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Designer Kate Spade found dead in her apartment in apparent suicide: police

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Fashion designer Kate Spade, 55, was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide, police said.

Spade hanged herself and was found by her housekeeper at her home on Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed police officials.

Spade was a co-founder of the designer label Kate Spade New York, which she later sold.

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Spade was a former accessories editor at the now-closed Mademoiselle magazine before launching her design company, Kate Spade New York, in 1993. It began by selling handbags before expanding to include clothing, jewelry, bedding, legwear and fragrances.
Tapestry Inc, the handbag company formerly known as Coach, bought Kate Spade in May 2017 to tap millennials, who are drawn to the company’s quirky satchels and colorful tote bags.

The deal also turned Coach into a multibrand fashion house, a strategy that European counterparts such as Louis Vuitton have built their businesses on.

Kate Spade New York has over 140 retail stores across the United States and more than 175 shops internationally, according to the company’s website.

The New York Police Department confirmed the designer’s death under her birth name, Katherine Noel Brosnahan.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Peter Szekely and Gina Cherelus; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt's release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.

Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo's Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.

A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.

"We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation," Pompeo told a news conference.

"But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there," he said.

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