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Lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

Lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are calling on the House Oversight Committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct levied against President Donald Trump, a group of female U.S. representatives said at a news conference Tuesday. >> Read more trending news More than a dozen women have accused the president of forced kissing, unwanted groping and making inappropriate sexual comments since 2015, when Trump announced his plan to run for office. The allegations span decades. The president has repeatedly denied the claims. The chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, said Tuesday that “the time is right to get the truth” about the allegations. She said a letter requesting a congressional investigation had garnered more than 100 signatures from Democratic lawmakers by Tuesday afternoon. >> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct? “The #MeToo movement has arrived,” Frankel said. “Sexual abuse will not be tolerated, whether it’s by a Hollywood producer, the chef of a restaurant, a member of Congress or the president of the United States.” The letter, sent to the chair and vice chair of the House Oversight Committee, said that the president has made statements that have appeared to give credence to the allegations against him. “The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women,” the letter said, referencing a 2005 video from “Access Hollywood” in which Trump could be heard making crude comments about women.  “Subsequently, Mr. Trump apologized and called it ‘locker room talk.’ He has since called all his accusers liars.” >> Related: Melania Trump defends husband's lewd comments about women as 'boy talk' Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Michigan, the vice president of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, said Tuesday that Americans “deserve to have a thorough investigation that will reveal the facts.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the call for an investigation as unnecessary and unwanted by the American people. “The president has answered these questions,” she said Tuesday at a news briefing. “He has spoken to these accusations and denied and pushed that they are all false and fabricated accusations. Frankly, I think if Congress wants to spend time investigating things they should prob focus on some of the thins that the American people would really like to investigate, like how to secure our borders, how to defeat ISIS (or) how to pass tax reform that actually impacts them.” Four of Trump’s accusers on Monday called on Congress to investigate Trump’s behavior. Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Lisa Boyne first accused Trump of sexual harassment in the run-up to last year’s election. “They’ve investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that (Trump) be investigated as well,” Holvey said Monday at a news conference. “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. This is how women are treated every day.” The pressure to investigate Trump’s actions has grown as the “#MeToo” movement has encouraged more women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Earlier this month, three lawmakers announced their intention to resign or retire amid sexual harassment scandals. >> Related: Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, announced last week that he plans to resign in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him by several women. He was accused of groping women as they posed for photos with him and forcibly kissing at least two people. Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, submitted his resignation last week after he was accused of sexually harassing several women who worked for him. Conyers, D-Michigan, denied the allegations but said he decided to retire because of health concerns. The 88-year-old congressman was hospitalized in Michigan earlier this month. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said last week that he plans to resign from his seat by the end of January after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by his former employees.

OPD: Shooting suspect could ‘escalate’ criminal activity

OPD: Shooting suspect could ‘escalate’ criminal activity

Orlando Police worry that  a man wanted for a shooting and robbery outside a motel room will seriously hurt someone if not caught soon. It happened at the Super 8 on American Way.   OPD Detective Adam Krudo said the victim’s cellphone was stolen and then was shot in the lower torso. He is expected to recover.

Geminid meteor shower to peak in coming days

Geminid meteor shower to peak in coming days

The peak of the Geminid meteor shower is set to make for a spectacular view of the cosmos this month. December’s robust Geminids are known to throw as many as 120 bright meteors per hour and can be viewed during the evening hours as well as predawn. Astronomers expect the most meteors to be visible Tuesday night through Thursday.  “This is it, the shower we’ve all been waiting for,” astronomer Bob King said in his Dec. 11 column for Sky and Telescope. “Not only is it the year’s most prolific shower, the moon is essentially out of the picture.” In 2016, the luminous glow of a full moon obscured the zippy Geminids, but this year the moon is in its crescent phase, a slender slice of light in the sky that shouldn’t interrupt the show.  >> Read more trending news The Geminids are unique not just in quantity but also birthplace. Most meteor showers come from comets, roiling cauldrons of gas, dust, ice and rock that have glowing heads and tails. According to NASA, Geminids appear as the Earth crosses the path of an inactive chunk of rock in space that doesn’t shed debris. The rock has been named 3200 Phaethon. “Phaethon’s nature is debated,” NASA astronomer Bill Cooke said. “It’s either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet.” The Geminids are Cooke’s favorite “because they defy explanation.” King cautions that the estimate of 120 meteors per hour is an idealized number, visible only under perfect conditions in rural areas.  “Depending on the time you observe and local light pollution, counts will vary,” King said. “At my observing site, which is handicapped by minor to moderate sky glow, I cut the rate in half to keep expectations realistic. A meteor a minute is certainly nothing to complain about.”  The Geminids are the namesake of the Gemini constellation, from which they appear to radiate. The shower can be viewed with the naked eye over clear, dark skies across most of the world. As long as stargazers are away from bright lights and look up in any direction, they should be able to see the shower, according to NASA. The shower peaks just after 9 p.m. Dec. 13 and lasts until dawn Dec. 14. “When you see a meteor, try to trace it backwards,” Cooke said. “If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there's a good chance you've seen a Geminid.” NASA will broadcast the Geminid shower live on Ustream Dec. 13 from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Democratic women in Congress take aim at Trump over misconduct allegations

Trading barbs with President Donald Trump via Twitter on Tuesday, women Democrats demanded that Congress investigate past claims of sexual misconduct leveled against the President during the 2016 campaign, as several lawmakers took the extra step of asking for Mr. Trump’s resignation.

“President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has emerged as the leader of efforts to pressure the President on the issue of past allegations.

Mr. Trump lobbed a Twitter barb directly at the New York Democrat on Tuesday morning, labeling her a “lightweight” and “total flunky.”

Gillibrand answered back, saying [More]