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Prosecutors, arguing against bail for Jeffrey Epstein, claim he tried to buy off witnesses

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Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The allegations came Friday as prosecutors argued against a federal judge setting bail for the multi-millionaire.

Epstein, who in 2008 served 13 months in jail after pleading to state prostitution charges in Florida, was arrested last weekend on charges that he “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations,” according to the indictment.

His attorneys had argued that the multi-millionaire should remain free on bond while awaiting trial, using his Manhattan mansion and his private jet as collateral. But prosecutors responded Friday that Epstein should be held without bail due to his serious threat as a flight risk.

“The defendant’s transient lifestyle, his lack of family or community ties, his extensive international travel and ties outside the country, and his vast wealth, including his access to and ownership of private planes, all provide the defendant with the motive and means to become a successful fugitive,” prosecutors said in a memo to the court.

In arguing for Epstein’s continued detention, prosecutors said that he had demonstrated a “willingness to use intimidation and aggressive tactics in connection with a criminal investigation.”

The memo alleges that late last year Epstein wired $100,000 from a trust account to a person who had been named in the 2008 case as a possible co-conspirator of Epstein’s, and then three days later wired $250,000 to another suspected co-conspirator.

“Neither of these payments appears to be recurring or repeating during the approximately five years of bank records presently available to the Government,” the memo said. “This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations.”

Epstein is charged with paying minor girls hundreds of dollars to provide “massages” that ultimately escalated into sexual encounters, and then later “encouraged or enticed” them to recruit other girls to do the same, thus maintaining “a steady supply of new victims,” according to the indictment.

He also “worked and conspired with others, including employees and associates who facilitated his conduct by, among other things, contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with Epstein,” the indictment says.

Epstein defense attorney Reid Weingarten did not immediately respond late Friday to a request for comment on prosecutors’ claims of potential witness tampering.

If convicted, Epstein, 66, could face up to 45 years imprisonment, which prosecutors say would likely amount to a life sentence.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Half a million people pledge to storm Area 51 to 'see them aliens’

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DigitalGlobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Nearly half a million believers have declared they’re rushing Area 51 to “see them aliens.”
By late Friday, 496,000 Facebook users RSVPd “yes” in hopes of catching up with their other-worldly friends at the event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” on Sept. 20 in the Nevada desert. An additional 494,000 users responded that they were interested.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” according to the event organizer, whose Facebook handle is Sh**posting cause im in shambles.

“If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens,” the organizer wrote, referring to the Japanese anime “Naruto” title character’s distinct running style, in which he runs with his arms outstretched straight behind him. The term is also a popular meme.

“Lets see them aliens,” he concluded.

Area 51 is the part of the Nevada desert located in the highly-classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, where conspiracy theorists believe UFO spacecraft are stored.

Would-be alien buddies should brace themselves for possible disappointment, though.

Some social media users expressed concern over the timing of the event.

“Folks, bad news,” Facebook user Jen Petrilli, posted on the event’s discussion page. “This event is planned for September 20th. While I love this planning time, this gives them a lot of time to move the aliens out of Area 51. If we want to get our extraterrestrial pals into safe and loving arms, this needs to ASAP. Love, A friend to the aliens.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man beaten to death by Philly mob after he allegedly tried to steal car with children inside

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WPVI(PHILADELPHIA) — A 54-year-old man was beaten to death by crowd of onlookers in Philadelphia after he attempted to steal a car with three children inside but was stopped by the parents, police said.

The man, who police identified as Eric Hood, hopped into the car and drove off while the parents of the kids were inside a store on Thursday around 9:50 p.m., according to a press release from the Philadelphia Police Department.

However, he didn’t make it far.

The mother and father, who also were not identified, managed to chase down the vehicle and remove Hood from inside at a red light, police said.

The alleged carjacker assaulted the dad and fled, according to police, but was stopped by a larger crowd who kicked and punched him repeatedly. The assault continued until police arrived.

The children in the car were not injured in the incident, police said.

Hood was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A nephew of Hood, who did not want to be named, told ABC News Friday that he had only just learned of his uncle’s death a few hours before.

“I’m saddened that all this had to happen,” he said. “I’m sad that my uncle lost his life doing something that’s so out of character for him and for the kids, just going through it.”

“There’s no one that’s winning in this incident,” the nephew continued. “It’s tragic all around.”

The nephew said that while his uncle struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, the alleged carjacking incident was a shock to the family.

“He wasn’t in his his right mind,” he said. “That’s not the uncle I remember. This is just a shock.”

“Just jumping in somebody’s car with kids in the back?” the nephew added. “Who does that?”

Police have not yet filed charges against the parents and are awaiting results from the Philadelphia’s medical examiner’s office to determine a cause of death.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kenny Chesney is "Living in Fast Forward" with elaborate new book

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Blue Chair/Warner Music NashvilleKenny Chesney is producing an elaborate, 456-page coffee table book for his fan club, known as No Shoes Nation.

Kenny Chesney: Living in Fast Forward immortalizes the live concert experiences the superstar from East Tennessee is famous for.

“This is a very special journey every year,” Kenny says of going on tour. “And I am the only person who truly was able to capture it all, because I’m there when the stage is built, the buses pull in.”

He adds, “Looking at all the pictures, I saw this amazing story — and I knew I wanted to do something that would still be here long after we were gone, and so I started to dream.”  

There will only be 3,500 copies of the sure-to-be coveted souvenir, and they’ll all be signed and numbered.

Members of No Shoes Nation will be able to buy them through a lottery. You can find out more at LivingInFastForwardBook.com.

Meanwhile, Kenny’s new single, “Tip of My Tongue” — co-written with pop superstar Ed Sheeran — is out now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pottery Barn releasing 'Friends'-inspired collection — including the infamous apothecary table

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Pottery Barn(LOS ANGELES) — Friends had a whole episode revolving around Pottery Barn – “The One with the Apothecary Table” – so in honor of the sitcom’s 25th anniversary, the furniture store is releasing an entire Friends-inspired collection.

The collection will include “Central Perk-worthy accents,” furniture, and, of course, an apothecary table. In the infamous season six episode, Rachel tries to convince Phoebe a Pottery Barn apothecary table is a one-of-a-kind antique after finding out that Phoebe hates Pottery Barn.

While the entire collection has not yet been revealed, a promotional photo for the line shows a Central Perk mug perched atop the apothecary table, in front of a couch with a pillow that reads, “Welcome Friends.”

According to Pottery Barn, the collection will be released on Tuesday, July 30 and prices will start at $12.50.

The store is also offering fans a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, a Pottery Barn shopping spree and a tour of Warner Bros. Studios, where you’ll visit the Central Perk set.

Friends officially celebrates its 25th anniversary on September 22.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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