Six In The Morning Sunday 11 August 2019


Jeffrey Epstein: Questions raised over disgraced financer’s death

Questions have been raised as to how US financier Jeffrey Epstein was able to apparently commit suicide in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

His body was discovered early on Saturday at a facility in New York.

Last month Epstein was found semi-conscious in his cell after an apparent suicide attempt.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a full investigation, calling it “way too convenient”.

“What a lot of us want to know is, what did he know?” said Mr de Blasio, who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination, told reporters in Iowa.

“How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?

Protests, clashes and lack of trust: the new normal for Hong Kong

One of the world’s busiest cities has grown unusually quiet as more and more people stay at home

It was the third night in a row that Biyanca Chu’s neighbourhood, Wong Tai Sin, a working-class residential district in Hong Kong, had been taken over by police and protesters. The ground was littered with plastic bottles, broken umbrellas and teargas canisters as the two sides faced off.

Chu, 22, slight in an all-black outfit, climbed over a road barrier, took off her baseball cap and slipped a gas mask on. “Are you ready to go to the frontline?” she asked her companions and they disappeared. Within half an hour, the police began firing rounds of teargas and rubber bullets, charging and making arrests, until the group dispersed.

Later Chu reappeared, wearing a patterned tank top and jeans, a disguise to look like an ordinary university student out for a stroll. She scanned her phone for news of the next protest and set off.

American carnage: Was Red Dawn the most right-wing blockbuster ever?

As ‘Red Dawn’ turns 35, Ed Power looks back on the violent Eighties action film that was referenced in the latest season of ‘Stranger Things’

Eighties movies tend to feel sillier with the passing of time. But that tell-tale aura of retrospective cheesiness is absent from John Milius’s 1984 blood and soil epic Red Dawn

Milius’s extended shoot-out, in which tall-haired teenagers from the heartland resist a Soviet, Cuban and Nicaraguan invasion, feels unsettlingly contemporary. It unfolds like a wham-bam fever dream stitched from random fragments of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration speech. Behold American Carnage: the Motion Picture. 

The Syrian PatientAssad Henchman Treated Abroad Despite Arrest Warrant

Jamil Hassan is one of the Assad regime’s most brutal henchmen. But despite an international warrant for his arrest, he was able to travel to Beirut for treatment of his ailing heart. Why wasn’t he taken into custody?

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Once, it looked as though an attempt, at least, would be made to bring to justice one of Syria’s most important commanders, a man suspected of committing tens of thousands of murders against his own people. In June 2018, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice issued an arrest warrant for Jamil Hassan, the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence.

The word “intelligence” is perhaps misleading when it comes to what Hassan’s agency actually does. In its prisons, agents torture, rape, starve and murder prisoners. In November, France also issued an arrest warrant against Hassan.

A hermit nation ruled by an egomaniac: Is Turkmenistan on the brink of collapse?

Updated 0417 GMT (1217 HKT) August 11, 2019

Men in white fur caps proudly ride horses across the steppe, rows of modern machinery glisten, Barbie-pink flamingos strut before clear blue skies and a white yacht cuts through the turquoise waters of the Caspian Sea.

These are idyllic scenes from a one-minute video promoting the inaugural Caspian Economic Forum, which between August 11 and 12 will see heads of state from Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan descend on Awaza, a new resort town that has been touted by Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry as the country’s Las Vegas.
The footage paints the picture of a happy, prosperous nation.


The Unraveling of the Conspiracy Case Against No More Deaths Volunteer Scott Warren

THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE in Tucson, Arizona, has always been a place where the borderlands and the American justice system collide. Described by its engineers as “a gateway to the desert and the mountains beyond,” it was completed in 2000, the year that the Pima County medical examiner’s office began tracking an explosion of deaths in that same desert.

Each afternoon, Monday through Thursday, dozens of chained migrants who survived the journey across the border but found themselves in Border Patrol custody are marched up from the building’s bowels for mass hearings. They come in groups of up to 70 at a time. You hear the chains before you see the people — men and women still wearing the clothes they crossed in. Appearing before a judge in clusters, they confess to entering without inspection, receive their sentences, and leave. Cases are adjudicated in minutes.