Actress Rose McGowan has been one of the loudest voices in the industry to speak out against Harvey Weinstein after reports that the film mogul allegedly sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped dozens of women over the years. McGowan, who accepted a $100,000 settlement in 1997 from Weinstein over "an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival," was banned from Twitter over her tweets, which included scolding actor Ben Affleck and praising the women who have spoken out, Variety reports:
Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 7, 2017
This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence. pic.twitter.com/TrtRNiYfIT
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 8, 2017
Now am I allowed to say rapist https://t.co/95Ze9BixCT
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 10, 2017
On Thursday, McGowan shared on Twitter that she had been temporarily banned for violating the social media website's rules (her account has apparently since been restored, Gizmodo notes):
Twitter has been heavily criticized for not responding more firmly to serial abusers on its platform. While McGowan used strong language in her condemnation of Weinstein and Affleck, being banned after coming to the defense of the abused has already raised further criticism of Twitter.
"Twitter suspended Rose McGowan and just slapped every sexual assault survivor right in the face," wrote one user. The organizers of the Women's March on Washington added: "Women should not be punished for speaking the truth." Jeva Lange
A Nebraska Republican National Committee member submitted her resignation Monday in protest of the RNC's support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Politico reports. Moore is accused by a number of women of having pursued — and in one case assaulted — them while they were teenagers.
"I strongly disagree with the recent RNC financial support directed to the Alabama Republican Party for use in the Roy Moore race," said the committeewoman, Joyce Simmons. "There is much I could say about this situation, but I will defer to this weekend's comments by Sen. Shelby."
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said this weekend that while he'd "rather see the Republican win … I couldn't vote for Roy Moore."
Simmons submitted her resignation to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Friday. "I will miss so many of you that I knew well," Simmons said in her email to colleagues Monday, "and wish I could have continued my service to the national Republican Party that I used to know well." Jeva Lange
Watch out, windmills.
A new report published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience warns that wind farming could be seriously affected by climate change, as high rates of carbon emissions lead to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus trapping more heat on the Earth's surface. The resulting increased temperatures would reduce wind output in the global north while likely increasing it in the south, the scientists explain.
Using climate models and projections employed by the U.N., the researchers predicted that Japan, the central United States, and the U.K.'s wind energy industry would see significant losses in wind output if carbon emissions continued at high rates. The central U.S. would lose nearly 20 percent of its power alone, while Japan and the U.K. would lose 10 and 5 percent respectively.
The study did note "substantial regional variations" in its calculations, explaining that the "northern mid-latitudes" experienced more "robust responses" to carbon emissions, while wind power in the southern hemisphere was less distorted by climate change. The Guardian notes that wind in the northern hemisphere is fueled by severe temperature differences between the cold Arctic region and the warmer tropics, which means that a warmer Arctic would reduce wind output.
In the southern hemisphere, however, climate change could actually lead to more wind in regions like eastern Australia, eastern Brazil, and West Africa because of the temperature increase of coastal lands in comparison to ocean waters.
"We found some substantial changes in wind energy, but it does not mean we should not invest in wind power," said Kristopher Karnauskas, an assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Read the full study at Nature Geoscience. Kelly O'Meara Morales
A 32-year-old private investigator in Louisiana has pleaded guilty to attempting to use President Trump's Social Security number to access Trump's tax returns through a U.S. Department of Education financial aid website, The Associated Press reports. Jordan Hamlett was indicted in November 2016, arguing in court that he had no "intent to deceive" when he made an effort to access then-candidate Trump's tax records several weeks earlier. Hamlett claimed that his attempts to obtain the returns had been motivated "out of sheer curiosity."
Federal agents initially questioned Hamlett two weeks before the presidential election and were unaware at the time if his attempts to access Trump's tax returns had been successful or not. The agents "feared a public release of Trump's tax returns could influence the election," AP writes.
Trump's tax returns have remained a tantalizing mystery for many opponents of the president, as Trump is the first commander in chief in decades to refuse to release the forms. Hamlett's lawyer, though, argues that his client was operating as a "white hat" hacker, and that Hamlett had tried to notify the IRS about the vulnerabilities in the system. Hamlett faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Jeva Lange
Kim Jong Un is building an arsenal to rain missiles from the sky — and apparently those aren't his only celestial ambitions. USA Today reported Monday that North Korean state media claims Kim has the ability to manipulate the weather.
