Wealth manager and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent death by suicide in a Manhattan jail has sparked immediate questions, given earlier reporting that he was on suicide watch.
As MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos explained to Joy Reid, one possible explanation is that he had been taken off suicide watch more recently.
“There was a previous incident that was said to potentially have been an attempted suicide, so was he on suicide watch?” asked Reid.
“I’m hearing that he may have been on suicide watch and taken off suicide watch, but there still are a lot of questions about what that earlier incident was, whether or not officials or medical providers saw it just as maybe a cry for help and not a serious suicide threat,” said Cevallos. “If you look at the Bureau of Prisons’ policies on suicide prevention, they take any reference to suicide, any expression of suicidal intent very seriously, and you’re supposed to refer everything to the psychology department immediately. There are going to be questions about where he was housed.”
“Is this a maximum security facility he was in?” said Reid. “He’s accused of serious crimes. It seems odd just to the casual viewer, right, that the person not only who was accused of serious crimes over many many many years, had been convicted of being a sex offender before but also knew powerful people. The stories that are coming out from unsealed documents that we saw this week show that he had associations with and was facilitating children for sex to other powerful people. Somebody with that much information, with that much to offer potentially to prosecutors, how was he just left on his own? I think that’s what a lot of people are going to ask. How was he on his own not being watched 24/7?”
“He was a pretrial detainee,” said Cevallos. “This is not like he would be someone who is housed at a supermax facility such as the one in Colorado. He has not yet been convicted. So it’s a slightly different classification, a way of looking at things. He’s at MCC, Metropolitan Correctional Center.”
“And the statistics show far and away, more likely to commit suicide are pretrial detainees and within the first few days or weeks of their detention,” added Cevallos. “And that’s exactly where Jeffrey Epstein was. It’s only been a couple of weeks, if that, since he was held without bail. Since he had his bail hearing and bail was denied, but far and away, detainees, people awaiting their trial, and particularly people charged and convicted of sex offenses are at high risk of suicide, more than prisoners who have been convicted and serving their sentence, at supermax or minimum security.”
Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China
Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.
Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.
Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs
President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.
At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.
But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.
"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.
Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan
Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.
Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.
It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.
"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.