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US Rep. Conyers denies harassment allegation

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House of Representatives Democrats called for an investigation on Tuesday into allegations of sexual harassment against U.S. Representative John Conyers, who said his office had resolved a harassment case with a payment but no admission of guilt.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a statement on fellow Democrat Conyers, said, “Any credible allegation of sexual harassment must be investigated by the Ethics Committee.”

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Earlier on Tuesday, Conyers issued a statement after a BuzzFeed News report cited allegations from former staffers that he made sexual advances to female staff.

The congressman from Michigan did not give details of any allegation but said he would fully cooperate in any House investigation.

“In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me and continue to do so,” Conyers said in a statement.

“My office resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.  That should not be lost in the narrative.” The statement said the resolution of the allegation was equal to a reasonable severance payment.

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U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat who has been a leader in pushing the House to revise outdated policies on sexual harassment complaints, also called for an investigation.

“The allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of congressional funds against Congressman Conyers are serious & require an immediate Ethics investigation,” she said on Twitter.

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement earlier calling the news report “extremely troubling.”

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(Reporting by Doina Chiacu)


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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