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Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein is arrested on sex trafficking charges; Greece elects a center-right party to rule the country, rejecting populism.


Epstein arrested

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  • Jeffrey Epstein, the well-connected billionaire financier, was arrested Saturday night for sex trafficking and abusing dozens of underaged girls. [Vox / Anya van Wagtendonk]
  • According to the indictment, Epstein would call underage girls, some as young as 14, to his mansion in New York and Florida for a “massage” — though he would actually molest the girls in exchange for cash. He would even ask the girls to recruit some of their friends. [New York magazine / Chas Danner and Matt Stieb]
  • When law enforcement searched Epstein’s property the night of his arrest, they also found a vast collection of nude photographs, many of which appeared to be of underage girls. [Daily Beast / Tracy Connor]
  • Epstein could face up to 45 years in prison. New York prosecutors are asking to hold him without bail because of his access to private jets. [NYT / Ali Watkins]
  • This isn’t the first time Epstein has been accused of similar crimes. In 2005, a woman told Miami law enforcement that Epstein had molested her stepdaughter, and police soon found more than 36 potential victims. [BBC]
  • The case, however, was abruptly closed in 2008 due to a secret plea deal with federal prosecutors, which only required Epstein to plead guilty to prostitution charges and spend a year in jail (where he could leave six days a week for work). The deal was overseen by Alexander Acosta, former US attorney in the Southern District of Florida and current labor secretary. [Miami Herald / Julie K. Brown]
  • All of this is just now happening because of the Miami Herald’s investigative report that scrutinized the deal and Acosta’s relationship to it. Not only has it led to a Justice Department inquiry into the plea deal, but it’s also prompted New York prosecutors to pursue their own case, which resulted in Epstein’s arrest on Saturday. [CNN / Erica Orden and Eric Levenson]
  • In the age of #MeToo, Epstein had remained largely untouched despite years of sexual assault accusations, offering a master class in the effect of wealth and power on the justice system. This could finally be a moment of reckoning for the billionaire. [Vox / Jane Coaston and Anna North]

Greece steers clear of populism

  • Greece’s center-right New Democracy party has won the elections, suggesting that populism has lost favor in the country, which is still recovering from a massive debt crisis eight years ago. [Guardian / Helena Smith]
  • Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as the new prime minister on Monday, replacing leftist Alexis Tsipras. Tsipras had appealed to voters on a populist platform but struggled to live up to his promises once in office, agreeing to another austerity-tied EU bailout. [AP / Elena Becatoros and Derek Gatopoulos]
  • Greece has been through a lot over the past eight years: three bailouts, high unemployment rates, high taxes, plummeting salaries, and a bad reputation among European Union countries. It’s on the road to recovery — though progress is slow. [CNN / Elinda Labropoulou]
  • Mitsotakis is more centrist than much of his party, which had led to intense opposition from traditionalists when he first became the party’s leader three and a half years ago. They’ve come to realize, however, that voters appreciate his positions, which has been reflected in his new cabinet including both hard-right and liberal politicians. [NYT / Matina Stevis-Gridneff]
  • New Democracy is especially popular among young adults, a demographic with an unemployment rate of more than 30 percent. The party has promised to jump-start the economy, a tall order, by lowering taxes and privatizing services in the country. [BBC]
  • The results again show extremist populist parties are not universally rising in Europe. The extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, which was founded by neo-Nazi supporters, failed to collect enough votes to be represented in parliament. [Forbes / Stephen Pope]

Miscellaneous

  • Hong Kong protesters have been having a hard time spreading their message to mainland China due to government censorship. Their solution: AirDrop flyers to Chinese tourists. [Quartz / Mary Hui]
  • A wildlife hospital rescued a bird that resembled a phoenix due to its bright orange feathers. Turns out it was just doused in curry. [Washington Post / Alex Horton]
  • The UNESCO World Heritage List includes masterpieces like Machu Picchu, the Pyramids of Giza, and the Statue of Liberty. Eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, including the Guggenheim Museum, have now been added to the list as well. [NPR / Josh Axelrod]
  • The US women’s national team, which has sued the US Soccer Federation over pay disparity with the US men’s team, won the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday. Following their victory, fans in the stadium began chanting “equal pay.” [The Hill / Justin Wise]
  • The White House is holding a social media summit. Facebook and Twitter aren’t invited. [CNN / Oliver Darcy]

Verbatim

“The defendant, a registered sex offender, is not reformed, he is not chastened, he is not repentant; rather, he is a continuing danger to the community and an individual who faces devastating evidence supporting deeply serious charges.” [Prosecutor’s memo requesting Jeffrey Epstein be jailed until trial]


Watch this: How the Stranger Things opening credits were made

The Netflix hit went old-school for its opening credits. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin]


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