10 things you need to know today: November 14, 2017
A new accuser says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her at 16, Jeff Sessions considers a special counsel to investigate Clinton, and more
Fifth accuser says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16
A fifth woman came forward on Monday to accuse Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager and he was a prosecutor in his 30s. The new accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said in a news conference that Moore was a regular at the restaurant where she worked at age 16, and that one night he offered her a ride home. She said Moore parked the car and groped her as she fought, and squeezed her neck "attempting to force my head onto his crotch." Moore called the allegation false and part of a partisan "witch hunt." The New Yorker reported that Moore was once banned from an Alabama mall for allegedly bothering teenage girls.
Sessions considering second special counsel to investigate Clinton
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering appointing a second special counsel after Republican lawmakers expressed concerns that Special Counsel Robert Mueller might not have a broad enough mandate to look into such issues as alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the actions of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has called for a second special counsel to investigate Democrats' actions during last year's election campaign. Brian Fallon, who was press secretary for Hillary Clinton's campaign, called the news part of a Trump administration "fog machine to distract from the Mueller probe" into Russian election meddling and possible collusion by Trump associates.
Appeals court rules part of Trump travel ban can take effect
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that part of President Trump's latest travel ban can take effect. A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the government can bar U.S. entry by people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad if they have no connections here. Only people from the six majority-Muslim nations with family, "formal, documented" relations with universities, or resettlement agencies will be allowed in under the ban, which Trump announced on Sept. 24 to replace two earlier versions that had been largely blocked by courts. The state of Hawaii sued to block the restrictions involving these six countries, although it did not challenge the ban's limits on travel from North Korea and Venezuela.
Judge tells Menendez jury to keep deliberating after it reports deadlock
The jury in Sen. Robert Menendez's (D-N.J.) bribery trial on Monday told the judge it was deadlocked. "We cannot reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges," the jury wrote. Judge William Walls instructed the jury to try again on Tuesday. The deadlock came on the first day of deliberations since the excusal of a female juror for a previously planned vacation. That juror had predicted that the jury would be hopelessly divided, and she said she would have voted to acquit Menendez on all charges. Menendez is accused of accepting luxury gifts, travel, and campaign donations from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in exchange for favors on government matters.
Trump nominates former pharmaceutical executive to head HHS
President Trump announced Monday his nomination of Alex Azar to replace Tom Price as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. "He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!" Trump tweeted. Azar formerly worked in the department under President George W. Bush. In 2007, he joined the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, eventually rising to head of U.S. operations in 2012. Azar, who backed Jeb Bush in the 2016 election and later donated to the Trump Victory fund, is an outspoken critic of ObamaCare and soaring drug costs. If confirmed, he will replace Price, who resigned in September following reports of expensive taxpayer-funded travel.
Bipartisan analysis finds GOP tax cuts would raise taxes for 13.8 million
The Senate's tax-cut proposal, billed as tax relief for the middle class, would raise taxes on 13.8 million moderate-income American families, according to an analysis released Monday by Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. House and Senate Republicans are trying to work out internal differences to pass their versions of the bill so President Trump will be able to sign it before the end of the year. Trump tweeted on Monday that lawmakers should approve a steeper tax cut for the wealthy, and end ObamaCare's "unfair & highly unpopular individual mandate" for all Americans to buy health insurance.
Report: WikiLeaks corresponded with Donald Trump Jr. via Twitter
WikiLeaks' official Twitter account repeatedly messaged Donald Trump Jr. with political tips and advice, The Atlantic reported. Trump Jr. sometimes responded, although the correspondence was mostly one-sided as WikiLeaks actively sought Trump Jr.'s cooperation. He stopped replying to the messages in October 2016. Weeks before the election, WikiLeaks, which U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia chose to disseminate information it had hacked, suggested that the Trump campaign send them now-President Trump's tax returns to "improve the perception of our impartiality." Early on election day, WikiLeaks told Trump Jr. if his father lost, he should refuse to concede the election and instead challenge the media and "other types of rigging that occurred."
Almost half of U.S. adults have hypertension under new guidelines
Nearly half of all Americans are now considered to have high blood pressure under new guidelines released Monday by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health professional organizations. The guidelines say doctors should treat high blood pressure at 130/80 rather than 140/90. Physicians and patients are "going to be a little bit shocked or taken aback by a diagnosis of Stage 1 hypertension with a blood pressure of 130/80, which historically has been considered a normal, well-controlled blood pressure," said Dr. William White, a professor in the cardiology center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Under the old guidelines, about a third of Americans were diagnosed with the condition.
Woman says George H.W. Bush groped her when she was 16
Another woman has accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping her buttocks while they were posing for a photo — this time when the accuser was just 16 years old, Time magazine reported Monday. The woman, Roslyn Corrigan, said that in 2003 she had her picture taken with the 41st president at an event in the CIA's Woodlands, Texas office. Her father was an intelligence officer. She said that while the picture of her, Bush, and her mother was being taken, the former president lowered his hand to her rear and squeezed. "My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused," Corrigan said. A spokesman for Bush, Jim McGrath, repeated Bush's apology to "anyone he may have offended during a photo op."
Amazon buys rights to multi-season adaptation of Lord of the Rings
Amazon has acquired "multi-season" TV rights for the Lord of the Rings series, Deadline reported Monday. J.R.R. Tolkien's high fantasy trilogy was most famously adapted between 2001 and 2003 by director Peter Jackson, with the final film, The Return of the King, winning Best Picture. "We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings," said Tolkien Estate and Trust representative Matt Galsor. While the series will be set in Middle Earth, it will have new storylines preceding the first book in Tolkien's trilogy, according to Deadline.