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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 119)

Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack

Police in Illinois are on the hunt for a suspect who was caught on video smashing another man’s head with a bowling ball Wednesday night, an attack that briefly left the victim in a medically induced coma.

Damante Williams, 28, was involved in a fight at Town Hall Bowl in Cicero when another man picked up a bowling ball and threw it at him, striking Williams in the head, according to CBS Chicago

Investigators say the suspect fled the scene in a 2018 Range Rover with Wisconsin license plate AFS3400.

Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722

Police are on the hunt for this suspect reportedly captured on video smashing another man in the head with a bowling ball at an event in the Chicago area on Wednesday night, resulting in the victim being placed in a coma. (Cicero Police Dept)

CHICAGO MAYOR CLASHES WITH CRUZ OVER GUN VIOLENCE: ‘KEEP OUR NAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH’

Williams was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he was placed in a medically-induced coma.

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Tamekio Williams, the victim’s mother, told CBS Chicago that her son came out of his coma around 8:00 a.m. on Friday and his status is improving, although slowly.

“He knew who I was, but he’s still not all the way where I would like him to be, but I know in time he’ll get there,” she said.

MEDIA SPREAD ‘MISINFORMATION’ ABOUT NOW’ DISMISSED CORRUPTION CHARGES, EX-ILLINOIS LAWMAKER SAYS

Tamekio Williams told the station the incident occurred after Damante allegedly bumped into someone he didn’t know that night, although she still doesn’t know what could have motivated her son’s attacker.

“To my understanding, he didn’t even know these people, so why would you hit somebody with a bowling ball in the head?” Williams said. “ … Someone came up from behind him when the security guard was holding him and threw a bowling ball and hit his head. Just bring this person to justice.”

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Police say no one called them to report the incident, but another patron at the bowling alley ran outside and flagged down an officer. The owner of Town Hall Bowl said the fight was isolated that night and security had been in place.

Police said anyone who recognizes the man who threw the bowling ball should call Cicero PD at 708-652-2130.

Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722   Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma expected to file for bankruptcy after stalled settlement talks

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the painkiller OxyContin, is expected to file for bankruptcy after attempts to reach a settlement over its role in the opioid crisis came to a standstill, state attorneys general involved in the talks said Saturday.

The Sackler family, which owns Purdue, rejected two offers and declined to make counteroffers, according to an email from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein that was obtained by the Associated Press.

“As a result, the negotiations are at an impasse, and we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently,” Slatery and Stein wrote.

OXYCONTIN MAKER NEGOTIATING $10 TO $12 BILLION OPIOID SETTLEMENT WITH STATE, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: REPORT

Chapter 11 protection would greatly reduce Purdue’s legal liability in the nationwide lawsuit to approximately $1 billion from up to $12 billion, according to a proposal that recently became public. The company had threatened to file for bankruptcy earlier this year and was holding off while negotiations continued.

At least 30 states and 2,000 state, local and tribal governments have filed lawsuits claiming the pharmaceutical company is responsible for the nationwide opioid crisis. The lawsuits — which have also been filed by unions, hospitals, and lawyers representing babies who were born in opioid withdrawal — have been consolidated under a single federal judge in Cleveland.

The lawsuits allege that Purdue aggressively sold OxyContin and marketed it as a drug with a low risk of addiction despite knowing that wasn’t true. Purdue says it didn’t initially realize the addictive opioid was being abused. Former Purdue Chairman Richard Sackler has claimed doctors gave the drug positive reviews, saying they were at one point “extremely enthusiastic” about how patients were responding to the painkiller.

However, in a Justice Department memo obtained by The New York Times, government lawyers claim Purdue knew early on its drug was fueling an addiction epidemic.

Most of those lawsuits also name other opioid makers, distributors and pharmacies in addition to Purdue, some of which have been pursuing their own settlements. Purdue also faces hundreds of other lawsuits filed in state courts and had sought a wide-ranging deal to settle all cases against it.

Westlake Legal Group AP19239812206720 OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma expected to file for bankruptcy after stalled settlement talks Melissa Leon fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/health fnc article ab751b93-501a-5583-bd6d-73dce5f55b8e

This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

One settlement proposal called for Purdue to enter a structured bankruptcy that could be worth $10 billion to $12 billion over time. Included in the total would be $3 billion from the Sackler family, which would give up its control of Purdue and contribute up to $1.5 billion more by selling another company it owns, Cambridge, England-based Mundipharma.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was also taking part in negotiations, told the AP the attorneys general believed what Purdue and the Sacklers were offering would not have been worth the reported $10 billion to $12 billion.

SAN FRANCISCO SAW 150 PERCENT SPIKE IN FENTANYL-RELATED DEATHS LAST YEAR, REPORT SAYS

In their latest offers, the states also sought more assurances that the $4.5 billion from the Sacklers would actually be paid, according to the message circulated Saturday: “The Sacklers refused to budge.”

In March, Purdue reached a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma to avoid a trial on the toll of opioids there.

The impasse in the talks comes about six weeks before the scheduled start of the first federal trial under the Cleveland litigation, overseen by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster. That trial will hear claims about the toll the opioid epidemic has taken on two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit.

