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New documents shed light on the death of Jeffrey Epstein: June 2 rundown

Jun 2


The Senate passed the debt ceiling bill, avoiding the first-ever national default. The legislation now heads to President Joe Biden for his signature. And more than 4,000 pages of newly released documents shed new light on the final days of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. These stories and more highlight the rundown for Friday, June 2, 2023.

Senate passes debt ceiling bill, Biden expected to sign shortly

Late Thursday, June 1, the Senate successfully passed a House-approved bill to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a national default. President Joe Biden is expected to promptly sign the measure into law and has plans to address the nation Friday evening regarding the bill’s implications. The Senate’s vote occurred earlier than anticipated, following a marathon session where senators voted on 11 amendments to the bill, all of which failed.

With a vote of 63-36, there was sufficient support to send the bill unchanged to the president’s desk. Notably, 31 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and one independent opposed the bill.

In addition to raising the debt ceiling, the bill will also impose additional requirements for food stamps recipients and cut back funding from the Internal Revenue Service, as well as recoup unspent COVID-19 relief funds.

U.S. to restrict information sharing with Russia after treaty suspension

In a move responding to Russia’s decision earlier this year to suspend its participation in the New START Treaty, the United States has announced that it will cease sharing certain sensitive information with Russia, which would typically be accessible under the nuclear arms control agreement. The New START Treaty has long been regarded as a crucial pillar of U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control, and this latest decision represents a significant response to Moscow’s abandonment of the agreement.

According to the U.S. State Department, Russia will no longer have access to information regarding the status and locations of US nuclear missiles and launchers. However, the U.S. will continue to provide notifications to Russia regarding any missile launches.

Russia responded to the decision, referring to it as a “hostile decision” by the U.S. The New START Treaty, which came into effect in 2011, limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons that the U.S. and Russia can possess. The agreement also includes provisions for monitoring and verification to ensure compliance.

Regulators warn of risks for users if payment apps hit financial troubles

Government regulators have issued a cautionary statement to users of payment services like CashApp or Venmo, highlighting the potential risk that funds stored within these apps could be in jeopardy if the platform were to fail. Recent sudden failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank have prompted concerns about the safety of funds held in payment apps.

Unlike traditional bank accounts, which are often insured by the federal government, payment apps lack the same level of protection. This disparity has raised concerns among financial watchdogs who are urging the tens of millions of users to consider transferring any funds stored on payment apps to insured banks or credit unions.

Last year, consumers conducted nearly $900 billion worth of transactions using payment app services, which have gained popularity as a convenient method for transferring money. Roughly 85% of consumers aged 18 to 29 have used these apps. However, the recent failures of prominent banks have highlighted the potential risks associated with keeping funds exclusively within these platforms.

“When users of these digital apps receive payments, the funds are not usually swept automatically to the recipient’s linked bank or credit union account,” the CFPB said. “Instead, companies hold and invest the funds. These activities are not typically subjected to the same oversight that an insured bank or credit union faces.”

New documents shed light on Jeffrey Epstein’s behavior before his death

The Associated Press has obtained more than 4,000 pages of documents related to the death of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell four years ago. Since his apparent suicide, lingering questions and conspiracy theories have surrounded the circumstances of his demise.

The newly obtained documents provide detailed insights into Epstein’s behavior in the month leading up to his death. It was revealed that Epstein had been under psychological observation following a previous suicide attempt just days before his death. Despite this, he consistently denied being suicidal, claiming to have had a fulfilling life that he would not want to end.

Prison officials described Epstein as agitated and unable to sleep, struggling to adjust from a life of luxury to the confines of his jail cell. The night before his death, Epstein informed his lawyers that he was making a phone call to his deceased mother, who had passed away 15 years prior.

These new documents not only shed light on Epstein’s behavior but also reveal shortcomings within the prison system, including severe understaffing and instances of employees cutting corners and providing false information about the events surrounding Epstein’s death.

Among the revelations from the documents is news that Epstein had attempted to establish contact with high-profile pedophile Larry Nassar, the US gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing scores of athletes, while in jail, sending Nassar a letter. The contents of the correspondence remain undisclosed. Epstein spent only 36 days in jail before his death on August 10th, 2019.

Fort Bragg renamed Fort Liberty in military site renaming initiative

The U.S. Army’s Fort Bragg, located in North Carolina, will be renamed Fort Liberty today, in an effort to distance itself from its association with a Confederate soldier.

The base was originally named in 1918 for Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general from Warrenton, North Carolina, who was known for owning slaves and losing key Civil War battles

The decision to change the name of Fort Bragg is part of a broader effort by the Department of Defense to rename military installations across the country. According to a commission report, the estimated cost to change the name of Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty exceeds $6 million. This figure includes expenses related to administrative adjustments, signage updates, and other associated costs.

Dev Shah crowned champion of 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee

A 14-year-old contestant has emerged as the champion of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee, securing a cash prize of over $50,000. Dev Shah, hailing from the Tampa Bay region in Florida, triumphed over 10 other finalists after an impressive performance that spanned 15 rounds.

This year’s spelling bee marked Shah’s third appearance on the national stage, becoming the 95th winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee with this victory. He was among 11 contestants, aged 11 to 14, who advanced to the finals of this year’s event after beating out a field of 220 other competitors.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is widely regarded as America’s largest and longest-running educational program. It showcases the linguistic talents and intellectual abilities of young students from across the nation.

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