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Trump delays lifting ban on import of elephant trophies from Africa

Update (Friday, November 17)

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday he’s delaying a new policy allowing the body parts of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review “all conservation facts.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport. The agency said encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.

Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. On Friday, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the “wrong move at the wrong time.”

Trump said that the policy had been “under study for years.” He says he will review the issue with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Earlier

The Trump administration plans to lift a ban on Friday that barred big game hunters from bringing trophies from elephants killed in a pair of African nations to America, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told ABC News in a statement Wednesday that the decision was made after officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia provided them with information to support a reversal of the ban.

"Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," the spokesperson told ABC News.

The decision will overturn a 2014 ban implemented by President Barack Obama’s administration in response to falling elephant populations. 

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A provision in the act, however, allows for the government to give permits that let people import trophies from such animals if evidence shows that hunting them helps conservation efforts, according to NBC News.

The rule reversal will apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from Jan. 21, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, the news station reported. It will also apply to elephants killed in Zambia in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and “applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements,” a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson told NBC News.

According to the 2016 Great Elephant Census, Savanna elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014. About 352,000 elephants were spotted during the survey, 82,300 in Zimbabwe and 21,700 in Zambia.

Both countries had areas that saw substantial declines in elephant populations along the Zambezi river in Zambia and in Zimbabwe’s Sebungwe region, according to the census.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rev. Jesse Jackson diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

Well-known civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

>> Read more trending news

“Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he wrote in a statement released Friday. “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”

Pentagon accidentally re-tweets call for Trump's resignation

A post on the Pentagon’s official Twitter account called for President Donald Trump’s resignation on Thursday when a message was mistakenly re-tweeted, according to officials with the Department of Defense.

>> Read more trending news

The tweet was quickly deleted, Politico reported.

The original message was posted by Ryan Knight, who goes by the Twitter handle @proudresister. Knight pointed to calls for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama, to step down amid allegations that he sexually assaulted multiple women, and for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, to resign after recent allegations that he forcibly kissed a woman in 2006 and groped her as she slept.

>> Related: Roy Moore's accuser, wife pictured in yearbook under same high school class, report says 

“The solution is simple,” Knight wrote. “Roy Moore: Step down from the race. Al Franken: Resign from congress. Donald Trump: Resign from the presidency. GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It’s a crime as is your hypocrisy.”

Moore has denied any wrongdoing. Franken apologized on Thursday and called for an investigation into the 2006 incident.

>> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

The post was shared for a brief time Thursday on the Department of Defense’s official Twitter account.

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that the re-tweet was posted accidentally.

“An authorized operator of the @DeptofDefense’s official Twitter site erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense,” White said in a tweet Thursday. “The operator caught this error and immediately deleted it.”

More than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. He emphatically denied the accusations, which dated back to the 1980s.

>> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct?

The accusations were made after a 2005 video surfaced in which Trump made derogatory comments about women.

"You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said in the video. “Grab them by the (expletive). You can do anything."

First lady Melania Trump defended her husband's comments, telling Fox News in 2016 that her husband's words were offensive and inappropriate but that they did not reflect his views on women.

George H.W. Bush accused of groping woman while in office

A woman on Thursday said President George H.W. Bush groped her during a photo-op in 1992, while he was still in office, becoming the latest in a string of women who have made similar accusations against him.

>> Read more trending news

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that she was in Dearborn, Michigan, attending a fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign when the president groped her buttocks.

“We got closer for a family photo and it was like, ‘Holy (expletive)!’” she told the news network. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”

At least eight other women have accused Bush of grabbing them during photo-ops, although Thursday’s accusation was the first alleged to have happened while the former president was in office.

"All the focus has been on 'He's old.' OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me," the latest accuser told CNN. "I've been debating what to do about it."

