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France celebrates virus heroes on redesigned Bastille Day


What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

What you need to know about the coronavirus right nowFrom Melbourne to Manila, Hong Kong and India's tech capital Bengaluru, lockdowns and strict social distancing restrictions are being reimposed across the Asia-Pacific after a surge in novel coronavirus cases fanned fears of a second wave of infections. Many parts of Asia, the region first hit by the coronavirus that emerged in central China late last year, are finding cause to pause the reopening of their economies, some after winning praise for their initial responses to the coronavirus outbreak. The number of coronavirus infections around the world hit 13 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by a million in just five days.



Roche to pay Blueprint up to $1.7 billion in cancer drug deal

Roche to pay Blueprint up to $1.7 billion in cancer drug dealSwiss drugmaker Roche on Tuesday struck a deal worth up to $1.7 billion with Blueprint Medicines to develop and commercialise a new treatment for people with so-called RET-altered cancers whose mutations can drive tumour growth. Roche, which has had a pact to develop drugs with Blueprint Medicines since 2016, will pay $675 million in cash and make a $100 million equity investment to get rights to pralsetinib, in late-stage development for people with RET-altered non-small cell lung cancer as well as other cancers. U.S.-based Blueprint could also get up to $927 million in milestones, plus royalties on sales outside the United States, Basel-based Roche said in a statement.



Ghislaine Maxwell to appear in court via video feed for arraignment in trafficking case

Ghislaine Maxwell to appear in court via video feed for arraignment in trafficking case* Maxwell faces up to 35 years in federal prison * Prosecutors are fighting a bail request by insisting she is a flight riskGhislaine Maxwell is due to appear on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court via video feed for arraignment and bail arguments involving her alleged participation in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of minor girls.The British friend of Epstein is requesting bail, while prosecutors are fighting her release before trial.Maxwell, 58, was arrested on 2 July at her Bradford, New Hampshire estate. She is charged in a 17-page indictment with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury. If convicted, Maxwell faces up to 35 years in federal prison.Born in Maisons-Laffitte, Île-de-France, in 1961, Ghislaine Maxwell is the youngest of the nine children of Betty and Robert Maxwell, the media tycoon owner of the Mirror GroupGhislaine was rumoured to be his favourite child, and the former Labour MP named his £15m ($18.6m) yacht Lady Ghislaine after her. He put his daughter in charge of his football club he owned, Oxford United, and when he acquired the New York Daily News, he reportedly sent Ghislaine to warm up Manhattan society for his arrival.Following her father’s death in 1991 – after apparently falling overboard from Lady Ghislaine near the Canary Islands – Ghislaine Maxwell flew to New York onboard a Concorde. She left behind a huge uproar over $460m found to be missing from her father’s companies’ pensions funds.Her family’s wealth, status and influence considerably depleted, Maxwell found something of a replacement in her relationship with  Jeffrey Epstein. Their relationship was initially romantic, but it evolved into something more akin to that of a close friend, confidante and personal assistant. Epstein was later convicted of sex offences, and subsequently died in prison in 2019.In 2015, Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, sued Maxwell, alleging Epstein's confidante defamed her by claiming she was a liar in her accusations against the pair. Giuffre has accused Maxwell of recruiting her to work as Epstein’s masseuse at the age 15, when she was a locker-room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in south Florida. Documents released as part of the lawsuit contain lurid claims about the alleged sex trafficking.In July 2020, after having been in hiding, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on charges related to Jeffrey Epstein.Maxwell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and her lawyers have said she “vigorously denies the charges” and is “entitled to the presumption of innocence”.In court papers Monday, prosecutors opposed Maxwell’s bail request by insisting that she is an “extreme risk of flight” owing to her vast wealth and background. Maxwell is a citizen of France, the UK and the US, possessing passports for all three countries. France, they noted in court papers, “does not extradite its citizens to the United States pursuant to French law”.Maxwell, they further claimed, “appears to be skilled at living in hiding”. When FBI agents arrived at her “remote” 156-acre property, Maxwell “tried to flee”. Agents discovered a “cellphone wrapped in tin foil” which they maintain was “a seemingly misguided effort to evade detection … by law enforcement”.Born in Brooklyn in 1953, Jeffrey Epstein was a convicted sex offender and financier who died in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He had previously served 13 months in jail after being convicted in 2008 of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. A medical examiner declared Epstein's death a suicide.His death came after unsealed documents in New York revealed the extent of his abuse of young women at his home in Palm Beach, New York and the Virgin Islands. An earlier attempt to prosecute him on similar charges had collapsed when authorities granted him an unusually generous deal to plead guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida. Epstein made his name at the investment bank Bear Stearns before opening his own firm in 1982, managing money for clients with wealth in excess of $1bn. The business came with an intensive social schedule. Epstein positioned himself as a party figure in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, and courted the rich, famous and powerful across America and the world. Epstein’s circle of friends and acquaintances has included Donald Trump; Bill Clinton; Prince Andrew; Leslie Wexner, founder of the company that owns the Victoria’s Secret lingerie brand; and many other prominent names in law, entertainment and politics.In July 2020, his long-term confidante and personal assistant Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on charges related to Epstein's sex crimes.Prosecutors also said they learned that Maxwell “had hired a security company staffed with former members of the British military to guard the defendant at the New Hampshire property, in rotations”.“There are no conditions of bail that would assure the defendant’s presence in court proceedings in this case. Accordingly, any application for bail should be denied,” they wrote.Maxwell’s attorneys wrote in prior court papers that she “vigorously denies the charges” and “intends to fight them”. In asking for bail, Maxwell’s lawyers contended that Covid-19 presents a danger to Maxwell and limits her legal defense. They insist that she’s not a flight risk, and remained out of public view to avoid the media following Epstein’s arrest last July. Epstein killed himself in federal jail last August.“As this court has noted, the Covid-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented health risk to incarcerated individuals, and Covid-19-related restrictions on attorney communications with pre-trial detainees significantly impair a defendant’s ability to prepare her defense,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote Friday in their argument for bail. “Simply put, under these circumstances, if Ms Maxwell continues to be detained, her health will be at serious risk and she will not be able to receive a fair trial.”They are asking the judge to release Maxwell on a $5m personal recognizance bond co-signed by six financially responsible individuals, backed by real property in the UK worth more than $3.75m. Maxwell’s legal team also proposed limiting the onetime jet-setter’s travel to the New York City region, turning in all her passports, requiring home confinement in New York City with GPS location monitoring, and curtailing visitors to immediate family, close friends and attorneys.Prosecutors also revealed in their court filing that they expect “one or more victims will exercise their right to be heard” at Maxwell’s arraignment, “and will urge the court not to grant bail”.



Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower defaced; mayor says 'nice try'

Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower defaced; mayor says 'nice try'New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that the mural has already been repaired.





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