Longtime talk show host Tavis Smiley has been indefinitely suspended from PBS amid “troubling” allegations that he has sexually harassed staffers and retaliated against those who rebuffed him.

Officials at PBS recently contracted a law firm after they received a series of shocking claims that Smiley had created a hostile work environment and engaged in sexual relationships with several subordinates.

“The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS,” a spokesperson told the New York Daily News.

The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the allegations but sources told Variety Magazine that Smiley, who has hosted his namesake PBS show since 2004, would use his status to coax subordinates into having sex with him. Some of the witnesses said that they felt like their employment depended on the status of their sexual relationship with Smiley.

—New York Daily News


Democratic governor: ‘Unstable’ Trump could start nuclear war

WASHINGTON — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday that he’s worried President Donald Trump will “ignore the Constitution” and start a pre-emptive war with North Korea, which the Democrat worries will quickly escalate into a nuclear conflict.

“I’m very concerned we have such a chaotic, unbalanced, unstable person with the thermo-nuclear trigger,” he said. “And we have issues on the Korean Peninsula that I am very concerned about that.”

Inslee, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, gave an interview to McClatchy on Wednesday to discuss Democrats’ victory in the Alabama special election. When asked what he worried could prevent Democrats from victories next year, his mind turned to war.

“I don’t say this without a lot of thought,” he said. “I can tell you that there are many in the armed services that share these concerns. It’s time for people like myself to warn Americans of this concern.”

He added that Trump’s ability to start a nuclear war represented a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen sharply since Trump’s inauguration and as Pyongyang has raced to demonstrate its ability to build a nuclear weapon and delivery vehicle capable of reaching parts of mainland America.

—McClatchy Washington Bureau


Brooks announces he has high-risk prostate cancer

WASHINGTON — Rep. Mo Brooks announced on the House floor Wednesday he has high-risk prostate cancer.

He will be receiving surgery Friday.

“Mr. Speaker, this is a very difficult speech for me to give,” he said. “God works in mysterious ways. When you are an elected official, missed votes require an explanation. That is why I disclose this other very personal, very private and very humbling matter.”

Brook will receive a prostatectomy, an operation to remove the prostate gland.

Brooks ran for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions but did not make it past the primary. Democrat Doug Jones won the general election on Tuesday night, upsetting former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

“Had I won, I would not have had time for my physical and PSA test, I would not have had a prostate biopsy, I would not now know about my high-risk prostate cancer that requires immediate surgery. In retrospect and paradoxically, losing the Senate race may have saved my life. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways,” he said choking up.

The congressman said he was first told by his doctor Halloween night after votes as he stood on the Capitol steps.

“I felt an adrenaline rush as a chill went up and down my spine,” he said.

—CQ-Roll Call


Ecuador’s vice president sentenced to six years for corruption

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuadorean Vice President Jorge Glas has been sentenced to six years in prison for taking bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Eight others were also handed different sentences, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The convicted will have to pay a total of $33.5 million in damages to the state.

Prosecutors earlier said that Glas gave Odebrecht contracts in exchange for kickbacks while he was coordinating minister for strategic sectors between 2010 and 2012 and vice president from 2013.

The vice president was suspected of having accepted more than $13 million in bribes.

The corruption verdict was the first against a serving vice president in the history of the South American country.

Glas’ lawyer said he would appeal the “barbaric” sentence and that his client would not resign.

The vice president, who has been under arrest since Oct. 2, has been stripped of public duties.



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