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A bankruptcy filing by Purdue would most certainly remove the company from that trial.

The bankruptcy judge would have wide discretion on how to proceed. That could include allowing the claims against other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies to move ahead while Purdue’s cases are handled separately. Three other manufacturers have already settled with the two Ohio counties to avoid the initial trial.

Purdue spokeswoman Josephine Martin told The Associated Press the company would decline to comment following news of the expected Chapter 11 filing.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Nick GIvas contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group AP19239812206720 OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma expected to file for bankruptcy after stalled settlement talks Melissa Leon fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/health fnc article ab751b93-501a-5583-bd6d-73dce5f55b8e   Westlake Legal Group AP19239812206720 OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma expected to file for bankruptcy after stalled settlement talks Melissa Leon fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/health fnc article ab751b93-501a-5583-bd6d-73dce5f55b8e

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Reporter’s Notebook: Dorian leaves wrecked homes and lives on Grand Bahama Island

Westlake Legal Group DorianFlood4 Reporter's Notebook: Dorian leaves wrecked homes and lives on Grand Bahama Island fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/world fnc Ellison Barber b6209d56-2129-5600-87d1-baad42c43291 article

Editor’s note: Fox News reporter Ellison Barber filed this first-person report Saturday from Grand Bahama Island, where Hurricane Dorian made landfall earlier this week.

When we arrived at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island’s largest city and major port, the first thing we noticed was the debris. One plane at Grand Bahama International Airport sat on the side of the airport access road with its front ripped off. It appeared to have been thrown across four lanes of traffic.

Most homes in Freeport are standing and many buildings appear intact, but severely water-damaged. People were hanging clothes across fences and in trees in an effort to dry them out. Other items damaged beyond use — including couches, sheets, books and food — were piled up by the road.

STORIES OF SURVIVAL EMERGE FROM DEVASTATED BAHAMAS

Within seconds of turning down a residential road in the first neighborhood we came to, a woman yelled at us to ask if we had any water. We threw her the only bottle of Powerade we had in the back of our truck.

A few houses down, another man cleaning debris out of his house threw his hands up, yelling, “Help us! Please!”

Dorian tore huge gaps in the roads here. First responders say that is the key obstacle to getting aid to people. On our road, someone carved out a path to get around the gaps. We followed that path along with other locals who had stopped, not knowing how to get through.

In a village about 25 minutes from Freeport, maybe two houses were livable. Neighbors were taking each other in and helping to clear out homes.

‘THERE IS NOTHING LEFT’: FOX NEWS’ STEVE HARRIGAN DESCRIBES DEATH, DEVASTATION IN BAHAMAS

The first woman we spoke to said the hurricane sounded like a freight train when it came through. She and her family stayed up all night and huddled in small sections of the living room for safety. As we talked, the woman’s 7-year-old grandniece, Amelia, picked through toys piled in the front yard. She selected a doll and a small dollhouse to take with her to the neighbor’s house where they’ll stay, at least for now.

“It’s said, the house,” Amelia says. “It had a lot of memories of my gammy. She died.”

Two houses down, we met Renea Cooper, who is staying with four other families at a neighbor’s house. She said she, her husband and sister were in their home when Dorian came. When the house flooded, Renea climbed to the roof and sat there for eight hours.

Finally, as the storm was letting up, Renea heard someone yelling, “Hey! Are you in there?” It was her cousin, and her voice to Renea was “the sweetest sound I ever heard.”

Because the home was still flooded, Renea, her cousin and others in the neighborhood formed a human chain through the water and made it to the one house that was still intact. That’s where they are now.

Renea told us she wasn’t sure what do to next. She hasn’t had contact with anyone in days because there is no cell service. I ask if she wants to use our satellite phone. She used it to call her sister in Atlanta.

“Hi, Judy. Yes, it’s Renea.” I could hear her sister gasp excitedly on the other end of the line.

“I’m good, I’m good. Lost everything, but I’m alive.”

East of Freeport, in Bevans Town, one home was completely gone, the toilet and bathroom tiles all that remained. Another house had been ripped open and was filled with debris. Books were still on the bookshelf. Family photos and wedding photos stood in frames on another shelf where the wall had been ripped away. What should have been an enclosed room was open to the world. You could reach in and grab a book, if so inclined. The roof was also gone.

I asked a local if anyone had heard where the families who lived here went. He wasn’t sure but said people who lived in the area were not told to evacuate. He also wasn’t sure if they would have left.

Further east, in High Rock, we were met by a man named Cecil, the local pastor, who told us that 17 people had died there. He knew all their names. Some were in their teens, one was a child. One man lost his entire family. Most of the victims died when the house they were in collapsed.

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Cecil said he heard yelling the night Dorian hit but initially did not go outside because the wind was too strong. When he finally did get outside, he saw a neighbor clinging to a tree. Cecil got close to the man, Richard, and told him to jump. They missed each other, but Cecil was just able to grab the neighbor and told him not to let go. Cecil said he’s an experienced diver, but it took all of his experience to fight being swept away by the wind and water.

I asked Cecil and his daughter if they wanted to use our satellite phone. His daughter wanted to call her daughter, who lives in Florida.

“Josie! It’s mama!” she said. “We lost everything, but we are alive. Tell the family.”

