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Happening Today: NJ Water, Cosby Appeal, Epstein Probe, Jehovah's Witnesses Suit

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Newark Provides Bottled Water Amid Lead Concerns

The governor of New jersey and the mayor of Newark have vowed to provide bottled water to city residents with lead service lines after tests indicate filters may not be protecting them against elevated lead levels. Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka said, however, in a statement Sunday evening that the city and state "will need support and assistance from the federal government" to provide and distribute water to affected residents. And the Democratic leaders said long-term water distribution could affect the city's corrosion control treatment launched in May, since for the system to work properly residents must keep city water flowing through their pipes. The joint statement came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said recent tests had shown that drinking water in a few locations was still testing high for lead despite filters, and "out of an abundance of caution" residents should use bottled water for drinking and cooking. An EPA letter to city and state leaders said bottled water should be provided "as soon as possible" and warned that the agency was prepared to take action to ensure protection of public health should the state and city not act.

Bill Cosby to Appeal Sexual Assault Conviction

When three Pennsylvania Superior Court judges gather Monday to hear Bill Cosby's appeal of his sexual assault conviction, more than the aging comedian's freedom may be at stake. As the first celebrity convicted in the #MeToo era, the court scrutiny of the case could cement -- or threaten -- the movement itself. The appeals court will consider more than a half-dozen alleged trial errors, including the defense claim that Cosby had a promise from a former prosecutor that he would never be charged in the case. That promise, they said, led Cosby to give deposition testimony in Constand's 2005 lawsuit that prompted his arrest when it was unsealed in 2015.

Probe Into Epstein's Apparent Suicide Continues Following Autopsy Report

The apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein has brought new scrutiny to a federal jail in New York that, despite chronic understaffing, houses some of the highest-security inmates in the country. Epstein's death is also the latest black eye for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the jail's parent agency that already was under fire for the October death of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, who was fatally beaten at a federal prison in West Virginia shortly after his arrival. Taken together, the deaths underscore "serious issues surrounding a lack of leadership" within the BOP, said Cameron Lindsay, a former warden who ran three federal lockups, including the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. A defense attorney for Epstein, Marc Fernich, also faulted jail officials, saying they "recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm's way" and failed to protect him.

Lawsuits Alleging Child Sexual Abuse Against Jehovah's Witnesses Governing Members to Be Announced

Attorneys are expected on Monday to announce the filing of lawsuits in King's County Supreme Court against eight members of the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses for alleged child sexual abuse claims.

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