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Trump Labor Chief Alex Acosta Resigns Due to Jeffrey Epstein Case

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Trump Labor Chief Alex Acosta Resigns Due to Jeffrey Epstein Case

Embattled Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who came under fire this week over a decade-old plea deal with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is resigning, President Donald Trump said Friday.

Epstein, 66, was arrested over the weekend and charged in the Southern District of New York with sex trafficking dozens of girls, some as young as 14, in New York and Florida. That arrest brought new scrutiny to the earlier plea agreement, which has been widely criticized as too lenient.

Acosta appeared with Trump on the White House South Lawn Friday morning where he said he had called the president earlier in the morning to tell him he was resigning.

Trump told reporters that the decision for Acosta to quit “was him, not me” and praised him as a “tremendous talent.”

In the earlier case, in 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution, which required him to register as a sex offender and serve about a year in a Florida county jail. He was able to leave the jail almost daily for work, and was allowed to have his own private security detail behind bars.

Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida at the time of the original Epstein criminal case, has faced calls from Democrats to resign his Cabinet post following the latest Epstein charges.

Acosta’s office reached the secret non-prosecution deal in 2008 with the wealthy financier to halt the federal sex abuse investigation involving dozens of teenage girls in return for Epstein pleading guilty to lower state charges involving a single victim.

The latest charges against Epstein, however, allege that he trafficked girls during the same time period as the earlier Florida probe.

Federal prosecutors in New York allege the politically connected financier, who has socialized with Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew, sexually abused dozens of minors and paid his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Says He’s Not Resigning After Private Chat Scandal

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Says He's Not Resigning After Private Chat Scandal

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Monday that he has no plans to resign or give up his leadership of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party after a fierce public outcry over the release of profanity-laced and derogatory private chat messages with other officials and close associates.

Rosselló did say in a radio interview, however, that as a “tactical measure” he would think about whether he should seek re-election next year.

The messages, which included homophobic and misogynistic comments, have been strongly condemned by other officials in his party and drawn protests outside the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan. Some excerpts of the chats, on the instant messaging service Telegram, were leaked to local media on July 8th. The island’s Center for Investigative Journalism, which received the 889 pages from a source, published them in their entirety on Saturday.

In the chats, the group used disparaging and sexist terms to refer to San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, as well as former New York City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito. They also belittled the death of independence movement leader Carlos Gallisá and slammed the federal control board overseeing the island’s finances.

READ MORE: Top Puerto Rican Officials Resign Amid Group Chat Scandal

The group used a homophobic comment in relation to international pop star Ricky Martin, who is from Puerto Rico. On Twitter, Martin urged Rosselló to step down.

The governor, Martin tweeted, “lacks the abilities of a true leader, who inspires, stimulates and guides by example so that our people attain a higher level of life.”

Over the weekend, a group of mayors and officials from the governor’s New Progressive Party, including the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Mendez, had urged Rosselló to “re-evaluate” and reflect on his position. In a statement, they wrote that “the most recent publications of the content in the Telegram chat do not reflect in any way how our delegation or the party feels.”

On Saturday, Rosselló announced that other top officials who participated in the chats had submitted their resignations. This included the secretary of state, Luis G. Rivera Marín, who would have been next in line for the governorship if Rosselló were no longer in his position.

The commonwealth’s chief financial officer, Christian Sobrino, who is also the governor’s representative to the federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances, also announced he was stepping down. The federal control board was a topic in the chats.

The island’s justice secretary, Wanda Vázquez, announced that she was appointing a special task force to determine whether the comments in the chats broke any laws. On Monday, Rosselló said he had reviewed the chats and he said he had committed no wrongdoing.

The messaging scandal comes on the heels of the arrests of the island’s former secretary of education, Julia Keleher, and five other people on charges of steering federal money to unqualified, politically connected contractors.

It also occurs against the backdrop of the U.S. commonwealth’s ongoing attempts to recover after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017 as well as Puerto Rico’s ongoing financial crisis.

