A woman told The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and Moore, now 70, was a 32-year-old prosecutor. The woman, Leigh Corfman, said Moore kissed and fondled her, and "guided her hand to touch him over his underwear." Three other women said Moore started inappropriate relationships with them when they were 16 to 18. Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, called the allegations "completely false" and "a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party." The White House said President Trump believes a "mere allegation" shouldn't be allowed to "destroy [Moore's] life," but that he should "step aside" if the accusations are true.
Washington Post: Senate candidate Roy Moore fondled 14-year-old girl
Senate Republicans' corporate tax-cut delay spooks markets
Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their tax plan, which differed from the House version on some key points. Like their House counterparts, whose revised bill was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, Senate Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, but they want to delay the reduction until 2019. Stocks, which have been boosted by anticipation of corporate breaks, dropped Thursday and headed for another fall Friday due to investors' concerns over the Senate's proposed delay. Supporters of the legislation also worried that the differences between the House and Senate bills on such issues as whether to keep deductions for state and local taxes could threaten efforts to pass the overhaul quickly.
Trump touts America-first policies at Asia summit
President Trump said at a regional summit in Vietnam on Thursday that the U.S. "will not tolerate" trade abuses, saying only countries that "follow the rules" will get U.S. business. Trump said that the U.S. had removed trade barriers to let foreign goods into the U.S., but many countries have not reciprocated by opening their markets. "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore," the president said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Danang. "I am always going to put America first, the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first." Despite speculation of a possible one-on-one meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House said "scheduling conflicts" would prevent a meeting.
Ex-Trump bodyguard rejected Russia offer to send women to Trump's room
President Trump's former security chief, Keith Schiller, privately testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he refused a Russian offer to send five women to Trump's hotel room during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, CNN reported Thursday, citing several sources with direct knowledge of the testimony. Schiller, a longtime Trump confidant, reportedly said he assumed the offer was a joke, and that he and Trump laughed it off. Committee members brought up the matter because of a controversial dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, working on opposition research funded by Democrats during last year's presidential campaign. Steele concluded that Russia had dirt on Trump, including salacious details of an alleged encounter with prostitutes in Moscow.
Putin calls Olympic disqualifications a U.S. plot to influence Russian election
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday suggested that the U.S. is pushing for the disqualification of Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in an attempt to interfere in Russia's presidential campaign. Putin noted that the Olympics start in February in PyeongChang, South Korea, and Russia's election is in March. "There are very strong suspicions that all that is done because someone needs to create an atmosphere of discontent among sports fans and athletes over the state's alleged involvement in violations and responsibility for it," Putin said, adding that the U.S. might be trying to "create problems in the Russian presidential election in response to our alleged interference in theirs."
Texas pastor says church where massacre occurred will be demolished
Pastor Frank Pomeroy, leader of the Texas church where a gunman murdered 26 people on Sunday, told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention that the building would be demolished. The pastor said the church was "too stark of a reminder" of the massacre, in which his own teenaged daughter was killed, said a spokesman for the national church. The decision won't be final until surviving congregation members are consulted. Charlene Uhl, whose 16-year-old daughter Haley Krueger was killed, agreed that the building should be torn down, saying as she visited a row of white crosses placed on the property that there should be a church, "but not here." Other sites of some other mass shootings, such as Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, also have been demolished.
Excused juror says she would have found Sen. Bob Menendez not guilty
A juror excused from Sen. Bob Menendez's (D-N.J.) bribery trial said she would have found him "not guilty on every charge." The former juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, said she believed the government was "railroading him," and she predicted the jurors would be unable to resolve disagreements on the case. "It's a hung jury right now," she said after she was dismissed Thursday at the end of the third day of deliberations. The judge replaced Arroyo-Maultsby to keep a promise that she would be able to make a trip planned earlier. Prosecutors accuse Menendez of doing business favors for Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in exchange for lavish gifts and campaign contributions. Menendez and Melgen deny it, saying they are just close friends.
Study: Aaron Hernandez had worst CTE ever seen in person his age
One-time New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who hanged himself in prison in April while serving a life sentence for murder, suffered the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) ever observed in a person his age, Boston University researchers revealed at a medical conference on Thursday. The researchers said the damage would have significantly affected his thinking and judgment. Doctors found that Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE, never before seen in a brain younger than 46 years old. The finding was expected to fuel renewed debate in football's concussion crisis, and heighten concerns over the possibility of injuries to young players.
80 percent of Puerto Rico without power after repaired line fails
A major Puerto Rico power line repaired by the tiny Montana company Whitefish Energy failed on Thursday, leaving more than 80 percent of the island, including parts of San Juan and other major cities, without electricity, two months after Hurricane Maria. The failure of the line early Thursday knocked out 25 percent of the U.S. Caribbean island territory's power generation, which had been restored to 43 percent capacity, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said. Whitefish, which lost its contract after critics questioned its qualifications, denied that the new problems "have anything to do with the repairs Whitefish Energy performed," spokesperson Brandon Smulyan said.
NYT: Five women accuse Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct
Five women told The New York Times in an article published Thursday that comedian Louis C.K. either asked to masturbate in front of them or in fact did it, without permission. Comedian Rebecca Corry said C.K. asked to pleasure himself in front of her while they were on set for a TV pilot in 2005, but she declined. Comedic duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov said that in 2002, they went to hang out with C.K. in a hotel room and, before they removed their winter coats, C.K. asked them if he could take out his penis. The women thought he was joking, but then "he really did it. ... He proceeded to take all of his clothes off ... and started masturbating." When reached for comment, C.K.'s publicist told the Times that the comedian "would not answer any questions."