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main stairway leading up to the third floor of the Senate and House chambers at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Photo: Seth Perlman / AP

Following the revelations that Harvey Weinstein has reportedly assaulted, raped, and sexually harassed women in exchange for advancing their careers in Hollywood, lawmakers, lobbyists, and consultants are calling out similar behavior in statehouses nationwide, where sexual favors are allegedly offered in exchange for legislative favors. Illinois is the latest to come forward, with more than 130 women signing on to a letter signed "The Women Who Make Illinois Run." AP's Sophia Tareen reports:

Why it matters: "Several risk factors for sexual harassment identified by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are deep-seated at state capitols: Lack of diversity, power disparities, tolerating or encouraging alcohol consumption, and many young staffers."

  • "Illinois became the latest to join the chorus, as signatures piled up [yesterday] on an open letter describing harassment and intimidation for women trying to negotiate legislation and work on campaigns."
  • "In California this week, the Senate hired a law firm to investigate after women described a culture of sexual intimidation." Last week more than 140 women came forward alleging sexual misconduct my powerful men in the legislature.
  • "Lawmakers in Oregon and Rhode Island have spoken up to accuse male colleagues of inappropriate touching or suggesting that sexual favors be a condition for advancing bills."
  • What's next: "More women are coming forward with stories, some are naming names and states are making fresh promises of investigations and of legislation."

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.