ONE of the guards assigned to the unit housing financier Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died was a “fill-in”, it is reported.

The abrupt death of the 66-year-old on Saturday cut short a criminal prosecution that could have pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of a high-flying financier with connections to celebrities and presidents, though prosecutors have vowed to continue investigating.

Epstein had been denied bail and was held at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC) in New York, facing up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.

Attorney General William Barr said: “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”

MEANWHILE, A knife-wielding man yelling “Allahu akbar”, or “God is great”, has attempted to stab several people in Sydney, with one person taken to hospital, Australian police and witnesses said.

Witnesses say the man, wielding a long knife, attempted to stab multiple people near a busy junction on Tuesday.

The suspect was pinned down with a milk crate by a member of the public.

New South Wales Police said in a statement that a man was arrested, and that a woman was taken to a hospital in a stable condition.

A witness told reporters that the man was screaming comments about religion, before yelling

to police that he wanted to be shot.

ELSEWHERE, fighting around Tripoli has resumed, following a two-day truce observed during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, according to officials in Libya.

The officials said on Tuesday that the self-styled Libyan National Army led by commander Khalifa Hifter carried out airstrikes overnight on the southern outskirts of Tripoli.

They said the militias allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli also shelled Hifter’s forces in the area.

On Saturday, both sides had accepted a UN-proposed truce during Eid al-Adha, which began on Sunday.

Hifter’s forces launched an offensive in April to capture Tripoli.

The fighting has killed over 1,100 people, mostly combatants, and displaced more than 100,000 civilians.

The battle lines have changed little over recent weeks.

FINALLY, Italy’s political leaders are scrambling to gather allies ahead of a no-confidence vote against prime minister Giuseppe Conte’s populist coalition.

The country’s interior minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-migrant, Euro-skeptic League, wants to topple the government in a bid for early elections he hopes will elevate him to premier.