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ROME (AP) — Italian customs police on Monday dismantled a Nigerian organized crime syndicate that forced dozens of young women into prostitution and begging on the streets of Italy and then smuggled out millions of euros in ill-gained revenues to Nigeria, with cash hidden in suitcase handles or pasta packages.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The leader of a Philippines-based church was charged with having sex with women and underage girls who faced threats of abuse and “eternal damnation” unless they catered to the self-proclaimed “son of God,” federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — An inmate at the largest federal prison in the U.S. was stabbed in the eyeball by a fellow prisoner this month, the latest gruesome example of violence in a prison system plagued by chronic unrest, understaffing, corruption and abuse.

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HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities said Tuesday they seized a total of over 4,000 pounds of live lobsters and sea cucumbers believed to be bound for mainland China, months after Beijing restricted imports of the crustaceans from Australia as tensions escalated between the two countries.

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge on Tuesday again refused to let British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell trade a jail cell for home detention, citing previous rulings that the nature of charges alleging Maxwell recruited teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse and her ability to flee make it impossible to let her out.

A Montreal man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday in Vermont to being part of an effort to smuggle 1,500 kilos (3,300 pounds) of cocaine from Peru to Vermont and then to Canada in a plot that prosecutors say was connected to the kidnapping of an older New York couple last year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Two guards and a jail secretary were bribed to smuggle drugs, booze and cellphones to inmates at the troubled Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan for over a year, authorities said Thursday as they announced charges against the trio and eight former inmates.

NEW YORK (AP) — The weekslong process of selecting a jury for the federal sex trafficking trial of financier Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, a British socialite, began Thursday with a video introduction from the judge in which she called jury trials the “bedrock of American democracy.”

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NEW YORK (AP) — An American woman's claims that Britain's Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17 will probably be tried in a New York court late next year, if they survive a legal challenge, a judge said Wednesday.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Federal authorities say a 39-year-old Connecticut man has been caught trying to smuggle nearly three dozen live finches through John F. Kennedy Airport in order to sell them for singing competitions.

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TRUMP: "And a big majority of the big drugs — the big drug loads — don't go through ports of entry. They can't go through ports of entry. You can't take big loads because you have people — we have some very capable people; the Border Patrol, law enforcement — looking." — Rose Garden remarks.

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