Before the bell, futures are extending their rebound as on Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in positive territory halting a three-day decline.
Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), pleaded guilty on Monday to six criminal charges, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl and wire fraud, the Washington Post reports.Why it matters: The Justice Department is investigating Gaetz “over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old,” per the New York Times. Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector, could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeInvestigators found evidence “potentially implicating Gaetz in sex trafficking” after probing Greenberg’s conduct, the Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter. “The allegations against me are as searing as they are false,” Gaetz told Axios’ Jonathan Swan in March. The Florida congressman and Trump loyalist has not been charged.What’s next: Greenberg has agreed to cooperate in the federal investigation in exchange for prosecutors dropping the other 27 counts he faced.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
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Apple TV+Prince Harry’s son, Archie, is featured in the trailer for his new documentary with Oprah Winfrey.While it must be said at the outset that Archie is utterly adorable, the move to include Archie in the film could trigger a new round of criticism over the Sussexes’ perceived double standards when it comes to their privacy.The trailer for Harry’s new show, which is called The Me You Can’t See, was released Monday morning.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Should Drop Their Titles, Royal Sources SayThe show itself, which is described as a multipart documentary, will hit screens via Apple TV+ on Friday.The dropping of the official trailer was announced on Harry and Meghan’s website, Archewell, which said it “offers a glimpse into the diverse stories of mental health and emotional well-being that will be highlighted in the new documentary series.”The show will see Harry and Oprah “join forces to guide honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being while opening up about their personal journeys and struggles,” the website said.It added that the docuseries would feature “high-profile guests and everyday people—including singer, songwriter, and actress Lady Gaga, Syrian refugee Fawzi, DeMar DeRozan of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, author and counselor Ambar, and many others—sharing their stories of living with the challenges of mental health issues and addressing their emotional well-being.”The trailer at one stage shows a tearful Oprah saying: “It’s just something I accepted.” Oprah has previously opened up about how she was raped as a child.There is a clear suggestion that Harry will talk in detail about his own traumatic childhood: In one clip he is shown looking emotional at the camera before it cuts to footage of him at the funeral of his mother, Princess Diana.There will likely be some trepidation at Buckingham Palace that Harry will use the film to renew his criticisms of his father, Prince Charles.Last week, speaking about Charles, he told a podcast: “He’s treating me the way that he was treated.” He also said: “There’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway. As parents we should be doing the most we can to try and say, ‘You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.’”It seems unlikely the new series will lead to any royal reconciliation. In another clip, Harry appears to be on a video call when he is joined by wife Meghan, who is wearing a T-shirt with the words “Raising The Future” emblazoned on it. (The shirt is by Mère Soeur, a “U.K. lifestyle brand that empowers women and celebrates sisterhood.”)Suggesting that the impact of the pandemic will be a key thread in the show, Harry is seen saying, “The results of this year will be felt for decades, for kids, families, husbands, wives…”The trailer then cuts to footage of Archie on Meghan’s knee. Archie is wearing a white baby suit, and Meghan is holding a large rectangular object which looks like a kid-proofed tablet (or perhaps a baby mirror).The inclusion of Archie in the trailer, and presumably the series itself, is likely to spark criticism of the couple for double standards when it comes to their family privacy, in much the same way that Archie’s appearance in a podcast they made for Spotify last year did.On that occasion, Archie was heard wishing listeners, “Happy New Year.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Shannon Keeler was enjoying a weekend getaway with her boyfriend last year when she checked her Facebook messages for the first time in ages. The messages rocketed Keeler back to the life-shattering night in December 2013 when an upperclassman at Gettysburg College stalked her at a party, snuck into her dorm and barged into her room while she pleaded with him and texted friends for help. Eight years later, she still hopes to persuade authorities in Pennsylvania to make an arrest, armed now with perhaps her strongest piece of evidence: his alleged confession, sent via social media.
Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.Driving the news: Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined panel Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in a bipartisan statement saying: “Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.”As a result of Hamas’ rocket attacks and Israel’s response, both sides must recognize that too many lives have been lost and must not escalate the conflict further,” Young and Murphy added. “We are encouraged by reports that the parties are exploring a ceasefire. We hope that this ceasefire can be reached quickly and that additional steps can be taken to preserve a two-state future.”Of note: Murphy also added his name to a separate statement with 27 other Democrats, led by Sen. Jon Ossoff (Ga.), saying: “To prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories, we urge an immediate ceasefire.”Joint Statement Urging Ceasefire in Middle East pic.twitter.com/nkTNFqH7re— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) May 16, 2021 The big picture: The lawmakers’ calls came after the United Nations Security Council held a meeting to discuss the violence that has killed over 180 Palestinians and 10 Israelis since fighting began last Monday.Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, told the virtual meeting that the Biden administration had “made clear” to both sides that it would provide assistance “should the parties seek a ceasefire,” per Reuters.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
China on Monday renewed calls for the U.S. to play a constructive role in ending the conflict in Gaza and stop blocking efforts at the United Nations to demand an end to the bloodshed. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China, as rotating head of the Security Council, has urged a cease-fire and the provision of humanitarian assistance, among other proposals, but that obstruction by “one country” has prevented the council from speaking with one voice. “We call on the United States to assume its due responsibility and take an impartial position to support the council and play its due role in cooling down the situation and rebuilding trust for a political solution,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.