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Trump Says Progressive Congresswomen Should ‘Go Back’ and Fix the Places They ‘Originally Came From’

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Trump Says Progressive Congresswomen Should 'Go Back' and Fix the Places They 'Originally Came From'

President Donald Trump on Sunday said progressive congresswomen should “go back” and try to fix the “crime infested places” they “originally came from” before telling the U.S. government how to handle its problems.

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump wrote in a series of three tweets.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the president continued. “Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Though he did not mention anyone by name in his tweets, the president appeared to be referring to a group of progressive congresswomen who have generated headlines and whose influence was recently downplayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

That group includes Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Tlaib, a Palestinian American, was born in Michigan; Omar, a Somali refugee, moved to the U.S. when she was 12 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen; Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Latin-American descent, was born in New York; and Pressley, who is African American, was born in Cincinnati.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Trump on Twitter Sunday afternoon, saying “the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.”

“But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet,” she continued. She added that Trump is “angry because” he doesn’t “believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected [Omar], where [Tlaib] fights for Michigan families, where [Pressley] champions little girls in Boston.”

“You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us,” she said. “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

Omar also responded to Trump in a tweet on Sunday, saying she and her fellow members swear an oath only to the U.S., “Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.”

Pelosi on Sunday blasted Trump’s screed, saying that when the president “tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”

“Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” the California Democrat added.

Trump’s tweets were swiftly condemned by other congressional Democrats, including presidential candidates, who called them “racist” and “bigoted.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted that Trump’s comments were “vile,” “racist” and “xenophobic.”

“This *is* their country, regardless of whether or not Trump realizes it,” Warren said of the Democratic congresswomen. “They should be treated with respect.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent also running to be the Democratic nominee, tweeted: “When I call the president a racist, this is what I’m talking about. We must stand together for justice and dignity towards all.”

Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, a member of the House Democratic leadership, blasted Trump, tweeting, “A racist tweet from a racist president,” while Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia wrote, “This is undisguised racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, and everyone in Congress regardless of party should condemn it.”

Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, meanwhile, said Trump was “spending his Sunday morning sending bigoted tweets.”

“Fact check: 3 of the 4 colleagues of mine he’s targeting were born in the U.S. And those of us serving in Congress who immigrated here or are children of immigrants like myself are American,” he tweeted. “Period.”

A weeklong feud involving the progressive congresswomen and Democratic leadership might have played a role in Trump’s tweets. Referring to the four women, Pelosi said in a Maureen Dowd column published in The New York Times last week: “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”

In response, Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that she and her fellow progressives were being singled out by Pelosi as “newly elected women of color,” saying, “it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful.”

Trump jumped into the fray himself last week, defending Pelosi and saying Ocasio-Cortez is the one who’s been disrespectful.

“A group of people that came from — I don’t know where they came from — I’m looking at this Omar from Minnesota,” he added. “And if one-half of the things they’re saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office.”

Sanders said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thought Pelosi was being “a little” too tough on the freshman lawmakers.

“You cannot ignore the young people of this country who are passionate about economic and racial and social and environmental justice. You’ve got to bring them in, not alienate them,” Sanders said.

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Trump Expected to End His Fight to Add Citizenship Question to Census

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Trump Expected to End His Fight to Add Citizenship Question to Census

President Donald Trump is expected to announce later Thursday he is backing down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to survey the American public on the question through other means, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The expected announcement will bring to a close weeks of escalating confusion within the government over his demands that the controversial question be included despite a Supreme Court order that had blocked the move. The White House declined to comment about what exactly the president plans to announce.

As recently as Thursday morning, administration officials had been repeatedly suggested the president would take executive action calling for the question be added to the census. It was not immediately clear when and why the final decision was made not to move forward with that plan.

Attorney General William Barr, who is also expected to attend the announcement, will now have to determine a path forward for three separate ongoing court cases the administration is fighting in Maryland, California and New York over the administration’s efforts to add the question to the census.

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