Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidant has been arrested. Florida shattered a coronavirus record. And Democrats hope to get ahold of ~secret~ Russia documents.
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But first, I’ll believe it when snakes can fl—: A team of researchers figured out why "flying" snakes undulate in midair while gliding from trees. 🐍
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The Jeffrey Epstein plot thickens
Epstein’s longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested by federal authorities Thursday and charged with procuring young victims for his child sex trafficking operation. Federal authorities had vowed to continue the investigation after Epstein’s death by suicide in prison last year while awaiting trial on trafficking charges. Here’s what we know about the latest development:
The charges: A federal grand jury indicted Maxwell on conspiracy charges that accuse her of “helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims” between 1994 and 1997. Both allegedly knew the victims were under age 18 and as young as 14.
Who is Maxwell? She’s a British socialite described in civil court records as a co-conspirator accused of recruiting girls to perform sex acts on Epstein. Over the years, Maxwell is accused of luring victims to Epstein’s homes scattered across the United States and abroad for the purpose of engaging in sex acts with the financier.
The US is racing to buy syringes 💉
You know how America wasn’t quite prepared for the mad scramble to acquire coronavirus masks when the pandemic hit? To avoid another shortage scenario, the U.S. is now scrambling to stock up on syringes as scientists race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Heeding the warning of experts, the federal government has signed at least $260 million in contracts for syringe production. But curve balls could still come: If the vaccine comes earlier than expected, manufacturers will have less time to stockpile syringes.
Vaccines are not all created equal: A variety of ways to stop the virus that causes COVID-19.
How vaccines are developed, and why it will take longer to develop than you might think.
What everyone’s talking about
An Amazon driver quit his job on Twitter and left a package-filled van with keys in the ignition at a gas station. Here's why he did it.
Hundreds of thousands of people aren't fans of Paris Jackson playing Jesus.
Lea Michele's former Broadway co-star Craig Ramsay called her "one of the most entitled people."
Ed Henry is denying allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding his dismissal from Fox News.
Nick Cordero has a "99% chance" of needing a double lung transplant, his wife says.
We could really use that vaccine right about now
The number of daily U.S. cases surged above 50,000 for the first time and showed no indication of slowing down. Florida added 10,109 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, a record, marking the ninth consecutive day that at least 5,000 new cases have been counted. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. now total more than 2.7 million since the pandemic began six months ago. Globally, there have been more than 10.7 million cases and 517,000 deaths.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is in the hospital with the coronavirus.
A shocking "masks required" sign at an Arizona shop aims to shame customers. It seems to be working, the owner says.
When you want the scoop on Russia
A House committee controlled by Democrats wants to see *secret* documents it says could lead to another impeachment inquiry, but the Supreme Court might not allow it. The high court agreed Thursday to consider blocking Congress' access to secret grand jury materials gathered during former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. The action was a victory for the Trump administration. The immediate significance: The high court probably won’t rule in the case before Election Day, so Dems are out of luck pushing for a second impeachment inquiry before November.
At least 123 people were "buried alive" in landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar.
Hurricane fallout is causing financial ruin for Puerto Rico's seniors with reverse mortgages.
Leaving your coronavirus isolation? Think about these 3 things first.
Will Americans ever get to read Mary Trump's tell-all book on her family and uncle President Donald Trump? TBD.
NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie's No. 32 car will have a "Trump 2020" design painted across the hood.
Veteran newscaster Hugh Downs has died
Hugh Downs, whose smooth delivery and warm demeanor led to a seven-decade career in television news and talk, died Wednesday at age 99. One of TV’s most familiar faces, Downs at one point held the record for most hours – 10,000 – in front of a television camera. He co-anchored NBC’s "Today" show from 1962 to 1971, but is probably most remembered for his 21 years as co-host of ABC evening newsmagazine "20/20" (both alongside Barbara Walters), and his signature sign-off: “We’re in touch, so you be in touch.”
A break from the news
🏠 Need to escape your house for an hour? This company lets you rent a space for a short time.
🍷 We'd never judge you: Why Americans are buying more boxed wine during COVID-19.
🥑 Is your fridge a mess? Here's how to organize it.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, coronavirus vaccine: Thursday's news