Ghislaine Maxwell calls on judge to improve prison conditions


Ghislaine Maxwell calls on judge to improve prison conditions

Ghislaine Maxwell has said Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in prison last year is to blame for the "uniquely onerous conditions" she is facing in jail.

The British socialite is currently awaiting trial on charges she procured teenage girls for the disgraced financier Epstein to abuse. She denies the claims.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York on August 10 last year. He was pronounced dead a short time after he was found in his cell.

Maxwell is claiming through her lawyers that his suicide means she is being treated differently than other prisoners who are also awaiting trial.

The 58-year-old has asked a judge to help improve her treatment in a Brooklyn federal lock-up, saying difficult conditions in jail limit her computer access and frustrate her ability to provide for a trial scheduled for next July.

Her lawyers said she should be housed in the general population at the Metropolitan Detention Centre rather than under restrictions that limit her time outside her cell to three hours a day.

“As a result of what occurred with Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees, which significantly impacts her ability to prepare a defence and be ready for trial,” the lawyers wrote.

They said she is watched around-the-clock by security cameras and multiple prison guards, including individuals who do not seem to be usual staff workers.

“These prison guards constantly observe Ms Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defence counsel,” they said.

“Until recently, Ms Maxwell was subjected to suicide watch protocols, including being woken up every few hours during the night and being forced to wear special clothing.”

They said this was occurring even though she “has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide”.

Her cell is searched multiple times each day and she has been forced to undergo numerous body scans, the lawyers said.

A spokesman for the prosecutors declined to comment.

Maxwell is held without bail after US District Judge Alison J Nathan concluded days after her July arrest at a New Hampshire estate that she was a risk to flee.

The lawyers also asked Judge Nathan to order prosecutors to reveal the identities of three women whose claims of sexual abuse by Epstein and Maxwell in the 1990s formed the basis of charges against her.

They said they need the identities to properly investigate their allegations of abuse at residences in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the United Kingdom.

The women were not identified in an indictment in Manhattan federal court that charged Maxwell with recruiting and grooming them for abuse when they were under the age of 18.

The indictment, to which Maxwell has pleaded not guilty, alleges that one victim was 14 when she was recruited.

Maxwell’s lawyers noted that Epstein is alleged to have abused dozens, if not hundreds, of girls and women so it would be hard to guess which women were working with prosecutors.

The judge ordered prosecutors to respond to the letter from defence attorneys Mark Cohen Christian Everdell by Thursday.




Ghislaine Maxwell calls on judge to improve prison conditions - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 11:59 PM

Ghislaine Maxwell, Judge rejects her request to delay unsealing court documents in light of ‘critical information’

 Ghislaine Maxwell's request to delay the unsealing of potentially explosive court documents has been rejected by a New York judge.

Lawyers for the British socialite accused of sex trafficking teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein, argued that "critical new information" had surfaced that could affect Maxwell's ability to obtain a fair trial.

But in a two-page order, US District Judge Loretta Preska said she had no reasonable basis to order their requested three-week delay on making the documents' contents known.

They come from a long-settled civil defamation case against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who said Epstein kept her as a "sex slave" with Maxwell's help.

Maxwell has asked an appeals court in Manhattan to block the release of a 2016 deposition about her sex life, used in that case, also citing the threat to a fair trial.

Her criminal trial is scheduled for July 2021.

Meanwhile, US prosecutors are expected by Thursday to respond to a separate request by Maxwell's lawyers that she be moved into the general population at the Brooklyn jail where she is being held.

The lawyers said the 58-year-old has been subjected to "uniquely onerous" conditions, including 24-hour surveillance and numerous body scans.

They argue she should be treated like other pre-trial detainees.

Epstein was found hanged in his prison cell last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell's lawyers called her treatment "a reaction" to her former boyfriend’s death by suicide.


Ghislaine Maxwell, Judge rejects her request to delay unsealing court documents in light of ‘critical information’ - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 11:46 PM

Coronavirus vaccine candidate induces immune response, trial results indicate

 A coronavirus vaccine being worked on by American researchers induces a robust immune response in healthy adults, results from early phases of clinical trials suggest.

