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First Thing: Biden urges Cuomo to quit amid allegations of serial sexual harassment

·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Office of Andrew M Cuomo/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Office of Andrew M Cuomo/Reuters

Good morning.

President Joe Biden has led calls from both major parties for the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, to step down after an investigation found he had sexually harassed 11 women, created a “climate of fear” in a “toxic” workplace and violated federal and state civil laws.

Despite an explosive 165-page report released by the state attorney general, Letitia James, containing damning evidence, Cuomo, 63, denied the allegations and stressed that he has no intention of resigning.

  • Announcing the findings at a press conference on Tuesday, James said: “Specifically, the investigation found that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”

  • Cuomo released a defiant video address on Tuesday, insisting: “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

Moderate Democrats rejoice: Shontel Brown defeats progressive Nina Turner in Ohio Democratic primary

The traditional Democratic establishment scored a major victory over the party’s progressive wing on Tuesday when Shontel Brown, 46, endorsed by Hillary Clinton, defeated Nina Turner in a primary election in Ohio.

Fifteen months before the midterm elections for Congress, Brown’s victory in the safe Democratic district will be interpreted by moderates as proof that the party should stick to a centrist platform and not shift to the left, my colleague David Smith writes.

  • Turner, who has conceded defeat, had the backing of senator Bernie Sanders and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

New 60-day eviction ban could protect millions of Americans

The US government has issued a new moratorium on evictions that will last until 3 October, following mounting pressure on Biden to take action to help keep Americans in their homes during the pandemic, as states have been slow to release federal rental aid.

The moratorium, signed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the US population lives.

In other news…

Stat of the day: Long Covid affects less than 1 in 20 school-age children with virus symptoms

In somewhat reassuring news, less than one in 20 children with Covid who experience symptoms continue to be symptomatic for more than four weeks, a study has found. The analysis was based on data of 1,734 children from five to 17 years old, collected between September 2020 and February 2021, coinciding with the reopening of schools in the autumn and the peak of the winter wave of the virus in the UK.

Don’t miss: Beirut, a year after the explosion

A man marks the first anniversary of the explosion on Wednesday by hanging a giant Lebanese flag on a damaged building in Beirut
A man marks the first anniversary of the explosion on Wednesday by hanging a giant Lebanese flag on a damaged building in Beirut. Photograph: Hussein Malla/AP

A year after the catastrophic port blast destroyed large swathes of the Lebanese capital and killed 218 people, Beirut remains a shell of a city as efforts to find who is to blame for tragedy have made little progress, and anger mounts in a population denied justice, Martin Chulov reports.

Climate check: Residents flee as wildfires encroach on Athens homes

Thousands of residents in the northern outskirts of Athens have been forced to leave their homes as a forest wildfire reached residential areas, as Greece is experiencing its worst heatwave since 1987, according to local authorities. Temperatures have reached 42C (107.6F) in parts of the Greek capital.

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Last Thing: ‘I realised how totally I relied on it for my self-esteem – and quit Twitter’

The login/sign up screen for a Twitter account is seen on a laptop computer.
The login/sign up screen for a Twitter account is seen on a laptop computer. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

Although Twitter brought her a long-term boyfriend, better jobs, close friends and 60,000 followers, the Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes explains why she left the highly addictive platform for good, though simply deleting one’s account is not even possible.

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