He pleaded not guilty and his attorneys claim he acted in self-defense. He faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide.Gaetz also spoke up in defense of "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley, who was sentenced on Wednesday to 41 months' jail for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot, calling him a "relatively harmless, nonviolent vegan." "The notion that he's got to be in prison for three-and-a-half years to settle some sort of political score defies justice," Gaetz said. "The American people deserve a Department of Justice that is the least political agency in Washington, and instead what we've got is a Department of Justice that is the most political agency in Washington."Gaetz is himself the subject of a DOJ investigation into whether he paid underage girls for sex.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 18th, 2021

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking girls for Jeffrey Epstein. Here"s what we know about the British socialite"s finances and assets.

Ghislaine Maxwell lived in an NYC mansion with links to Jeffrey Epstein and ran a foundation that donated to a charity for victims of sex trafficking. Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at an event in New York on June 13, 1995.Patrick McMullan via Getty Images The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after her conviction in December 2021. Maxwell is said to have been in the inner circle of the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. She was found guilty of recruiting victims and abusing them alongside the convicted sex offender. Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with financier Jeffrey Epstein.The British socialite was one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.In December, she was convicted for acting as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell previously denied these allegations.Born in France, Maxwell, 60, is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the British media mogul who mysteriously drowned after falling or jumping from his yacht near the Canary Islands in 1991. Maxwell moved to New York City from England in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund.Maxwell integrated herself into the city's high society, attending parties, charity galas, and other events with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite. For seven years she ran an ocean-conservation nonprofit, which abruptly shut down in July 2019.Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a 7,000-square-foot Manhattan townhouse with links to Epstein. It was sold in 2016 for $15 million.Here's what we know about how Maxwell's finances.The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell became one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan prison in August 2019.Marc Dimov/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesMaxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for acting as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell previously denied any wrongdoing.Born in France, Maxwell is the daughter of the British media mogul Robert Maxwell.Robert and Ghislaine Maxwell watch an Oxford-Brighton football match in October 1984.Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty ImagesRobert Maxwell was a member of Parliament from 1966 to 1970 and the owner of the British tabloid the Daily Mirror.In March 1991, months before his death, he bought the New York Daily News.In England, Maxwell was an Oxford-educated socialite.Ghislaine Maxwell in 1986.Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty ImagesMaxwell attended one of England's top private boarding schools and later graduated from Oxford University. She went on to found a social club for women in London.In 1991, Robert Maxwell died while cruising on his yacht, called the Lady Ghislaine after his daughter.The Lady Ghislaine in Spain in 1991.Bruno Bachelet/Paris Match via Getty ImagesHis body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after he disappeared from his private yacht. According to The Guardian, it was ruled that he died from a heart attack combined with accidental drowning, but his daughter reportedly believed her father was murdered.After his death, his yacht was sold to an American buyer and is now known as Lady Mona K. The 190-foot-yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in six cabins.Maxwell moved to the US in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund set up by her father.Maxwell at a party at her New York City home on March 13, 2007.Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesHer father's business was more than $4 billion in debt following his death, so Maxwell didn't move to the US as a lavishly wealthy heiress.The British socialite, about 30 years old at the time, quickly became a staple of the city's high society, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite.According to a 2000 article by the New York Post, she started out in New York working in real estate and living off about $100,000 a year from a trust fund set up by her father.Soon after she moved to New York, Maxwell reportedly began a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell at a 2005 benefit for Wall Street Rising at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005.Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesAccording to the Post, Maxwell started dating Epstein around 1992.Maxwell is said to have introduced Epstein to many of her high-flying friends.Donald Trump, Melania Trump (then Melania Knauss), Epstein, and Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in February 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesMaxwell reportedly socialized with high-profile people including John F. Kennedy Jr., Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Clinton family.Maxwell introduced Epstein to Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom she knew through their daughter, Chelsea, according to Politico. Maxwell was a guest at Chelsea Clinton's wedding in July 2010.Bill and Chelsea Clinton.GettyAccording to Politico, Maxwell grew close with Chelsea Clinton after her father left office."Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton," a person familiar with the relationship told Politico in July. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close."When reached for comment by Business Insider, Bari Lurie, Clinton's chief of staff, said Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were not aware of the allegations against Maxwell until 2015."Chelsea and Marc were friendly with her because of her relationship with a dear friend of theirs," Lurie said. "When that relationship ended, Chelsea and Marc's friendship with her ended as well."A person close to Clinton told Business Insider that she and her husband knew Maxwell through a close family friend, Ted Waitt, and that Clinton and Maxwell were never "close."Maxwell was at Clinton's wedding only because she was Waitt's girlfriend at the time, the person said.Waitt cofounded the personal-computing company Gateway in 1985 and is now chairman of the Waitt Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the oceans.Maxwell's social life wasn't confined to New York City.Calvin Klein, Aby Rosen, and Maxwell at a dinner on December 3, 2009, in Miami Beach, Florida.BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImageShe attended events like a dinner in Miami Beach, Florida, hosted by the New York real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen, where guests included the fashion designer Calvin Klein.Maxwell is accused of approaching and recruiting girls to visit Epstein in his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a $5 million New York townhouse bought by a company with the same address as Epstein's business office.A Google Maps street view of Maxwell's former home.Google MapsTax records reviewed by Business Insider show that the Manhattan townhouse was purchased for $4.95 million in October 2000 by an anonymous corporation with the same address as Epstein's finance office on Madison Avenue.The seller was Lynn Forester.Business Insider was unable to confirm that the seller of the home is the same Lynn Forester who has been linked to Epstein. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the chair of the E. L. Rothschild family investment office and the wife of the British billionaire financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild, was one of the names on Epstein's private-jet log. In October 2000, she was not yet married to de Rothschild.Forester sold the mansion for about $8.5 million less than its assessed market value, which was more than $13.4 million. Forester bought the home in 1997 for $4.475 million, according to tax documents.The 7,000-square-foot home on Manhattan's Upper East Side has 12 rooms, eight fireplaces, and an elevator.Lynn Forester de Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.The townhouse Maxwell lived in is about six blocks from Epstein's former home on 71st Street.Google MapsThe home was sold in the spring of 2016 for $15 million.For seven years Maxwell operated an ocean-conservation nonprofit organization, which was abruptly shut down in July.Westchester Digital Summit/YoutubeMaxwell founded the TerraMar Project in 2012 to promote conservancy of the world's oceans.Days after Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, the organization's website was shut down and now includes only a statement announcing its closure: "The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations. The web site will be closed ... TerraMar wants to thank all its supporters, partners and fellow ocean lovers."Business Insider's Áine Cain reviewed the nonprofit's tax documents and found that it was a relatively small enterprise. No employee was ever paid more than $100,000, and most of its funds went into website development, office expenses, travel, phone and utilities fees, merchant fees, contractor fees, professional fundraising services, and insurance policies.Maxwell reported working 60-hour weeks and pouring thousands into the organization, but by 2017 TerraMar was $550,546 in the hole in terms of revenue.INSIDER's Ellen Cranley recently reported that investigators were looking into the nonprofit for possible connections to Epstein.Tax documents reviewed by Business Insider show that Epstein donated $57,000 to the organization in the tax year ending in January 2013.Through a private foundation, Maxwell has donated to various charitable organizations — including a charity for victims of sex trafficking.Maxwell in New York in September 2005.Scott Rudd/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesAccording to tax filings published by ProPublica and reviewed by Business Insider, Maxwell is the trustee of a philanthropic organization called Max Foundation Tr.Tax filings show that in 2008, Maxwell's foundation donated $350 to Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, a charity whose stated mission is to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and young women.When reached by email, Rachel Lloyd, GEMS's founder and CEO, told Business Insider they could not find a record of the donation, noting that it was for less than $500 and that they had changed donor databases since 2008."We would never knowingly accept monies from anyone who was working against [our] mission," Lloyd said. "We fully support all the victims who have been brave enough to come forward against Jeffrey Epstein and hope that they will still be able to find a measure of justice from those [who] perpetuated his crimes."Maxwell's other donations through her foundation include $275 in 2011 to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, a chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides after-school programs for under-resourced youth in New York City.In 2007, she donated $300 to Hale House, a New York charity that took in homeless infants and toddlers. In 2008, Hale House ended its residential program and became a daycare service known as the Mother Hale Learning Center.The tax filings also show that Maxwell donated $2,500 to the Clinton Library and Foundation in 2003, as well as at least $1,625 from 2003 to 2008 to the Wayuu Taya Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Latin American indigenous communities.According to the tax filings, from 2002 to 2018, Maxwell's foundation held an average of about $20,000 in total assets each year and appeared to be used to make a few small donations per year, possibly to purchase tickets to some of the fundraisers and charity galas at which she was often photographed.The foundation's total recorded assets peaked in the tax year ending in June 2003 at $42,947, according to available tax filings. By 2018, that number had dwindled to $1,245.Maxwell's whereabouts have been unknown, and authorities have had trouble locating her, The Washington Post reported.Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty ImagesThe Post reported on August 11, 2019, that Maxwell was believed to be living abroad and that authorities had not been able to locate her.A Daily Mail report from August 14, 2019, said Maxwell had been living in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with the tech CEO Scott Borgerson.However, when contacted by Business Insider, Borgerson denied that Maxwell was staying at his house. He said that he had been out of the country traveling for work for the past week and that the house had been empty.Maxwell's legal team did not previously respond to Business Insider's request for comment on her location.But after a year of laying low, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on July 2, 2020, according to multiple reports.Ghislaine Maxwell at Spring Studios in New York City on October 18, 2019.Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via GettySenior law enforcement officials told News 4 New York, an NBC affiliate, that Maxwell faces "Epstein-related" charges and will appear in federal court in the Southern District of New York later Thursday.Her arrest comes a year after Epstein himself was arrested.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

