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The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) other and top Democrats had called for the probe.

“As members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives and to ensure a climate of dignity and respect, with zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying or abuse,” Pelosi said. “As I have said before, any credible allegation of sexual harassment must be investigated by the Ethics Committee.”

(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)
(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press) (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who last year was pardoned by President Trump in a case stemming from his enforcement tactics aimed at immigrants, announced  Tuesday he will run for the open Senate seat in his home state. 

“I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again,” Arpaio, 85, said on Twitter. 

He’ll enter a Republican primary for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. 

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President Trump signed an executive order late Wednesday ending the voter fraud commission he launched last year as the panel faces a flurry of lawsuits and criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Trump signed the order disbanding the commission "rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Congress returns to work this week with unfinished business on spending, immigration and other crucial issues, but with an even narrower GOP majority that will make it tougher to move on President Trump’s agenda.

The House and Senate will convene Wednesday, swearing in the newly elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, and Minnesota’s Tina Smith to replace a fellow Democrat, Sen. Al Franken, who is resigning as the latest high-profile public figure sidelined by allegations of sexual misconduct. The change gives Republicans only a one-seat margin in the Senate.

Trump, fresh off passage of the GOP tax cuts bill, is pushing lawmakers to pivot quickly on his new year priorities of infrastructure investment and immigration, as well as his foreign policy agenda.

(European Pressphoto Agency)

President Trump on Tuesday angrily threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Palestinians as punishment for what he called their failure to show “appreciation or respect” to the United States.

Writing on Twitter, the president compared the Palestinians to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed ally that abruptly drew his ire this week and a similar threat to drastically curtail aid.

He accused the Palestinians of recalcitrance in what he described as their refusal to negotiate a peace deal with Israel.

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University students attend an anti-government protest at Tehran University on Dec. 30, 2017.
University students attend an anti-government protest at Tehran University on Dec. 30, 2017. (AP)

President Trump wants Iran to give its citizens “basic human rights” and “stop being a state sponsor of terror,” his top spokeswoman said, but the White House stopped short of calling for a change of government in Tehran.

“If they want to do that through current leadership, if that's possible, OK,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

Sanders praised the “organic popular uprising,” which she said the widespread protests in Iran represented. The protests grew out of years of “years of mismanagement, corruption, and foreign adventurism have eroded the Iranian people's trust in their leaders,” she said.

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(Romney family)

The retirement of Utah’s senior senator, Orrin G. Hatch, opens the way for a widely expected Senate bid by Mitt Romney, the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee and a frequent critic of President Trump.

Although Romney previously served for two terms as governor of Massachusetts (and was raised in Michigan, where his father was governor and his mother ran for the Senate), he comes from a prominent Mormon family with strong ties to Utah. He also served as chief executive of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He’s viewed as a strong candidate for the Senate seat.

Romney’s criticisms of Trump, however, could prompt a challenge in a Republican primary. Trump was widely reported to have tried to convince Hatch to run for a seventh term, in part to head off a Romney candidacy.

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Anti-riot police prevent university students from joining other protesters in Tehran on Dec. 30.
Anti-riot police prevent university students from joining other protesters in Tehran on Dec. 30. (Associated Press)

The Trump administration is calling on Iran's government to stop blocking Instagram and other popular social media sites as Iranians are demonstrating in the streets.

Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein says the U.S. wants Iran to "open these sites." He says Instagram, Telegram and other platforms are "legitimate avenues for communication."

The United States is encouraging Iranians to use virtual private networks, known as VPNs. Those services create encrypted links between computers and can be used to access blocked websites.

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(Brendan Smialowski / Agence-France Presse)

The day before a meeting of administration officials and congressional leaders on outstanding legislative business, President Trump accused Democrats of “doing nothing” to hammer out an immigration deal to protect from deportation people brought to the country illegally as children.

“Democrats are doing nothing for DACA — just interested in politics,” Trump wrote in a Tweet on Tuesday morning, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by its acronym.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer along with the Republican leaders, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are scheduled to meet on Wednesday at the Capitol with Trump’s legislative director, Marc Short, and budget director, Mick Mulvaney.

Pakistan lashed out Monday after President Trump accused its leaders of “lies and deceit” and suggested the United States would withdraw financial assistance to the nuclear-armed nation it once saw as a key ally against terrorism.

U.S. Ambassador David Hale was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to discuss the president’s statement, U.S. Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire said. Pakistan lodged a strongly worded protest, according to two foreign office officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Shahid Abbasi, called a Cabinet meeting for Tuesday and a meeting of the National Security Committee on Wednesday to discuss Trump’s New Year’s Day tweet.

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