Beleaguered Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) had a very eventful Thursday morning. Hours after one of his accusers spoke to the Today show about his alleged sexual harassment, Conyers was hospitalized with a "stress-related illness." Now, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants Conyers to resign from his congressional seat.
"The allegations against Congressman Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing, and very credible," Pelosi told reporters. "Congressman Conyers should resign."
An hour later, Conyers' lawyer fired back that "Nancy Pelosi did not elect the congressman and she sure as hell won't tell the congressman to leave."
Earlier Thursday, Marion Brown, a former staffer for the Democratic congressman, told the Today show that he "asked me to satisfy him sexually. He pointed to areas of, genital areas of his body and asked me to, you know, touch it." After BuzzFeed News reported last week that Brown — who was unnamed in the piece — settled a wrongful termination suit against Conyers for allegedly firing her after she rejected his sexual advances, two more former staffers came out with allegations of sexual misconduct against the Democratic congressman. Conyers maintains his innocence.
Pelosi initially sided with the congressman, calling him "an icon in our country" who had "done a great deal to protect women." The next day she said in a statement that she had spoken to one of Conyers' accusers and believed the allegations, but she stopped short of asking for his resignation.
You can watch Pelosi have a final change of heart below: Kelly O'Meara Morales
WATCH: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Congressman Conyers should resign." pic.twitter.com/rNAwXAS6h6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 30, 2017
A woman who spoke to AL.com on Wednesday claims that she was groped by Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in 1991. Tina Johnson is the sixth woman to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct in the last week, as the former judge has been accused of courting three teenagers and sexually assaulting two minors when he was in his 30s.
Johnson's account of her encounter with Moore is the first accusation against him that does not involve a teenager. Johnson told AL.com that she was 28 years old when Moore grabbed her rear-end and asked if her young daughters were as pretty as she was. "He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it," Johnson said. Moore was married at the time of the alleged assault.
Another woman, Kelly Harrison Thorp, told AL.com that she was a 17-year-old high school senior when she met Moore in 1982, at the Red Lobster where she worked. Thorp said that Moore asked her out on a date and when she asked in response if he knew how old she was, he replied, "Yeah. I go out with girls your age all the time."
Moore has denied the allegations of sexual assault. By way of additional defense, he told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an interview last Friday that he never dated girls without permission from their mothers.
Just before AL.com published its story, lawyers for Moore tried to cast doubt on the allegations leveled by Beverly Young Nelson on Monday. Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her in a locked car when she was 16 and submitted her high school yearbook as evidence of Moore's flirtation with her, showing a fawning note written and signed by Moore. Moore's lawyers claimed Wednesday that the signature was forged.
During a House Administration Committee hearing Tuesday regarding congressional policies on sexual harassment, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said that two current congressmen — one Republican and one Democrat — had sexually harassed congressional staffers. Speier listed additional instances of alleged harassment by lawmakers that included groping, unwanted exposure, and in one case, a member asking a female staffer, "Are you going to be a good girl?"
Rep. Speier: Hill staffers & victims of sexual harassment have had their 'private parts grabbed on the House floor.' https://t.co/vMRrNKSIpp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 14, 2017
Speier spoke on behalf of the victims, saying, "All they ask ... is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment. They want the system fixed and the perpetrators held accountable."
In a follow-up interview with MSNBC, Speier explained the labyrinthine process victims of sexual harassment must undergo when reporting an incident related to Congress, which includes enduring one month of legal counseling, signing a nondisclosure agreement, going through another month of mediation, and then taking a month-long cooling off process before filing a formal sexual harassment complaint.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 14, 2017
On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced the House would introduce mandatory sexual harassment training, though he did not yet offer details about the new policy. Last week, Speier and two other representatives co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would call for mandatory training; the California congresswoman also plans to introduce a bill to reform the congressional complaint process for sexual harassment. Kelly O'Meara Morales
A white winter wonderland is nothing but a dream for most Americans in the Lower 48, where snow cover is at its lowest point ever for November, modern records indicate. "How unusual is this?" the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration writes. "National snow analyses have been compiled by NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center since 2003 and, during that time, never have the first two weeks of November shown such small amounts of snow."
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) November 16, 2016
In NOAA's illustration above, "the map on the left shows average snow cover from 1981 to 2010 for the second week of November. The image on the right shows the current amount of snow cover as of Nov. 14, 2016." Snow only covers the ground in 0.2 percent of the country, and is isolated to the high Sierra Nevada, Rocky, and Cascade mountains. Denver even had an 80-degree day Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.
But despite 2016 likely being the hottest year on record, winter is coming. A snowstorm is developing in the Rockies this week and is expected to sweep the High Plains and into northern Minnesota, with blizzard warnings issued for eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. Jeva Lange
Still in denial? Here's everything that Game of Thrones star has said about his character's shocking death
Major spoilers for Game of Thrones' season five finale ahead.
In a particularly bloody season finale, one death was even more shocking than the rest (assuming you haven't read the books). Jon Snow, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, was stabbed to death by a mutinous contingent of his brothers in the Night's Watch.
Jon Snow's death was so unexpected that critics and fans have already come up with a series of explanations for why he isn't really dead. But it's tempting to trust one of the last trustworthy men in Westeros, and everything Kit Harington says has certainly sounded pretty definitive:
- "It's like I've been sitting on this big f--King secret. [...] Jon dies. It's final. He's dead. [...] Trust me, I'm sad, too. But all I know is that he's dead. When you gotta go, you gotta go." [Vulture]
- "I've been told I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season. So that's all I can tell you, really." [Entertainment Weekly]
- "I'm quite dead. It's over for Jon Snow — at the very least, he gets to join his family and kin and leave this terrible world behind." [New York Daily News]
If you still want to hold out hope that Jon Snow is coming back next year, you can always assume that Harington is lying, or that he's simply being kept in the dark to preserve the surprise. Jon Snow does, after all, know nothing. Scott Meslow
The International Olympic Committee approved four new events for the 2018 Winter Olympics at their board meeting Monday, the Washington Post reports.
They're trying to lure more young viewers to watch the Pyeongchang, South Korea, games with additions like big air snowboarding and freestyle skiing, where athletes perform as many jumps as they can in a given time period. Mass-start speedskating may also liven things up, where up to 20 competitors race side by side and typically engage in physical contact. And all the curling fans out there are in luck: Mixed doubles is now on the table.
Say goodbye to snowboard parallel slalom, which the committee axed to make room for big air snowboarding.
The committee said in a statement they hope the changes will boost women's participation in the games, which in 2018 are slated to feature a record-high number of women's and mixed-gender events. Julie Kliegman
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington reveals how difficult it was to shoot that 'Hardhome' battle scene
Last night's Game of Thrones featured the show's most brutal and impressive battle scene yet — a brutal massacre at the northern outpost 'Hardhome,' as members of the wildlings and the Night's Watch were slaughtered during a surprise attack from the White Walkers, leading an army of reanimated corpses.
The visual effects-heavy sequence left a huge impression — but in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, star Kit Harington (Jon Snow) revealed that achieving the scene wasn't easy. "It was three to four weeks of shooting for a sequence that should add up to [more than] 20 minutes," he said. "We shot less than a minute a day!"
Harington went on to explain the enormous difficulty of filming a scene in which he fights against skeletal corpses and pale, blue-eyed White Walkers. "Every fight I would shoot three times," he said. "First against a man in a [greenscreen-projectable suit], the second with man who’s not in a green suit, but has full-on makeup to look like a dead person, and the third time I would just fight [without an opponent, striking open air]. It gave them the option of using whichever way looked the best."