The president apologized last month in a statement through his spokesman, Jim McGrath, after actress Heather Lind accused Bush of groping her during a 2014 photo-op in a since-deleted Instagram post.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes after actress Heather Lind accuses him of sexual assault

“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” McGrath said. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke -- and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”

Previous accusations

Lind, who plays Anna Strong in AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” said the president told a dirty joke and grabbed her rear end while taking a photo. She said that first lady Barbara Bush saw her husband groping Lind and just rolled her eyes.

Shortly after Lind went public with her accusation, actress Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin that she was groped by Bush during a photo-op in August 2016.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes, says he 'patted women's rears' after 2nd groping allegation

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” Grolnick told Deadspin. “He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”

Author Christina Baker Kline said Bush made a similar joke to her in 2014 when he groped her during a photo-op at a luncheon in Houston. She wrote about the incident in an article for Slate.

In a Facebook post, former journalist Liz Allen accused Bush of inappropriately touching her during a 2004 business event. She told the Erie Times-News that she wasn’t happy about the incident but that, “It did not rise to the level of assault … it was in my (personal) space.”

Former Republican state Senate candidate Amanda Staples said in an Instagram post that she was groped by Bush during a 2006 photo-op, the Portland Press Herald reported. She said Bush “grabbed my butt and joked saying, ‘Oh, I’m not THAT President.’”

Another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that Bush squeezed her rear “a couple times” during a 2015 event in Houston.

"It was unmistakable," she told the news network. "It was not just a pat. It was a serious squeeze."

Broadway actress Megan Elizabeth Lewis told NJ Advance Media this week that she was groped by Bush in 2009 while taking a photo at a performance of “Legally Blond: The Musical” in Houston.

“I was like, ‘wow,’” she told the news site. “I remember being really grossed out.”

Roslyn Corrigan told Time magazine that she was 16 years old when Bush, then 79, groped her in 2003 during an event in Texas.

“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan told Time. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’”

Bush, 93, served as president from 1989 to 1993. He was vice president under President Ronald Reagan before his election to the highest office in the nation, from 1981 to 1989.

Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

Update 2:37 p.m. Nov. 16: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, on Thursday called for an ethics investigation of himself after a Los Angeles news anchor came forward with allegations that he kissed her forcibly and groped her as she slept during a USO tour in 2006.

Leeann Tweeden on Thursday shared an image taken on the trip back to the U.S. at the end of the tour. Franken can be seen smiling up at the camera as his hands hover over her chest.

"I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter," Franken said in a statement released Thursday. "There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture."

He said that he would “gladly cooperate” with an ethics investigation into the incident.

"The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories," he said. "They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”

Update 11:58 a.m. Nov. 16: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for an Ethics Committee investigation after a Los Angeles news anchor accused Sen. Al Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006.

“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this,” McConnell said, according to Politico. “Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable – in the workplace or anywhere else.”

Leeann Tweeden wrote in a blog post for KABC that Franken “forcibly kissed” her and groped her as she slept during a USO tour in December 2006. Franken was an Air America radio host at the time. He was voted into office in 2008.

Franken apologized to Tweeden in a statement Thursday.

Original report: A Los Angeles news anchor and sports broadcaster on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, of “forcibly kissing” her and groping her as she was asleep during a USO tour in 2006.

>> Read more trending news

In a blog post for KABC, Leeann Tweeden wrote that Franken, who was a radio host for Air America at the time, forced himself on her as they were practicing a skit he wrote for the tour.

She said that, as the show’s emcee, she hadn’t expected to do more than introduce the acts, “but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.”

“When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss,’” Tweeden wrote. “I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”

She said he badgered her to practice the kiss scene, and that she eventually agreed, despite her discomfort.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she wrote. “I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.”

She said that after the incident, she made sure not to be alone with Franken again.

“I felt disgusted and violated,” she wrote. “No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the sergeant major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened.”

She said she focused on entertaining the troops and didn’t speak up because she “didn’t want to cause trouble.”

“We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our holiday tour, I was a professional and I could take care of myself,” she wrote. “I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done, and they knew how I felt about it.”