Westlake Legal Group DorianFlood4 Reporter's Notebook: Dorian leaves wrecked homes and lives on Grand Bahama Island fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/world fnc Ellison Barber b6209d56-2129-5600-87d1-baad42c43291 article   Westlake Legal Group DorianFlood4 Reporter's Notebook: Dorian leaves wrecked homes and lives on Grand Bahama Island fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/world fnc Ellison Barber b6209d56-2129-5600-87d1-baad42c43291 article

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Trump scraps secret meetings with Afghan, Taliban leaders after deadly bombing

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-7900d0d9491647ac81693ea013a37a13 Trump scraps secret meetings with Afghan, Taliban leaders after deadly bombing Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc eadb2c34-3c4b-5d6c-8c9b-971e8077b5ec article

President Trump announced Saturday that he had canceled planned secret meetings at Camp David with Taliban and Afghan leaders after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed a U.S. soldier, a Romanian soldier, and 10 civilians in Kabul earlier this week.

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” Trump tweeted. “They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled [sic] the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”

AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBER AMONG AT LEAST 12 KILLED IN TALIBAN SUICIDE ATTACK IN KABUL

Trump added that if the Taliban cannot agree to a ceasefire, “then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway.”

“How many more decades are they willing to fight?” Trump asked.

The Trump announcement came a day after the U.S. envoy negotiating with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, completed two days of meetings in Qatar with Taliban lead negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller. On Monday, Khalilzad said an agreement had been reached “in principle” to begin a U.S. troop withdrawal  and only needed Trump’s approval

IRAN INJECTS GAS INTO ADVANCED CENTRIFUGES, VIOLATING DEAL 

Khalilzad has said the first 5,000 U.S. troops would withdraw from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of a final deal. Between 14,000 and 13,000 troops are currently in the country. But the Taliban, at their strongest since their defeat in 2001 after a U.S.-led invasion, want all of the approximately 20,000 U.S. and NATO troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been shut out of the U.S.-Taliban negotiations, and during Khalilzad’s visit to Kabul this week Ghani was shown the agreement but not allowed to keep it. The Taliban have rejected negotiations with the Afghan government, seeing it as a puppet of the U.S., though it has expressed willingness to meet with Afghan officials in their personal capacity.

Ghani’s government has echoed concerns by former U.S. officials that a full U.S. troop withdrawal that moves too quickly and without requiring the Taliban to meet certain conditions, such as reducing violence, could lead to “total civil war” such as the one that engulfed the country in the 1990s after a rapid Soviet pullout and before the Taliban swept into power.

“Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless,” said Ghani, while presidential adviser Waheed Omer added: “Afghans have been bitten by this snake before.”

The Taliban say that their surge in deadly attacks — including on the capitals of northern Kunduz and Baghlan provinces last weekend — is necessary to give them a stronger negotiating position in talks with the U.S., a stance that has appalled Afghans and others as scores of civilians are killed.

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Thursday’s explosion followed an attack late Monday that killed 16 people and over 100, mostly all civilians. Hours after the second explosion, the Taliban set off a car bomb outside an Afghan military base, killing four civilians.

The U.S. had hoped a deal with the Taliban would bring the militant group to the table for intra-Afghan talks to begin ahead of Afghanistan’s presidential election on Sept. 28 — a vote that Ghani insisted must be held on time and not be swept aside by any kind of interim government. The U.S. is also seeking Taliban guarantees that they will not allow Afghanistan to become a haven from which extremist groups such as Al Qaeda and the local affiliate of the Islamic State group (ISIS) can launch global attacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-7900d0d9491647ac81693ea013a37a13 Trump scraps secret meetings with Afghan, Taliban leaders after deadly bombing Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc eadb2c34-3c4b-5d6c-8c9b-971e8077b5ec article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-7900d0d9491647ac81693ea013a37a13 Trump scraps secret meetings with Afghan, Taliban leaders after deadly bombing Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc eadb2c34-3c4b-5d6c-8c9b-971e8077b5ec article

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Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein

Nearly a month after his death, Jeffrey Epstein continues to haunt some of America’s most prestigious institutions.

On Saturday, a prominent figure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stepped down after the disclosure of his efforts to conceal his financial connections to Mr. Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell last month while facing federal sex trafficking charges.

Almost immediately, the M.I.T. official, Joichi Ito, left the boards of three other organizations: the MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The New York Times Company, where he had been a board member since 2012. He also left a visiting professorship at Harvard.

Mr. Ito, the tech evangelist and master networker who led the M.I.T. Media Lab — a program that prides itself on contrarian thinking — acknowledged last week that he had received $1.7 million from Mr. Epstein, including $1.2 million for his own outside investment funds.

“After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately,” Mr. Ito wrote in an email on Saturday to M.I.T.’s provost, Martin A. Schmidt.

