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News Wrap: 3 women who have accused Trump of harassment call on Congress to investigate

In our News Wrap Monday, three women who have in the past accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment demanded a congressional investigation into his behavior prior to the election. Also, Roy Moore and Doug Jones are neck-in-neck on the final day of the Alabama Senate race. Moore has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, the final push was on to drum up more support a day before voters cast ballots in Alabama's special Senate election.

    Republican candidate and former Alabama State Chief Justice Roy Moore is running neck and neck with Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor. Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls while he was a district attorney in his early 30's. We will take a closer look at the race later in the program.

    Three women who've previously accused President Trump of sexual harassment spoke out again today in New York. They demanded a congressional investigation into the president, who's been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women.

  • Samantha Holvey:

    They have investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that he be investigated as well. And I think also a nonpartisan investigation is very important, not just for him, but for anybody that has allegations against them. This isn't a partisan issue.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Today, the White House cited Mr. Trump's previous contentions that the claims are false. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also said of the allegations — quote — "The American people knew this and voted for the president."

    Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has become the fourth U.S. senator to call for President Trump to resign amid the sexual misconduct claims.

    At the same time, celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping away from his restaurant empire operations and TV show after four women accused him of sexual misconduct.

    And two more men in the news media are facing accusations of inappropriate behavior. The New Yorker magazine announced today that it's severing ties with political journalist Ryan Lizza over what it called improper sexual conduct. And NPR placed veteran journalist and "On Point" host Tom Ashbrook on leave while it investigates wrongdoing claims made against him.

    A fiery inferno is raging out of control northwest of Los Angeles. Nearly 6,400 firefighters from 11 different states are now battling to make headway against the so-called Thomas Fire. It's already scorched more than 230,000 acres since first igniting last week.

    Clouds of ash and smoke billowed from the Santa Barbara foothills today, as the Thomas Fire roared unabated. Helicopters hauled and dumped water, part of the week-long struggle by firefighters to get it under control.

  • Michael Gallagher:

    We have been up — I'm at 29 hours straight every other day. We are exhausted, but they aren't coming off until this is done.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The fire was just 15 percent contained today, spreading west from Ventura to Santa Barbara County. It's enveloped the towns of Carpinteria and Montecito that sit between the Los Padres National Forest and the coastline.

    Thousands have been ordered to evacuate, and more have been warned they should be ready to leave if the fire moves closer. So far, nearly 800 buildings have been consumed by the Thomas Fire, an inferno fueled in tinder-dry conditions and whipped up by the Santa Ana winds. It all adds up to what is now among the five worst fires in California history.

    Throughout Santa Barbara County, residents and evacuees flocked to stores to buy masks. Outside, the air was acrid and thick with smoke, underscoring the need for protection.

  • Elizabeth Mahoney:

    I don't want any damage to the lungs of my family, so to not have it would worry me. We're in Ojai, so we're at the center of. But when we go back home, we will be at the center of the smog or smoke.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Evacuation orders were lifted in most of Ventura County, where the Thomas Fire wreaked havoc before moving west.

  • Mitchell Perry:

    It's probably the scariest experience I have ever had. Certainly, it's the closest experience I have ever had up close and personal with fire. And we're talking fire everywhere. This whole ravine was completely ablaze.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Five other fires across Southern California have now been largely contained. Parts of San Diego were scorched by the Lilac Fire last week. Over the weekend, residents returned home, or to what remained of home.

  • Steffani Smith:

    It's devastating. I will be a widow this Tuesday for 20 years. And I lost my wedding rings and all of our wedding pictures, my wedding license, and stuff I can't replace.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But back in Santa Barbara County, the Thomas Fire seems far from dying out, and the worst may be yet to come. Several school districts there said they'd remain closed until the new year.

    The cause of the Thomas Fire is still under investigation.

    A federal judge in Washington today ruled that the U.S. military must accept new transgender recruits beginning January 1. The judge denied a request by the Trump administration to delay implementing an Obama era order allowing transgender individuals to enlist.

    White House officials said the Department of Justice is reviewing its legal options.

    In Syria, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said that his country is partially withdrawing its troops from the war-ravaged nation. Putin declared victory over the Islamic State today during a surprise visit to a Russian air base there. He also met with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

    President Vladimir Putin (through interpreter): The terrorist threat in the whole world is still very high. However, the task of fighting armed bandits here in Syria, a task that it was essential to solve with the help of extensive use of armed forces, has for the most part been solved and solved brilliantly. I congratulate you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Putin is the first foreign head of state to visit Syria since its civil war began in 2011.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the European Union today to follow President Trump's lead in recognizing Jerusalem as his country's capital. He met with the E.U.'s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels.

    Afterwards, in a joint news conference, Netanyahu praised Mr. Trump's decision and called on more nations to do the same.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

    I think what President Trump has done is put facts squarely on the table. Peace is based on reality. Peace is based on recognizing reality. Jerusalem is Israel's capital. No one can deny it. It doesn't obviate peace. It makes peace possible.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But Mogherini said that she made clear to Netanyahu that the European Union's view remains unchanged. After their meeting, she said all 28 member states would continue recognizing Tel Aviv as Israel's capital.

  • Federica Mogherini:

    I have to say that Prime Minister Netanyahu realized, I think, from the ministers themselves that there is full E.U. unity on this, that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states, with Jerusalem as the capital of both the state of Israel and the state of Palestine.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was in Egypt today as part of an effort to rally Middle Eastern nations to reject the U.S. decision.

    U.S. astronauts may soon be headed back to the moon, and eventually to Mars. In a ceremony at the White House today, President Trump signed a directive formally ordering NASA to lead a new space exploration program for future missions. The announcement was timed to coincide with the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17. That was the last human voyage to the moon.

    And stocks rose higher on Wall Street today, led by the technology and energy sectors. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 57 points to close at a record high of 24,386. The Nasdaq rose 35 points, and the S&P 500 added eight.

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