Rep. John Conyers stepping down from top Judiciary Committee post as ethics probe continues
Rep. John Conyers is stepping down from his top spot on the House Judiciary Committee as a congressional ethics panel probes sexual harassment allegations against the Michigan Democrat. Conyers, 88, has denied harassing an employee who received a 2015 settlement of more than $27,000 from his office funds. He did admit to the settlement, saying last week that his "office resolved the allegations — with an express denial of liability — in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. That should not be lost in the narrative." The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the allegations.
Consumer watchdog agency's future uncertain amid leadership fight
The simmering battle for control of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exploded over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend amid clashing leadership succession strategies by the Trump administration and the watchdog's newly departed director. After Obama appointee Richard Cordray named Leandra English to take over following his resignation on Friday, Trump moved to circumvent Cordray's succession plan by announcing Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, as the acting director. English is expected to continue the aggressive policing of banks and other lenders that have angered Republicans. Mulvaney has called the agency a “joke."
Egypt reeling from attack on mosque that killed 305
Egypt was reeling Sunday from the horrific militant attack on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed 305 people two days earlier — the deadliest assault by Islamic extremists in its modern history and a grim milestone in a long-running fight against the insurgency led by an Islamic State affiliate. Survivors and Egypt’s top prosecutor have given accounts of the massacre that unfolded as more than two dozen assailants, carrying a black IS banner, unleashed gunfire and explosions during Friday prayers at the Al-Rawdah Mosque in a sleepy village by the same name near the small town of Bir al-Abd. It's unclear whether Egypt has any options left in the fight against Islamic militants.
Trump doesn't want to be 'Time's Person of the Year' again
President Trump said he has no interest in being named Time's "Person of the Year" again, and in a Friday night tweet, the news magazine hinted that it wasn't going to do so, either. The president tweeted that he had declined the magazine's offer when he was told he would "PROBABLY" be given the title for a second year in a row. Later, Time tweeted that Trump was "incorrect" about the process of selecting "Person of the Year." Celebrities including Mark Hamill and Julia Louis-Dreyfus took to Twitter to mock the president's tweet.
The latest on Roy Moore
President Trump on Sunday doubled down on his insistence that a Democrat shouldn't win Alabama's Senate seat, once again appearing to back controversial Republican Roy Moore. Trump hasn't outright endorsed Moore, the Alabama Republican who has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing teenage girls while he was in his 30s, but Trump's tweets may become a repeated refrain in the final weeks of the race to fill the Senate seat once occupied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump, who has also been accused of sexual misconduct, stressed that Moore has denied the allegations. "Roy Moore denies it," he said last week. "That's all I can say."
'Let Malia live': Chelsea Clinton, Common, more rush to Malia Obama's defense on Twitter
Leave Malia Obama alone! That was the sentiment felt on Twitter Friday as a video of the former first daughter appearing to smoke circulated the Internet. In the clip, it looks like the 19-year-old first-year Harvard student is blowing smoke rings in a bathroom. She was also reportedly spotted kissing someone during a tailgate. Another former resident of the White House, Chelsea Clinton, was one of many to come to the young co-ed's defense. "Malia Obama’s private life, as a young woman, a college student, a private citizen, should not be your clickbait," she tweeted. "Be better."
A bad weekend for Alabama sports
For the second time in the last five years, Auburn defeated Alabama in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the SEC West title. The Tigers won it with authority, taking the Iron Bowl 26-14 on Saturday and advanced to the SEC championship. The loss dropped previously No. 1-ranked Alabama to No. 5 in the Amway Coaches Poll. On the same night at a hoops game against Minnesota at Barclays Center, Alabama's entire bench was tossed, leaving the Crimson Tide with only five players. Later in the game, one player fouled out and another was injured, forcing Alabama to play 3-on-5. Minnesota won 89-84.
Actor Rance Howard dies at 89
Rance Howard, whose acting career spanned more than 60 years in film and television, died Saturday. He was 89. His son, director Ron Howard, reported on his father's passing in a late-afternoon tweet. Rance Howard is also the father of actor Clint Howard and the grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard, who are Ron's daughters. He appeared in films directed by Ron Howard, including Splash, Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, and Parenthood. He also appeared in television shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Seinfeld, and Happy Days.
Contributing: Associated Press