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12 August 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 4:29pm

Five things you need to know today: Epstein death sparks conspiracy theories

By New Statesman

FBI investigates Epstein death as conspiracy theories abound

The death of financier Jeffrey Epstein in prison while awaiting trial for sex trafficking has led to a wave of conspiracy theories, with public figures on both sides of US politics suggesting foul play linked to Epstein’s associations with powerful individuals including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. US Attorney General William Barr has announced an FBI investigation into what he called an “apparent suicide”.

One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Jennifer Araoz, said she was angry that Epstein “won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served.”

MPs running out of options to block a no deal Brexit

MPs will need to adopt new tactics to have any hope of stopping the UK crashing out of the EU if it fails to secure a new withdrawal agreement in time, according to a new report. The Institute for Government said a no-deal Brexit looks increasingly likely given how few options to force alternative measures were still open to MPs in the time available. 

Hundreds deported from UK in restraints

Shackles and other restraints are being used on hundreds of people deported from the UK, according to the Guardian. Despite Home Office policy indicting a presumption against restraints, 447 people were put in shackles, handcuffs or other restraints between April 2018 and March 2019. In 335 more than one form of restraint was used, and in 102 cases three forms were used. A Home Office spokesperson said: “We keep the use of restraint during escorted removals under review and we look at all removals where force is used to ensure that techniques are used proportionally, that they are justified, and are used for the minimum period required.”

Hong Kong protests enter 10th week

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters in Hong Kong as unrest in the territory continued over the weekend. Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown by demonstrators at police in Wan Chai district who responded with baton charges. Meanwhile, a peaceful sit-in in Hong Kong’s airport entered its third day. The calls from protesters for the withdrawal of a bill allowing extradition to China have developed into broader demands including the resignation of the territory’s chief executive Carrie Lam and investigations into police brutality during the unrest. 

Restrictions eased in Kashmir ahead of Eid

India has relaxed a 24-hour curfew and restrictions including bans on using ATMs in Kashmir ahead of the Eid Festival. However, communications remained down following the announcement  last week by Narendra Modi’s government that it intended to end Kashmir’s autonomous status. 

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