LIVE RESULTS: Mike Flood and Patty Pansing Brooks face off in Nebraska 1st District special election

Nebraskans will choose tonight who will fill out the remainder of scandal-plagued former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's term. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska in 2012.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesNebraska is holding a special election in its 1st Congressional District on Tuesday. Polls closed at 8 p.m. local time.  The race and stakes: Nebraskans will choose who will fill out the final months of former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's term after he was forced out following his conviction for lying to the FBI.In the state's 1st Congressional District, a sprawling seat that encompasses most of the eastern part of the state except Omaha, voters will pick between two state lawmakers: Republican Mike Flood and Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks.Tuesday's victor must run again in November but do so with added bonus of being an incumbent. Flood and Pansing Brooks are also their parties' respective nominees for the regular general election.Flood is widely expected to win in the overwhelmingly Republican district that then-President Donald Trump carried by roughly 15 percentage points in 2020.Unlike the competitive Omaha-based 2nd District, the 1st District race is not.Flood's campaign reported just over $32,000 on hand on his pre-special election report, having brought in over $1.1 million through the entire cycle. Pansing Brooks had roughly $365,000 on hand, having raised just over $765,000 this cycle. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy swung through for a fundraiser in early June.As for Fortenberry, he avoided prison time when US District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. sentenced him today to two years probation, 320 hours of community service, and a $25,000 fine.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected to

