Rep. Tlaib won’t visit West Bank — Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Friday she would not visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank, despite being granted an Israeli permit on humanitarian grounds, saying Israel’s “oppressive” conditions aimed to humiliate her. Israel barred Tlaib and another Democrat, Rep. Ilhan Omar, from visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank over their support for the international boycott movement following an unprecedented appeal from President Donald Trump to deny them entry. Israel had said Tlaib could visit relatives in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds. But then the Interior Ministry released a letter purportedly signed by Tlaib in which she promised not to advocate boycotts during her visit. That appears to have led to her decision to cancel the visit. Trump later tweeted, “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
Confirmed: Epstein died by hanging — New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide Friday, confirming after nearly a week of speculation that the financier hanged himself in his jail cell. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Aug. 10, touching off outrage and disbelief over how such a high-profile prisoner, known for socializing with powerful people including presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, could have gone unwatched. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement she made the suicide determination “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings.” The Bureau of Prisons said at the time Epstein had apparently killed himself, but that didn’t squelch conspiracy theories about his death. One of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, declined to comment.
Hundreds join protests in Kashmir — Hundreds of people protested an unprecedented security crackdown and clashed with police Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as India’s government said it was constantly reviewing the situation in the disputed region and the restrictions there will be removed over the next few days. The U.N. Security Council met on Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in decades, and Pakistan’s ambassador to the world body said the session showed that people in the region “may be locked up … but their voices were heard today.” The Security Council took no action during the closed meeting, which was called for by China and Pakistan. Young and old demonstrators took to the streets in Srinagar, the region’s main city, after Friday prayers. They carried green Islamic flags and signs reading “Stop Genocide in Kashmir, Wake Up World.”
Greenland: We’re not for sale — Greenlanders are giving Donald Trump the cold shoulder. Although amused, they’re definitely not warming up to the U.S. president’s talk of buying the semiautonomous Danish territory. “We see it as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer,” the Greenland government said Friday in a short statement. “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.” Reports that Trump had spoken about the notion of buying the land mass, which lies between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, were good for a laugh, residents said.
Lawsuits over migrant children— Dozens of families separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy are preparing to sue the federal government, including several who say their young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care. A review of 38 legal claims obtained by The Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages. More than 3,000 migrant children were taken from their parents at the border in recent years, and many more lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions. The families — some in the U.S., others already deported to Central America — are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms. They’re making claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a precursor to filing lawsuits. The act allows individuals who suffer harm as a direct result of federal employees to sue the government. “It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Erik Walsh, an attorney at Arnold & Porter, which has one of the world’s leading pro bono programs.
Campaign trail — Beto O’Rourke on Friday became the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit one of the Mississippi towns where federal immigration agents raided chicken processing plants and arrested nearly 700 people. It was the former Texas congressman’s first campaign stop since he suspended his bid for nearly two weeks to stay in his hometown of El Paso, where a mass shooting killed 22 people on Aug. 3. O’Rourke is refocusing his campaign on what he calls President Donald Trump’s divisive policies and rhetoric. Meanwhile, Trump sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire that their financial security depends on his reelection. “Whether you love me or hate me you have to vote for me,” Trump said.