Mr. Ito’s resignation came less than a day after an article in The New Yorker described the measures that he and other media lab officials took to conceal its relationship with Mr. Epstein. The internal emails, which a former media lab employee shared with The New York Times, described the handling of donations that Mr. Epstein made and apparently solicited from the rich and powerful over the years, including a $2 million gift from the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

In an email in October 2014 — six years after Mr. Epstein had pleaded guilty to a sex charge involving a minor in Florida — Mr. Ito wrote that the gift from Mr. Gates had been “directed by Jeffrey Epstein.” A development official at the media lab, Peter Cohen, wrote in a subsequent email, “For gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffrey’s name as the impetus for this gift.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Mr. Gates said Mr. Epstein had been introduced to Mr. Gates as a person interested in helping increase philanthropy. “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true,” the statement said. “And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grant making for Bill Gates is completely false.”

Mr. Gates — one of the world’s richest men and perhaps its most generous philanthropist — is one of many powerful people to face scrutiny for their connections to Mr. Epstein. President Trump and former President Bill Clinton have been forced to explain their associations with him. So have Britain’s Prince Andrew, high-profile scientists and business executives including Leslie Wexner, the chief executive of L Brands, and Leon Black, the founder of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms. R. Alexander Acosta, who as a federal prosecutor was involved in the plea agreement with Mr. Epstein in 2008, stepped down as labor secretary after that deal was heavily criticized.

Mr. Ito’s resignation from M.I.T. was followed in quick succession by announcements from other organizations.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 22nyepstein-articleLarge Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein Suicides and Suicide Attempts Sex Crimes Philanthropy New Yorker New York Times MIT Media Lab Microsoft Corp Massachusetts Institute of Technology MacArthur, John D and Catherine T, Foundation Knight, John S and James L, Foundation Ito, Joichi Gates, Bill Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Child Abuse and Neglect Apollo Global Management

Mr. Epstein at a court hearing in Florida in 2008. Internal emails at the Media Lab describe donations Mt. Epstein made and encouraged over the years.CreditUma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press

The MacArthur Foundation said reports about his actions, if true, were not in keeping with its values. “Most importantly, our hearts go out to the girls and women who survived the abuse of Jeffrey Epstein,” the foundation said in a statement.

A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, and the company’s president, Mark Thompson, wrote an email to staff members that Mr. Ito had stepped down, effective immediately. “Our newsroom will continue its aggressive reporting on Mr. Epstein, investigating both the individuals and the broader systems of power that enabled him for so many years,” they said.

Signe Swenson, who served as a development associate and alumni relations coordinator at the M.I.T. Media Lab from 2014 to 2016, shared the internal emails concerning Mr. Epstein with The Times. She said she had told supervisors several times of her “disgust” at Mr. Epstein’s involvement.

“That was never listened to,” Ms. Swenson, who worked under Mr. Cohen, said in an interview on Saturday. Ms. Swenson shared the correspondence after consulting with the organization Whistleblower Aid.

She said she learned of Mr. Epstein’s connection with the media lab when she interviewed for a position in March 2014, and told Mr. Cohen that M.I.T. listed Mr. Epstein as “disqualified” as a donor. She said Mr. Cohen replied that Mr. Ito had a relationship with the wealthy financier. In one 2014 email that Ms. Swenson shared, Mr. Ito wrote about a $100,000 donation from Mr. Epstein, asking the development staff members to “make sure this gets accounted for as anonymous.”

Mr. Ito took over the Media Lab in 2011 following a rapid ascent in the tech world that made him an unorthodox choice to lead an academic program, but not the freewheeling media lab. He was a two-time college dropout who had run a nightclub, then ran a string of internet companies and invested early in Twitter, Kickstarter and Flickr.

He was also a master networker — one who visited the Obama White House to discuss artificial intelligence and became friends with the respected Harvard lawyer Lawrence Lessig after criticizing Mr. Lessig’s book when he gave a talk in Japan. Mr. Lessig later put Mr. Ito on the board of Creative Commons, a nonprofit advocate for public intellectual property rights.

Mr. Ito’s ability to connect with both students and wealthy donors had helped him raise at least $50 million for the Media Lab, a sort of academic skunkworks. It has contributed to the development of technology related to touchscreens and GPS, is home to a program dedicated to democratizing access to outer space and hands out $250,000 awards to those “challenging the norms, rules or laws that sustain society’s injustices.”

Mr. Ito faced significant criticism from inside the Media Lab. Two scholars said they would leave at the end of the academic year, with one saying he had urged Mr. Ito not to associate with Mr. Epstein. While Mr. Ito did enjoy the support of many within the lab, there were calls for his resignation.

“We have worked literally for years to try to make STEM fields safe and welcoming, attractive fields for women and girls in the face of crushing sexism and gender bias,” said Kim Holleman, an artist who was a visiting scholar and a research affiliate at the media lab from 2013 through 2017. “It’s humiliating to know that men in these institutions, in 2019, still think so little of women’s dignity and safety.”

At a meeting on Wednesday night with media lab personnel, Mr. Ito said he had “screwed up” by accepting the money, but that he had done so after a review by the university and consultation with his advisers.

Emails shared by a former employee at the Media Lab show that Mr. Epstein solicited a $2 million donation the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

On Saturday, the university’s president, L. Rafael Reif, said he had asked M.I.T.’s general counsel to hire an outside law firm to conduct “an immediate, thorough and independent investigation.”

“We are actively assessing how best to improve our policies, processes and procedures to fully reflect M.I.T.’s values and prevent such mistakes in the future,” he wrote in an email to the university community. “Our internal review process continues, and what we learn from it will inform the path ahead.”

