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.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- France's center-right party Les Républicains holds primary debate.
- Scottish National Party holds annual conference with focus on post-Brexit strategy.
- UN International Day for Disaster Reduction.
U.S. STRIKES IN YEMEN
The U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes from the Red Sea at three coastal radar sites in Yemen early this morning, in retaliation for failed missile attacks on a U.S. Navy destroyer earlier this week, The Washington Post reports. The Pentagon says the targets were successfully destroyed. "These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
REFUGEE TERROR SUSPECT FOUND DEAD IN CELL
Jaber Albakr, the Syrian refugee and terror suspect arrested by the German police on Monday, was found hanged in his cell yesterday evening despite being on suicide watch, Deutsche Welle reports. Albakr had reportedly been planning to attack a Berlin airport and explosives were found at his apartment.
— ON THIS DAY
From Ancient Rome to India, here's your 57-second shot of history.
BOB DYLAN WINS NOBEL IN LITERATURE
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Here's a favorite clip of the orphan expand=1] with his gun.
DARIO FO DIES
Nobel prize-winning Italian playwright and actor Dario Fo has at the age of 90. Among the political satirist's best known works wasThe Accidental Death of an Anarchist in 1970. Often described as a modern-day "jester," Fo won the 1997 Nobel in literature, considered an unusual choice for a stage figure rather than novelist — and news of his death came hours before the announcement of the 2016 winner, another "song and dance man."
The number of government requests to Google for user information were up 10% in the first-half of 2016 compared to the previous semester, making it the fourth consecutive increase, the company announced yesterday. The United States had the largest number of requests, followed by Germany and France.
One of the great things the Internet has brought us is the access to unprecedented amounts of information. But does it necessarily mean we're well informed? Writing in El Espectador, journalist Jorge Eduardo Espinosa reflects on that great paradox of our digital era. "Truth has ceased to matter. In our times, everything depends on speed and efficiency instead. If the Internet does not give it to you immediately, at the bat of an eyelid, if posts on Facebook exceed a paragraph or comments 140 characters, we start to feel we are losing out, or will be late for something. Where and what? Nobody knows, but just late. It transforms the very notion of time more stressful, and schizophrenic.
And yet, this constant information bombardment requires us to reflect before judging and doubt before hurling charges, or the right to defense before being condemned. And that is not what is happening."
Read the full article, Speed And Anonymity On The Internet Is Killing Truth.
WELLS FARGO CEO STEPS DOWN
Wells Fargo's CEO, John Stumpf, resigned with immediate effect saying he had "become a distraction" as the third-largest U.S. bank tries to recover from its sham accounts scandal. The Financial Times says his replacement is doing little to end the controversy.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
Obscure Chandelier — Pisco Bay, 1996
THAILAND CONCERNED OVER KING'S HEALTH
Well-wishers are gathering across Thailand, and more particularly outside the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej is undergoing treatment as his fragile health worsens, The Bangkok Post reports. The oldest monarch in the world is seen as a symbol of unity in Thailand, and his passing would be a heavy blow to a country divided by successive coups and currently run by the military.
MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH
- How Orban Is Trying To Take Europe Away From Merkel — Die Welt
- Greek Conspiracy Theories, Turkish Truths And Lies — Hürriyet
- Speak Of The Devil, Inside Italy's Boom Of Exorcisms — La Stampa
Avant-garde pieces of furniture belonging to British rock icon David Bowie, who died in January this year, will go on sale next month. We can sit like heroes, and not just for one day.