She said that it wasn’t until she was looking through a CD of photos from the tour that she learned that Franken had groped her while she was asleep. She shared a photo of the incident, which showed her sleeping in a flak vest and Kevlar helmet as Franken’s hands hovered over her chest.

“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?”

Franken apologized for the incident in a statement Thursday.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny, but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Tweeden said she decided to come forward because “there may be others.”

“I want the days of silence to be over forever,” she wrote. “I want them, and all the other victims of sexual assault, to be able to speak out immediately, and not keep their stories –  and their anger – locked up inside for years, or decades.”

Roy Moore campaign claims yearbook signature is fake

The attorney and campaign chair for Roy Moore gave a 10-minute press conference Wednesday in which they challenged the authenticity of Moore’s signature in the yearbook that backs up Beverly Young Nelson’s allegations against Moore.

>> Roy Moore's accuser, wife pictured in yearbook under same high school class, report says

Speaking from Alabama Republican Party headquarters in Hoover, Alabama, attorney Phillip L. Jauregui cited a handwriting expert retained by the campaign as he insisted that the signature inside Nelson’s yearbook was false.

“Look at the sevens,” he said, referring to two sets of the numbers in the note written to Nelson, which said, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”

Jauregui and campaign chair Bill Armistead argued that Moore’s signature had actually been forged from court documents. They said Moore’s onetime assistant signed court documents with Moore’s name and her own initials — “D.A.” — to indicate that she’d done it.

>> Ivanka Trump slams Roy Moore in interview

At the time that Moore is alleged to have sexually assaulted Nelson, Moore was an assistant district attorney of Etowah County, although Nelson says he identified himself as “the district attorney” to her the night of the alleged incident, the Daily Beast reported.

“I am the district attorney of Etowah County,” Nelson said he told her. “If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”

>> Alabama woman says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16

Moore also presided over Nelson’s 1999 divorce proceedings, said Jauregui. They say that contradicts her claim that she had neither seen nor had any contact with Moore after the alleged assault.

Moore’s lawyer added that he had never seen Moore “act remotely inappropriate” toward any women.

A number of prominent Republicans have parted ways with Moore since the allegations began to surface, including Vice President Mike Pence. Neither Jauregui nor Armistead took questions from reporters before retreating back inside Alabama GOP headquarters.

>> Read more trending news

Moore, who was rumored to have been banned from a mall, according to a New Yorker piece, on Wednesday tweeted that he represented “everything the Washington Elite hate,” claiming the “Washington Elite” will “do whatever it takes to stop us.”

Trump criticized after apparently tweeting condolences for wrong mass shooting

President Donald Trump faced criticism after he appeared to have copied a tweet shared after a mass shooting earlier this month at a Texas church in the wake of an attack Tuesday that left five people dead and 10 injured in Northern California.

>> Read more trending news

“May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas,” Trump tweeted Tuesday evening, according to Newsweek. “The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.”

The tweet came nearly 10 days after authorities said Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire on people gathered for Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others.

It came on the same day that a man killed five people and injured 10 others in attacks in Tehama County, California.

>> Related: 6 dead, including suspected gunman, in shooting at California home, elementary school

After the attack in Texas, Trump tweeted a nearly identical message to the one shared Tuesday, writing, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

Twitter users accused Trump of copying and pasting his condolences and forgetting to change the location of the attack.

Trump’s tweet was subsequently deleted.

Authorities said officers shot and killed Kevin Janson Neal, 43, Tuesday after he fired shots in at least seven locations in Tehama County, including an elementary school. Five people were killed in the attack, including two of Neal’s neighbors and his wife.

6 Democrats file articles of impeachment against Trump

Six House Democrats filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of obstructing justice and undermining the freedom of the press in a likely ill-fated push by lawmakers to oust the president.

>> Read more trending news

"We have taken this action because of great concerns for the country and our Constitution and our national security and our democracy," Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, said Wednesday at a news conference.

Cohen sponsored the resolution and was joined by five of his colleagues in the House of Representatives: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois; Rep. Al Green, D-Texas; Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York; and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky.

