Monday Sunrise Briefs: After Epstein, Norway hero, and Jerusalem clash

Charlie Riedel/AP
Simone Biles won a record sixth title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri, with a triple-twisting, double somersault, a feat no other woman has accomplished.

Justice persists.

After Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide Saturday in a federal jail, we can expect prosecutors to focus on suspected accomplices. Court documents released Friday described three unnamed employees who allegedly facilitated criminal acts against underage girls. While Mr. Epstein’s death ends the criminal case against him, civil lawsuits targeting his wealth are expected to be filed by alleged victims. The Epstein case, involving charges of child sex trafficking, was considered an important example of the pursuit of justice against wealthy and politically connected individuals. Meanwhile, we can also expect an investigation into why a high-profile prisoner wasn’t under a suicide watch.

Quick-thinking courage: In Norway, a 65-year-old man tackled a gunman before he could shoot anyone at a mosque on Saturday. The 21-year-old white man was reportedly wearing body armor and carrying multiple firearms. Witnesses said Mohamed Rafiq and another worshipper restrained the suspect until police arrived. Norwegian police say they are investigating this as a possible terror attack, based on social media posts by the suspect. 

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, sunrise briefing.

Here are four news events that happened this weekend (while you were dancing, watching “Hobbs & Shaw,” and enjoying an offline life).

Temple of tensions: Muslim worshippers and Israeli police clashed Sunday at a major Jerusalem holy site during prayers marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. The site, known as the Temple Mount to Jews, is their holiest, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest for Muslims. It has long been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jews are barred from praying at the compound under a long-standing arrangement between Israel and Muslim authorities. But police say the decision to allow Jewish visitors to enter the site was made “with the backing of the top political officials.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious nationalist allies have called for the site to be opened to Jews. Israelis are headed to unprecedented repeat elections next month.

Church leaders take immigration stand: Several dozen children and adults marched Sunday in Canton, Mississippi, protesting the detention of 680 migrant workers at nearby poultry plants last week. As Trump administration officials defended the raids, churches in Mississippi are emerging key sources of spiritual and material support to the mostly Mexican and Guatemalan workers targeted by raids. The state’s Catholic, Episcopal, United Methodist, and Evangelical Lutheran bishops denounced the raids in a joint statement Friday.

Eric Thayer/Reuters
Sen. Cory Booker was one of nearly two dozen candidates who campaigned at the Iowa State Fair this weekend in Des Moines. The fair marks the unofficial start of a six-month sprint to the Iowa caucuses.

Look ahead

Monday, Aug. 12

Cosby tests the power of #MeToo justice: Bill Cosby’s legal team will push for a new trial in a Pennsylvania appeals court. Mr. Cosby was sentenced last year to up to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. Since Mr. Cosby is the first celebrity convicted in the #MeToo era, the court’s review of the case could cement – or undermine – the movement itself.

Wednesday, Aug. 14

Celebrating independence: Pakistan (on Wednesday) and India (on Thursday) observe their national independence days during a period of tense relations between these two neighbors. Pakistan last week announced it would downgrade diplomatic relations and suspend trade with India after New Delhi moved to take more control of the disputed state of Kashmir.

Thursday, Aug. 15

Fifty years after Woodstock: The legendary music festival held on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, drew some 400,000 attendees and the biggest rock and folk music acts of the day. Why does this cultural landmark still resonate? Read the Monitor editor’s blog and watch for our cover story later this week. 

MAGA rally in New Hampshire: President Donald Trump takes a break from his 10-day August vacation to campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Generosity watch

That’s what neighbors do: Lamar Harris owed $50,000 in back property taxes on his New Jersey home. He was facing foreclosure last week. But Mr. Harris, who lives alone and struggles with reading and writing, lives in a tight-knit neighborhood. His Gloucester Township neighbors set up a GoFundMe page to help him. In a week, they’d collected $50,000 and the tally is now more than $70,000. “That’s what family does, right?” Terri Fretz, who’s known Harris for 38 years, told CNN.

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor editors and readers:

Why wealth and patience appear to go hand in hand

Jacob Turcotte/Staff

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story on the new Guatemalan president, Alejandro Giammattei, and whether this White House can make the Central American nation a cornerstone of its immigration policy.

Finally, the Monitor’s five best stories in Friday’s subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. The body cam revolution: What it has, and hasn’t, accomplished
  2. Talking in Qatar, bombing in Kabul. How to explain the Taliban?
  3. A trade war over history? Sort of. Why Japan and South Korea are feuding.
  4. A sense of ‘western alienation’ mounts in Canada’s Texas
  5. Meet Hollywood’s newest superheroes: Righteous moms

This is a beta test. This is an experiment with an early Monday morning news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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