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Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 4:59 PM
— More than 30 women who worked with Sen. Al Franken on “Saturday Night Live,” defended the embattled lawmaker in an open later Tuesday, writing that while working with him “not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior.”
The women, including former SNL cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, writers and producers, wrote that they felt “compelled to stand up for Al Franken” in the wake of allegations that he forced himself on Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden in 2006.
Franken apologized after Tweeden made her allegations public last week in a blog post for KABC.
“What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public,” the letter said.
“In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant. That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard.”
JUST IN: Women staff of "Saturday Night Live" sign letter in support of Sen. Al Franken pic.twitter.com/osN6IwMgvB— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 21, 2017
Franken worked on “Saturday Night Live” as a writer and a featured player from 1977 to 1980 and from 1988 to 1995.
Tweeden said last week that she was forcibly kissed by Franken, who was a radio host for Air America at the time, and groped in her sleep during a USO tour in 2006. She shared an image of herself sleeping as Franken’s hands hovered over her chest as evidence of the incident.
Franken apologized and called for an ethics investigation into the incident.
"I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter," Franken said in a statement released Thursday. "There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture."
A second woman came forward Monday, accusing Franken of groping her as they posed for a photo at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.
Lindsay Menz told CNN that Franken, “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, (Franken) put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”
In a statement to CNN, Franken said he didn’t remember taking the photo but that he felt “badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 1:16 AM
PITTSBURGH — Hundreds of marchers took to the streets of Pittsburgh Thursday night, protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop Tuesday night.
Traffic was brought to a standstill as protesters spilled onto Pittsburgh’s Parkway East.
The protest was described by WPXI reporters on the scene as “tense,” but “peaceful so far.”
Marchers, holding signs and cell phones, sat down in the street, blocking traffic and causing a back up for miles.
Protestors were told to voluntarily disperse by 1 a.m. Friday. Pennsylvania State Police were preparing to open up the highway, according to state police major commander William Teper.
Residents are angry and upset over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran.
Footage of the shooting posted on Facebook Tuesday shows the scene from a distance. The 18-second video shows Rose and the other passenger, who has not been found by police, get out of the car and make a break for the yard between two nearby houses.
Three shots are heard and one of the passengers appears to fall into the grass.
Rose, who police officials said was struck three times, was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Allegheny County medical examiner on Thursday ruled the teen’s death a homicide.
The East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed Rose was sworn in just hours before the fatal encounter.
Mayor Louis Payne told WPXI Wednesday that the unidentified officer who killed Rose previously spent seven years working in other departments, but confirmed that he was working his first shift following his official swearing in with the East Pittsburgh Police Department.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:59 AM
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. — Time to get a new car!
A woman said she was driving when she felt something on her leg. And it wasn’t her imagination. The unidentified woman saw a six-foot-long snake slithering up her leg, WSPA reported.
A pest removal service in Rutherford County said that a customer of theirs had a box in her car that she was taking to the dump. The box had been sitting outside and the snake had crawled in. The Bug Man reminded people in its Facebook post about the incident, to always check boxes and planters before moving them. Snakes and other critters can make containers their home.
She called police for help and they got the serpent out of her vehicle using snake tongs, WSPA reported.
The stowaway’s story doesn’t end there. The snake actually got out of its container while police were relocating it, but eventually got out of the police car and made its way into a creek, WSPA reported.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:43 PM
BETHEL PARK, Pa. — A Pennsylvania teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath a road south of Pittsburgh.
Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.
"There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."
Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.
He said his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.
"It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."
Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.
He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:40 PM
— Former President Barack Obama was such a friend to science and so passionate about a diverse number of scientific issues that researchers at the University of California at Riverside decided to honor him by naming an ancient sea creature after him.
Obamus coronatus, translated means Obama crowned, was a disc-shaped, ocean-dwelling sea creature, which lived in the Earth’s shallow oceans between 580 and 540 million years ago, according to UCR researchers. It had raised spiral groves on its surface and scientists believe it was stationary, embedded in the ocean mat, “a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor,” according to a statement.
Obamus coronatus - an Organism from the Precambrian Eon named after Obama https://t.co/tN6TupTtRQ— bythesea (@bythesea66) June 22, 2018
The animals were soft-bodied and lived in the Precambrian era at the dawn of animal life, researchers said. They were discovered in South Australia’s Ediacara Hills in Flinders Ranges as fossils in sandstone that had been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.
These animals “are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described,” lead researcher Mary Droser said.
“We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal,” Droser said.
The discovery of Obamus coroanatus was first reported in the online Australian Journal of Earth Sciences on June 14.
A recently discovered, 550 million-year-old animal was named after Barack Obama, to honor his love of science.— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 20, 2018
The name "Obamus coronatus" = "Obama crowned" pic.twitter.com/xo8OKRkDug