After the supreme leader made his way up to the peak of Paektu Mountain, an active volcano on the border of China and North Korea, a blizzard apparently stopped in its tracks. North Korea's state newspaper Rodung Simun said that the "fine weather" atop the volcano was so paradisal as to be "unprecedented" — proof that the "peerlessly illustrious commander" could bend the weather to his will. Perhaps even more impressive was that Kim's black leather shoes apparently remained unscuffed after his arduous climb.
The Kim family has a special connection with Paektu Mountain. It is said that when Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, was born, so too was a new star, while a double rainbow appeared in the sky over the volcano. In 2009, snow apparently melted on the mountain's peak during Kim Jong Il's birthday, prompting observers to claim "that even the nature and the sky unfolded such mysterious ecstasy in celebration of the birthday of leader Kim Jong Il."
The younger Kim, then, has apparently inherited some of the superhuman abilities of his father, who was supposedly the author of more than 1,500 books and six of the world's superior operas. Kelly O'Meara Morales
Several of the 16 women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct spoke out again on Megyn Kelly Today and at a press conference on Monday, calling on Congress to investigate their allegations, The Washington Post reports. "Let's try round two," said Samantha Holvey, who claimed in October of last year that Trump inappropriately inspected women who participated in his beauty pageants.
“For us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say ‘Eh, we don’t care,’ it hurt. Trump accuser Samantha Holvey on @MegynTODAY pic.twitter.com/BIWZCYlQzA
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2017
Holvey called it "heartbreaking" to have gone public with her story "and nobody cared." Jessica Leeds, who says Trump groped her on an airplane, added that "none of us want this attention ... but this is important, so when asked, we speak out."
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told CBS on Sunday that Trump's accusers "should be heard." Trump has vehemently denied the allegations. In a statement Monday, the White House said: "These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year's campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory." Jeva Lange
Alabama Senate candidates Roy Moore and Doug Jones are locked in a dead heat ahead of Tuesday's "all but impossible" to predict election. Although a Fox News poll published Monday shows Jones, the Democratic candidate, up 10 points, a competing poll by Emerson shows Republican contender Moore up 9 points. RealClearPolitics' average between Nov. 27-Dec. 10 shows Moore up just 2.5 points.
"Turnout is always tough to predict in a special election, especially one two weeks before Christmas," NBC News writes. "Even establishing a baseline of expectations for the race is slippery, since few have bothered polling a state where elections are generally predetermined for candidates with an 'R' next to their name on the ballot."
Moore is accused of pursuing girls as young as 14 while he was in his 30s. Even Alabama's Sen. Richard Shelby (R) admitted, "I couldn't vote for Roy Moore."
The betting markets do have a favorite candidate, giving "Moore about an 80 percent chance of victory," FiveThirtyEight writes — or "roughly the same chance they gave Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 presidential election." Jeva Lange
President Trump has publicly toyed with idea of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, though he has of late refrained from talking about it on Twitter, reportedly on the advice of his attorney. That silence has not reassured the president's critics that Mueller's investigation into alleged Trump campaign involvement in Russian election meddling efforts will proceed undisturbed, so congressional Democrats have called for additional protections of Mueller's job.
But a new FiveThirtyEight analysis published Monday argues "Mueller's investigation is more secure than it might seem — and that more protections don't necessarily produce more effective prosecutions." The case is based on a review of the history of special prosecutors since the first one was appointed in 1875. Presidents have typically refrained from interference with these probes, and on the rare occasions of White House intervention, public uproar has served to preserve the investigations over the presidents' objections.
This history suggests Trump firing Mueller would mainly be an act of self-sabotage. "As long as [Mueller] doesn't do something to jeopardize" his reputation for competence, "Trump would have no justification for dismissing him," John Q. Barrett, a law professor who investigated the Iran-Contra scandal, told FiveThirtyEight. "And if he did, he'd have to appoint an equally credible replacement, or there would be really catastrophic political consequences." Bonnie Kristian