In our news wrap Wednesday, new reports allege the two guards tasked with monitoring accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell fell asleep during their shift and later falsified records to cover up the failure to check on him regularly. Also, hundreds of child sex abuse lawsuits were filed in New York as the state opened a temporary window for adult victims to bring their cases to court.
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Stocks went into a free fall on Wall Street today, after the bond market stoked fears of a recession. Germany also reported its economy shrank in the second quarter, raising concerns about a global slowdown. The disappointing economic news caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plummet 800 points to close at 25,479. The Nasdaq fell 242 points and the S&P-500 slipped more than 85. We will take a closer look at the market's volatility later in the program.
In Hong Kong, flights at the international airport resumed a day after tense clashes broke out between riot police and pro-democracy protesters. Smaller, peaceful demonstrations continued inside the terminal, with scores of signs calling for Democratic reforms and the resignation of the territory's chief executive, Carrie Lam. We'll have more on the protests' impact and China's response right after the news summary.
Back in this country, more revelations emerged today about the two guards tasked with monitoring accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell the night he died by apparent suicide. New reports allege the guards fell asleep during their shift and later falsified records to cover up their failure to check on him every half hour, as required. Falsifying log entries can constitute a federal crime.
Hundreds of child sex abuse lawsuits were filed in New York today as the state opened a temporary window for adult victims to bring their cases to court. A new state law lifts the statute of limitations, giving alleged victims one year, beginning today, to sue, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. More than 1,000 people already filed lawsuits against the Catholic Church, including one who called the opportunity to seek justice historic.
It is a moment of redemption for– not just for myself but everybody who's been abused by so many of these people for so long. It's time now to stop it, it's time right now. This is the only chance we get. And thank god for that chance.
The Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York issued a statement vowing to, quote, carefully review the claims.
Dozens of lawsuits were also filed against the Boy Scouts of America and other institutions, including Rockefeller University and public schools. At least one woman who claimed she was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein also filed suit.
Wildfires raged through a protected nature preserve on Greece's second-largest island for a second day. Hundreds of residents have evacuated four villages and a monastery in Evia. More than 250 firefighters are fighting the flames by air and land in the dense pine forest.
Greece's prime minister commended their work today while inspecting the damage.
We know that wildfires will be with us, they will be part of our– as they have always been, but they've been more part of our daily life as climate change is taking its toll on Southern Europe. And that is why it is imperative at the European level to strengthen the rescEU mechanism, in order to have more coordination at the European level, to fight incidents like the ones we had in Greece.
A state of emergency was declared on the island yesterday to free up much-needed resources.
In Nepal, meanwhile, a government panel recommended new restrictions for climbing Mount Everest today in response to the deadliest climbing season there in four years. The rules mandate climbers have proper training and high-altitude experience, and be in good health before scaling the world's highest summit. The government was criticized for allowing too many people to climb the near 30,000-foot mountain after 11 climbers died or went missing this spring.
Meanwhile, Facebook is under fire today over new privacy concerns. This time it's paying outside contractors to transcribe users' audio clips on Facebook messenger. The company reportedly had human transcribers listen to users' private voice recordings to provide transcription quality control. Facebook also said the audio clips were masked to protect users' identities, and it said it stopped the practice a week ago.
And there are reports of violence out of Philadelphia tonight. A police spokesman confirmed several police officers were injured this evening in a North Philadelphia shootout. The shooting occurred in the Nicetown section of the city. Temple University tweeted he has locked down its health sciences center campus.