December 6, 2017

Six female Democratic senators called on Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to step down Wednesday, just hours after a seventh woman accused him of inappropriate conduct, BuzzFeed News reports. In a lengthy Facebook post, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) described her disappointment in learning her "friend" had "engaged in behavior towards women that is unacceptable."

"Enough is enough," Gillibrand wrote. "The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them."

Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Patty Murray (Wash.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.) also added their voices to the chorus:

Franken has admitted to some of the allegations against him, including that he groped radio host Leeann Tweeden during a 2006 USO tour. Tweeden's allegation, the first made against the senator, came nearly three weeks ago. On Wednesday, he denied the allegations brought by a seventh woman who chose to remain anonymous, calling them "categorically not true." Jeva Lange

10:46 p.m.

The United States is "knee-deep in the first wave" of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday, but he is hopeful that "by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2021, we will at least have an answer whether the vaccine or vaccines — plural — are safe and effective."

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there are multiple vaccine candidates being studied, "and if things go the way it looks like they're going," one will enter the final phase of clinical trials at the end of the month, with others soon following.

Fauci made his comments during a Facebook Live discussion with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. Although companies are working as fast as possible to develop a vaccine, Fauci stressed that "there will be no compromising on the principles of safety and efficacy. Whatever we come up with in a few months is going to be just as rigorously tested as any vaccine ever has been."

The trials will take place in areas where there are high levels of transmission, and Fauci said he is ensuring they "are quite well represented by the individuals who are most susceptible, not only to infection because of certain circumstances in their life, but also the fact that they are more prone to complications because of underlying comorbidities." Catherine Garcia

9:18 p.m.

Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 while in New York City's Central Park and claimed an "African-American man" was threatening her life, was charged on Monday with filing a false report.

The incident took place on Memorial Day after Christian Cooper, a Black man who was birdwatching, asked Amy Cooper to leash her dog. She refused to do so, instead telling Christian Cooper she would call the police and tell them "there's an African-American man threatening my life." Christian Cooper, a board member of the New York City Audubon Society, filmed the encounter, which has been viewed 40 million times online and sparked a national discussion.

Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said on Monday that his office is "strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable." Amy Cooper was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor; if found guilty, she could face up to a year in jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14.

After the incident, Amy Cooper was fired from her job. In a statement, her lawyer, Robert Barnes, said his client will be found not guilty, adding, "She lost her job, her home, and her public life. Now some demand her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?" When asked for comment, Christian Cooper told The New York Times he had "zero involvement" in the district attorney's case. Catherine Garcia

7:57 p.m.

Mary Trump's tell-all book about her family is hitting bookstores sooner than expected.

Simon & Schuster announced on Monday that Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man will be published on July 14, two weeks earlier than scheduled, due to "high demand and extraordinary interest."

Mary Trump, the daughter of President Trump's eldest brother, Fred Trump Jr., is a clinical psychologist. Too Much and Never Enough paints her uncle as a "damaged man" with "lethal flaws," Simon & Schuster said, and is already the No. 1 best-selling book on Amazon, CNN reports.

The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, sought a restraining order in an attempt to block the book's release. Last week, he won an injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster, but a New York state appeals court lifted the temporary restraining order against the publisher, saying the company is not bound by a nondisclosure agreement Mary Trump signed in 2001.

Mary Trump's spokesperson, Chris Bastardi, said on Monday that Trump's attempt to "muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic. If Mary cannot comment, one can only help buy wonder: What is Donald Trump so afraid of?" Catherine Garcia

7:00 p.m.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, defeating former Gov. Jon Huntsman.

The primary was held last Tuesday, and the race was called on Monday afternoon by The Associated Press. Cox has 36 percent of the vote, followed by Huntsman with 35 percent. In third place is former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, with 21 percent.

Huntsman was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and 2008, and later served as U.S. ambassador to China during the Obama administration. Most recently, he was President Trump's ambassador to Russia.

Cox, who has been lieutenant governor since 2013, received the endorsement of outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert (R). In November, Cox will face off against Democratic nominee Chris Peterson, an attorney and consumer advocate. Catherine Garcia

6:30 p.m.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday afternoon revealed that she has tested positive for COVID-19.

On Twitter, Bottoms said that COVID-19 has "literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive." Later, she appeared on MSNBC, and told anchor Joy Reid that her husband has also tested positive for the virus, and she has "no idea when and where we were exposed."

Bottoms said her family has taken "all of the precautions you could possibly take," including wearing masks and frequently washing their hands. This was her third coronavirus test, with Bottoms telling Reid she has been routinely tested because of her public job. Catherine Garcia

5:50 p.m.

The United Nations is calling for enhanced global environmental protections efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the event in the future.

A report conducted by the U.N.'s Environment Program and the International Livestock Research Institute warned that without such measures zoonotic viruses — that is, pathogens that jump from animals to humans like the most recent coronavirus — will occur with greater and greater frequency. "The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead," said Inger Andersen, under-secretary general and executive director of the UNEP.

Many of the viruses that have caused pandemics and epidemics throughout history have been zoonotic, including Ebola, West Nile, and SARS, and more recently, a new swine flu was discovered that scientists say has the potential to make the jump to humans, while a herdsman in China's Inner Mongolia region recently tested positive for bubonic plague. Read more about the U.N.'s report here. Tim O'Donnell

5:45 p.m.

The Small Business Association handed out more than $500 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released by the agency on Monday. Here are six notable businesses that received loans over $150,000 from the government.

1. Kanye West's Yeezy LLC. West's fashion brand received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million. West manages the LLC, which reportedly made $1.5 billion last year.

2. The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation. Grover Norquist, a major opponent of government spending and taxes, heads this advocacy group that received between $150,000 and $350,000.

3. The Ayn Rand Institute. The nonprofit pushes its namesake author's resistance to government aid and got a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million.

4. Kushner family companies. Observer Holdings LLC, which heads Observer Media, received between $350,000 and $1 million. President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner used to own Observer Media, and it's still in the family, per The Daily Beast.

5. Devin Nunes' winery. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) owns a stake in Phase 2 Cellars, which got between $1 million and $2 million in PPP loans.

6. A whole bunch of Washington, D.C. political strategy firms. Beacon Global Strategies boasts Obama administration alumni among its top advisers and got between $350,000 and $1 million, as did other firms run by former Obama aides. Jamestown Associates, a GOP firm working for the Trump campaign received between $350,000 and $1 million.

It's important to note there appear to be some errors in the data. Scooter rental company Bird, for example, was listed in the SBA's data but said it only started an application for a loan and never actually applied for or got one. Kathryn Krawczyk

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