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for sex-trafficking girls for the late disgraced financier. American financier Jeffrey Epstein (L) and then-real-estate developer Donald Trump (R) pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997.Davidoff Studios/Getty Images Jeffrey Epstein was known for jet-setting with the likes of Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew. Wall Street billionaire Leon Black paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees, The New York Times reported. Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking minors. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Former L Brands CEO Les Wexner may have been Jeffrey Epstein's only confirmed client, but he was far from the only billionaire paying the convicted sex offender.Epstein, who pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007, ran a years-long "trafficking pyramid scheme" from the US Virgin Islands, prosecutors alleged in a lawsuit against the former wealth manager's estate in January 2020.Meanwhile, the convicted sex offender maintained a vast social and professional network both on and off the Islands, which even included the wife of the US Virgin Islands' former governor. In October 2020, Wall Street billionaire Leon Black acknowledged to The New York Times through a spokesperson that he hired Epstein as an advisor and paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees between 2012 and 2017.Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, kept his client list under wraps, but he often bragged of his elite social circle that included presidents and Hollywood stars."I invest in people — be it politics or science," Epstein was known to say, according to New York Magazine. "It's what I do."Epstein, 66, died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors. He had been in police custody since his arrest on July 6, shortly after exiting his private jet in New Jersey's Teterboro Airport. He pleaded not guilty on July 8 and was being held without bail in New York City, where he was already on suicide watch after an earlier reported suicide attempt that had led to his hospitalization, at the time of his death. Here's what we know about the famous people who crossed paths with Epstein.Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking young girls for Epstein.Epstein with Maxwell.Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesMaxwell is a British socialite and the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell.She started dating Epstein shortly after moving to New York in 1991, Business Insider previously reported. After they broke up, court documents allege that Maxwell started recruiting underage girls for him to have sex with.The FBI began investigating Maxwell's relationship with Epstein in 2019 as the British heiress hit out with armed guards in the United States or the United Kingdom.Maxwell was ultimately found in New Hampshire, where she was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and perjury in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020.A federal jury in December 2021 convicted the former socialite of five sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors alleged Maxwell worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse" children. In June 2022, a federal judge sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with Epstein and sexually abusing them herself. She was also fined $750,000, the judge said, and will have to remain on probation for five years following her time in prison.  Outgoing L Brands CEO Les Wexner is Epstein's only confirmed client.AP Photo/Matt SullivanEpstein became a trusted confidant of Wexner's while Epstein managed the CEO's fortune, according to Vanity Fair. Wexner has a net worth of $7.15 billion, Bloomberg reported. The magazine reported that Wexner allowed Epstein to take an active role in L Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Express, and Victoria's Secret.In 1989, Wexner used a trust to buy an Upper East Side townhouse that is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan for $13.2 million, Vanity Fair reported. Epstein moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail Koppel, moved to Ohio in 1996. Wexner's trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 for $0, Bloomberg reported.Wexner later fired Epstein as his money manager. "Mr. Wexner severed ties with Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago," an L Brands spokesperson told Forbes in July 2019.In February, L Brands announced that Wexner would step down after nearly six decades as the company's CEO. L Brands also announced that it would sell the majority stake in Victoria's Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners and spin-off Bath & Body Works into a separate company. The company has been marred in controversy following reports of the mistreatment of models and plummeting sales.More information about Wexner's relationship with Epstein may soon be revealed after US District Judge Loretta Preska ordered that Wexner's correspondence with Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz be unsealed as a part of Dershowitz and Giuffre's defamation suits against each other, Business Insider reported on August 11.Former President Donald Trump once considered Epstein a friend.From left, Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesThe future president claimed in 2002 that he had a long friendship with Epstein. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," Trump said, according to New York Magazine. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."According to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Trump now believes the crimes Epstein was charged with are "completely unconscionable and obviously criminal." She also labeled them "disgusting," according to a July report from the Associated Press."The president told me this morning he hasn't talked to Epstein, he doesn't think he's talked to him or seen him in 10 or 15 years," Conway added.Prince Andrew and Epstein were close friends, the Guardian reported in 2015.WPA Pool / Getty ImagesMaxwell introduced Epstein and the Duke of York in the 1990s, the Guardian reported, and the two became close friends.The Duke is the son of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. He has also been criticized for frequently taking flights on the taxpayer's dime while serving as the country's special representative for international trade. This earned him the nickname "Airmiles Andy," according to the Washington Post.Court documents reviewed by the Guardian allege that Epstein instructed Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 15-year-old employee at Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions. Buckingham Palace said in 2015 that the allegations against Prince Andrew were "false and without any foundation," according to the Guardian.According to a July 22 article from NY Magazine's Intelligencer, a number of royals and royal connections were among Epstein's contacts. That includes Prince Andrew's then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Charles Althorp, Princess Diana's brother. According to Intelligencer, all three were named in Epstein's black book; Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also named in his private jet log.In a interview with the BBC in November, Prince Andrew said his relationship with Epstein brought him "opportunities," and that his slowness in ditching Epstein as a friend was because of his tendency to be "too honorable." The interview was widely criticized over Prince Andrew's lack of sympathy with Epstein's victims and his defense of his friendship with the convicted sex offender, Business Insider reported.Prince Andrew resigned from public royal duties in November, Business Insider reported.Former President Bill Clinton traveled with Epstein in 2002 and 2003, a Clinton representative confirmed.Andrew Chin/Getty Images, Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty ImagesA statement released in July 2019 by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña said the former president traveled to Europe, Asia, and twice to Africa on Epstein's private jet. Clinton's staff and Secret Service agents also went on these trips, which were to further the work of the Clinton Foundation, according to the statement.Court documents unsealed on July 31 show Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre testified that Clinton also visited Epstein's island — something the former president has denied.Last year, Clinton told New York Magazine through a spokesperson that Epstein was "both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science."Ureña also said that Clinton and Epstein hadn't spoken in "well over a decade" and that Clinton "knows nothing about the terrible crimes" Epstein was charged with.Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker also took trips with Epstein.Kevin Spacey attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards ProductionsEpstein, Clinton, Spacey, and Tucker spent a week in 2002 touring AIDS project sites in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique for the Clinton Foundation, according to a New York Magazine report.Spacey was also charged with sexual assault, but in December, The New York Times reported that the case had been dropped by the plaintiff's estate. The plaintiff, a 62-year-old massage therapist, had died in September.Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta worked with Epstein's legal team to arrange a plea deal after Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007.Alexander Acosta.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Acosta, then a US attorney, had enough evidence against Epstein to request a life sentence. Instead, he reportedly met with one of Epstein's lawyers, who happened to be a former colleague of Acosta's.In the resulting plea deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county prison, which he was allowed to leave six days a week to work in his office.Business Insider previously reported that Acosta said he was "pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," on Twitter.—Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019.Film publicist Peggy Siegal planned a star-studded dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at Epstein's New York mansion in 2010.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP ImagesSiegal, known for hosting events to promote films including "The Big Short," "Argo," and "The Revenant" to Oscar voters, invited Epstein to screenings after he was released from prison in 2010, according to The New York Times."I was a kind of plugged-in girl around town who knew a lot of people," Siegal told The New York Times. "And I think that's what he wanted from me, a kind of social goings-on about New York."Siegal also planned a dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side home. The event was attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Chelsea Handler. "The invitation was positioned as, 'Do you want to have dinner with Prince Andrew?'" Siegal said. Many of the guests didn't know who the host was or about his criminal history, The New York Times reported.A spokesperson for Siegal told Business Insider that Siegal's relationship with Epstein was social, not professional. Siegal told The New York Times that she ended her relationship with Epstein at the height of the #MeToo era in 2017.Netflix, FX and Annapurna Pictures severed their ties with Siegal in July 2019 after her connection to Epstein became public, Variety reported.Epstein also told the Times that he spoke often with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 opening ceremony at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders are gathering for the 11th G20 Summit from September 4-5.Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty ImagesEpstein said that MBS had visited Epstein's Manhattan mansion many times and had a framed photo of the crown prince hanging on the wall, according to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart.Representatives of MBS did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.According to the New York Times, Epstein claimed to have advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Tesla CEO Elon Musk was photographed at a 2014 Oscars after-party next to Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of being Epstein's madam in media reports and legal documents.Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty ImagesIn an interview published in the New York Times on August 12, Epstein claimed that Elon Musk had sought him out to help manage the trouble he had gotten into with the SEC a year earlier, in August 2018.Epstein told reporter James B. Stewart that he had promised to keep his work for Tesla private because of his prior conviction. Epstein also warned that both Musk and Tesla would deny their connection to Epstein if it ever became public, the Times reported. In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Musk denied Epstein's claims of having served as an adviser to the CEO.Musk and Maxwell were photographed at an Oscars after-party hosted by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood. The same Musk spokesperson told Business Insider that "Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once, Business Insider reported. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after he was released from jail in 2008.MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito quietly worked with Epstein to secure anonymous donations, Vanity Fair reported.Phillip Faraone/Getty ImagesIto worked with other directors and staff at the MIT Media Lab to quietly receive large anonymous donations from Epstein after he was convicted of soliciting underage girls for prostitution, a New Yorker exposé published on September 6 reports. The article contains emails sent between Ito and Epstein.The emails show Epstein also worked as an in-between for other wealthy donors, including Bill Gates and Leon Black, and that Epstein had a role in determining what his donations would be used for at MIT, contradicting previous statements from Ito and the university.Ito resigned from his posts at MIT, The New York Times Company, and the MacArthur Foundation on September 7, Business Insider reported.Epstein worked as a go-between for the MIT Media Lab and Bill Gates to arrange donations, Vanity Fair reported.Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City.Yana Paskova/Getty ImagesEmails obtained and published by The New Yorker show former MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito wrote that Gates was "directed by" Epstein to donate $2 million to the research lab in October 2014.Gates also met with Epstein at least once in New York in 2013, and flew on one of his private planes to Palm Beach, Business Insider previously reported. "Bill attended a meeting in New York with others focused on philanthropy. While Epstein was present, he never provided services of any type to Bill," a Gates spokesperson told Business Insider.A spokesperson for Gates told Business Insider that "Epstein was introduced to Bill Gates as someone who was interested in helping grow philanthropy. Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true. And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false."A New York Times investigation published in October found that Gates met with Epstein multiple times after Epstein's conviction in 2011, including at least three meetings at Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Following the publication of that story, a spokesperson for Gates said Gates regretted the association, but Gates himself hadn't publicly addressed it until November, Business Insider's Aaron Holmes reported.Gates said at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference in November that he believed "billions of dollars" would come from his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. "I made a mistake in judgment in thinking those discussions would go to global health," Gates said. "That money never appeared.""I gave him the benefit of my association," Gates said.Reid Hoffman defended Ito after news of Epstein's connections to the MIT Media Lab broke.REUTERS/Brian SnyderA "few years ago," Epstein attended a dinner Hoffman hosted to honor an MIT neuroscientist, Vanity Fair reported in July. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk were also in attendance. Both denied having had ongoing relationships with Epstein to Vanity Fair through spokespeople.Hoffman also implicated himself in the cover up of Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab. As pressure mounted on Media Lab director Joi Ito to resign, Hoffman defended Ito to author and fellow MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award jury member Anand Giridharadas in a private email, Giridharadas tweeted in September. "Hoffman basically hid behind bureaucracy and the old 'ongoing investigation' excuse," Giridharadas said in the now-unavailable tweet. "He said it would be complicated to release the correspondence publicly because other names might get dragged in. Someone should tell him about redaction."According to Giridharadas, Hoffman wrote in a second email that Giridharadas was making the situation "all about you" by threatening to resign. In the end, Giridharadas resigned from the Disobedience Award jury.Hoffman not only sits on the Disobedience Award's jury, but funds it personally, according to the Media Lab's website. In 2017, MIT awarded Epstein and other donors "orbs" to thank them for their support, according to The Boston Globe. The orb looks similar to the trophy given to winners of the Disobedience Award.A lawsuit has also shined light on Epstein's connection to former U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh while he was in office.U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh participates in a meeting dealing with healthcare at the Southern Governors' Association convention in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.AP Photo/Danny JohnstonGov. John P. de Jongh's wife Cecile de Jongh served on the board of Epstein's Financial Trust Co. for most of her husband's time in office, Business Insider's Becky Peterson and John Cook reported. Cecile de Jongh held the titles of secretary and vice president in her decade-long tenure with the company, even staying on board after Epstein was first charged with sexual assault in 2007.Prosecutors in the US Virgin Islands alleged that Epstein was trafficking women and children through the US territory during that same time, as stated in a January lawsuit. The lawsuit describes one 15-year-old victim who was "forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island."In a statement, a lawyer representing Epstein's estate told Business Insider that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were inaccurate — particularly allegations that the estate to this day engages in "a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein Enterprise.""The Estate is being administered in accordance with the laws of the US Virgin Islands and under the supervision of the Superior Court of the US Virgin Islands," the statement said.Barclays CEO Jes Staley is under investigation by British authorities because of his friendship with Epstein.Jes Staley, CEO Barclays, arrives at Downing Street for a meeting in London on January 11, 2018. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May mets with business leaders from the financial services sector at Downing Street. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga Akmen (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty ImagesStaley had a "professional relationship" with Epstein that dated back to "early in his career," Barclays said in a statement. "In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr. Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the Chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr. Epstein," Barclays stated. "Mr. Staley also confirmed to the Board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015."The relationship is the subject of an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, according to the bank.Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black hired Epstein as an advisor.Leon Black.LUCY NICHOLSON/ReutersIn August 2019, Black said that he had only consulted Epstein on financial matters "from time to time" and that his relationship with the convicted sex offender was "limited," Business Insider previously reported.However, Black had engaged Epstein as an advisor and paid him at least $50 million, The New York Times reported on October 12. Two of the Times' sources said the total may actually be closer to $75 million.The two financiers also regularly dined together at Epstein's New York mansion, per the Times report.A spokesperson for Black confirmed that between 2012 and 2017, Black had received "personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors" including Epstein. A spokesperson for Black also told the Times that the relationship ended after a "fee dispute" in 2018.Black "continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges" against Epstein, the spokesperson said, adding that Black "deeply regrets having any involvement" with Epstein.   If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein"s madam who lived in a $5 million NYC mansion, was convicted to 20 years in prison. Here"s what we know about the British socialite"s finances and assets.