The emails provided by Ms. Swenson outlined the informal role that Mr. Epstein played at the media lab. In the correspondence about the donation from Mr. Gates, Mr. Cohen wrote that Mr. Ito “did not talk with Bill Gates” and that the program “did not solicit this money.” In another, from May 2014, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Ito discussed Mr. Epstein helping connect the media lab to Mr. Black, the Apollo Global Management founder, who Mr. Epstein had advised on issues including philanthropy.

Mr. Cohen wrote that Mr. Black wanted to make a large donation “in honor of a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous,” and later asked Mr. Ito to find out from Mr. Epstein whether Mr. Black himself wanted to remain anonymous. One email indicated that Mr. Black had given the media lab a gift of $4 million by wire transfer.

Mr. Cohen also asked Mr. Ito whether Mr. Black would like a thank-you note from M.I.T.’s president. Mr. Black’s preference would be something “you or Jeffrey knows best,” be wrote.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Black, of Apollo Global Management, did not comment on Saturday. Mr. Black has sought to distance himself from Mr. Epstein, describing his interactions with him as limited to tax strategy, estate planning and philanthropic advice. He has also said Apollo had never done business with Mr. Epstein.

Mr. Cohen, now the director of development for computer and data science initiatives at Brown University, did not respond to messages seeking comment on Saturday.

The departure of Mr. Ito from the media lab came after he spent days trying to make amends. At Wednesday’s meeting, which was organized by professors at the program, he reiterated his apology. He described for the first time the amount of money he had received from Mr. Epstein, and said he had twice traveled to Mr. Epstein’s island home in the Caribbean to seek donations. He also told the crowd he had returned one check that Mr. Epstein had sent him earlier this year, after an article in the Miami Herald prompted heavy criticism of Mr. Epstein’s plea agreement in Florida in 2008.

But near the end, one of Mr. Ito’s staunchest supporters, Nicholas Negroponte, a founder of the media lab, said he had told Mr. Ito to take the money and would do it again. That prompted Mr. Ito to send an email to Mr. Negroponte in the middle of the night, complaining that he was undercutting his ability to make amends.

The situation worsened with the disclosure of the lab’s internal emails. An online petition established in support of Mr. Ito put a disclaimer at the top that it had been set up before news of the emails circulated. A few hours later, Mr. Ito tendered the first of several resignations he offered on Saturday afternoon.

By Saturday night, the petition site was no longer online.

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Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein

Nearly a month after his death, Jeffrey Epstein continues to haunt some of America’s most prestigious institutions.

On Saturday, a prominent figure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stepped down after the disclosure of his efforts to conceal his financial connections to Mr. Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell last month while facing federal sex trafficking charges.

Almost immediately, the M.I.T. official, Joichi Ito, left the boards of three other organizations: the MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The New York Times Company, where he had been a board member since 2012. He also left a visiting professorship at Harvard.

Mr. Ito, the tech evangelist and master networker who led the M.I.T. Media Lab — a program that prides itself on contrarian thinking — acknowledged last week that he had received $1.7 million from Mr. Epstein, including $1.2 million for his own outside investment funds.

“After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately,” Mr. Ito wrote in an email on Saturday to M.I.T.’s provost, Martin A. Schmidt.

Mr. Ito’s resignation came less than a day after an article in The New Yorker described the measures that he and other media lab officials took to conceal its relationship with Mr. Epstein. The internal emails, which a former media lab employee shared with The New York Times, described the handling of donations that Mr. Epstein made and apparently solicited from the rich and powerful over the years, including a $2 million gift from the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

In an email in October 2014 — six years after Mr. Epstein had pleaded guilty to a sex charge involving a minor in Florida — Mr. Ito wrote that the gift from Mr. Gates had been “directed by Jeffrey Epstein.” A development official at the media lab, Peter Cohen, wrote in a subsequent email, “For gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffrey’s name as the impetus for this gift.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Mr. Gates said Mr. Epstein had been introduced to Mr. Gates as a person interested in helping increase philanthropy. “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true,” the statement said. “And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grant making for Bill Gates is completely false.”

Mr. Gates — one of the world’s richest men and perhaps its most generous philanthropist — is one of many powerful people to face scrutiny for their connections to Mr. Epstein. President Trump and former President Bill Clinton have been forced to explain their associations with him. So have Britain’s Prince Andrew, high-profile scientists and business executives including Leslie Wexner, the chief executive of L Brands, and Leon Black, the founder of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms. R. Alexander Acosta, who as a federal prosecutor was involved in the plea agreement with Mr. Epstein in 2008, stepped down as labor secretary after that deal was heavily criticized.

Mr. Ito’s resignation from M.I.T. was followed in quick succession by announcements from other organizations.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 22nyepstein-articleLarge Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein Suicides and Suicide Attempts Sex Crimes Philanthropy New Yorker New York Times MIT Media Lab Microsoft Corp Massachusetts Institute of Technology MacArthur, John D and Catherine T, Foundation Knight, John S and James L, Foundation Ito, Joichi Gates, Bill Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Child Abuse and Neglect Apollo Global Management

Mr. Epstein at a court hearing in Florida in 2008. Internal emails at the Media Lab describe donations Mt. Epstein made and encouraged over the years.CreditUma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press

The MacArthur Foundation said reports about his actions, if true, were not in keeping with its values. “Most importantly, our hearts go out to the girls and women who survived the abuse of Jeffrey Epstein,” the foundation said in a statement.