The group filed five articles of impeachment against the president, claiming, among other things, that the president obstructed justice in connection with the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and connections to Trump presidential campaign officials; and that he has undermined the federal judiciary and the freedom of the press.

>> Related: Larry Flynt offering up to $10M for information leading to Trump's impeachment

“The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this president that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment,” Cohen said.

In the resolution, lawmakers accused Trump of obstructing justice with his firing in May of FBI Director James Comey. In congressional testimony, Comey said he felt the president tried to get him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign less than a month into his tenure after it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russian officials.

>> Related: Read James Comey’s complete testimony before the Senate committee 

In response to the resolution, a Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told Politico that, “It’s the policy of the committee to consider impeachment articles if and when the constitutional criteria for impeachment exist.”

Democrats also expressed skepticism over the future success of the resolution.

 >> Related: Impeach Trump, says billboard near Mar-a-Lago

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said that many Democrats believe that Trump should be impeached, but “we have just made the judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that,” Politico reported.

The Associated Press noted that the measure was likely to fail in the Republican-led House.

 >> Related: Tennessee congressman to file articles of impeachment

“Indeed, the large majority of Democrats seem intent on having nothing to do with the effort either as lawmakers await the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia,” the wire service reported. “Democratic leaders have argued that the impeachment campaign riles up Trump's GOP base, a critical bloc in next year's midterm elections.”

Read the resolution:

Cards Against Humanity's holiday promotion aims to block Trump's border wall

Cards Against Humanity is playing its hand against President Donald Trump this holiday season.

>> 10 ways to save money during the holidays

According to WMAQ, the bawdy party game on Tuesday announced its holiday promotion, promising "six America-saving surprises" to the first 150,000 fans to send in $15. It quickly sold out.

"If you voted for Trump, you might want to sit this one out," the Chicago-based company warns on its website for the promotion.

>> Visit the website here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

A preview for the first surprise takes aim at Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

>> Black Friday 2017: When do stores open on Thanksgiving, Black Friday

"Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans," the website reads. "He is so afraid that he wants to build a $20 billion wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built."

>> Read more trending news

The company says participants "will get an illustrated map of the land, a certificate of our promise to fight the wall, some new cards and a few other surprises."

Read more here.

Roy Moore's accuser, wife pictured in yearbook under same high school class, report says

Months before Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of sexually assaulting her in 1977, Beverly Young Nelson was a sophomore at Southside High School — alongside Moore’s future wife, Kayla Kisor, AL.com reports.

>> Here's why people are boycotting Keurig

“Some people are questioning the yearbook that Beverly Young Nelson showed at her press conference yesterday. Here’s what I know about that particular yearbook,” William Thornton of Alabama Media Group wrote on Twitter.

>> Alabama woman says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16

Although Nelson said she was attending Gadsden High School in December 1977 when she was a waitress at Olde Hickory House, she had attended Southside from 1975 to the summer of 1977. The 16-year-old received her Southside yearbook in the mail that month and brought it with her to the restaurant, where she said Moore sexually assaulted her in a car. In that same yearbook is a picture of her fellow sophomore Kayla Kisor, who went on to marry a man 14 years her senior, Roy Moore.

>> On Rare.us: Texas heavyweights withdraw endorsements for Roy Moore to leave 'final judgment' to the voters

During a press conference this week, Nelson went on to reveal an inscription in her yearbook, which she said was Moore’s. The note, which was dated “Christmas 1977,” indicated that it had been written at Olde Hickory House and read, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.'”

>> Read more trending news 

Moore was 38 years old when he married Kisor, who was 24. According to his autobiography “So Help Me God,” he met her just one year prior at a church Christmas party. He said he had seen her many years before, but did not specify where or how old she was at the time.

The new detail comes as Moore has been accused of pursuing teens when he was in his 30s. In addition to Nelson's allegation, Leigh Corfman said Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations, but many within his party, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called for him to step down.

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