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Jeffrey Epstein plea deal: Labor Secretary Acosta has no good answers



It was a different time.

That was one of the defenses offered by US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta at a press conference Wednesday to address the deal his office gave in 2008 to money manager Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

Despite the number and seriousness of the allegations, Epstein ended up serving just 13 months in a county jail, thanks to a non-prosecution agreement signed with the office of the US Attorney for Miami, Acosta’s job at the time. Criticism of that deal has been mounting since Julie K. Brown reported on it in the Miami Herald last year, and has reached a fever pitch since Epstein was arrested on new sex trafficking charges in New York this week.

Lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called on Acosta to resign.

But on Wednesday, Acosta essentially said that the deal was the best his office could do because in a time before #MeToo, Epstein’s defense attorneys would have been able to smear his accusers if the case had gone to trial. “Today’s world treats victims very, very differently,” he said.

He also cast the deal as the best shot law enforcement had at sending Epstein to jail and “put[ting] the world on notice” that he was a sex offender. But as reporting by Brown and others has shown, both those penalties were close to meaningless in Epstein’s case.

All told, Acosta’s appearance on Wednesday left many questions unanswered, including the biggest one: why someone who let Epstein get away with a light sentence should remain in charge of an office that deals with human trafficking cases.

Acosta argued that the deal with Epstein was the best prosecutors could hope for at the time

Acosta’s responses on Wednesday fell into three basic categories:

Things were different in 2008

Acosta argued that when his office was dealing with the Epstein case more than a decade ago, juries lacked an understanding of how trauma impacts people, and it was easier for defense attorneys to use inconsistencies in survivors’ accounts to smear and discredit their testimony. Acosta’s team was worried this would happen to the women accusing Epstein of abuse if the case went to trial, he said. “Today’s world does not allow some of the victim-shaming that could take place at trial 12 years ago,” he explained.

It’s true that the public has a better understanding of the trauma of sexual abuse now than in 2008, in part because of the many people who have told their stories publicly as part of the #MeToo movement. But as CNN’s Kara Scannell has reported, Acosta’s office appears to have prosecuted other, less high-profile offenders than Epstein far more aggressively at around the same time, and obtained significant sentences for them that included prison time.

The deal was the best way to force Epstein to register as a sex offender and go to jail

Acosta repeatedly mentioned the importance of finding a way to send Epstein to “jail” rather than “rolling the dice” with a trial and risking the possibility that he might go free. “The purpose in this case was to bring Epstein to jail, to put him behind bars,” he said.

Acosta avoided using the word “prison,” because unlike with some of the other sex crimes cases his office prosecuted, Epstein didn’t go to prison — he served his time in a county jail facility. He was also allowed to leave the facility on “work release” to go to an office for multiple hours per day, six days a week, raising the question of how meaningful his jail sentence really was.

Acosta also talked about the importance of making sure that Epstein registered as a sex offender. “The world needed to be on notice that he was a sexual predator,” he said.

Epstein was indeed required to register in New York and the US Virgin Islands, where he has homes, but not in New Mexico, where he also has a residence. His registration also did not prevent him from extensive international travel — or, apparently, from amassing a trove of nude photos of seemingly underage girls at his home in New York.

Epstein’s own comments show how seriously he took the requirement to register. “I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’” he told the New York Post in 2011, shortly after the end of his jail term. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.”

It was somebody else’s fault

At the press conference, Acosta put the blame on state authorities for some aspects of the Epstein case, including the fact that Epstein served only 13 months of what was initially supposed to be an 18-month sentence, and that he was allowed out on work release. Acosta said these terms of the sentence were the purview of the state court in Florida and his office never expected Epstein to be allowed out on work release. Presumably, however, Acosta’s office had dealt with state courts in the past and could have factored in the various possibilities when negotiating the agreement in the first place.

Acosta also addressed another much-criticized aspect of the deal: that victims were not notified of its existence until it was too late for them to object. The secretary said this had to do with the potential for monetary restitution for victims. Prosecutors in his office became concerned that if they notified victims too soon, and the deal fell through, Epstein’s lawyers would use the fact that victims had been offered money as a way to discredit them. The Labor Department has provided reporters with statements from an FBI agent and career prosecutor at the time that corroborate this rationale.

It was not clear from the press conference whether any victims have actually received restitution as a result of the non-prosecution agreement.

No one is disputing that Jeffrey Epstein had extremely powerful lawyers who put pressure on victims and prosecutors alike. They were no doubt formidable adversaries. But it was part of Acosta’s job as US attorney to stand firm against formidable adversaries. In his press conference on Wednesday, Acosta did not make a compelling case that he did that where Epstein was concerned.

Today, Acosta is in charge of the US Department of Labor, which deals with, among other things, special visas for survivors of human trafficking. Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post has reported that under Acosta, the Labor Department is slow-walking the certification of these visas, making it harder for survivors to come forward — and for some adding to the danger of deportation before their paperwork goes through.

At the press conference, Acosta argued that it was a “mischaracterization” to say his office was moving away from certifying the visas, and that survivors would still be able to get them. But his responses on the Epstein case left one big question hanging: Why should someone who let a sex offender all but walk free hold a position in the US Cabinet — a position that could place the lives of trafficking survivors in his hands?

