Bloomberg to release 3 women from NDAs

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said Friday that his company will release from their nondisclosure agreements three women who have accused him of making offensive comments, a decision that comes after days of pressure from fellow presidential candidates. Bloomberg, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, also said that after "a lot of reflecting," he would not propose confidential agreements to resolve sexual misconduct claims in the future. "I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported," Bloomberg said in a statement. Bloomberg said his media and financial services company had identified three NDAs that "address complaints about comments" he had made. The women at the center of those agreements can ask to be released if they would like to speak publicly, Bloomberg said.

Biden claims he was arrested in S. Africa

In at least three campaign appearances over the past two weeks, Joe Biden has told a similar story as he tries to revive his campaign in states with more diverse voters. On a trip to South Africa years ago, he has said, he was arrested as he sought to visit Nelson Mandela in prison. "This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid," Biden said at a campaign event in South Carolina last week. "I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island." But if Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, was in fact arrested while trying to visit Mandela, he did not mention it in his 2007 memoir when writing about a 1970s trip to South Africa. Andrew Young, a former congressman and mayor of Atlanta who was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979, said that he had traveled with Biden over the years, including to South Africa. But Young said that he had never been arrested in South Africa and expressed skepticism that members of Congress would have faced arrest there.

News services