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MIT professor quits in protest over lab links to Epstein

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The head of a research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has said he will quit in protest after the revelation of financial ties between the institution and disgraced hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein.

Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab, said he would leave at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year after finding out that lab director Joi Ito took money from Epstein, who committed suicide in prison on August 10 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

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“My logic was simple: the work my group does focuses on social justice and on the inclusion of marginalized individuals and points of view,” Zuckerman wrote in a message posted on the Medium forum Tuesday and added to Wednesday.

“It’s hard to do that work with a straight face in a place that violated its own values so clearly in working with Epstein and in disguising that relationship.”

Zuckerman said he had apologized to the three recipients of the Media Lab’s 2018 “Disobedience Prize” who were recognized for their fight against sexual harassment in the science world.

“For me, the deep involvement of Epstein in the life of the Media Lab is something that makes my work impossible to carry forward there,” Zuckerman said.

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Earlier this month, Ito apologized in an open letter for his links with Epstein, who was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex.

Ito said he met the businessman in 2013, five years after Epstein’s first conviction in Florida for paying young girls for sexual massages.

He admitted to visiting residences owned by the multimillionaire and having accepted financial assistance for the Media Lab and for his own investment fund.

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While taking “full responsibility for my error in judgment,” Ito said “that in all of my interactions with Epstein, I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of.”

Other scientists, including Harvard genetics professor George Church, have apologized for having contacts with Epstein.

The hedge fund manager had portrayed himself as a “science philanthropist” and was friendly with several renowned scientists.

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According to recently released court documents quoted by US media, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, said as a teenager she was forced to have sex at one of Epstein’s residences with Marvin Minsky, a co-founder of the MIT Media Lab who died in early 2016.


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‘Time for a new special counsel’: Ex-DOJ inspector general calls for formal probe of Trump-Ukraine calls

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A veteran law enforcement official called for a new special counsel investigation of President Donald Trump's communications with the Ukrainian president.

An intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, and speculation has begun to focus the report concerns Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid -- and former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich called for a formal probe.

"Time for a new Special Counsel," Bromwich tweeted.

Bromwich -- inspector general for the Department of Justice from 1994-1999, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra -- was responding to a summation of the allegations against Trump.

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Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor dies at 106

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The oldest Austrian Holocaust survivor, who lived through four concentration camps, has died at the age of 106, Vienna's Jewish Community organization (IKG) said Friday.

Marko Feingold, who survived Auschwitz, in Nazi-occupied Poland and three German concentration camps, died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday after a lung infection, Austrian news agency APA reported.

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had remained active in speaking out against the Holocaust, taking part in numerous conferences and events for schoolchildren.

"I must have spoken to around half a million people all in all," he told AFP in a 2018 interview, adding he swore to himself in Auschwitz that he would tell his story.

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Defiant Trump tells reporters ‘it doesn’t matter what I discussed’ with Ukrainian PM — then smears Joe Biden

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A defiant President Donald Trump said on Friday that whatever he told Ukraine's prime minister about seeking dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't important.

As reported by CNN's Jim Acosta, the president told reporters in the Oval Office that "it doesn’t matter what I discussed" recently with Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, and then pivoted to attacking Biden.

"Someone ought to look into Joe Biden," the president said.

In Oval, Trump tells reporters when asked about Ukraine and whistleblower “it doesn’t matter what i discussed” and adds “someone ought to look into Joe Biden” (per WH pool).

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