November 21, 2017

Republicans may be stuck with Roy Moore as their nominee for a Senate seat in Alabama, but many of them are making the best of it. President Trump has decided not to join other GOP leaders in calling for Moore to quit the race amid credible allegations that he fondled or sexually assaulted teenage girls as young as 14 and pursued sexual relationships with others, and his advisers are coming up with reasons Alabamians might want to vote for Moore over Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor. For Kellyanne Conway, that reason was tax cuts; for Trump supporter and former economic adviser Stephen Moore, it was abortion rights.

On CNN Monday night, Moore echoed the White House line that Alabama voters should decide if they want to be represented in the Senate by Roy Moore, who Stephen Moore called "kind of a creep," or Jones, who he said is "no saint, either." Jones, he told CNN's John Berman, "is for partial birth abortion in a state that's highly Christian and Catholic, so there's no moral high ground here between the two candidates." Berman protested, "Except one is an alleged child molester." Moore responded, "Yeah, and the other one is for partial birth abortion, which a lot of people in Alabama think is tantamount to murder."

Alabama is 49 percent evangelical Protestant and 7 percent Catholic, according to Pew, but with Roy Moore's moral stock falling, Republicans are bringing up abortion a lot as a reason not to vote for Jones. Jones told AL.com earlier this month: "I fully support a woman's freedom to choose to what happens to her own body. ... Having said that, the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support." Peter Weber

3:28 a.m. ET
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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed legislation Monday banning abortion in the state after 15 weeks of gestation, joined in the closed-door signing ceremony by lawmakers who pushed through the legislation and other abortion opponents. If it survives court challenge, it will be the nation's strictest abortion law. About an hour after the signing, Mississippi's lone abortion clinic sued to block the law, arguing that it violates Supreme Court precedence by banning abortion before a fetus could survive outside of the uterus. The legislation exempts pregnancies where a fetus has health problems making it "incompatible with life" and in cases where a woman's life or "major bodily function" is threatened, but not for pregnancies from rape or incest. Peter Weber

2:46 a.m. ET

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino in existence, died on Monday, Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced early Tuesday. He was 45 and "being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds," the conservancy said. "He was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta, and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him."

There are now only two northern white rhinos left in the world: Sudan's daughters, Najin and Fatu. The only hope for keeping the subspecies going now involves creating new in vitro fertilization techniques using eggs from Najin and Fatu, stored northern white rhino sperm, and surrogate female southern white rhinos, the conservancy said. Sudan "was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity," Ol Pejeta CEO Richard Vinge said. "One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide."

On a happier note, the small Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in India's Assam state reported Monday that its population of one-horned rhinos has risen to 102 from 93 during its last census in 2012. "Our efforts at conserving the rhino have paid off," forestry officer Pradipta Baruah told The Associated Press. All five rhino species in the world are under threat from poachers; rhino horns are sold on the black market, especially in countries where the horn is believed to increase male potency. Peter Weber

1:59 a.m. ET

"Are you guys enjoying March Madness?" Stephen Colbert asked on Monday's Late Show. "Speaking of madness, Donald Trump. We're on the brink of another crisis? Because it really feels like Donald Trump is gearing up to fire" Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The first clue was when Trump lawyer John Dowd released a statement calling for Mueller's investigation to be scrapped, writing in purple comic sans font. "Now that sounds inappropriate until you remember that the Declaration of Independence was originally written in wingdings," Colbert joked. But Trump tweet-attacking Comey by name really raised the stakes, prompting even some Republicans to express mild alarm.

Like Sen. Lindsey Grahm (R-S.C.), who said Trump firing Mueller would be "the beginning of the end of his presidency." "Wait, it's not even the beginning of the end of his presidency?" Colbert protested. "I thought we were at least at the middle of the beginning of the end! I should have gone to the bathroom when Reince Priebus left — now I gotta hold it till the midterms." Trump is clearly in a firing mood, he added, pointing to the sacking of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, two days before his retirement, putting his $60,000-a-year pension at risk. "$60,000 — that's, like, half a porn star payment," Colbert said.