Ghislaine Maxwell lived in an NYC mansion with links to Jeffrey Epstein and ran a foundation that donated to a charity for victims of sex trafficking. Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at an event in New York on June 13, 1995.Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesThe British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after her conviction in December 2021.Maxwell is said to have been in the inner circle of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2020 awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.She is alleged to have acted as Epstein's madam; she's accused of recruiting victims and abusing them alongside the convicted sex offender.Maxwell, 58, the daughter of the media mogul Robert Maxwell, moved to New York City from England in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund.Maxwell integrated herself into the city's high society, attending parties, charity galas, and other events with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite.For seven years she ran an ocean-conservation nonprofit, which abruptly shut down in July 2019.Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a 7,000-square-foot Manhattan townhouse with links to Epstein. It was sold in 2016 for $15 million.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Nearly two years after her arrest and following conviction in December 2021, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with financier Jeffrey Epstein.Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on July 2, 2020, according to multiple reports.The British socialite became one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.She was alleged to have acted as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell denied these allegations.Maxwell's legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.Born in France, Maxwell is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the British media mogul who mysteriously drowned after falling or jumping from his yacht near the Canary Islands in 1991.Here's what we know about how Maxwell's finances.The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has become one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan prison in August 2019.Marc Dimov/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesMaxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for acting as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell previously denied any wrongdoing.Born in France, Maxwell is the daughter of the British media mogul Robert Maxwell.Robert and Ghislaine Maxwell watch an Oxford-Brighton football match in October 1984.Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty ImagesRobert Maxwell was a member of Parliament from 1966 to 1970 and the owner of the British tabloid the Daily Mirror.In March 1991, months before his death, he bought the New York Daily News.In England, Maxwell was an Oxford-educated socialite.Ghislaine Maxwell in 1986.Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty ImagesMaxwell attended one of England's top private boarding schools and later graduated from Oxford University. She went on to found a social club for women in London.In 1991, Robert Maxwell died while cruising on his yacht, called the Lady Ghislaine after his daughter.The Lady Ghislaine in Spain in 1991.Bruno Bachelet/Paris Match via Getty ImagesHis body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after he disappeared from his private yacht. According to The Guardian, it was ruled that he died from a heart attack combined with accidental drowning, but his daughter reportedly believed her father was murdered.After his death, his yacht was sold to an American buyer and is now known as Lady Mona K. The 190-foot-yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in six cabins.Maxwell moved to the US in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund set up by her father.Maxwell at a party at her New York City home on March 13, 2007.Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesHer father's business was more than $4 billion in debt following his death, so Maxwell didn't move to the US as a lavishly wealthy heiress.The British socialite, about 30 years old at the time, quickly became a staple of the city's high society, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite.According to a 2000 article by the New York Post, she started out in New York working in real estate and living off about $100,000 a year from a trust fund set up by her father.Soon after she moved to New York, Maxwell reportedly began a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell at a 2005 benefit for Wall Street Rising at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005.Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesAccording to the Post, Maxwell started dating Epstein around 1992.Maxwell is said to have introduced Epstein to many of her high-flying friends.Donald Trump, Melania Trump (then Melania Knauss), Epstein, and Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in February 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesMaxwell reportedly socialized with high-profile people including John F. Kennedy Jr., Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Clinton family.Maxwell introduced Epstein to Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom she knew through their daughter, Chelsea, according to Politico. Maxwell was a guest at Chelsea Clinton's wedding in July 2010.Bill and Chelsea Clinton.GettyAccording to Politico, Maxwell grew close with Chelsea Clinton after her father left office."Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton," a person familiar with the relationship told Politico in July. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close."When reached for comment by Business Insider, Bari Lurie, Clinton's chief of staff, said Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were not aware of the allegations against Maxwell until 2015."Chelsea and Marc were friendly with her because of her relationship with a dear friend of theirs," Lurie said. "When that relationship ended, Chelsea and Marc's friendship with her ended as well."A person close to Clinton told Business Insider that she and her husband knew Maxwell through a close family friend, Ted Waitt, and that Clinton and Maxwell were never "close."Maxwell was at Clinton's wedding only because she was Waitt's girlfriend at the time, the person said.Waitt cofounded the personal-computing company Gateway in 1985 and is now chairman of the Waitt Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the oceans.Maxwell's social life wasn't confined to New York City.Calvin Klein, Aby Rosen, and Maxwell at a dinner on December 3, 2009, in Miami Beach, Florida.BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImageShe attended events like a dinner in Miami Beach, Florida, hosted by the New York real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen, where guests included the fashion designer Calvin Klein.Maxwell is accused of approaching and recruiting girls to visit Epstein in his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a $5 million New York townhouse bought by a company with the same address as Epstein's business office.A Google Maps street view of Maxwell's former home.Google MapsTax records reviewed by Business Insider show that the Manhattan townhouse was purchased for $4.95 million in October 2000 by an anonymous corporation with the same address as Epstein's finance office on Madison Avenue.The seller was Lynn Forester.Business Insider was unable to confirm that the seller of the home is the same Lynn Forester who has been linked to Epstein. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the chair of the E. L. Rothschild family investment office and the wife of the British billionaire financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild, was one of the names on Epstein's private-jet log. In October 2000, she was not yet married to de Rothschild.Forester sold the mansion for about $8.5 million less than its assessed market value, which was more than $13.4 million. Forester bought the home in 1997 for $4.475 million, according to tax documents.The 7,000-square-foot home on Manhattan's Upper East Side has 12 rooms, eight fireplaces, and an elevator.Lynn Forester de Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.The townhouse Maxwell lived in is about six blocks from Epstein's former home on 71st Street.Google MapsThe home was sold in the spring of 2016 for $15 million.For seven years Maxwell operated an ocean-conservation nonprofit organization, which was abruptly shut down in July.Westchester Digital Summit/YoutubeMaxwell founded the TerraMar Project in 2012 to promote conservancy of the world's oceans.Days after Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, the organization's website was shut down and now includes only a statement announcing its closure: "The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations. The web site will be closed ... TerraMar wants to thank all its supporters, partners and fellow ocean lovers."Business Insider's Áine Cain reviewed the nonprofit's tax documents and found that it was a relatively small enterprise. No employee was ever paid more than $100,000, and most of its funds went into website development, office expenses, travel, phone and utilities fees, merchant fees, contractor fees, professional fundraising services, and insurance policies.Maxwell reported working 60-hour weeks and pouring thousands into the organization, but by 2017 TerraMar was $550,546 in the hole in terms of revenue.INSIDER's Ellen Cranley recently reported that investigators were looking into the nonprofit for possible connections to Epstein.Tax documents reviewed by Business Insider show that Epstein donated $57,000 to the organization in the tax year ending in January 2013.Through a private foundation, Maxwell has donated to various charitable organizations — including a charity for victims of sex trafficking.Maxwell in New York in September 2005.Scott Rudd/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesAccording to tax filings published by ProPublica and reviewed by Business Insider, Maxwell is the trustee of a philanthropic organization called Max Foundation Tr.Tax filings show that in 2008, Maxwell's foundation donated $350 to Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, a charity whose stated mission is to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and young women.When reached by email, Rachel Lloyd, GEMS's founder and CEO, told Business Insider they could not find a record of the donation, noting that it was for less than $500 and that they had changed donor databases since 2008."We would never knowingly accept monies from anyone who was working against [our] mission," Lloyd said. "We fully support all the victims who have been brave enough to come forward against Jeffrey Epstein and hope that they will still be able to find a measure of justice from those [who] perpetuated his crimes."Maxwell's other donations through her foundation include $275 in 2011 to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, a chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides after-school programs for under-resourced youth in New York City.In 2007, she donated $300 to Hale House, a New York charity that took in homeless infants and toddlers. In 2008, Hale House ended its residential program and became a daycare service known as the Mother Hale Learning Center.The tax filings also show that Maxwell donated $2,500 to the Clinton Library and Foundation in 2003, as well as at least $1,625 from 2003 to 2008 to the Wayuu Taya Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Latin American indigenous communities.According to the tax filings, from 2002 to 2018, Maxwell's foundation held an average of about $20,000 in total assets each year and appeared to be used to make a few small donations per year, possibly to purchase tickets to some of the fundraisers and charity galas at which she was often photographed.The foundation's total recorded assets peaked in the tax year ending in June 2003 at $42,947, according to available tax filings. By 2018, that number had dwindled to $1,245.Maxwell's whereabouts have been unknown, and authorities have had trouble locating her, The Washington Post reported.Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty ImagesThe Post reported on August 11, 2019, that Maxwell was believed to be living abroad and that authorities had not been able to locate her.A Daily Mail report from August 14, 2019, said Maxwell had been living in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with the tech CEO Scott Borgerson.However, when contacted by Business Insider, Borgerson denied that Maxwell was staying at his house. He said that he had been out of the country traveling for work for the past week and that the house had been empty.Maxwell's legal team did not previously respond to Business Insider's request for comment on her location.But after a year of laying low, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on July 2, 2020, according to multiple reports.Ghislaine Maxwell at Spring Studios in New York City on October 18, 2019.Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via GettySenior law enforcement officials told News 4 New York, an NBC affiliate, that Maxwell faces "Epstein-related" charges and will appear in federal court in the Southern District of New York later Thursday.Her arrest comes a year after Epstein himself was arrested.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