A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, and the company’s president, Mark Thompson, wrote an email to staff members that Mr. Ito had stepped down, effective immediately. “Our newsroom will continue its aggressive reporting on Mr. Epstein, investigating both the individuals and the broader systems of power that enabled him for so many years,” they said.

Signe Swenson, who served as a development associate and alumni relations coordinator at the M.I.T. Media Lab from 2014 to 2016, shared the internal emails concerning Mr. Epstein with The Times. She said she had told supervisors several times of her “disgust” at Mr. Epstein’s involvement.

“That was never listened to,” Ms. Swenson, who worked under Mr. Cohen, said in an interview on Saturday. Ms. Swenson shared the correspondence after consulting with the organization Whistleblower Aid.

She said she learned of Mr. Epstein’s connection with the media lab when she interviewed for a position in March 2014, and told Mr. Cohen that M.I.T. listed Mr. Epstein as “disqualified” as a donor. She said Mr. Cohen replied that Mr. Ito had a relationship with the wealthy financier. In one 2014 email that Ms. Swenson shared, Mr. Ito wrote about a $100,000 donation from Mr. Epstein, asking the development staff members to “make sure this gets accounted for as anonymous.”

Mr. Ito took over the Media Lab in 2011 following a rapid ascent in the tech world that made him an unorthodox choice to lead an academic program, but not the freewheeling media lab. He was a two-time college dropout who had run a nightclub, then ran a string of internet companies and invested early in Twitter, Kickstarter and Flickr.

He was also a master networker — one who visited the Obama White House to discuss artificial intelligence and became friends with the respected Harvard lawyer Lawrence Lessig after criticizing Mr. Lessig’s book when he gave a talk in Japan. Mr. Lessig later put Mr. Ito on the board of Creative Commons, a nonprofit advocate for public intellectual property rights.

Mr. Ito’s ability to connect with both students and wealthy donors had helped him raise at least $50 million for the Media Lab, a sort of academic skunkworks. It has contributed to the development of technology related to touchscreens and GPS, is home to a program dedicated to democratizing access to outer space and hands out $250,000 awards to those “challenging the norms, rules or laws that sustain society’s injustices.”

Mr. Ito faced significant criticism from inside the Media Lab. Two scholars said they would leave at the end of the academic year, with one saying he had urged Mr. Ito not to associate with Mr. Epstein. While Mr. Ito did enjoy the support of many within the lab, there were calls for his resignation.

“We have worked literally for years to try to make STEM fields safe and welcoming, attractive fields for women and girls in the face of crushing sexism and gender bias,” said Kim Holleman, an artist who was a visiting scholar and a research affiliate at the media lab from 2013 through 2017. “It’s humiliating to know that men in these institutions, in 2019, still think so little of women’s dignity and safety.”

At a meeting on Wednesday night with media lab personnel, Mr. Ito said he had “screwed up” by accepting the money, but that he had done so after a review by the university and consultation with his advisers.

Emails shared by a former employee at the Media Lab show that Mr. Epstein solicited a $2 million donation the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

On Saturday, the university’s president, L. Rafael Reif, said he had asked M.I.T.’s general counsel to hire an outside law firm to conduct “an immediate, thorough and independent investigation.”

“We are actively assessing how best to improve our policies, processes and procedures to fully reflect M.I.T.’s values and prevent such mistakes in the future,” he wrote in an email to the university community. “Our internal review process continues, and what we learn from it will inform the path ahead.”

The emails provided by Ms. Swenson outlined the informal role that Mr. Epstein played at the media lab. In the correspondence about the donation from Mr. Gates, Mr. Cohen wrote that Mr. Ito “did not talk with Bill Gates” and that the program “did not solicit this money.” In another, from May 2014, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Ito discussed Mr. Epstein helping connect the media lab to Mr. Black, the Apollo Global Management founder, who Mr. Epstein had advised on issues including philanthropy.

Mr. Cohen wrote that Mr. Black wanted to make a large donation “in honor of a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous,” and later asked Mr. Ito to find out from Mr. Epstein whether Mr. Black himself wanted to remain anonymous. One email indicated that Mr. Black had given the media lab a gift of $4 million by wire transfer.

Mr. Cohen also asked Mr. Ito whether Mr. Black would like a thank-you note from M.I.T.’s president. Mr. Black’s preference would be something “you or Jeffrey knows best,” be wrote.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Black, of Apollo Global Management, did not comment on Saturday. Mr. Black has sought to distance himself from Mr. Epstein, describing his interactions with him as limited to tax strategy, estate planning and philanthropic advice. He has also said Apollo had never done business with Mr. Epstein.

Mr. Cohen, now the director of development for computer and data science initiatives at Brown University, did not respond to messages seeking comment on Saturday.

