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Another Republican lawmaker will not seek re-election after sex harassment claim

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Republican U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, who used taxpayer money to settle a former staffer’s sexual harassment claim, will not run for re-election, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday.

Meehan told Ryan of his decision not to run on Thursday, Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said.

Meehan, 62, who has represented his southeastern Pennsylvania district since 2011, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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On Saturday, Ryan removed Meehan from the House Ethics Committee after the New York Times published an article saying Meehan used thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual misconduct claim from a former female aide who accused him of making unwanted romantic overtures.

Meehan, a married father of three, has said in subsequent media interviews that he considered the aide, who is three decades younger than him, his “soul mate,” but he has denied harassing her.

In recent months, a wave of women and men have accused high-powered men in entertainment, the news media and government of harassment or abuse.

Two other congressmen, Democrat Ruben Kihuen and Republican Blake Farenthold, have said they will not seek re-election next year after they were the subject of sexual misconduct accusations. Both have denied the allegations.

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Former Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Democratic Representative John Conyers and Republican Representative Trent Franks resigned from Congress following misconduct allegations. Those lawmakers have also denied the allegations.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh and Lisa Shumaker)


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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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