RESULTS: Mike Flood and Patty Pansing Brooks face off in Nebraska 1st District special election

Nebraskans will choose tonight who will fill out the remainder of scandal-plagued former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's term. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska in 2012.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesNebraska is holding a special election in its 1st Congressional District on Tuesday. Polls close at 8 p.m. local time.  The race and stakes: Nebraskans will choose who will fill out the final months of former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's term after he was forced out following his conviction for lying to the FBI.In the state's 1st Congressional District, a sprawling seat that encompasses most of the eastern part of the state except Omaha, voters will pick between two state lawmakers: Republican Mike Flood and Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks.Tuesday's victor must run again in November but do so with added bonus of being an incumbent. Flood and Pansing Brooks are also their parties' respective nominees for the regular general election.Flood is widely expected to win in the overwhelmingly Republican district that then-President Donald Trump carried by roughly 15 percentage points in 2020.Unlike the competitive Omaha-based 2nd District, the 1st District race is not.Flood's campaign reported just over $32,000 on hand on his pre-special election report, having brought in over $1.1 million through the entire cycle. Pansing Brooks had roughly $365,000 on hand, having raised just over $765,000 this cycle. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy swung through for a fundraiser in early June.As for Fortenberry, he avoided prison time when US District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. sentenced him today to two years probation, 320 hours of community service, and a $25,000 fine.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison Update : Judge Nathan has sentenced Ghislaine Maxwell to 20 years in prison. "A sentence of 240 months is sufficient and no graver than necessary." The sentence is less than the 30-50 years prosecutors asked for, but more than the 6 year sentence the defense thought was appropriate. While preparing to deliver the sentence, Nathan said that "Ms Maxwell directly and repeatedly and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme" to traffic and abuse girls, and that "Ms Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable." As such, a "substantial sentence" is warranted, which - if not released early, means Maxwell will be 80-years-old when she gets out. And somehow not a single Epstein client was named... *  *   * Judge Alison J Nathan said on Tuesday that Ghislaine Maxwell's criminal activity was "extensive," and that she's enhancing her sentence due to the fact that she was at least 10 years older than her victims, and exercised "undue influence" on them. That said, Nathan said that the calculation for sentencing will hinge on whether evidence showed criminal conduct after Nov. 1, 2004 - and that there isn't evidence to support the higher-recommended guidelines of 30 - 50 years. This means Maxwell will likely receive the more lenient guidelines calculation, which would result in less than 20 years in prison. *  *  * Jeffrey Epstein 'Madam' and partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, is set to be sentenced today after being found guilty of participating in a decade-long scheme to lure and groom underage girls for sexual exploitation by Epstein and his associates - at times participating in the abuse herself, according to Bloomberg. The 60-year-old former socialite, who was arrested two years ago at a New Hampshire hideaway, was convicted in December in what accusers have called long-overdue justice for Epstein's victims. Prosecutors have recommended 30 to 55 years behind bars - likely a life sentence, while Maxwell has asked for less than six years - arguing that she and her siblings were mentally and physically abused by their father, UK publishing tycoon and suspected Israeli spy, Robert Maxwell. She also argued that she shouldn't bear the brunt of the punishment for Epstein's crimes, since he's dead. Several victims who weren't part of Maxwell's trial will be allowed to speak during Tuesday's sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom in front of US Circuit Judge Alison Nathan. Maxwell will also be afforded the opportunity to speak, should she so choose. One of the victims expected to appear is Virginia Giuffre, who accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her. Giuffre and Andrew reached a settlement in a civil suit earlier this year, after she claimed Epstein "lent" her out for sexual abuse, a claim Andrew has denied. "She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims," argued prosecutor Maurene Comey in the government's sentencing memo. "She should be held accountable for her disturbing role in an extensive child exploitation scheme." According to former UBS AG banker Justin Paperny, who served 18 months for securities fraud, Maxwell's arguments for leniency will likely fall on deaf ears, especially with several accusers testifying on Tuesday. "The first thing judges want to know if you plead guilty is if you identify with your victims," he said, adding "In this case, Maxwell said ‘Yeah, there are victims but I didn’t create it. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just because I was friends with Epstein. If anything, I’m the victim,’” Paperny said. That attitude “doesn’t sit well with a sentencing judge when there are victims whose lives have been torn and ripped apart by her pedophile friend." Stay tuned for more... Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 14:32.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 28th, 2022

