U.S. Officials See Biological Weapons Threat in North Korea

U.S. officials have warned that North Korea’s suspected biological weapons program poses a rapidly intensifying threat amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, The Washington Post reports. Pyongyang has long been suspected of conducting a biological warfare program in tandem with its nuclear program, but U.S. officials and analysts say new factories and laboratories suggest the program is further along than previously thought—and Kim Jong Un may be ready to use chemical or biological agents on U.S. or South Korean troops at any moment. “The capabilities—the science and technology—all of that now exists,” one senior U.S. official was quoted as saying. “Kim has chosen not to deploy at this time. But ultimately it comes down to a political decision,” the official said. U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies suspect Pyongyang has experimented with bacterial strains that cause anthrax, cholera, and plague. Amid Pyongyang’s frequent missile tests and belligerent rhetoric, the U.S. military now assumes any troops on the ground may face biological hazards, though the U.S. government is largely in the dark on what pathogens the country can produce.

2. #MeToo

Trump’s Accusers to Demand Probe at Monday Press Conference

Several women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault will call for a congressional investigation into the allegations at a press conference on Monday. A press release from Brave New Films late Sunday said the women will share firsthand accounts of Trump’s alleged “groping, fondling, forcibly kissing, humiliating, and harassing women.” The press conference will be streamed live at 10:30 a.m. EST by Brave New Films, which released a video last month detailing allegations against Trump. NBC News host Megyn Kelly is also due to host three women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct on Monday. Trump has repeatedly denied the sexual misconduct allegations made against him during his presidential campaign, but the issue has taken on new relevance in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday said all women accusing men of sexual misconduct “should be heard”—even if the accusations are leveled against the president. “Women who accuse anyone should be heard,” Haley said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I know that he was elected, but you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them.”


‘Coco’ Tops Box Office for Third Straight Weekend

Pixar’s Coco claimed the top spot in theaters this weekend for the third time in a row, pulling in $18.3 million. The Day of the Dead-themed animated family film has racked up a whopping $135.5 million in North American theaters since its release last month, while its global tally has now reached $390 million. The film’s winning streak is likely to end next weekend, however, when the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi is expected to blow away all competition in theaters. Most studios have opted to avoid challenging The Last Jedi, which is slated to open to much fanfare on Dec. 15. The final pre-Star Wars weekend was dominated by holdovers, with superhero film Justice League pulling in $9.6 million to take second place, and Wonder claiming third with $8.5 million. Despite a limited release, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist managed to beat the only new release of the weekend to come in fourth. The Morgan Freeman film Just Getting Started brought in a mere $3.2 million in its first weekend in theaters, while Franco’s comedy about the worst film of all time earned $6.4 million.

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Sen. Shelby: Alabama ‘Deserves Better’ Than Moore

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby on Sunday said he’s already cast his vote in Tuesday’s Senate election—and it wasn’t for fellow Republican Roy Moore, who has the support of President Trump despite a flurry of misconduct allegations. “I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in. I couldn't vote for Roy Moore. I didn't vote for Roy Moore,” Shelby told CNN. “We call it a tipping point,” he said of allegations Moore sexually pursued several underage girls when he was in his 30s. “I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip—when it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me. I said I can't vote for Roy Moore,” he said. “The state of Alabama deserves better” than Moore, he said. “I do believe the Republicans can do better.” With Alabama voters set to go to the polls on Tuesday, Moore had a slight lead over his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, as of Saturday, according to a new poll.


Queens of the Stone Age Frontman Accused of Deliberately Kicking Female Photographer in Face

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has been accused of deliberately kicking a photographer in the face during a performance in Los Angeles on Saturday night, a move the photographer says left her in the ER. Video of the incident posted on Facebook by the photographer, Chelsea Lauren, shows Homme meandering around on stage before apparently kicking her in the head and knocking her camera out of her hands. Lauren told Variety she was taking photographs from the front of the stage when Homme approached. “The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard. He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard and full-blown kicked me in the face,” she was quoted as saying. “It was obviously very intentional,” she said. She said she spent the night in the hospital and intends to file a police report because if she doesn't, he may do it again. “That’s not right,” she said. Homme, who has previously been sued for allegedly assaulting an autograph collector at a concert, has yet to comment on the video.


Trump Records Robocall for Roy Moore Ahead of Senate Vote

President Donald Trump has recorded a robocall endorsing Republican candidate Roy Moore ahead of Tuesday’s Senate election. White House press secretary Raj Shah confirmed Trump’s participation in the call Saturday night after multiple news reports earlier in the day, CNN reports. In his most direct endorsement of Moore—who is accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women—Trump describes the candidate as “the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda” in the call. “We need Roy voting for us and stopping illegal immigration and crime, rebuilding a stronger military and protecting the Second Amendment and our pro-life values,” Trump reportedly says in the call. He warns that “if Alabama elects liberal Democrat Doug Jones, all of our progress will be stopped full.” Alabama residents are expected to hear the robocall on Monday. Trump’s support for Moore comes at a time when many lawmakers are seeking to distance themselves from the candidate, who has been accused of pursuing sexual relationships with underage girls.


Massive Fire Gains Ground in Santa Barbara County

Residents in several areas of Santa Barbara County were ordered out Sunday as a massive fire tearing through Southern California since last week grew out of control. Fire officials on Sunday warned that the flames could sweep through the coastal towns of Carpinteria and Montecito as the so-called Thomas Fire grew to cover more than 170,000 acres. The blaze erupted Monday night north of Santa Paula and quickly spread. The largest of several wildfires wreaking havoc in the area, it was only 15 percent contained as of Sunday morning. More than 80,000 residents in Santa Barbara have been left without power as a result of the fire, which has also forced 88,000 people to flee their homes. At least one person has been confirmed dead in Ventura County as a result of the blaze.


South Carolina Serial Killer Says He Has More Victims

Convicted serial killer Todd Kohlhepp has sent an eight-page letter to a South Carolina news outlet claiming he has several more undiscovered victims. Kohlhepp, who was convicted of killing seven people earlier this year, told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg that he racked up “more than seven” victims prior to his 2016 arrest. “It’s not an addition problem, it’s a multiplication problem. Leaves the state and leaves the country. Thank you private pilot’s license,” he was quoted as saying. “At this point, I really don’t see reason to give numbers or locations,” he said. Kohlhepp claims his attempts to warn authorities of more victims were “blown off.” Don Wood, chief division counsel with the FBI’s field office in Columbia, told the paper the bureau has an investigation pending into the matter. Kohlhepp was sentenced to life in prison after his trial last May. The former owner of a real estate business, his crimes took place over more than a decade and he was caught only after police found a woman chained up on his property in 2016.


World Is One ‘Tantrum Away’ From Nuclear War, ICAN Warns

The head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons offered a stark warning of a “nuclear crisis” on Sunday while accepting the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization. Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the organization, said the world is just one “impulsive tantrum away” from the “deaths of millions” from nuclear weapons. In comments apparently referencing ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, Fihn said a “moment of panic” or a “bruised ego” could mean the end of the human race. Several survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings attended Sunday’s ceremony in Oslo, and one of them, Setsuko Thurlow, jointly accepted the prize with Fihn. Thurlow, a leading campaigner for ICAN, recounted her own experience of surviving the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima. “I repeat those words that I heard called to me in the ruins of Hiroshima: ‘Don’t give up. Keep pushing. See the light? Crawl toward it,” she said. ICAN, which unites hundreds of NGOs working to ban nuclear weapons, was named as the winner of the prize in October.