NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  SEPTEMBER  26, 2018    NEWS

Sen. Chris Coons: Burden of proof lies with Brett Kavanaugh to prove his innocence
Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, drew double-takes on the right Monday after insisting that the burden of proof lies with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to prove his innocence. Mr. Coons said that Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez “have nothing to gain” and have put themselves “at legal risk” by accusing Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in his teen years. “It is Judge Kavanaugh who is seeking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and who I think now bears the burden of disproving these allegations,” said Mr. Coons in a Monday interview on MSNBC, “rather than Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez who should be dismissed with slanderous accusations.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Coon is an idiot - the rule of law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Trump says Kavanaugh accusers are part of Democrats' 'con game'
President Trump said Tuesday that Democrats are playing a “con game” on his Supreme Court nominee by advancing the claims of woman who say Brett Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct in high school and college. He also questioned the version of events detailed by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate who says Judge Kavanaugh might have exposed himself to her at an alcohol-laced party — though she says she was not initially certain it was him. “The second accuser has nothing,” Mr. Trump told reporters after his speech to the U.N. in New York. It was the furthest Mr. Trump has gone in questioning the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, and in decrying the motives of Democratic senators who, already long-opposed to Judge Kavanaugh, now say the unsubstantiated allegations should sink his nomination.
Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Dems are con artists.

Bill Cosby's legacy: From America's dad to 'America's rapist'
Bill Cosby's three-to-10-year prison sentence and branding by a Pennsylvania judge as a "sexually violent predator" puts a final dagger in a damaged — but undeniably extensive — pop-culture legacy. The 81-year-old actor broke racial barriers with I Spy in the late 1960s, enticed millions of kids to eat Jell-O pudding starting in the late '70s and reignited the sitcom (and NBC) with The Cosby Show, which ranked as TV's top series for five years in the late 1980s. Even before his conviction for sexual assault last April, "a young college student probably best knows Bill Cosby as that guy who got accused of all those horrible things,"  says Robert Thompson, a professor of TV history at Syracuse University. Unlike other icons plagued by lesser scandals, from Martha Stewart to Mel Gibson, the case is "not just a footnote on his legacy; it's an enormous cloud that completely covers his legacy." USA Today

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Florida's Rick Scott trails Bill Nelson in US Senate race by 7 points, poll says
Despite millions of dollars spent against him, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is favored to win his re-election bid in Florida, according to the latest poll released Tuesday. The Quinnipiac University poll found 53 percent of likely voters back the Democratic incumbent while 46 percent support his Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott. This is the first poll that's shown Nelson has a commanding lead over Scott. Other recent polls have maintained the race is a toss-up or Scott has an extremely narrow lead. An earlier Quinnipiac poll, released Sept. 5, found the race was a dead tie. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Liberal polls don't win elections - it happened in 2016 and can happen again for Scott.

China denies U.S. request for Navy ship port call in Hong Kong
Amid the ongoing trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday China has denied a request for a U.S. Navy warship to make a port call at a port in Hong Kong next month. The amphibious assault ship was scheduled to arrive at the Hong Kong port next month, U.S. military officials said Monday. "The Chinese government did not approve a request for a port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp," the U.S. Consulate said Tuesday. "We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue." The ship is part of a group based in Japan and operating in the Indo-Pacific region. UPI
VOA VIEW: China mistake.

Trump at U.N. urges isolating Iran, tossing out 'abusive' trade deals
President Donald Trump called on the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to isolate Iran's dictatorship through sanctions and diplomacy. Trump said the isolation could be achieved by denying Tehran funds to continue sponsoring terrorism. The Tuesday morning speech at U.N. headquarters in New York City also touched on improving relations with North Korea and the escalating trade war with China. The overarching theme for Trump's speech was "America first," a theme he's repeated throughout his presidency. "America will never apologize for protecting its citizens," he said. UPI

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Feinstein can’t guarantee Kavanaugh accuser shows, as Ford bristles over role of female attorney
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee acknowledged Tuesday she can’t guarantee the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault will show up to testify at a looming hearing, as her attorneys raise concerns about the format. The news comes as Republicans scheduled a Friday morning Judiciary Committee vote on whether to recommend Kavanaugh's confirmation to the full Senate -- a move the ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called "outrageous." “For Republicans to schedule a Friday vote on Brett Kavanaugh today, two days before Dr. Blasey Ford has had a chance to tell her story, is outrageous," Feinstein said in a statement.  “First Republicans demanded Dr. Blasey Ford testify immediately. Now Republicans don’t even need to hear her before they move ahead with a vote." Fox
VOA VIEW: Ford will be a no show.

'She has nothing': Trump attacks second woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh
Donald Trump has disparaged one of two women to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, saying she “has nothing” on his supreme court nominee and was “messed up” when the alleged incident took place, as he accused Democrats of running a “con game” to stop the nomination. Trump, seated next to the Colombian president at the United Nations in New York, cast doubt on allegations brought by Deborah Ramirez, who claimed that she was harassed by Kavanaugh when they were first-year students at Yale. “The second accuser has nothing,” Trump said. “The second accuser thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not. She admits she was drunk. She admits time lapses.” Guardian

ABC accused of playing dirty in bid to win network news war
Industry insiders are accusing ABC of dirty tricks in the war for network news dominance, Page Six has learned. In 2015 — when their evening news broadcasts were locked in a tight battle for the top spot — NBC got caught double-dipping to boost ratings by re-airing the “Nightly News” at 2 a.m. and then adding the viewers for both broadcasts together. Now, with the two networks’ numbers once again locke d in close combat, ratings wonks have noticed that ABC has — without fanfare — begun airing David Muir’s “World News Tonight” in LA at 3:30 p.m. (that is, when it airs live at 6:30 p.m. on the East Coast), then also airing the normal taped version at 6:30 p.m. LA time. New York Post
VOA VIEW: ABC's dirty trick will not work - liberal loser.