Judge Says Ghislaine Maxwell"s Criminal Activity "Extensive"

Judge Says Ghislaine Maxwell's Criminal Activity "Extensive" Judge Alison J Nathan said on Tuesday that Ghislaine Maxwell's criminal activity was "extensive," and that she's enhancing her sentence due to the fact that she was at least 10 years older than her victims, and exercised "undue influence" on them. That said, Nathan said that the calculation for sentencing will hinge on whether evidence showed criminal conduct after Nov. 1, 2004 - and that there isn't evidence to support the higher-recommended guidelines of 30 - 50 years. This means Maxwell will likely receive the more lenient guidelines calculation, which would result in less than 20 years in prison. *  *  * Jeffrey Epstein 'Madam' and partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, is set to be sentenced today after being found guilty of participating in a decade-long scheme to lure and groom underage girls for sexual exploitation by Epstein and his associates - at times participating in the abuse herself, according to Bloomberg. The 60-year-old former socialite, who was arrested two years ago at a New Hampshire hideaway, was convicted in December in what accusers have called long-overdue justice for Epstein's victims. Prosecutors have recommended 30 to 55 years behind bars - likely a life sentence, while Maxwell has asked for less than six years - arguing that she and her siblings were mentally and physically abused by their father, UK publishing tycoon and suspected Israeli spy, Robert Maxwell. She also argued that she shouldn't bear the brunt of the punishment for Epstein's crimes, since he's dead. Several victims who weren't part of Maxwell's trial will be allowed to speak during Tuesday's sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom in front of US Circuit Judge Alison Nathan. Maxwell will also be afforded the opportunity to speak, should she so choose. One of the victims expected to appear is Virginia Giuffre, who accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her. Giuffre and Andrew reached a settlement in a civil suit earlier this year, after she claimed Epstein "lent" her out for sexual abuse, a claim Andrew has denied. "She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims," argued prosecutor Maurene Comey in the government's sentencing memo. "She should be held accountable for her disturbing role in an extensive child exploitation scheme." According to former UBS AG banker Justin Paperny, who served 18 months for securities fraud, Maxwell's arguments for leniency will likely fall on deaf ears, especially with several accusers testifying on Tuesday. "The first thing judges want to know if you plead guilty is if you identify with your victims," he said, adding "In this case, Maxwell said ‘Yeah, there are victims but I didn’t create it. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just because I was friends with Epstein. If anything, I’m the victim,’” Paperny said. That attitude “doesn’t sit well with a sentencing judge when there are victims whose lives have been torn and ripped apart by her pedophile friend." Stay tuned for more... Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 12:21.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 28th, 2022

A US tourist in Malta was refused a life saving abortion. It is the "hellscape" that"s coming with the end of Roe v Wade, Planned Parenthood said.

A US citizen was refused a life-saving abortion while on vacation in Malta. The case is what will happen with Roe v Wade being reversed, say campaigners. Andrea Prudente (R), who is being refused a life-saving abortion, and her partner Jay WeeldreyerJay Weeldreyer A US woman was denied a life-saving abortion needed after her waters broke and her placenta detached at 16 weeks.  Malta is the only EU country that has a total ban on abortion. This case "shows us the hellscape that waits around the corner" in the USA, one expert said.  A US woman on vacation in Malta faced being killed by her pregnancy but was refused an abortion. One expert says it is an insight into the "hellscape" that could be created if the Supreme Court 0verturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Andrea Prudente, 38, and her partner Jay Weeldreyer were ecstatic that they were pregnant with their first child, a baby girl. To celebrate the last few months before parenthood, they went on a 'babymoon' to Malta.But disaster struck soon after the couple from Washington arrived on the Mediterranean island, they told Insider. Andrea's water broke, and her placenta started detaching at just 16 weeks. Her pregnancy was no longer viable.But the traumatic experience became life-threatening due to Malta's ban on abortion. She needed her uterus cleared by a D&C procedure to save her from potentially life-threatening infections, Weeldryer told Insider on the seventh day of their hospital stay.However, her fetus still had a heartbeat, and doctors at Malta's Mater Dei Hospital refused her the life-saving treatment as they viewed it as an abortion. They have not responded to Insider's request for comment. Malta is the only EU country that has a total abortion ban. Women who have them and doctors who help them can be sentenced to prison."What we have is we have a miscarriage. It's already like 80% complete, and these medical professionals have decided, instead of defining it as a miscarriage that threatens the mother's life, they've decided to call it an abortion," Weeldryer, an entrepreneur, told Insider. So the pair were confronted with an agonizing decision. Either leave the hospital against medical advice and board a commercial flight to nearby Spain or London and get an abortion — risking fully miscarrying and potentially hemorrhaging on a plane. Weeldreyer said, "maybe she gets in the hospital safely. Maybe she dies. That's not an option that I'm okay with."For days, the couple was told that air ambulances couldn't fly them out of the country as it was too "risky," but they eventually managed to fly out to Spain late on 23 June to receive the treatment they desperately needed.The couple has now confirmed to Insider that Prudente has received the life-saving treatment and is resting. View of Valleta, capital of Malta, June 18, 2022.REUTERS/Nacho DoceSpeaking to Insider from the hospital before they knew if they had an escape route, Weeldreyer said, "the worst part about it is, none of this is necessary, literally within 15 feet of where we currently sit are all of the skills necessary. Like there are world-class doctors here who can perform this procedure."And the truth of it is, due to the Maltese structure, the dark places that Andrea and I have found ourselves going to are just unreal. These things are extraordinary and have caused unimaginable suffering. It's entirely avoidable and stoppable at any moment," Weeldreyer said. "We're trapped and desperate," Prudente, a headshot photographer, told Insider from her hospital bed. "They're embracing the idea that it's perfectly fine for women to die"Abortion rights activists participate in a Bans Off Our Bodies rally at the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesPrudente and her partner's trauma came against the backdrop of the imminent Supreme Court ruling that could massively reduce abortion access for US women and reverse nearly 50 years of the constitutional right to choose established by the historic Roe v Wade.The Malta case "shows us the hellscape that waits around the corner" in the USA, said Schlachter. "It is just one indication of what will happen to women and families," said Beth Schlachter, the Director of Global Advocacy and US Representative at the International Planned Parenthood Foundation. "This loving couple, instead of having the time they need to heal and mourn the loss of this pregnancy together, are pitched into an unimaginable situation," Schlachter said.Schlachter told Insider they were "held hostage to the political and religious beliefs of another country." Schlachter highlighted the new abortion restrictions in Indiana as replicating the anguish of the case in Malta. "They're deliberately embracing the idea that it's perfectly fine for women to die as long as they preserve some idea of the sanctity of an unborn fetus. We're heading into that," she said."There's going to be complete and utter chaos in the United States, where the 50 different states have 50 different laws and regulations and approaches to abortion," Schlachter said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Shanghai Tech Expert And Fiancée Detained By CCP Over Allegedly Helping Develop Firewall Circumvention Tool

