Inside Daily Brief - August 16th, 2019

Inside Daily Brief (Aug 16th, 2019)

Epstein autopsy results / Rice cooker evacuation / Cat allergy vaccine / Ohio "giga" coaster

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1. Jeffrey Epstein died from a suicide by hanging, according to autopsy results, the New York City medical examiner’s office said on Friday. The determination came six days after Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center. Officials said that Epstein apparently tied a bedsheet to the top of a bunk bed "and knelt toward the floor with enough force that he broke several bones in his neck," according to The New York Times. The Justice Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I. are heading up investigations into Epstein's death, which occurred while he was awaiting trial on conspiracy and sex trafficking charges. - AP

2. ⚖️ A U.S. appeals court ruled that an injunction blocking new asylum restrictions for migrants only applies to California and Arizona along the U.S.-Mexico border. Friday's ruling by the San Francisco federal appeals court for the 9th Circuit means that the Trump administration could begin imposing the asylum restrictions in other states. The court's decision effectively blocks, for now, a nationwide injunction preventing the rules from taking effect. The three-judge panel said it doesn't believe that "a nationwide injunction is justified.” The ruling comes after a California federal judge last month blocked the administration rule that would require migrants to apply first in one of the countries they cross on their way to the U.S. - WSJ

3. 🌍 Two new cases of Ebola were confirmed in a new province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where an outbreak has killed 1,808 people out of 2,765 cases confirmed since last August. The cases, including one that was fatal, were confirmed in the province of South Kivu, which borders Rwanda, indicating that the disease has spread further. An experimental vaccine is being used and can protect more than 95 percent of people who receive it, but it is not infallible. The current year-long outbreak is the second-largest in history. - THE GUARDIAN

4. People on social media have called for a boycott of Disney's upcoming live-action "Mulan" remake after the lead actress expressed support for Hong Kong's police force. Chinese-born Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan in the film, wrote on Weibo, "I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong." Anti-government demonstrators, who have accused the police of using excessive force to subdue protests in Hong Kong, spoke out against Liu's comments. The hashtag #BoycottMulan trended in Hong Kong and the U.S. - BBC

5. 🚔 Police in Manhattan are searching for a suspect who left two rice cookers - later deemed to be safe and not explosives - in a subway station during peak commute times, resulting in an evacuation. The rice cookers "could be mistaken for pressure cookers,” said John Miller, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism. A third rice cooker of the same make and model was later found in a garbage can in the Chelsea neighborhood. Police have video of a white suspect with dark hair, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, placing the two cookers in the Fulton Street subway station. - NY TIMES

6. 🐈 A new vaccine administered to cats can help reduce allergy symptoms in their humans. The vaccine, called HypoCat, immunizes cats against their own major allergen found in cat dander; about 10 percent of humans people are allergic to that allergen, Fel d 1. In studies, the vaccine was "well-tolerated [by the cats] without any overt toxicity," according to the Swiss-based company HypoPet AG, which developed the vaccine. Its CEO told Gizmodo that they hope to reach market by 2022. - CBS

7. 📞 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to designate “988" as a special hotline number for suicide prevention. The current number for suicide prevention assistance is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). In a report sent to Congress this week, the FCC recommended that it designate “988” to replace the 10-number code, making it easier for people to call. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and rates have increased more than 30 percent in half of all states since 1999, according to the CDC. - REUTERS

8. 📰 Stephen West, who was convicted in the 1980s for killing a mother and her 15-year-old daughter, was executed via the electric chair on Thursday night in Tennessee. West, who denied fatally stabbing the victims and blamed an accomplice, had a choice between electrocution or lethal injection. According to witnesses, West had a Philly cheesesteak and french fries for his last meal; his last words were "Jesus wept. That's all." - CNN

9. 🎢 The King's Island theme park in Ohio plans to open a "giga" roller coaster - one of just seven in the world - by next spring. A giga coaster is defined as one with at least one drop between 300 and 399 feet. Orion will have a 300 foot drop, followed by seven more hills and speeds of up to 91 mph in a ride that lasts three minutes. It will be the park's tallest, longest, and fastest coaster. - USA TODAY

10. 📺 Netflix ordered an adult animated comedy series based on Elvis Presley. "Agent King" is co-created by Priscilla Presley, the spouse of the late crooner, and rocker John Eddie, who are working with Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Television, and Authentic Brands Group. The series will see Elvis covertly inducted into a secret government spy program while still keeping his job as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sunday also marks the end of “Elvis Week," a yearly celebration of the singer's music and movies. - VARIETY


They're out there...

Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news and other topics in southern California here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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