NEWS     THURSDAY,  SEPTEMBER  27, 2018    NEWS

Brett Kavanaugh admits to 'juvenile misbehavior,' denies sexual assault in testimony
Brett Kavanaugh will admit to “misbehavior” and excessive drinking during his high school years, but will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that he never sexually assaulted anyone then or since. In the Supreme Court nominee’s prepared opening statement, shared by the committee on Wednesday, Judge Kavanaugh calls sexual assault “morally wrong” and “contrary to my religious faith.” He said he does not question accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that she was sexually assaulted at a high school party, but denied he was involved in any way. “I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today,” the judge says. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The left wants to be harsh with direct honesty.

Ahead of pivotal Senate hearing, witnesses surface to say Christine Ford may have mistaken them for Kavanaugh
As an extraordinary series of uncorroborated, lurid last-minute allegations threatens to derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court, nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford, the California professor accusing him of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago, are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning. The proceedings may be upended by late-breaking developments: In a statement released Wednesday evening, Judiciary Committee Republicans revealed that on Monday, they conducted their "first interview with a man who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982 that is the basis of his [sic] complaint." They conducted a second interview the next day. On Wednesday, Republicans said in the statement, they received a "more in-depth written statement from the man interviewed twice previously who believes he, not Judge Kavanuagh, had the encounter in question with Dr. Ford." GOP investigators also spoke on the phone with another man making a similar claim. Fox

Trump accuses China of 2018 election meddling
President Trump accused China of “attempting to interfere” in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections as he chaired a high-stakes meeting of the U.N. Security Council here Wednesday, asserting the Chinese government is bent on meddling in American politics out of frustration over his administration’s bare-knuckle trade posture toward Beijing. “China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November against my administration,” Mr. Trump said. “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade, and we are winning on trade — we are winning at every level.” “We don’t want to them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election,” he said, breaking from protocol at the traditionally highly scripted Security Council. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: China and many other countries are afraid of America First - period.

Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill still supports Brett Kavanaugh after third accuser comes forward
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill remains a backer of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been voiced publicly by three women. Bidwill was among the more than 60 people who knew Kavanaugh in high school who called the allegations made by Julie Swetnick on Wednesday “reprehensible” and vouched for the “honor, integrity and compassion” of Kavanaugh. “In the extensive amount of time we collectively spent with Brett, we do not recall having ever met someone named Julie Swetnick,” a letter of support released by the White House on Wednesday said. “Nor did we ever observe Brett engaging in any conduct resembling that described in Ms. Swetnick’s declaration.” USA Today

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Fed raises interest rates for third time in 2018, citing job growth
The Federal Reserve raised federal interest rates another quarter-percent Wednesday, to 2 1/4 percent. It was the third interest rate increase this year by the Federal Open Market Committee. "Economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low," the FOMC said in a statement. "Both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent." The Dow Jones industrial Average was up slightly before the Fed's decision Wednesday, but gained an additional 35 points immediately after the announcement. The Dow typically shows little movement on days of Fed policy announcements. UPI
VOA VIEW: The positive economy must stay strong to meet the increase.

Brent prices dip while U.S. crude oil supplies exceed analyst expectations
Brent crude oil prices fell slightly Wednesday but are still hovering near a four-year high while U.S. crude oil supplies had a surprise increase. Brent was trading at $80.67, in Wednesday morning trading, down 59 cents from the prior day. U.S. supplies of crude oil jumped 1.9 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 21, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts had expected a 1.3 million barrel swing in the opposite direction. That unexpected supply surge pushed WTI crude prices down 49 cents to $71.79 in Wednesday trading. Demand for U.S. petroleum increased to 20.8 million barrels per day in August, up 250,000 barrels per day from July, the American Petroleum Institute reports. That's the highest demand since August 2007, which reflects solid economic growth, industrial activity and consumer confidence. UPI