The departure of Mr. Ito from the media lab came after he spent days trying to make amends. At Wednesday’s meeting, which was organized by professors at the program, he reiterated his apology. He described for the first time the amount of money he had received from Mr. Epstein, and said he had twice traveled to Mr. Epstein’s island home in the Caribbean to seek donations. He also told the crowd he had returned one check that Mr. Epstein had sent him earlier this year, after an article in the Miami Herald prompted heavy criticism of Mr. Epstein’s plea agreement in Florida in 2008.

But near the end, one of Mr. Ito’s staunchest supporters, Nicholas Negroponte, a founder of the media lab, said he had told Mr. Ito to take the money and would do it again. That prompted Mr. Ito to send an email to Mr. Negroponte in the middle of the night, complaining that he was undercutting his ability to make amends.

The situation worsened with the disclosure of the lab’s internal emails. An online petition established in support of Mr. Ito put a disclaimer at the top that it had been set up before news of the emails circulated. A few hours later, Mr. Ito tendered the first of several resignations he offered on Saturday afternoon.

By Saturday night, the petition site was no longer online.

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Kamala Harris apologizes for laughing after audience member calls Trump ‘mentally retarded’

Westlake Legal Group Donald-Trump-Kamala-Harris-AP Kamala Harris apologizes for laughing after audience member calls Trump 'mentally retarded' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/politics fnc cbc0f2fa-aa68-5cfb-b075-fbc77f24f759 article

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., claimed Saturday that she didn’t hear an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall Friday call President Trump “mentally retarded” and apologized for laughing after the comment.

“When my staff played the video from my town hall yesterday, it was upsetting,” Harris tweeted on Saturday. “I didn’t hear the words the man used in that moment, but if I had I would’ve stopped and corrected him. I’m sorry. That word and others like it aren’t acceptable. Ever.”

KAMALA HARRIS INSISTS SHE’S STILL A ‘TOP TIER’ 2020 CONTENDER; CLAIMS TRUMP HAS ‘DEBASED’ THE PRESIDENCY

It’s unclear what the California senator was laughing at but video of the event showed her praising the attendee’s comments and laughing just after the man used the term.

KAMALA HARRIS SAYS SHE SUPPORTS PLASTIC STRAW BAN DURING CNN CLIMATE CHANGE MARATHON

“I heard him talk about the other stuff and then that came later and it was not something that I really heard or processed or I in any way condone. That’s for sure,” Harris told CBS News Saturday.

She added: “It’s offensive and you would think that in the year 2019, people would have a better understanding of how hurtful a term like that can be; but also the history behind it, which is a history of really ignoring the needs and the realities and the capacity of our disability community.”

Last month, Harris released a policy proposal geared at expanding economic opportunity for people with disabilities.

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“Kamala believes in an America that is fully accessible and inclusive for everyone and her administration will fight to make this a reality across all parts of our society,” the proposal read.

The document also contained a pledge to include people with disabilities in her policymaking processes. “As president, Kamala will have diverse leaders with disabilities developing all the policies her administration champions, including priorities that will lift up people with disabilities,” the plan read.

Westlake Legal Group Donald-Trump-Kamala-Harris-AP Kamala Harris apologizes for laughing after audience member calls Trump 'mentally retarded' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/politics fnc cbc0f2fa-aa68-5cfb-b075-fbc77f24f759 article   Westlake Legal Group Donald-Trump-Kamala-Harris-AP Kamala Harris apologizes for laughing after audience member calls Trump 'mentally retarded' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/politics fnc cbc0f2fa-aa68-5cfb-b075-fbc77f24f759 article

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Military Stopover at Scottish Airport Includes a Stay at a Trump Resort

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WASHINGTON — United States military personnel stayed at the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland in March when an Air Force plane stopped at a nearby airport to refuel on the way to Kuwait from the United States, an Air Force spokesman and a Trump Organization representative confirmed Saturday, while defending the decision as a routine matter.

Questions about the overnight stays at the Trump golf resort emerged after House investigators wrote to the department in June to ask about the surge in military stopovers at the obscure Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which is 23 miles from the Trump property.

Federal contract documents show that the Defense Department signed an agreement with the Prestwick airport to serve as a refueling location for military flights in August 2016, during the final months of the Obama administration. It could not be determined on Saturday if the department had contracts with the airport before then.

The records also show that the first payments under this contract started in early October 2017 and that a total of 917 payments for “liquid petroleum” have since been made at a total cost of $17.2 million. It is unclear how many stopovers this represents, as multiple payments were often made on the same day.

Details about the flights, and possible visits to Turnberry by United States military personnel, were first reported by The Guardian newspaper in early 2018 and then again on Friday by Politico.

In June, Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, wrote to the Pentagon asking if the refueling stops might be part of a politically motivated effort to help keep the struggling Prestwick airport open, and to help drive sales at Trump Turnberry.

“The airport closest to the Trump Turnberry golf course — Glasgow Prestwick Airport — has been viewed as integral to the golf course’s financial success, yet it too has lost millions of dollars every year since its purchase by the Scottish government in 2013,” Mr. Cummings’s letter said. “Given the president’s continued financial stake in his Scotland golf courses, these reports raise questions.”