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Komünist Başkan, Aldığı Kararla Sosyal Medyada Trend Topic Oldu




Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu’nun belediye başkanı olduğu Tunceli Belediyesi Meclisi, ‘Tunceli’ yazan belediye tabelasının ‘Dersim’ olarak değiştirilmesine karar verdi. Bu karar sonrası Maçoğlu, sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.

Tunceli Belediye Başkanı TKP’li Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu başkanlığında belediye meclis üyeleri toplantısında alınan kararla Tunceli Belediyesi tabelasının ‘Dersim Belediyesi’ olarak değiştirilmesi kararı alındı. Karar tartışma yaratırken ‘DersimdeğilTunceli’ etiketi sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.


Belediyeden yapılan açıklamada Dersim ibaresiyle birlikte Zazaca ve Türkçe beleriye hizmetleri verileceği duyuruldu. Açıklamada şöyle denildi: “Kentimizin kültürü, tarihi ve inanç biçimini yaşatmak adına belediyemiz hizmet binasında bulunan tabelada yazılı ‘Tunceli’ ibaresinin değiştirilerek yerine ‘Dersim’ ibaresinin yazılması oy çokluğuyla kabul edildi. Haber

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15 Random People Who Look So Much Like Celebrities, You May Want to Take a Photo With Them




It’s not an easy goal to meet a real celebrity in our everyday life. Sometimes they are too busy with their activities or simply prefer to avoid public places. But when you see one right in front of you, don’t be too quick to jump over the moon and ask for a photo. Try to check their IDs first, because we are ready to show you that there are too many ordinary people who look just like stars and who probably wouldn’t miss a chance to pose and giggle afterward.

We at Bright Side compared photos of celebrities to their clones to demonstrate that this isn’t a joke. IDs first, photos after.

15. Kylie Jenner and Kristen Hancher, but which is which?

14. “My dad actually does Jack Nicholson lookalike work in Hollywood as a hobby.”

13. Breaking news! It seems Kim Kardashian has cloned herself.

12. “This fella lives in my house. I think James Franco and he follow each other on Instagram.”

11. “My sister always gets asked if she’s Julia Stiles.”

10. Nope, those aren’t just 2 pictures of Steve Buscemi!

9. Here’s chance for those who are upset that Michael Fassbender is married.

8. We’re just interested to see if Meghan Trainor’s double has the same talents.

7. We know this is pretty unexpected for Taylor Lautner, but we can’t unsee it.

6. This girl claims that she gets compared to Katy Perry daily.

5. When Chuck Norris is on vacation.

4. “Never mind, I’ll find someone like Adele.”

3. If Cobie Smulders doesn’t want to shoot How I Met Your Mother 10, there’s a perfect replacement out there.

2. Wait, so you’re saying that isn’t Zooey Deschanel on the right?

1. Even Zach Galifianakis and Jonah Hill can see this resemblance.

Do you have any friends who look exactly like movie stars? Show us their photos!

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Research Says That People Who Blush Are More Generous and Trustworthy




Some people feel uncomfortable when they blush, because they believe that this reaction of their body makes them appear timid and insecure. However, the reality is very different, because blushing can make us look more sincere and trustworthy to other people.

Today, we at Bright Side would like to tell you why blushing is not a sign of weakness, as many used to think.

Humans are the only ones that blush.

Humans are the only species known to blush, according to the findings of Darwin. After observing the gestures of monkeys, while conducting his studies on evolution — he defined this reaction as “the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions,” that probably happens because of a social defense mechanism that humans create against feelings like guilt or shame.

It makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.

The truth is that, although it could be a social defense mechanism that speaks to our discomfort, we are more attractive when our cheeks begin to turn pink. This gesture reflects a bit of vulnerability, and it’s for that very reason that it also creates a sense of intimacy that is striking to the opposite sex. In addition, it makes us look radiant, which is why, when putting on makeup, we apply pink powder on our cheeks.

People who blush are more trustworthy.

According to a study that has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who blush easily are people who are considered to be trustworthy and more generous, compared to those who don’t react in the same way. The researchers of this study also claim that other forms of moderately expressing embarrassment and social vulnerability are true signs of virtue, since it’s not possible to reproduce these reactions voluntarily.

Other gestures that reveal our emotional state

In a series of experiments, 60 college students were videotaped recounting embarrassing moments. The results indicated that blushing generates trust in other people and that’s why we shouldn’t try to hide it. This investigation includes people who react with gestures like a downward gaze, covering their face, laughing involuntarily, and blushing at the slightest provocation.

Why we blush when we feel embarrassed

Our face turns red because when we are in an embarrassing situation, the body releases adrenaline, which is what causes the redness of the skin, as it increases the blood flow to the blood vessels. This process is linked to our sympathetic nervous system and, for this reason, we can’t control it. We can also feel our heart rate speed up, our breathing increase its frequency, and in some people it can cause them to start sweating.

When it comes to blushing, it’s impossible to lie.

Blushing is something that we, human beings, are unable to avoid. It’s a set of involuntary bodily functions that are unleashed when we are exposed to a situation that embarrasses us, although not always in an unpleasant way. But it always shows that something matters to us and that, if we’ve done something wrong, we do have the desire to fix it. Because of this, this reaction is linked to honesty. So, if you see your partner blushing, you should believe in what your eyes are seeing.

Do you blush very often? Do you find it embarrassing or is it something that doesn’t worry you too much? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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