Scientists found that the RNA vaccine, called BNT162b1, was generally well-tolerated, although some participants experienced mild to moderate side-effects.

These increased with dose level, in the seven days following vaccination, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, fever and sleep disturbance.

According to an interim report of a phase 1/2 clinical trial published in Nature, the vaccine, which is being developed by Pfizer, elicited a robust immune response in participants, which increased with dose level and with a second dose.

Antibodies against Covid-19 were present 21 days after a single vaccination at all dose levels, and there was a substantial increase in Sars-CoV-2-neutralising antibodies seven days after the second dose was given.

The researchers wrote: “The clinical findings for the BNT162b1 RNA-based vaccine candidate are encouraging and strongly support accelerated clinical development, including efficacy testing, and at-risk manufacturing to maximise the opportunity for the rapid production of a Sars-CoV-2 vaccine to prevent Covid-19.”

Corresponding author Judith Absalon, senior medical director at Pfizer Vaccines Clinical Research, and colleagues reported interim data from an ongoing phase 1/2 clinical study of BNT162b1.

Forty-five healthy adults – 23 men and 22 non-pregnant women – aged 18 to 55 were randomised to receive 10 micrograms, 30 micrograms or 100 micrograms of BNT162b1, or a placebo.

Researchers found the immune response was much stronger in the 30 microgram group than in the 10.

However, there were no notable differences in immune response between the 30 and 100 groups after one dose, and, as participants who received the 100 microgram dose also experienced greater side-effects, they did not receive a second dose.

According to the study, levels of neutralising antibodies in participants were 1.9 to 4.6 times higher than those in patients recovering from Sars-CoV-2 infection.

But the scientists warned that, although this comparison provides a benchmark for evaluating the vaccine-elicited immune response and the vaccine’s potential to provide protection, phase 3 trials are needed to determine the efficacy of BNT162b1.

The study is also enrolling adults aged 65–85, and later phases will prioritise the enrolment of more-diverse populations.

Delivered intramuscularly, BNT162b1, which encodes a Sars-CoV-2 receptor-binding antigen, is one of several RNA vaccine candidates that are being studied in parallel for selection to advance to a trial of their safety and efficacy.

RNA vaccine platforms, which use messenger RNA to elicit an immune response, are generally considered safe and have facilitated the rapid development of vaccines against Sars-CoV-2.

RNA is synthetic strands of genetic code, based on the virus’s genetic material.

Once injected into muscle, the RNA self-amplifies – generating copies of itself.

Kathrin Jansen, senior vice president and head of vaccine research and development, Pfizer, said: “The publication of peer-reviewed data from our mRNA-based vaccine development programme against Sars-CoV-2 in a world-renowned publication like Nature provides further validation of our rapid progress toward developing a safe and effective potential vaccine to help address this current pandemic.

“We are encouraged by the overall advancement of the programme and look forward to generating additional data from our ongoing studies.”

– Pfizer and BioNTech recently selected BNT162b2 as the vaccine candidate to progress to a Phase 2/3 study, which will enrol up to 30,000 participants aged between 18 and 85.




Coronavirus vaccine candidate induces immune response, trial results indicate - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 11:41 PM

Mary Kay Letourneau, teacher jailed for raping student she later married, dies

Mary Kay Letourneau, teacher jailed for raping student she later married, dies

Mary Kay Letourneau, the former Seattle-area teacher who married a man she was convicted of raping when he was in sixth grade, has died of cancer, her lawyer said Tuesday. She was 58.

The lawyer, David Gehrke, did not provide additional details.

Letourneau gained infamy after her 1997 conviction for second-degree child rape of 12-year-old Vili Fualaau. She was a 34-year-old mother of four when the rape occurred.

Letourneau was pregnant with her former student's child at the time of her conviction.

She was paroled in 1998 and barred from contacting Fualaau, but returned to prison to serve the remainder of a seven-year sentence after they were found together shortly after her release.

They were married in 2005 and had two children.

In 2017, Fualaau, then 33, filed a petition for legal separation. The divorce was finalized last year, NBC affiliate KING reported.