Now, McCabe was being investigated by the FBI inspector general, "so to avoid looking like he's trying to shut down the Russia investigation, all Trump had to do was not dance on McCabe's grave," Colbert said, reading the inevitable grave-dancing tweet. "Let that tweet sink in for a second: This is the sitting president of the United States gloating about firing a respected career FBI official and smearing another FBI official whose firing led to the appointment of the special counsel — and none of that shocks me as much as the fact that he spelled 'sanctimonious' correctly." And Trump's Twitter fingers were just getting started. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:33 a.m. ET

Several students from the University of Miami decided to have a different kind of spring break, leaving the beach for Colorado, where they volunteered for a week at the Chelsea Place memory care facility.

The students spent their days in Aurora getting to know the residents, who have dementia. They ate lunch together, shared stories, and at the end of the week, split up into pairs and created paintings that represented their experience, with the artwork then placed in a small gallery set up by the facility staff.

Junior Amanda Lorenzo told CBS Denver spending the week getting to know the residents of Chelsea Place was unforgettable. "They have had more of an impact on me than I would have realized and I'm so thankful that I came on this trip," she said. Catherine Garcia

1:10 a.m. ET

"Man, crazy s--t happens so fast in this presidency, sometimes it feels like I'm binge-watching it," Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, trying to digest the weekend's news. "It's like, 'He's suing the porn star? Two hours ago he said he didn't even know her! Where's my Chinese food?'" He compared Trump's shifting story on whether he had a relationship with Stormy Daniels to Trump's shifting story on whether he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin, with a compelling video montage. And he briefly ran through Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of 50 million Facebook accounts, apparently to help Trump win — something Facebook has known about for two years.

But mostly Meyers focused on firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, "an object of paranoid fixation for Trump," and Trump's attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump "has spent months trying to discredit McCabe because McCabe is a key witness in the Mueller investigation, specifically with regard to the firing of FBI Director James Comey — which is the central question when it comes to possible obstruction of justice charges," Meyers said. And like the Comey case, firing McCabe may backfire. "Trump is such an idiot — he keeps firing dudes who take meticulous notes," he said. "We don't know what's in those memos, nor do we know what Robert Mueller knows, but what we do know is that Trump's public behavior is very much the behavior of a guilty man."

Firing McCabe 26 hours before he can collect his pension — on his 50th birthday no less — seems "extra vindictive" on Trump's part, Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. We don't know what happened, but Trump's behavior is definitely "suspicious," and it points to firing Mueller. "He's definitely considering it," Noah said. "You know how they say men thing about sex every 8 seconds? That's what Trump does with firing people. ... So Robert Mueller, I don't know when your next birthday is, but something tells me the president may be planning a surprise." Peter Weber

12:37 a.m. ET
Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

The suspected serial bomber targeting Austin, believed to have set up explosions that killed two people and injured five, is "showing that he's quite good," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday.

Since March 2, four bombs have gone off around the city — three were left on doorsteps, and one was triggered Sunday night when two men on their bicycles hit a trip wire; they were seriously injured, but are expected to survive. Due to similarities between the devices, it's believed that all four bombings are linked, and only a few hours before the fourth bomb went off, law enforcement officials pleaded with the bomber to give them a call. "We've opened ourselves up for a message, and that's why we asked him to contact us and gave him phone numbers for him to contact us at," Manley told CBS News.

Manley said he believes the person is "showing that he's quite good. This person is taunting law enforcement in the city, that he's one step ahead." Former counterterrorism agent Fred Burton told CBS News the suspect is likely watching the news to see what people are saying about the attacks, and "knows explosives," possibly learning while in the military. There are now 500 federal agents working the case in Austin, and officials are offering a reward of $115,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Catherine Garcia

March 19, 2018
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The Weinstein Co. has filed for bankruptcy, the company announced Monday, after dozens of women accused co-founder Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Several women came forward last fall with their allegations of abuse against Weinstein, at the time one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, and as more and more accusations were made, the company couldn't stay afloat. Earlier this month, a group of investors announced they made a deal to buy the Weinstein Co., but that collapsed after it was determined the company had more debt than previously disclosed.

The Weinstein Co.'s board announced Monday that the private equity firm Lantern Capital has made a "stalking horse" bid for the company's assets, which sets a floor for a bankruptcy auction. As part of its negotiations with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, some of the Weinstein Co.'s employees have also been released from nondisclosure agreements. "No one should be afraid to speak out or be coerced to stay quiet," the Weinstein Co. said in a statement. "The company thanks the courageous individuals who have already come forward. Your voices have inspired a movement for change across the country and around the world." Catherine Garcia

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