10 things you need to know today: October 14, 2016

Trump says his accusers are lying, Michelle Obama denounces Trump's lewd remarks, and more

Donald Trump
(Image credit: Ty Wright/Getty Images)

1. Trump calls groping allegations 'pure fiction'

Donald Trump on Thursday forcefully denied allegations by several women that he groped or forcibly kissed them, saying the claims were part of a conspiracy orchestrated by the Hillary Clinton campaign to derail his presidential bid. "They're pure fiction and they're outright lies," Trump said. Trump's lawyers sent The New York Times a letter demanding that it retract an article in which one accuser said Trump groped her on an airplane 30 years ago, and another said he forcibly kissed her outside a Trump Tower elevator in Manhattan in 2005. A Times attorney responded with a letter saying, "Trump has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women," so he can't blame the Times for his reputation, because he created it himself.

Reuters The New York Times

2. Michelle Obama condemns Donald Trump's lewd remarks about women

First lady Michelle Obama on Thursday denounced Donald Trump for bragging about groping and kissing women without their consent on a recently surfaced 2005 hot-mic recording. Trump has apologized and called his remarks just "locker room talk," a characterization Obama rejected. "This wasn't just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about predatory behavior," she said. "I can't believe I'm saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women."

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3. Hillary Clinton says she does not recall email server details

Hillary Clinton said in sworn testimony filed in a court Thursday that she couldn't recall many details about the private email server she used as secretary of state. She made the remarks in response to 25 questions submitted by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization seeking documents from Clinton's State Department tenure. She used some version of the phrase "does not recall" 21 times, including when answering a question on whether she had permission to use a private server. She said that she left it to her lawyers to determine which of her more than 60,000 messages involved official business and which were personal. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Clinton showed "disdain for the rule of law" by refusing to provide direct answers, but a spokesman for her presidential campaign said her answers were "entirely consistent" with her previous statements.

CBS News The Washington Times

4. U.S. to track police force cases

The Justice Department is working on collecting statistics on how frequently police officers use force, and how often civilians die in encounters with police. "Accurate and comprehensive data on the use of force by law enforcement is essential to an informed and productive discussion about community-police relations," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a written statement released Thursday. The move comes after numerous high-profile fatal shootings of black men by police over the last two years. FBI Director James Comey said at a House hearing last month that without comprehensive records "we're driven entirely by anecdote, and that's a very bad place to be."

The Associated Press

5. Judge says Bridgegate misconduct case can proceed against Christie

A New Jersey county judge, Roy McGeady, has found that a citizen's complaint accusing Gov. Chris Christie of official misconduct can proceed, opening the door to a possible criminal case against Christie over his administration's closing of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013. Next, the county prosecutor's office will decide whether to seek an indictment. The citizen who filed the complaint, retired firefighter William J. Brennan of Wayne, accused the Republican governor of failing to order his subordinates to reopen the lanes after the closings paralyzed traffic. Prosecutors have said the closings were intended to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie in his reelection campaign.

The New York Times

6. Hurricane Nicole slams Bermuda

Hurricane Nicole hit Bermuda on Thursday as a Category 3 storm, its winds weakening to 120 miles per hour as it passed over the archipelago and headed north into the open Atlantic Ocean. Nicole was the strongest hurricane to strike Bermuda in 13 years. It downed trees and power lines, flooded some homes, damaged roads, and left more than 25,000 power customers without electricity on islands with just 65,000 residents. Nicole also whipped up dangerous surf conditions on parts of the U.S. East Coast from the Carolinas north. By Friday morning Nicole had weakened, with its top sustained winds dropping to 85 mph.

USA Today National Hurricane Center

7. Thai crown prince asks for time before ascending to throne

As Thailand mourned the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who helped bring stability to the country during his seven-decade reign, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn unexpectedly said he was not yet prepared to ascend to the throne. The prince requested more time to grieve for his father, said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the military junta that seized power in 2014. The National Assembly, expected to crown a new king, held a meeting but merely stood for nine minutes of silence in mourning, then adjourned. A government spokesman reportedly told all Thai TV channels to show only government channel programming during a 30-day mourning period for the revered late monarch.

The New York Times

8. Colombia's Santos extends ceasefire with largest rebel group

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that he was extending a ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, by two months to provide time to revive a peace deal rejected by voters. Santos made the announcement that he was pushing the deadline to Dec. 31 after meeting with students who have organized demonstrations demanding the accord with the country's largest rebel group be implemented to end more than 50 years of war. Santos, winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, is holding three-way talks involving the government, FARC, and opposition politicians who opposed the original accord and want stiffer penalties against rebels who committed war crimes.

The Associated Press USA Today

9. New York hands Uber drivers a victory

The New York State Labor Department has ruled that two former Uber drivers were employees rather than independent contractors, making them eligible for unemployment benefits, an advocacy group announced Thursday. "This is a historic victory," New York Taxi Workers Alliance executive director Bhairavi Desai said at a news conference. Uber had argued it didn't have to contribute to unemployment or worker-compensation funds because the drivers were contractors, who can't collect benefits. Uber is appealing. It says drivers enjoy the flexible hours that independent contractors get.

The Associated Press

10. Dodgers beat Nationals to advance to National League championship against Cubs

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 in the fifth and deciding game of their division series on Thursday night, advancing to play the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. The 4 1/2-hour epic ended with Dodgers star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who started Game 4, taking the mound with the tying and winning runs on base to record the final two outs. He got the first batter out on a pop fly and struck out Wilmer Difo to end the game and give the Dodgers a shot at their first World Series appearance since 1988. The Cubs are looking to win their first World Series in 108 years.

Los Angeles Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.