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Friday, Feb 23rd

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Jeffrey Epstein victims sue FBI, allege coverup

Jeffrey EpsteinA dozen victims of Jeffrey Epstein filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the FBI of covering up its failure to investigate the late financier, enabling his sex trafficking to continue for more than 20 years.

The victims, using Jane Doe pseudonyms, said the FBI received credible tips as early as 1996 that Epstein trafficked young women and girls, yet failed to interview victims or share what it knew with federal and local law enforcement.
Victims said the FBI finally began a probe in 2006, but ended it two years later after Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida prostitution charge, and kept ignoring tips until his July 2019 arrest. Epstein committed suicide a month later.
"As a direct and proximate cause of the FBI's negligence, plaintiffs would not have been continued to be sex trafficked, abused, raped, tortured and threatened," the complaint said.
"Jane Does 1-12 bring this lawsuit to get to the bottom -- once and for all -- of the FBI's role in Epstein's criminal sex trafficking ring," it added.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rafah was supposed to offer refuge. Now, the city waits for a possible Israeli attack

Rafah waits for invasionWill Israel execute a major incursion into Rafah, on the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, or will Hamas and Israel agree to a cease-fire instead?

As of Wednesday, roughly 1.4 million Palestinians sheltering in cramped conditions in Rafah were bracing for the potential of an Israeli assault on the city, but hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough as negotiators from the U.S., Israel, Egypt and Qatar were said to be meeting in Cairo for talks on a plan to pause the fighting.

In Rafah, which sits on the border with Egypt, families that barely had time to set up their tents are already packing up. Many have arrived in Rafah after fleeing Israeli military strikes in the northern swath of the Gaza Strip.

"When we came here, this whole area was empty, then maybe after three or four days, there was no room for even one person to come with his family," said Aisha Abdallah Al-Najjar.

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Ukraine's military says it sank a Russian landing ship in the Black Sea

Ukraine says it sank Russia's Caesar Kunikov shipUkraine's military says it sank a large Russian landing ship in the Black Sea off the coast of occupied Crimea, although Russia's government has so far not confirmed the incident.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with the units of the [defense intelligence] @DI_Ukraine, destroyed the Caesar Kunikov large landing ship. At the time of the attack, the ship was in the territorial waters of Ukraine, near Alupka," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.

Ukraine said it used maritime strike drones in the attack, sinking the ship 2.5 miles off Alupka, a city on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

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Special counsel Jack Smith urges Supreme Court to reject Trump bid to delay election trial

Jack Smith answers ScotusSpecial counsel Jack Smith on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to reject an emergency application filed by Donald Trump that sought to further delay the former president's criminal trial arising from efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Smith filed his response to Trump's request six days ahead of the deadline imposed by the court. The former president wants more time to litigate his claim that the federal indictment should be dismissed on the grounds of presidential immunity.

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Biden to grant 18-month deportation protections to Palestinians impacted by Gaza war

Biden to grant 18 month deportation stay to PalaestiniansPresident Biden will grant the deferred enforced departure for 18 months to Palestinians who are currently in the United States, the White House announced on Wednesday.

The president signed a memorandum directing the deferral of removal of certain Palestinians who are present in the U.S. in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the humanitarian crisis on the ground in Gaza, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

“Following the horrific October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel, and Israel’s ensuing military response, humanitarian conditions in Gaza have significantly deteriorated,” Sullivan said in a statement.

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Warning of a 'serious national security threat' ahead of White House meeting with lawmakers

Jake SullivanThe Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee warned of a "serious national security threat" that will be the subject of a meeting between President Joe Biden's top national security adviser and congressional leaders Thursday.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, in an ominously worded statement Wednesday ahead of the meeting, asked Biden to "declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat.”

Turner, who did not disclose any further details, said his committee has made available information related to the threat to all members of Congress.

Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser, would not elaborate on the nature of the threat during a briefing with reporters but confirmed he took the "highly unusual" step of personally reaching out to the "Gang of Eight" members of Congress − including Turner − to invite them to a briefing Thursday.

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Shooting reported at Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Victory Rally; 'several people' struck

Shooting at Kansas City Union stationPolice are investigating a reported shooting at the victory rally for the Kansas City Chiefs at Union Station.

The Kansas City Fire Department confirmed a shooting happened and is calling it a "fluid situation."

Kansas City poliec say shots were fired west of Union Station and "several people" were struck.

Two armed people have been detained.

There's a heavy police presence in the area.

NewsChopper 9 footage spotted an emergency crew heading into Union Station. Crews were working on at least two people outside of the station.

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3 police officers shot at active scene in D.C. when barricaded suspect opened fire

 3 police officers shot in DCThree law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C., were injured by gunfire Wednesday when a suspect barricaded inside a residence began shooting at them, the city's police department said.

A fourth officer was also injured at the scene, but not by gunfire, the Metropolitan Police Department's Hannah Glasgow told USA TODAY.

The individual was still refusing to come out of the residence and is continuing to fire their weapon from inside, police said as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Ukraine-Russia war live: Putin’s troops advancing along ‘entire front line’, Kyiv military warns

Ukraine war Vladimir Putin’s troops have advanced along the “entire front line” in Ukraine as Kyiv was forced to switch to defensive operations, the country’s military warned.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said the situation was “difficult” and his focus was now to exhaust the Russian advance.

“At this time, the situation can be assessed as difficult. The enemy is now advancing along almost the entire front line, and we have moved from offensive operations to conducting a defensive operation,” Syrskyi told German TV channel ZDF.

“The objective of our defense operation is to exhaust the enemy’s forces, inflict maximum losses on him, using our fortifications, our advantages in terms of technology, in terms of using unmanned aircraft, means of electronic warfare, and maintaining prepared defense lines,” he added.

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