Nicaragua to Join Paris Climate Pact, Leaving Just U.S. and Syria Opposed

Nicaragua will join the Paris climate agreement, making the United States and Syria the only nations not to participate in the pact. Nicaragua previously abstained from the 2015 agreement because the country’s leadership believed the pact did not do enough to prevent climate change. But on Monday, Nicaragua’s, vice president, Rosario Murillo, announced that the country was joining the accord. “It is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters,” Murillo said of the agreement. The U.S. was previously part of the agreement, until President Donald Trump announced in June that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the agreement. Withdrawing from the pact is a years-long process that would not take full effect until 2020.


Gold Star Family Gets $25,000 Trump Check After WaPo Exposé

A Gold Star family received a $25,000 check from President Donald Trump after they told the Washington Post that Trump had promised the check then failed to deliver, North Carolina's ABC 11 reports. The Baldridge family, whose son Dillon died in Afghanistan in June, told the Post last week that Trump had called them after Dillon's death and told them he was writing a $25,000 check. The check never came, Dillon's father told the Post October 18. The Baldridges received the long-promised check on Monday, ABC 11 reports. The check, which was FedExed from Trump's New York address, was dated October 18, the day of the Post story.


New York AG Opens Civil-Rights Probe of Harvey Weinstein

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened a civil rights investigation into Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday. The probe will investigate whether Weinstein, who is accused of sexually harassing or assaulting dozens of women, violated any civil rights laws, including gender discrimination. Schneiderman's office subpoenaed Weinstein's company for a long list of documents including its history of discrimination complaints, its hiring guidelines, and communications relating to out-of-court settlements, the New York Times reported.

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McCain: My ‘Bone Spur’ Comment Wasn’t About Trump

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Monday blasted the media for characterizing his swipe at people who were granted deferments from the Vietnam War as an attack on President Trump. Speaking on C-SPAN, the senator said it was unfair that poor people were drafted into service while “the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur.” Such an ailment was cited by Trump to avoid military service during the war. But McCain, who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years, insisted on Monday that he wasn’t talking about the commander in chief. “I was against that 40 years ago,” McCain told reporters, unprompted. “So for you people to say that I’m taking a shot at Trump over that, then you don’t know my record. It is unfair and unequal. The rich people didn’t serve and poor people did. It has nothing to do with President Trump.”

—Andrew Desiderio


Report: Russian Trolls Posed as Standing Rock Activists

A Russian troll farm posed as Native American activists on social media, BuzzFeed reports. Using Instagram accounts with names like @Native_Americans_United, the alleged trolls reportedly posted images about Native American issues, including the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The effort was part of an alleged campaign to exploit divisions in U.S. politics. The Daily Beast previously reported that the Russian trolls posed as U.S.-based Republicans and liberal activists.


Pentagon: We Owe Transparency to Families of Soldiers Killed in Niger

The four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger were ambushed by a group of fifty ISIS-affiliated fighters, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a Monday press conference. Dunford said the U.S. soldiers were part of an approximately 800-troop force in the region. The general further confirmed that one of the deceased soldiers became separated from his unit during the ambush. And while many questions remain surrounding the deadly incident, Dunford declared: “I think we owe the families and American people transparency.”


Matt Damon Admits He Knew Harvey Weinstein Harassed Gwyneth Paltrow

Matt Damon admitted in an interview on Monday that he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of Gwyneth Paltrow in the early 1990s and said nothing about it, even as they worked together on the Weinstein-produced The Talented Mr. Ripley. “I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck] because he was with her after Brad [Pitt],” Damon told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan in a joint interview with his Suburbicon director George Clooney. “I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever, you know, agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it. She was, you know, the first lady of Miramax. And he treated her incredibly respectfully always.” Damon, who first worked with Weinstein on his Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting, added that he knew the producer was an “asshole” and a “womanizer,” but “this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on, absolutely not.” Previously, in an interview with The Daily Beast, Clooney called Weinstein’s behavior “indefensible,” adding, “I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behavior—ever.”


ESPN Cancels Misogynistic Show After Just One Episode

ESPN has canceled its newest show after just one episode, after its hosts were accused of misogynistic comments against a female staffer. Barstool Sports, a sports-commentary blog that has long been accused of sexism, launched the show, Barstool Van Talk, in partnership with ESPN on Oct. 17. The previous day, ESPN host Sam Ponder posted screenshots from a 2014 Barstool blog that called her “a chick that has a job where the #1 requirement is you make men hard.” The blog told Ponder to “go fuck yourself” over her criticism of Barstool. On Monday, ESPN President John Skipper announced that Van Talk had been canceled. “While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content,” Skipper wrote.


Former Weinstein Assistant: Lawyers Threatened to ‘Destroy Me and My Family’

Film producer Harvey Weinstein's former assistant told the Financial Times that Weinstein's lawyers threatened her against speaking out about her years of sexual harassment under his employment. Breaking the terms of her contract, Zelda Perkins said negotiating her non disclosure agreement was an “incredibly distressing” experience. “I was very upset because the whole point was that we had to stop him by exposing his behavior,” she said. “I was warned that he and his lawyers would try to destroy my credibility if I went to court. They told me he would try to destroy me and my family.” Perkins said she quit after learning Weinstein had sexually assaulted one of her colleagues.