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BREAKING: New York Governor Cuomo Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

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BREAKING: New York Governor Cuomo Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he was resigning after a withering report from the state’s attorney general alleged he had sexually harassed multiple women, heading off impeachment proceedings.

“And I think that given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government, and therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will serve the rest of his term, and will be the state’s first female governor.

“It is a matter of life and death. Government operations and wasting energy on distraction is the last thing government should be,”

Cuomo said. “I cannot be the cause. New York tough means New York loving. And I love New York and I love you. Everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love and I would never want to be unhelpful in any way.”

Facing impeachment proceedings, which he admitted he would be unable to counter, Cuomo, 63, announced he’ll leave office in 14 days while continuing to insist that he did nothing wrong.

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Speaking to his three daughters, Cuomo said, “I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did and I never would intentionally disrespect a woman, treat any woman differently than I would want them treated and that is the God’s honest truth.”

“Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized, and he learned from it and that’s what life is all about.”

After he was first hit with sexual harassment allegations earlier this year, Cuomo ignored bipartisan demands that he resign, and predicted the investigation he authorized state Attorney General Letitia James to carry out would exonerate him. Instead, the report alleged that he’d harassed 11 women — nine of whom were state employees — and subjected some of them to unwelcome touching and groping. His office also retaliated against one of the women after she spoke out about how she was treated, the report alleged.

In the wake of the report, the state Assembly began to organize impeachment proceedings. Local law enforcement officials also announced they were investigating whether criminal charges were appropriate.

On Tuesday, Cuomo apologized for his behavior, thanked the women who came forward, but insisted that he did not intend to harass any of his accusers.

“I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all my life. It’s who I’ve been since I can remember,” Cuomo said. “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.”

With Cuomo out, Kathy Hochul will become New York’s first woman governor.

The resignation caps a remarkable fall from grace for the third-term governor, who was riding high in public opinion polls last year after his public briefings about the coronavirus pandemic in his hard-hit state were lauded.

READ ALSO: Biden Asks U.S. Governor To Resign For Sexually Harassing 11 Women

Cuomo intended to run for a fourth term, a feat his three-term governor father, the late Mario Cuomo, was not able to achieve.

That reputation took a major blow in January, when James’s office issued a report that found that the state Health Department had underreported the Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. A top Cuomo aide was then caught on tape telling Democratic legislators that the administration took months to release the full data about nursing home residents in part because of worries that the information was “going to be used against us” by the Trump administration.

The U.S. attorney in Brooklyn and the FBI began a preliminary investigation into how the Cuomo administration handled the data earlier this year.

Cuomo was then accused in mid-February of having threatened to “destroy” a Democratic lawmaker who alleged that the administration “covered up” the nursing home numbers. Cuomo denied there had been any cover-up.

That was followed by a string of sexual harassment allegations, including by some former aides. The first to speak out was Lindsey Boylan, who wrote an essay on the website Medium which described being subjected to “pervasive harassment” in her years of working for the governor.

Boylan said Cuomo made numerous inappropriate comments to her in front of other people, including once asking her to play “strip poker,” and said he once kissed her on the lips when they were alone.

Cuomo’s office called Boylan’s claims “quite simply false,” but they led to numerous other women stepping forward to say they’d been mistreated and to a flood of Democratic lawmakers calling for his resignation, including the vast majority of New York’s congressional delegation.

Fighting for his political survival, Cuomo authorized James to investigate the harassment claims and predicted the probe would exonerate him — but it wound up substantiating all the claims against him in a blistering 165-page report.

In one case, he allegedly groped an executive assistant under her shirt, and in another, he fondled a state trooper, the report alleged.

The governor “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” the report alleged.

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Cuomo addressed the accusations from the female trooper, who accused him of touching her inappropriately while they were in an elevator.

“I didn’t do it consciously with a female trooper,” Cuomo said. “I did not mean any sexual connotation, I did not mean any intimacy by it. It was embarrassing to her, and it was disrespectful.”

 

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IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

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IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

Warning of “large risks,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked El Salvador to rethink its stance on using Bitcoin as its legal tender.

In its “Article IV Consultation with El Salvador” released on Tuesday, the IMF “urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing bitcoin’s legal tender status.”

“Since September 2021, the government has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. The adoption of a cryptocurrency as legal tender, however, entails large risks for financial and market integrity, financial stability, and consumer protection. It also can create contingent liabilities,” the statement said.

The call by the Washington-based financial body came as the cryptocurrency market dropped in value for its fifth week, erasing over $1 trillion and wider volatility on Wall Street.

Last September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to embrace digital money, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions. The Latin American country planned to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City“, funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds.

President Nayib Bukele sought a $1.3 billion IMF loan, but this has been delayed due to the volatility at the crypto market.

Mr Bukele had disclosed that there would be no property, income or municipal taxes and that the city would have zero-carbon emissions.

READ ALSO: El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin For Use As Legal Tender

He explained that the project would attract investors, adding that the city would have residential areas, malls, restaurants and a port, and sustainable public transport.

In its statement, the IMF also warned that at current debt spending levels, El Salvador’s public debt could rise to about 96 per cent of GDP in 2026, calling it an “unsustainable path.”

 

 

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81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

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81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

The 81- year-old Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is not ready to quit politics yet.

Pelosi has just declared another run for congress in the November 2022 election.
Her announcement Tuesday night ended months of speculation over whether she would be retiring.

The California Democrat revealed her plan in a video posted on Facebook, in which she said that “much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives.”

“Our democracy is at risk because of the assaults on the truth, the assault on the US Capitol and the state-by-state assault on voting rights,” she said in the video.

READ ALSO: House Sets Impeachment Vote to Charge Trump With Incitement

“This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy. But as we say, we don’t agonise, we organise and that is why I am running for reelection to Congress and respectfully seek your support. I’d be greatly honoured by it and grateful for it. Thank you so much.”

Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress in 1987 and has been the top House Democrat since 2003.

In 2007, she became the first woman to hold the speaker’s gavel.

After Democrats were beaten in the 2010 midterm elections, Pelosi spent eight years as the minority leader before becoming speaker again in 2019.

 

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Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

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Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

A gay crisis is brewing in the Catholic church as no fewer than 120 priests and employees of the Christian body within a community in Germany have decided to come out as homosexuals.

They also launched a campaign demanding an end to institutional discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The priests and church employees took to the streets on Monday after allegedly facing constant discrimination, and also called for better protection of LGBTQ rights and an end to institutional discrimination against queer people.

READ ALSO: Spain To Lagalise Euthanasia As Catholics Protest

The protesters, including former and current priests, teachers, church administrators and volunteers, who identified themselves as gay and queer, asked the church to take into account their demands and do away with “outdated statements of church doctrine when it comes to sexuality and gender.”

They also published a seven-point demands on social media under an initiative called “OutInChurch.”

The demands range from queer people saying they should be able to live without fear and have access to all kinds of activities and occupations in the church without discrimination.

They demanded that their “sexual orientation must never be considered a breach of loyalty or reason for dismissal from their occupation.”

They also asked the church to revise its statements on sexuality based on “theological and human-scientific findings.”

The group also put down demands that the church takes accountability for their discrimination against people of the community throughout history, calling on the bishop to take responsibility on behalf of the church.

 

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