Mr. Trump himself has helped bolster the profile of the Turnberry resort, visiting the property in June 2018 and during his presidential campaign in 2016. Mr. Trump has claimed to have spent about $264 million since 2014 to buy and renovate the property — a figure that has not been verified independently.

There are more than two dozen hotels, guesthouses and inns just a few miles from the Prestwick airport, most of them much less expensive than the full advertised rate at Trump Turnberry, where rooms this time of year typically sell for about $380 a night.

But Brig. Gen. Edward W. Thomas Jr., the Air Force spokesman, said in a statement that the choice of the Trump resort came after the crew “made reservations through the Defense Travel System and used the closest available and least expensive accommodations to the airfield within the crews’ allowable hotel rates.” He added that “the Trump property ($136) was less expensive than the Marriott property ($161) and both were under,” the maximum allowable spending amount, which is $166.

The decision to use the Prestwick airport was “nothing that falls outside the guidelines,” he said.

“The stopover of a U.S. Air Force C-17 in Glasgow, Scotland, is not unusual,” he said in the statement. “Every two and half minutes an Air Force transport aircraft takes off or lands somewhere around the globe. As our aircrews serve on these international airlift missions, they follow strict guidelines on contracting for hotel accommodations and all expenditures of taxpayer dollars.”

The Trump family bought the Turnberry golf course in 2014. It generated $23.4 million in revenue last year, up by $3 million compared to 2017.

A representative for the Trump Organization also confirmed Saturday that United States military personnel have occasionally stayed at the Trump Turnberry. But the representative said that it happened only a few times a year and that the company was charging the government a discounted rate of about $100 a night.

Any profits from the stay, beyond covering basic services like housekeeping, are being paid back to the federal government, the Trump representative said, adding that it is illegal for a private company to give a service to the federal government at no cost.

The Guardian last year reported that the Scottish government sought out the contract with the Defense Department to try to help increase revenue at the airport. That effort also included discussions with Trump Turnberry about offering special rates for travelers that used the hotel or other ways to lift business there.

The Prestwick airport, which does not have direct flights from the United States, has struggled financially in recent years. The Scottish government bought the airport in 2013 in an attempt to keep it operational, and it is now trying to sell it.

The next closest airport to the Trump Turnberry resort is the main international airport in Glasgow, which is 55 miles away, or nearly twice the distance. A spokesman for Trump Organization said most international travelers headed to Trump Turnberry already use the larger Glasgow airport, so the Trump resort received no major benefit by keeping the Prestwick airport operational.

The Trump Organization announced in 2014 that it was teaming up with executives at the Prestwick airport to try to drive more traffic to its runways.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Glasgow Prestwick Airport,” Mr. Trump said during a visit to the airport at the time, after he bought the golf course. “They have a tremendous facility with a unique, rich history.”

The news media in Scotland reported at the time that as part of the deal, the Trump Organization would offer rides from the airport to the Turnberry resort either by a Trump-owned helicopter or via hired cars.

“Forging a new partnership between the airport and the Trump Organization will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial to both parties,” Iain Cochrane, then the chief executive of the airport, was quoted as saying at the time.

Mr. Trump, sharing a link about the deal on Twitter, wrote, “Donald Trump pledges to make Prestwick Airport ‘really successful.’”

House investigators said they were frustrated that no one from the Defense Department had responded to questions about operations at the Prestwick airport.

“The Defense Department has not produced a single document in this investigation,” the committee said in a statement. “The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps if the Pentagon does not begin complying voluntarily in the coming days.”

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Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan and has called off negotiations with the Afghan insurgent group that were close to a peace agreement months in the making.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160210767_5848265e-2162-49eb-9ad9-222190f8c9d2-articleLarge Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing Taliban Politics and Government Afghanistan War (2001- ) Afghanistan

The site of a suicide attack in Kabul last week. Mr. Trump said that the Taliban had admitted to one such attack that had killed an American soldier.CreditHedayatullah Amid/EPA, via Shutterstock

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets, Taliban leaders and the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, were headed to the United States on Saturday night for what would have been a historic Sunday meeting at Camp David.

But Mr. Trump angrily said that “in order to build false leverage,” the Taliban had admitted to a suicide car bomb attack on Thursday that had killed an American soldier in the capital of Kabul.

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Mr. Trump wrote. “How many more decades are they willing to fight?”

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Trump Says He Secretly Invited Taliban Leaders, Afghanistan President To U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 5d743713240000082477c6a8 Trump Says He Secretly Invited Taliban Leaders, Afghanistan President To U.S.

President Donald Trump revealed Saturday that he secretly invited Taliban leaders and the Afghanistan president to meet with him in the U.S., but called the meeting off before they were scheduled to land on Saturday.

In a series of tweets, Trump said he was forced to cancel the meeting, which would’ve taken place Sunday at Camp David in Maryland, after “they” admitted to a deadly attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Trump didn’t clarify whether he was referring to both the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, though the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul that killed 10 people, including one American service member, on Thursday.

President Ghani was scheduled to meet with Trump early next week but reportedly postponed the trip, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, before the Kabul bombing, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad announced that the U.S. had reached an agreement with the Taliban “on principle.” Khalilzad reportedly rushed back to Qatar, where his negotiations with the Taliban had taken place, after the attack.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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