In UN address, Ukraine President denounces Russia's ‘aggressive expansionist policies’
“As I deliver my speech, reports have brought sad news of another human life just lost on the frontlines of the war inflicted upon my country by a permanent member of the UN Security Council.” he said on Wednesday, He blamed “Russia’s hostile attacks” for turning Ukraine children into orphans, internally displacing over 1.5 million people and torturing patriots in prisons. “This has been a daily reality for Ukrainians for four years now,” he continued. “Thousands of deaths, destruction, displacement and human suffering,” which has tested Ukraine’s determination, solidarity, resilience and faith. The Head of State observed that under Russian occupation, “Crimea has turned into a military stronghold threatening security and stability in the entire wider Black Sea region,” saying that the increasing militarization of Crimea deserves the Assembly's attention and “prompt reaction." UN

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Kavanaugh accuser Christine Ford releases results of polygraph test, but key detail appears to contradict past statements
Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party more than three  Decades ago, on Wednesday released the results of a polygraph examination she took Aug. 7 -- but a key detail in the report appears to contradict Ford's past claims. The examination, which was administered by former FBI agent Jeremiah Hanafin, took place in a Hilton hotel in Maryland, according to a "Polygraph Examination Report" compiled by Hanafin. Hanafin first allowed Ford and attorney Lisa Banks to meet alone to formulate a handwritten statement that Ford signed and provided Hanafin when he returned to the room. Then, without Banks present, Hanafin interviewed Ford about the day of the alleged assault, according to the report. Fox
VOA VIEW: Ford's credibility

Kavanaugh, to investigators, rejects anonymous 1998 assault claim: 'It's ridiculous. Total Twilight Zone'
In an interview with Senate Judiciary Committee investigators on Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lit into the mounting sexual misconduct allegations against him, calling the process a "disgrace" that is "doing damage to the country." Transcripts documenting Kavanaugh's responses were released by the Judiciary Committee Wednesday night. Kavanaugh was asked specifically about a new claim received by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., from an anonymous individual apparently in Denver, alleging that Kavanaugh "shoved" someone up against a wall "very aggressively and sexually" during an outing in front of four witnesses. Gardner's office received the letter Sept. 22. Fox
VOA VIEW: More lies.

Republicans rally round Kavanaugh as Democrats urge him to withdraw
Republicans continued to express confidence in supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh as he faced fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and calls to withdraw one day before he is scheduled to testify in an extraordinary public hearing that could determine the fate of his nomination. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault when they were teenagers in high school, are scheduled to appear before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday morning, as the panel grapples with new claims brought by a third accuser, Julie Swetnick. In a sworn declaration released through her lawyer, Swetnick says she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh and others “to cause girls to become inebriated … so they could then be gang-raped”. Republicans said staff on the Senate judiciary committee have asked to interview Swetnick, who is being represented by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who rose to national prominence by representing Stormy Daniels in her legal tangles with the president. Guardian

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Rosenstein may get to keep his job after all
President Trump said Wednesday that his “preference” is to keep the deputy attorney general while he is overseeing the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. “My preference would be to keep him and let him finish out,” Trump said during a wide-ranging press conference in New York. The president was scheduled to meet with Rosenstein Thursday to discuss reports that he offered to wear a wire in the White House last year and discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. But the meeting may be postponed. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Rosenstein needs to go.

Who is the Arizona prosecutor chosen to question Kavanaugh and his accuser?
 Hoping to salvage the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and cement a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation, Republicans have chosen a woman who prosecuted sex crimes in Arizona to question President Donald Trump’s nominee about sexual assault allegations. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Rachel Mitchell, and not the Republican committee members, all of whom are male, will question Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in high school. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said they chose Mitchell for her experience and objectivity. She is on leave as chief of the special victims division in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona. As the special victims division head, she supervises prosecutors handling cases of sexual assault, child molestation, child prostitution and computer-related sexual offenses. She had served as a prosecutor since 1993. Reuters

Oakland's anti-Trump, anti-ICE mayor, facing election rivals who focus on local issues
Controversial Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif., is touting her opposition to President Trump’s policies against illegal immigration -- while mayoral challengers criticize her for the city's homelessness problem and its high cost of living. Schaaf, a Democrat who captured headlines earlier this year after tipping off local illegal immigrants to a planned raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, is facing challenges from three other candidates as she seeks re-election Nov. 6. “I also am proud when we stood up to Donald Trump when he came for people in our community,” Schaaf said, drawing applause, as she debated her election rivals Wednesday, according to the Bay Area's FOX 2. Fox
VOA VIEW: Schaaf should not be reelected.