Shanghai Tech Expert And Fiancée Detained By CCP Over Allegedly Helping Develop Firewall Circumvention Tool Authored by Kelly Song via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), He Binggang, 46, is the owner of a computer and electronics firm in Shanghai. Since October last year, He and his fiancée, Zhang Yibo, a former business manager at Siemens Shanghai, have been detained for allegedly helping the Chinese public gain access to uncensored information by circumventing the communist regime’s internet firewall. Protesters march against China's censorship of the internet in Pasadena, Calif., in this file photo. (Jose Gil/Shutterstock) Their alleged crime, Article 300 of Chinese Criminal Law barring “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law” has been used excessively by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the adherents of a spiritual practice called Falun Gong. Both He and Zhang are Falun Gong practitioners. Shanghai Tech expert He Binggang and fiancée Zhang Yibo have been detained in Shanghai since October 2021 for helping Chinese people gain access to uncensored information by circumventing the regime’s internet firewall. (The Epoch Times) Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline including five meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings centered on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Its popularity peaked in the late 1990s in China, with estimates putting the number of practitioners at 70 million to 100 million. Perceiving this popularity to be a threat, the CCP launched a brutal campaign against Falun Gong in 1999. Since then, millions of adherents have been detained in jails, labor camps, and detention centers across the country, where they are subjected to torture, slave labor, indoctrination, and forced organ harvesting. Circumventing the Firewall The Epoch Times has confirmed with sources close to the case that the CCP police had been monitoring He and Zhang for some time. By sniffing internet traffic, they traced some packets to a firewall circumvention tool called oGate. The Chinese regime runs the world’s most sprawling and sophisticated online censorship and surveillance apparatus, known as the Great Firewall, blocking internet traffic in and out of China. Many Chinese inside the country thus use circumvention tools to bypass the CCP’s firewall to access uncensored information from the outside world, such as virtual private networks (VPNs). Over the years, Falun Gong practitioners have developed a suite of firewall circumvention tools, which are free to use. oGate is the latest such tool. It does not require the user to install any software. Because of its ease of use, oGate enables millions of page views per month. Held in Isolation At around 9 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2021, two dozen officers from Shanghai’s Changning District Police Station arrested He and ransacked his home, without an arrest warrant or search warrant. Neither did they provide the list of confiscated items, which included He’s personal computers and cell phone, according to a friend of Zhang’s. Zhang was also taken by police, and the couple have been held in Changning District Detention Center since then. Shanghai Changning District Detention Center where He Binggang and Zhang Yibo have been detained since October 2021. (The Epoch Times) During their first five months in detention, He and Zhang’s only way to communicate with the outside world—through their lawyers—was denied by Changning District Detention Center stating it was an order “from the above,” Zhang’s friend told The Epoch Times. In early March, the lawyers were finally allowed to talk to their clients over the phone, without video. He Binggang He Binggang displayed exceptional technical acumen since he was a teenager. His invention of a voice-activated system that helped blind people to use the computer won him a top prize at the age of 15. He passed the programmer’s certificate exam when he was 16, according to Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that serves as a clearinghouse for the persecution of Falun Gong in China. At 18, He was accepted, without having to do an exam, to the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai. Four years later, he was again accepted without an exam to graduate school at the university. The Shanghai-based Fudan University logo, on Dec. 18, 2019. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images) However, everything changed for He after the persecution of Falun Gong started. Fudan University forced him to drop out of graduate school in 2000 because he wouldn’t give up the spiritual practice. Since then, He has been arrested, detained, and tortured many times to the point he was almost paralyzed. But whenever he could, he tried to keep abreast of the developing internet technology and became a self-taught computer expert. In 2007, He opened a computer and electronics firm after a 6-year prison term. He once said, “I was very much into philosophy, searching for the purpose of life until I found my belief [Falun Gong]. I do business honestly, and I don’t fight with others for profit. My heart is at peace, and I made a lot of friends.” His business grew rapidly, although He and his company were under police surveillance. The CCP police would not tolerate He’s success in business and in April 2010 planted “illegal items” in his business, to use a pretext to raid his company and put him in detention, according to Zhang’s friend. While in detention, He was beaten so badly that he developed spinal compression. He suffered excruciating pain but received no medical care for nine months from July 2010 to March 2011. Zhang Yibo Zhang Yibo, 43, started practicing Falun Gong soon after the persecution started in 1999, Minghui reported. On June 4, 2009, Zhang and her mother Li Yaohua, also a practitioner, were taken from their home by police for distributing information on Falun Gong. Despite rescue efforts by Zhang’s older brother, who is in the United States, and her grandfather, who lives in Taiwan, Zhang and Li were both given prison terms. Zhang was sentenced to 18 months. This ended Zhang’s career as a business manager at Siemens Shanghai. The postcard from 2009 that Zhang Yibo’s older brother used to rescue Zhang Yibo and their mother Li Yaohua. They were sentenced to 18 months and 3.5 years respectively by a district court in Shanghai. (The Epoch Times) Zhang’s mother was given a three-and-a-half-year sentence. She became very ill in prison with sciatic nerve and cervical spine disease, and vomited when she ate. She also had high blood pressure and angina. In March 2010, she was sent to the hospital, but the prison refused to release her on medical parole. Li to this day has not recovered her health. Continued Persecution Now, He Binggang’s health has been deteriorating inside the detention center. He told his lawyer in March that he was suffering from continuous headaches, abnormal digestion, abnormal clotting, and urinary incontinence, the friend told The Epoch Times. At times, he could not move his limbs and could only lie in bed. The cases of Zhang and He were forwarded to the Changning District Court on March 15, 2022. Their wait for a court date has been three months and counting. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 00:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 23rd, 2022

A spokesman for Putin denied that detained WNBA star Brittney Griner is a "hostage" but wouldn"t say if she"ll be released

The basketball player was detained by Russian authorities in February after officials said they found hashish oil in her luggage. Brittney Griner.AP Photo/Eric Gay A Putin spokesman this week declined to say if WNBA star Brittney Griner will be released soon. She was detained in Russia earlier this year after officials said they found hashish oil in her bag. Dmitry Peskov told NBC News that Griner is not a "hostage" and said she's being prosecuted for violating Russian law.  A top spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin this week denied that detained WNBA star Brittney Griner is a "hostage," while declining to offer any update on the athlete's possible release.Dmitry Peskov in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Monday pushed back against the US State Department's posture that Griner is being held hostage in the country after Russian authorities detained the basketball player in February, saying they found hashish oil, which is a cannabis concentrate, in her luggage. The charge carries a possible maximum penalty of 10 years in prison in the country. Griner was traveling to Russia to play in the country's professional league amid the WNBA's offseason. When she arrived in Moscow, Russian authorities said they discovered vape cartridges with hashish oil in her bag.Since her arrest more than four months ago, Griner's detention has been further extended three separate times. Earlier this month, Russian state news outlet Tass reported that she's set to remain in jail until at least July 2.She was arrested on February 17, and shortly after, on February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, complicating diplomatic relations.One legal expert previously told Insider's Meredith Cash that he fears her hearing will "never happen," and predicted that Griner will either be "clandestinely found guilty" or exchanged in a prisoner swap.American authorities were quietly negotiating her release and safe return to the United States following her February arrest. But in May, the State Department moved her case to the agency's Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, reclassifying the situation as "wrongful" detention and ramping up their efforts to secure her release. The new designation also offers Griner's supporters the opportunity to speak more freely about her detention and openly campaign for her release. Peskov said Griner is being treated no differently than any of the "hundreds and hundreds of Russian citizens" that were sentenced for the same alleged crime. "She violated Russian law, and now she's being prosecuted," Peskov told NBC News. "It's not about being a hostage. There are lots of American citizens here. They're enjoying their freedoms … but you have to obey the laws."Neither Griner's team, nor the State Department immediately responded to Insider's request for comment. Last month, Tass reported that Griner might be exchanged for Viktor Bout, a Russian businessman who was convicted in the US for dealing arms. Peskov refused to confirm the report when NBC News inquired about the possible exchange. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

Troubled Peace Corps volunteer who became Capitol rioter sentenced to 90 days in prison

