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Donald Trump in Lakeland, FL on Oct. 12
Donald Trump in Lakeland, FL on Oct. 12

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's first question at Sunday night's presidential debate was, not surprisingly, about the just-released lewd 2005 recording of Donald Trump boasting of being able to force himself on women. Cooper looked up at the billionaire Republican nominee: "You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?"

After Trump circled around the question by calling the exchange "locker-room talk," the CNN moderator had his follow-up question ready:

COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.

COOPER: So for the record, you're saying you never did that?

TRUMP: I've said things that, frankly, you hear these things I said. And I was embarrassed by it. But I have tremendous respect for women —

COOPER: — Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: — And they have respect for me. And I will tell you: No I have not ...

"No I have not" is the key phrase, which Trump finally added with the tone of an afterthought. But in front of 66 million viewers, it was definitely for the record.

In the past 18 hours, reports from The New York Times, The Tampa Bay Times and People magazine, as well as a post on Facebook, recount incidents that would make Trump guilty of both sexual assault, and lying in front of 66 million people. Several of the accusers have said that Trump's explicit denial of such behavior in the debate prompted them to finally go public with their stories, adding to a growing national accounting for the prevalence of sexual assault in American society that began with Friday's revelation of Trump's offensive 2005 conversation.

As his campaign appears to be imploding in a way that may be unprecedented in American politics, the candidate is furiously denying all the latest accounts, and threatening to sue the newspapers that have published them. Will that lead to others? This is, as we say in the news business, a developing story — and how it plays out is about more than just the race for the White House.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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