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Mark Judge’s ex: I’ll speak to FBI or Senate about Kavanaugh accusations
An ex-girlfriend of Mark Judge — the former high school classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who has been accused of watching Kavanaugh sexually assault a teen girl in the 1980s — said Wednesday that she’s willing to talk to the FBI and Senate Judiciary Committee about what she knows, according to a new report. A lawyer for Elizabeth Rasor, who dated Judge for three years in college, sent a letter to the committee saying her client would “welcome the opportunity” to speak about claims she’d previously made to the New Yorker, according to the Washington Post. Rasor has said Judge once told her about an occasion when he and other boys took turns having sex with a drunken woman when he was in high school. New York Post

Man who served in U.S. Army Reserves accused of being agent for China
A Chinese citizen was arrested in Chicago on Tuesday on charges that he covertly worked for a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official to help try to recruit engineers and scientists, including some who worked as U.S. defense contractors, the Justice Department said. Ji Chaoqun, 27, first came to the United States in 2013 to study electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and in 2016 enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. Reuters

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Canadian MP says Trudeau 'doesn't give a fuck' about indigenous rights
A Canadian member of parliament has said that Justin Trudeau “doesn’t give a fuck” about the rights of indigenous people, amid mounting tensions between the country’s First Nations and at the federal government. Romeo Saganash, a Cree lawmaker, made the comments in parliament during a discussion of the the Trans Mountain pipeline project that was recently halted after the federal court of appeals ruled that the government had failed to adequately address the concerns of some First Nations. The Liberal government insists that the pipeline will go ahead. Guardian

Brett Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez "willing to testify," attorney says
The White House says it would welcome Senate testimony from Brett Kavanaugh's second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who says he exposed himself to her at a Yale University party in the 1980s. Ramirez' attorney, John Clune, said his client is "willing" to testify and that the gaps in her memory only strengthen her credibility.  Clune contacted Republican Senate aides this week about his client testifying but the GOP asked for written details from Ramirez about any witnesses or evidence before they speak on the phone. Clune wants to talk before handing anything over. "She would be willing to testify, but she wants…us to be able to have this conversation about what this is going to look like, what the process is going to be and if there's going to be an FBI investigation into what happened in her case," Clune told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday.  CBS
VOA VIEW: A complete moron.

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Time has come to rid the world of nuclear weapons, UN officials stress
“The only sure way to eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons is to eliminate the weapons themselves," Secretary-General António Guterres said at a high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. “Such a challenging goal will not be achieved overnight. But we must take urgent steps now.” In May of this year, the Secretary-General launched his disarmament agenda, which recognizes that progress towards the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons remains uneven. He noted that efforts have stalled and, in some cases, may be going backwards.  UN

Pompeo says messages from Kim Jong Un "consistent" with "intent on denuclearizing"
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that in private messages from Kim Jong Un to President Donald Trump, the North Korean dictator has been "very consistent" that he's "intent on denuclearizing" the Korean Peninsula. "He understands that, he understands the scope of that and what that means, he's been very consistent in his commitment in delivering on that promise, we need to find our way forward to achieve that for the world," Pompeo told "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell Wednesday. Pompeo's comments come as the two leaders intend on sitting down for another summit to continue work on verifiable denuclearization. The secretary said that while a location and date have not been set yet, he will personally be traveling to Pyongyang "before too long" in order to get the conditions "just right." CBS

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