Melinda French Gates started talking with divorce lawyers in late 2019, not long after The New York Times reported that Bill Gates had more interactions with pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein that she had known about, the Times and The Wall Street Journal report. But it was also in late 2019 that Microsoft’s board became aware of a letter from a Microsoft engineer who said she had been in a sexual relationship with Bill Gates years earlier, the Journal reported Sunday evening. The couple announced their divorce May 3, after 27 years of marriage. Microsoft board members hired a law firm to investigate the woman’s allegations and deemed the relationship inappropriate, and by early 2020 “some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director at the software company he started and led for decades,” the Journal reports. “Mr. Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed and before the full board could make a formal decision on the matter.” He had just been re-elected to the board in December 2019, three months before his March 13, 2020, resignation. “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Bill Gates, said in a statement. “Gates’ decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.” Melinda Gates had been upset with her future ex-husband on and off for years, including over a sexual harassment settlement Bill Gates had facilitated for the couple’s longtime financial adviser, the Times reports. “In some circles, Bill Gates had also developed a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings,” and on at least a few occasions he had “pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” “It is not clear how much Ms. French Gates knew about her husband’s behavior or to what degree it contributed to their split,” the Times reports. Arnold, the spokeswoman, told the Times “it is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’ divorce.” She added, “The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’ divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as ‘sources.'” More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Liz Cheney’s ousterThe White House is apparently overrun with fliesUFOs are very real, 60 Minutes reports, they’re still unidentified, and they aren’t American
Analysis: Every time life nears normal, along comes another variant Indian variant surges from two to 20 per cent of Covid cases in a month Covid lockdown roadmap: Rules changing from today, May 17 Portugal dispatch: We’re tested, filled in the forms and this is how it feels Now Covid-hit India grapples with a cyclone EU finally has its vaccine rollout on track, but history will judge it a loser A total of 86 local authorities now have five or more cases of the Indian variant, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced amid ongoing concerns about the spread of the strain. A total of 2,323 cases of the variant have currently been detected in the UK, including 483 in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, the most significant hotspots, where cases have doubled in the past week. Bedford is the next major area of concern. Mr Hancock said that eight people had been hospitalised with the strain in Blackburn and 19 in Bolton – the majority of whom were eligible for a Covid vaccine but had not received one. Across the UK, fewer than 1,000 people are in hospital with the virus and deaths are averaging at nine per day. The Health Secretary said that surge testing and vaccines had been rolled out in Bolton and Blackburn on a scale unseen anywhere else so far in the pandemic. A rapid response team visited 35,000 people this weekend to distribute and collect Covid-19 tests, and two new vaccination centers have been set up. Surge testing is now being deployed in Bedford. It comes as Mr Hancock announced that the vaccination rollout campaign is set to be expanded to include anyone aged 37 and over from tomorrow. Follow the latest updates below.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill Monday to require death row inmates to choose between firing squad or the electric chair, as a lack of drugs for lethal injections has stalled executions, AP reports.The big picture: State executions have been steadily dropping for two decades, as the U.S. generally shifted away from the punishment. South Carolina is moving in the opposite direction.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeIt has been 10 years since South Carolina last executed an inmate on death row. Lawmakers have said that’s because pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell states the drugs to carry out lethal injections.Worth noting: Lethal injection is still the primary method for executions under the law, but the state will mandate that prison officials can use an electric chair or firing squad if they don’t have the drugs.The big picture: 24 states have a death penalty law in place. Fewer than 50 death sentences have been imposed each year for the past six years. Biden opposes the death penalty and has said he wants to end its use.Three other states — Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah — allow firing squads to carry out executions, AP writes, citing the Death Penalty Information Center.Zoom in: Three South Carolina inmates had chosen an execution method — lethal injection — that the state was unable to carry out, due to a lack of drugs for lethal injection, AP reports.While the electric chair is ready to use in the state, prison officials are still researching how firing squads operate in the three other states that allow them for executions. Lawyers for the three inmates are considering suing, per AP. Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes. Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeUnited Nations Secretary General António Guterres said at a UN Security Council meeting Sunday the fighting “has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism — not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole.”What’s happening: Gaza officials said 10 children were among 42 people to die in airstrikes in the Palestinian territory Sunday — the deadliest day so far of the latest conflict. Israeli’s military said it had “attacked the homes of nine Hamas commanders across Gaza,” as Hamas continued to rockets toward civilian areas of Israel, AP reports.The big picture: President Biden raised concerns with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of a building that housed media offices including AP and Al Jazeera.Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday that Israeli forces’ attacks would continue with “full force” despite growing international calls for a ceasefire, per AP. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images A wounded Palestinians girl is evacuated from the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaza City’s Rimal residential district on May 16, following Israeli airstrikes. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images A building damaged by Hamas rockets in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, May 16. Photo: Gideon Markowicz/AFP via Getty Images Smoke billows from a fire following Israeli airstrikes on multiple targets in Gaza on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by Hamas from Gaza toward Israel early on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images Palestinian doctors rush to treat a wounded girl who arrived with her family at Al-Shifa Hospital after intensive bombardments in Gaza City on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images Members of Israel’s security and emergency services transport an injured woman from a site hit by a rocket in Ramat Gan on May 15. Photo: Oren Ziv/AFP via Getty Images Palestinians carry one of survivors from under the rubble of a building, after it was struck by Israeli strikes, in Gaza, May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images A member of the Israeli emergency services works on a site hit by a rocket in Ramat Gan, following the launching of rockets from Gaza. Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty ImagesGo deeper: AP calls for independent investigation into Israeli bombing of Gaza officeEditor’s note: This article has been updated with the latest developments in the fighting, the increased death toll, political reactions and more photos.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free