In our news wrap Thursday, five women have accused comedian and TV star Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct. They told The New York Times that he exposed himself and masturbated, in person and over the phone, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Also, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a leading congressional Republican and House Judiciary chairman, announced he would not seek re-election next year.
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In the day's other news: Five women have now accused the comedian and TV star Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct.
They told The New York Times — and my apology for using the term here — that he exposed himself and masturbated, in person or over the phone with them, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Louis C.K. didn't respond to the allegations, but his distribution company canceled the New York City premiere of his latest film.
Another leading Republican is stepping down. U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia announced today that he will not seek a 14th term. Under congressional rules, he'd have to give up being chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after next year. So far, 16 House and Senate Republicans have said that they are resigning or not running again.
A neighbor of Senator Rand Paul pleaded not guilty today to assaulting the Kentucky Republican last week. Rene Boucher said little during the brief arraignment in Bowling Green. He could face up to a year in jail if he's convicted. Boucher allegedly tackled Paul while he was mowing his lawn, leaving him with six broken ribs. It's still not clear what triggered the incident.
In Yemen, warnings today that a naval blockade could cause the world's worst famine in decades. Aid ships are waiting at sea after a Saudi Arabian coalition closed Yemen's ports to stop the flow of arms to Shiite rebels. U.N. officials say that more than seven million Yemenis face starvation.
The situation is catastrophic in Yemen. If the supplies pipeline comes to a halt, food insecurity will deepen and we will be confronted with an even greater humanitarian crisis. Food, fuel and medicine imports must continue to enter the country.
The U.N.'s World Health Organization says that it's also critical to get medical aid into Yemen to combat a cholera epidemic.
Officials in Saudi Arabia announced today that more than 200 people are now detained in a crackdown on alleged corruption. That's far higher than earlier figures in the roundup that began Saturday night. Eleven Saudi princes are among those being held.
Meanwhile, the Saudi government has ordered its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country, in the face of rising tensions. Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, resigned this week in a televised address from Saudi Arabia. Today, his political party called for his return to Lebanon, amid speculation that he's being held against his will.
(Though interpreter) The return of the prime minister is necessary to recover respect for Lebanon's internal and external balance. It is necessary to restore full respect for Lebanese legitimacy and constitution. The party stands by him under any circumstance.
In his resignation message, Hariri said Lebanon is being held hostage by Hezbollah. The Shiite militia is closely allied with Iran, the Saudis' chief rival.
In Syria, the army reports that it recaptured the Islamic State group's last stronghold in the country today. Officials say that ISIS fighters abandoned the strategic town near the Iraqi border, after days of fighting. The militants now control only scattered villages and small towns in Syria and Iraq.
Back in this country, a long-term federal study has found no significant link between cancer and the widely used weed killer glyphosate. It's the prime ingredient in Monsanto herbicide Roundup. "The Journal of the National Cancer Institute" published findings today from the agricultural health study. It tracked tens of thousands of farmers, farmworkers and their families.
And on Wall Street, stocks tumbled on worries about tech shares and corporate tax cuts. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 101 points to close below 23462. The Nasdaq fell 39, and the S&P 500 slipped nine.