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Four guards at NYC’s Rikers jail convicted in beating, coverup

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Four guards at New York City’s troubled Rikers Island jail complex were convicted at trial in connection with the beating of an inmate and a subsequent cover-up effort, authorities said on Thursday.

Christopher Huggins, 34, and Michael Dorsainvil, 36, were convicted of assault and filing false records, while Ronald Donnelley, 63, and Mark Anglin, 38, were found guilty of filing false records following a two-week trial.

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The convictions are the latest in a string of prosecutions by local authorities of Rikers employees, part of a wide-ranging effort to combat pervasive violence and abuse at the jail complex.

With approximately 8,000 inmates at 10 separate facilities, Rikers is one of the world’s largest correctional complexes.

The city’s Department of Investigation (DOI), which looks into corrupt employees, and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark have made prosecuting crimes at Rikers a priority.

“These verdicts send a strong message to the city’s correction officers: engage in brutal behavior, lie to cover it up, and you will be punished,” said Mark Peters, the DOI commissioner.

Huggins and Donnelley were found guilty on Thursday by Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gross, while Dorsainvil and Anglin were found guilty by a jury on Wednesday.

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City officials, meanwhile, have announced a series of reforms, prompted in part by a settlement between the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the city over Rikers violence.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Chris Reese)


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As much of US marks a muted Independence Day, Trump encourages big parties

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While public health officials are urging Americans to avoid large crowds and hold more muted July 4 celebrations amid a spike of coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump is going big for what he is promising will be a “special evening” in the nation's capital.

Trump is set hold his “Salute for America” celebration Saturday with a speech from the White House South Lawn that he says will celebrate American heritage, a military flyover over Washington, and an enormous fireworks display that is expected to draw thousands to the National Mall.

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COVID-19 close to overwhelming Houston’s vast healthcare complex

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Despite its claim to host the world's largest concentration of hospitals and research labs, the city of Houston is dangerously close to being overwhelmed by the explosion of coronavirus cases sweeping across Texas.

Since the Memorial Day weekend in late May and major anti-racism protests in June, "it is an unbelievable trajectory," as if the flood gates had opened, said Faisal Masud, director of critical care at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Masud has been on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 since it reached Houston.

"This has been relentless for us," he told AFP. "We didn't get a break."

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Paris’s Louvre reopens on Monday after lockdown losses of ‘over €40 million’

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The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.

The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led "to losses of over 40 million euros," its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.

Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.

"We have lost 80 percent of our public. Seventy-five percent of our visitors were foreigners," Martinez said.

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