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John Bolton warns Iran 'there will be hell to pay' if aggression continue
National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered a no-holds-barred warning to Iran at a major summit in New York on Tuesday, telling the regime in a fiery speech that "we are watching, and we will come after you" and that there will be "hell to pay" if it continues on its current course. Bolton's saber-rattling remarks came hours after President Trump, in his own dramatic address to the U.N. General Assembly, called on "all nations to isolate Iran's regime as long as its aggression continues." Tensions have dramatically escalated in recent weeks between Iran and the U.S., as well as its regional allies. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has claimed that an attack Saturday at an Iranian military parade, which left dozens of Iranian military personnel dead, was carried out by militants trained by Israel and the Gulf states, and supported by the U.S. Fox
VOA VIEW: Iran is playing with Trump, not Obama.

Facebook shares drop as Instagram founders leave
Shares of Facebook fell more than 2 percent in early trading on  Tuesday after the two founders of photo-sharing app Instagram left the social networking giant under unexplained circumstances. Analysts said the departure of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger may have been the result of friction with chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg over how Facebook’s fastest-growing revenue generator is run. “Our sense is the duo may have wanted to run Instagram more independently than their parent company wanted,” said Scott Kessler, an analyst at research firm CFRA. “We think (the) departures are a notable negative for Facebook.” New York Post
VOA VIEW: Facebook should be sanctioned, regulated and people should turn off.

Has France's Macron lost his charm
Emmanuel Macron may be a big figure on the world stage, but at home in France he's facing an uphill struggle to regain public confidence. After 16 months in office, the promises of economic growth and more jobs have yet to materialise. The French president is shedding popularity fast. Should he be worried? The polling agencies agree that Emmanuel Macron's popularity is at its lowest point. According to OpinionWay, only 28% of voters are satisfied with his performance - down from 35% in July. With these figures, he is actually more unpopular at this point in his mandate than were either of his predecessors - François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. BBC

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Rouhani condemns 'recklessness of some states for international values' – as it happened
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, was critical of Trump through the duration of his speech, at one point criticizing leaders who: “ride public sentiments and gain popular support through the fomenting of extremist nationalism and racism” and through what he called “xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition.” Guardian

Ginsburg: If I were queen, no death penalty
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about the death penalty while speaking at an event at Columbia Law School in New York. CNN
VOA VIEW: Ginsburg should retire - she has lost all sense.

Storms packing 70 mph winds move through Chicago area, downing trees, power lines
Severe thunderstorms hit northern Illinois on Tuesday, leaving downed trees and power lines in their wake, and triggering warnings for much of the Chicago area. Afternoon storms that prompted a tornado warning west of Galesburg moved east through the Chicago area. A severe thunderstorm warning issued for extreme southeast Cook County and parts of Lake County, Ind., including Gary, expired at 7 p.m. About 65,000 ComEd customers were without power following the storms, with the largest number in the power utility’s west region, according to a ComEd spokesman. Earlier severe thunderstorm warnings expiring at 6 p.m. in most of Cook and other Chicago-area counties were called off or allowed to expire. Chicago Tribune

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Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says UN chief
Drug addiction is “more than just a policy issue. It is personal.”  Mr. Guterres said at the event, noting that “the reality is that drugs and addiction are not abstract issues.” “All of us have stories” and “it is our duty to act – and act now,” underscored the UN chief. He highlighted that he had lost a friend to drugs “at an unbearably young age, and also described how his sister had spent many years working as a psychiatrist at a drug treatment centre in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. “I saw the heavy toll it took on her day after day as she treated those suffering so badly,” he said, adding that he had “enormous admiration” for her. “I think I have done several tough jobs in my life. Nothing compares with what I have seen her do.” UN

Trump administration takes new steps on crafting data privacy framework
The Trump administration took new, preliminary steps toward crafting a nationwide data privacy policy, issuing a request for comments from interested stakeholders on a proposed framework put forward Tuesday by the Commerce Department. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive-branch agency responsible for advising the president on telecommunications issues, made public a 7-part proposal that noted the drawbacks of a "nationally and globally fragmented regulatory landscape." The proposal -- a product of months-long consultations with dozens of industry, privacy and government groups -- lays out goals related to transparency, security and control of personal data that is collected by internet companies. CBS

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Increasing hostilities in Libya taking heavy toll on civilians, warns UN relief official
Ongoing clashes between different militias in the Libyan capital have trapped many civilians and displaced numerous families, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). An estimated 5,000 families, including 1,700 in just the past two days, have sought refuge with relatives in safer parts of the city and its outskirts since fighting commenced on 26 August. “Many are afraid to leave their homes because of looting by armed groups or criminal elements. As the fighting escalates, the number of civilians affected by violence is bound to increase,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator Maria Ribeiro said in a statement. “In addition, the clashes have led to a breakdown in basic services such as electricity and water.” UN

CBS Corporation names Richard Parsons interim chairman as 2 board members step down
CBS Corporation has named longtime media and finance executive Richard Parsons as interim chairman of the board of directors, while announcing that two other board members are stepping down. The board is continuing its search for a chief executive to replace Leslie Moonves, who resigned earlier in September following sexual assault and harassment allegations. Parsons, 70, previously served as CEO and chairman of Time Warner, helping to steady the company in the years following its disastrous merger in 2000 with AOL. He was interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers for four months in 2014 and on the board at Citigroup from 1996 to 2012, ultimately serving as chairman. Parsons' appointment was unanimously approved by the board on Tuesday, following a recommendation by the board's nominating and governance committee, the company said in a release. CBS

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