Mary Kay Letourneau, teacher jailed for raping student she later married, dies - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 2:02 AM

Black man pinned to tree in what he calls 'attempted lynching' at Indiana lake

Indiana authorities are investigating a report by a Black man who said he was pinned to a tree by a group of white men, an attack he likened to an “attempted lynching.”

Parts of the incident were captured on video by one of the man’s friends.

In a post to Facebook, Vauhxx Booker wrote, “I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching.” He went on: “On July 4th evening others and me were victims of what I would describe as a hate crime. I was attacked by five white men [with Confederate flags] who literally threatened to lynch me in front of numerous witnesses.” Booker said he and his friends were visiting a public beach on Lake Monroe outside Bloomington, Ind., to join a gathering when a group of white men said they were on private property and began following them.

Some of the men became belligerent, he said. When he approached “sober seeming group members” to “see if we could smooth things over a bit,” the confrontation escalated. Video posted to social media shows a group of white men holding Booker to a tree as his friends plead with them to release him. In the video, one man shouts at the camera, “You happy about this, you nappy-headed bitch? You and your five white friends?” As Booker’s friends leave, one of the men follows, shouting, “Those Black boys want to start it all.” 

In his Facebook post, Booker claimed there were shouts of “get a noose” and “white power.”

He said he was released after several white strangers intervened. He said he suffered bruises, abrasions and a “minor concussion” in the incident.

There had been no arrests as of Monday afternoon, but Katharine Liell, a Bloomington attorney representing Booker, told Yahoo News she expected some to come. She criticized officers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who responded to the scene but declined to interview witnesses who offered to share video of Booker being held against the tree. Liell said she was concerned that the officers had not relayed the full picture to prosecutors.

“I believe those DNR officers were in the prosecutor’s office by 8:45 this morning, and I’m sure there were some tough questions that they had to ask those officers,” said Liell. “What we’re trying to do is coordinate with them to make sure they have the information necessary to make a good charging decision.”

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said he has personally known Booker, a resident of his city, for at least five years. Booker is active in the community, he says, and a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission. Hamilton concedes that even in his relatively liberal city, home to Indiana University, racism persists within and around the community.

“We’re a very progressive city,” Hamilton told Yahoo News in a video chat interview. “We believe in inclusion, but in our community we know we have hate incidents every year. We know there’s racism in our community and around our community, and we can’t pretend that’s not the case.”

Indiana has a long history with the Ku Klux Klan, serving as a stronghold for the group in the early 20th century, all the way up to Gov. Governor Edward L. Jackson, who worked closely with Klan leaders in the 1920s. 

Liell, Booker’s lawyer, described him as a “very prominent member” of the community.


Black man pinned to tree in what he calls 'attempted lynching' at Indiana lake - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 1:56 AM

Texas lieutenant governor says he's done listening to Dr. Fauci: 'I don’t need his advice'

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he will no longer listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in Texas.

“Fauci said today that he’s concerned about states like Texas that skipped over certain things,” Patrick told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Tuesday. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.”

Hours before Patrick’s remarks, state health officials reported unprecedented numbers: more than 6,500  new cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,000 hospitalizations.

Patrick was referring to Fauci’s remarks to federal lawmakers Tuesday, telling them he’s concerned about a “disturbing surge” of infections in Texas, Florida and Arizona.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, added that some states may have moved too quickly and skipped over checkpoints in the White House’s guide for reopening.

“He has been wrong every time on every issue,” Patrick said. “I don’t need his advice anymore.”

The White House guidelines for reopening include a downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory in the same time period of positive tests as a percentage of total tests.

Texas does not meet either guideline.

Responding to reports that hospitals in some parts of the state had nearly reaching capacity, Gov. Greg Abbott suspended elective surgeries at hospitals in four more Texas counties Tuesday.

And warning of a “massive outbreak” last week, Abbott also paused further reopening plans for Texas, closing bars and reducing restaurant dining room capacity.

Read more

Texas lieutenant governor says he's done listening to Dr. Fauci: 'I don’t need his advice' - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 8:59 PM

Tiger sued after bartender dies in crash

Tiger sued after bartender dies in crash - my-christmas2013 - Updated at: 1:02 AM