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Jeffrey Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell guilty in sex crimes trial

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Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted Wednesday for helping late sex criminal and financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse underage girls.

Maxwell, who turned 60 years old on Christmas Day, faced six criminal counts at her trial. A jury of six men and six women deliberated for five days before finding her guilty of five of the six counts, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

She was not found guilty of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

She faces decades in prison when sentenced.

As the judge read the jury’s verdict in Manhattan federal court, Maxwell did not appear to have any reaction behind a black face mask. She glanced at her siblings, who attended each day of her trial, before she was escorted out of the courtroom.

“The road to justice has been far too long.  But, today, justice has been done.  I want to commend the bravery of the girls – now grown women – who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom,” wrote Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement following the verdict.

“Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today’s result, possible,” he added.

Maxwell faces a second trial on perjury charges for allegedly lying under oath in a lawsuit filed by an accuser of Epstein.

The British socialite was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020, a year after Epstein himself was arrested on child sex trafficking charges.

She is the first person charged in connection with Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls other than him.

The accusers in the case were teenagers when they were allegedly abused by Epstein at his properties in the United States and London.

Most of the conduct that formed the basis of the charges occurred in the 1990s.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.

Joe Schildhorn | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

During the trial, prosecutors called 24 witnesses to give jurors a view of life inside Epstein’s various homes that were organized by Maxwell, his longtime companion.

Maxwell, who has been held in jail without bail since her arrest, declined to testify in her own defense, telling Judge Alison Nathan, “The government has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there’s no reason for me to testify.”

Her lawyers argued that she was being used as a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s crimes.

Jury deliberations began late in the day on Dec. 20, after a prosecutor and Maxwell’s lawyer gave closing arguments, and after the judge instructed jurors on the law to be applied in the case.

“She manipulated her victims and groomed them,” assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe told jurors in her closing argument.

“She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. It is time to hold her accountable,” Moe said.

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Epstein died at age 66 in August 2019 while awaiting trial in a federal jail in Manhattan. Authorities ruled it was a suicide by hanging.

Maxwell and Epstein for years had socialized with well-known and wealthy people, including former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Prince Andrew of Britain.

Epstein kept a much lower public profile after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to state criminal charges in Florida, which included one related to paying an underage girl for sexual services.

He served 13 months in jail for that case but spent much of that time on work release.

In 2020, an internal Justice Department investigation found that a top federal prosecutor “exercised poor judgment” in cutting a deal with Epstein in 2007 to get him to plead guilty in the state case to avoid facing federal criminal charges related to his sexual misconduct. But the report also concluded that federal prosecutors had not broken the law or engaged in professional misconduct in the deal.

The report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility also found that the former top federal prosecutor in Miami, Alexander Acosta, closed the federal investigation into Epstein at that time “before significant investigative steps were completed.”

Acosta resigned as Trump’s first Labor secretary in 2019 on the heels of Epstein’s arrest on federal child sex trafficking charges after outrage over the prior no-prosecution deal he cut with Epstein.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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Teladoc Tumbled 38% After Big First-Quarter Loss. Is It Just a Pandemic Play?

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After pandemic drop, Canada’s detention of immigrants rises again By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Two closed Canadian border checkpoints are seen after it was announced that the border would close to “non-essential traffic” to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at the Thousand Isla

By Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada is locking up more people in immigration detention without charge after the numbers fell during the pandemic, government data obtained by Reuters shows.

Authorities cite an overall rise in foreign travelers amid easing restrictions but lawyers say their detained clients came to Canada years ago.

Canada held 206 people in immigration detention as of March 1, 2022 – a 28% increase compared with March 1 of the previous year. Immigration detainees have not been charged with crimes in Canada and 68% of detainees as of March 1 were locked up because Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) fears they are “unlikely to appear” at an immigration hearing, according to the data.

The rise puts Canada at odds with Amnesty International and other human rights groups that have urged Ottawa to end its use of indefinite immigration detention, noting CBSA has used factors such as a person’s mental illness as reason to detain them.

A CBSA spokesperson told Reuters that “when the number of entries (to Canada) goes up, an increase in detention is to be expected.” CBSA has said in the past it uses detention as a last resort.

A lawyer told Reuters her detained clients have been in Canada for years.

In the United Kingdom, too, immigration detention levels rose last year after dropping earlier in the pandemic, according to government statistics. Unlike Canada, the United States and Australia, European Union member states have limits on immigration detention and those limits cannot exceed six months.

The rise in detentions puts people at risk of contracting COVID-19 in harsh congregate settings, refugee lawyers say.

Julia Sande, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty, called the increase in detentions “disappointing but not surprising,” although she was reluctant to draw conclusions from limited data.

The number of immigration detainees in Canada dropped early in the pandemic, from a daily average of 301 in the fourth quarter (January through March) of 2019-20 to 126 in the first quarter (April through June) of 2020-21.

FEW NO-SHOWS AS DETENTIONS DROPPED

Detaining fewer people did not result in a significant increase in no-shows at immigration hearings – the most common reason for detention, according to Immigration and Refugee Board data.

The average number of no-shows as a percentage of admissibility hearings was about 5.5% in 2021, according to that data, compared to about 5.9% in 2019.

No-shows rose as high as 16% in October 2020, but a spokesperson for the Immigration and Refugee Board said this was due to people not receiving notifications when their hearings resumed after a pause in the pandemic.

Refugee lawyer Andrew Brouwer said the decline in detention earlier in the pandemic shows Canada does not need to lock up as many non-citizens.

“We didn’t see a bunch of no-shows. We didn’t see the sky fall … It for sure shows that the system can operate without throwing people in jail,” Brouwer said.

He added that detainees face harsh pandemic conditions in provincial jails – including extended lockdowns, sometimes with three people in a cell for 23 hours a day.

Refugee lawyer Swathi Sekhar said CBSA officials and the Immigration and Refugee Board members reviewing detentions took the risk of COVID-19 into account when deciding whether someone should be detained earlier in the pandemic but are doing so less now.

“Their position is that COVID is not a factor that should weigh in favor of release,” she said.

“We also see very, very perverse findings … [decision-makers] outright saying that individuals are going to be safer in jail.”

The Immigration and Refugee Board did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Nasdaq futures rise as market attempts comeback from April sell-off, Meta shares soar

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Stock futures rose in overnight trading as the market shook off the April sell-off and investors reacted positively to earnings from Meta Platforms.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70 points or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.7% and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1.2%.

The moves came as shares of Meta surged more than 18% after hours following a beat on earnings but a miss on revenue, a sign that investors may see signs of relief in the beaten-up tech sector. Shares were down 48% on the year heading into the results.

Meanwhile, shares of Qualcomm gained 5.6% in extended trading on the back of strong earnings while PayPal rose 5% despite issuing weak guidance for the second quarter.

“I think a lot of people want to believe that earnings are going to pull us out of this, but earnings are not what got us into this,” SoFi’s Liz Young told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Wednesday. “… But the reality is there are so many macro headwinds still in front of us in the next 60 days that the market is just hard to impress.”

The after-hour activity followed a volatile regular trading session that saw the Nasdaq Composite stoop to its lowest level in 2022, as stocks looked to bounce back from a tech-led April sell-off. The index is down more than 12% since the start of April.

In Wednesday’s regular trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended at 12,488.93, after rising to 1.7% at session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points, or 0.2%, to 33,301.93 propped up by gains from Visa and Microsoft, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 4,183.96.

Investors await big tech earnings on Thursday from Apple, Amazon and Twitter, along with results from Robinhood. Jobless claims are also due out Thursday.

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