Thomas Baranyi, 30, from New Jersey was sentenced to 90 days in federal prison and one year of supervised release for his actions on January 6, 2021. US Capitol rioter Thomas Baranyi, then 28, speaks to a WUSA reporter on January 6, 2021.WUSA9/YouTube Thomas Baranyi was sentenced on Friday to 90 days in federal prison for his role in the Capitol riot. He pleaded guilty in February to a single charge of entering and remaining inside a restricted building. Insider previously reported that Baranyi had a troubled childhood and was once a Peace Corps volunteer. Thomas Baranyi, a former Peace Corps volunteer from New Jersey, was sentenced to 90 days in federal prison on Friday for his role in the Capitol riot, court records show.In addition to his prison sentence, Baranyi, 30, will have one year of supervised release, 60 hours of community service, and pay $500 in restitution.The sentence is lighter than some had hoped. Federal prosecutors had argued for four months in federal prison for his actions on January 6, 2021, local media outlet NJ.com reported.He pleaded guilty in February to a single charge of entering and remaining inside a restricted building, which typically carries a sentence of up to six months.Baranyi was arrested after the FBI identified him from a TV interview in which she spoke about storming the Capitol. He witnessed the death of Ashli Babbitt, the former Air Force veteran fatally shot while participating in the insurrection, and he spoke to the press with blood on his hand.After high school, Baranyi got into conspiracy theoriesRioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.Jose Luis MaganaThis reporter and Insider's Sophia Ankel previously reported on Baranyi's journey to becoming a Capitol rioter.Baranyi's teenage years were marked by his parents' messy divorce, custody battle, and financial security, Insider reported.His grandmother temporarily became his primary caregiver because she felt his parents' histories of alcohol addiction and domestic violence incidents made their homes unsafe for Baranyi, according to her witness statement.Baranyi later moved into a home with his mother and her partner, who, Insider reported, had previously been convicted of child endangerment for kissing an 8-year-old while undressed.Baranyi's father, Drake Baranyi, reignited a custody battle which led to his son living with him in a "crowded" apartment. The father continued to struggle with financial difficulties and addition, Insider reported.At school, his classmates told Insider that he was nerdy and quiet. But one friend, Patrick Marrazzo, described Baranyi as "confrontational" and "disillusioned with the government."After high school, Marrazzo said, Baranyi got into conspiracy theories.Baranyi was academic, making the dean's list for academic excellence at his community college and getting accepted onto a highly regarded teacher training course.Out of college, Baranyi joined the Peace Corps in Albania. A colleague described him as "very opinionated," and quick to anger.He later enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2020, but a spokesperson for the Marine Corps Training and Education Command confirmed to Insider that he left active duty before completing entry-level training.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 19th, 2022

Prominent anti-vax doctor sentenced to 2 months in prison for storming the Capitol claims she was targeted for her views

America's Frontline Doctors said Dr. Simone Gold was selectively prosecuted for her anti-vax views. The judge disagreed. Simone Gold is seen speaking inside the Capitol building during the January 6 riot.FBI Dr. Simone Gold was sentenced to two months in prison for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Gold is the founder of America's Frontline Doctors, a prominent anti-vax group. AFLD claimed she was targeted for her anti-vax beliefs. The judge disagreed. The founder of a prominent anti-vaccine group was sentenced to 60 days in prison for storming the Capitol, the Associated Press reported. Her organization said she was targeted for her views, a claim with which the judge disagreed.Gold is the founder of the Tea Party-backed anti-vaccine campaign group, America's Frontline Doctors, which is known for spreading coronavirus misinformation. As well as prison time, she was fined $9,500 for her role on January 6, 2021, during which she entered the Capitol and gave speeches, the AP reported. Federal agents identified Gold from press and social-media footage, in which she could be seen within a crowd that was attempting to push past officers, and holding a megaphone inside the Capitol, a criminal complaint said.Gold, circled right, is seen inside the Capitol building during the riot, according to a still of surveillance footage reviewed by federal investigators.FBIGold pleaded guilty to the charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds in March, the AP reported.She previously expressed regret for being in the Capitol, and told US District Judge Christopher Cooper at her sentencing that the riot was "destructive to our nation" and that her participation represented "the opposite" of who she is, the AP reported. In a statement released prior to the sentencing on Thursday, America's Frontline Doctors claimed Gold was targeted for her views."Like most January 6 defendants, [Gold] is a victim of selective prosecution," it said, calling Gold's arrest "inequitable treatment based upon political preference."Calling the situation "Orwellian," the group said that free-speech rights were being chipped away and that "a concerted effort has been undertaken to 'cancel' physicians who do not follow the mainstream narrative."It also alluded to a debunked far-right conspiracy theory that FBI agents and "assets" influenced the crowd at the Capitol riot, saying the House select committee investigating the riot had not said "how many" such agents and assets were there.  The committee dismissed this theory in January, as CNBC reported. But the judge made it clear that Gold's anti-vax beliefs were not a factor in the sentencing, the AP reported.Nor, he said, were politics. "Your organization is leaving people with the misimpression that this is a political prosecution or that it's about free speech," Cooper said during his sentencing, per CNN.America's Frontline Doctors also said in its statement that Gold had traveled to Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, to speak at a "health freedom" rally when she got "swept into" the Capitol. Once inside, she decided to give her rally speeches there but left when asked, the statement said.But prosecutors noted in their complaint that press footage showed Gold and her companion, John Strand, in a crowd that was pushing past officers to get in, including one who was pushed to the ground near their feet. Gold was not a "casual bystander," Cooper said, according to the AP.Cooper also said it was "unseemly" that America's Frontline Doctors had raised more than $400,000 for Gold's legal defense by calling the trial politically motivated, the AP reported.As of Monday, 309 rioters, including Gold, had pleaded guilty for their role in the Capitol insurrection so far.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 17th, 2022

Jailed Putin critic Alexey Navalny"s allies don"t know where he is after Russia abruptly moved him

As long as Navalny's whereabouts are unknown, the Kremlin critic "remains one-on-one with the system that has already tried to kill him." Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny is seen on the screen during a hearing at the Petushki District Court on January 17, 2022..Anna UstinovabackslashTASS via Getty Images Alexey Navalny's allies aren't sure where he is, and are concerned for his safety. The Putin critic was abruptly moved from the prison where he was serving time. Navalny's lawyer said he was moved to a maximum security prison, but it's not clear which one. Allies of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny don't know where he is after Russian authorities moved him from the penal colony where he was serving time. "Navalny was transported away from the penal colony No. 2. His lawyer, who came to see him, was kept at the checkpoint until 14.00, and was then told: 'There is no such convict here.' We do not know where Alexei is now and what colony they are taking him to," Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokesperson, said via Twitter on Tuesday.Yarmysh said that Navalny's attorneys and his relatives were not informed about his transfer in advance. She went on to say that there were "rumors" Navalny was to be transferred to the high-security penal colony IK-6 in Melekhovo, but added it's "impossible to know when (and if) he will actually arrive there."The primary concern with Navalny's transfer to another prison is not just that "the high-security colony is much scarier," Yarmysh said, but that as long as his whereabouts are unknown then the Kremlin critic "remains one-on-one with the system that has already tried to kill him."Olga Mikhailova, Navalny's attorney, told CNN that he was transferred to a maximum-security prison "but we don't know which one.""Where he is exactly, is unknown to us," Mikhailova added.Russia's state news agency TASS reported Navalny is being moved to Melekhovo, east of Moscow, according to CNN.—Mike Valerio (@ValerioCNN) June 14, 2022 Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent Russian critic and has worked to expose corruption in Russia, was poisoned in the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok while in Siberia in August 2020. The poisoning, which nearly killed Navalny, was widely blamed on Putin. A number of the Russian leader's critics and opponents have died in suspicious or violent ways. Putin has denied any involvement in Navalny's poisoning.After he was poisoned, Navalny received treatment in Germany for several months. Upon returning to Russia in early 2021, he was promptly arrested and charged with violating the terms of his parole over a 2014 embezzlement conviction — including while he was being treated abroad post-poisoning. Rights groups have decried the charges against Navalny as politically motivated. His imprisonment prompted mass protests in Russia.  Navalny was initially sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but recently had nine years added to his sentence. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 14th, 2022