NEWS TUESDAY,  OCTOBER  2, 2018  NEWS
McConnell says Senate to vote on Kavanaugh 'this week'
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the Senate will vote “this week” on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, seemingly putting a firm deadline on the new FBI background investigation. “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is out of committee. We’re considering it here on the floor,” Mr. McConnell said. “We’ll be voting this week.” Republicans had hoped to have the judge installed on the high court by this week, in time for the Supreme Court’s new term which opened Monday. Instead, he remains in limbo after several women came forward late in the confirmation process to accuse him of sexual misconduct during his high school and college years in the 1980s. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: It's time to complete the Supreme Court.

Witnesses stick to stories as FBI digs into Kavanaugh case
Key witnesses have renewed their definitive statements that they did not see any of the sexual misconduct that a few women have said they suffered at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, bolstering his case as the FBI gets into the heart of its investigation. President Trump made clear over the weekend that he remains firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh and urged voters to cast Republican ballots in key Senate races this year to protest the “angry and mean and nasty and untruthful” approach Democrats have taken toward the nomination. Republicans on Sunday said absent any major new revelations, senators on the fence are likely to vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Kavanaugh will win, as the FBI cannot find anything that Dr. Ford whined about.

3 big questions hanging after Christine Ford's testimony on Brett Kavanaugh
The Christine Blasey Ford-Brett Kavanaugh hearing last week was an avalanche of emotion, confusion, uncertainty and frustrating irresolution. Kavanaugh behaved less  than admirably, offering evasive responses at some points and hostile ones at others. And Ford's testimony, while raw and affecting, left several big unanswered questions. The FBI, in its investigation this week, should try to resolve at least some of them. Failure to do so could deal a serious blow to Ford’s credibility. 1. What’s in the therapist’s notes? Ford’s account of an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh when they were both teens shifted in several notable ways. 2. How did Ford get home? Ford’s details of the attack are very specific and clear in some cases, very vague in others. 3. Why did Ford talk to Mark Judge after he allegedly participated in an assault on her? USA Today
VOA VIEW: Questions that make a profound statement - incense until proven guilty.

US military presence in region doesn't match Trump's rhetoric on Iran
The U.S. military preparedness for a possible confrontation in the Persian Gulf is lagging behind the Trump administration's increasingly harsh rhetoric towards the Iranian regime, military experts say. Military officials told The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. military haven't had a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf since March, which is the longest period in the two decades. The U.S. military normally maintained presence in the region over the years. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also announced pulling four Patriot missile-defense systems out of Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain this month in a bid to ramp up military capabilities against Russia and China and away from the Middle East, according to the Journal. Fox

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Tropical Storm Rosa brings flood threat to 12 million people in the Southwest
The remnants of Hurricane Rosa are forecast to bring heavy rain and the threat of flash flooding to the Southwest over the next few days. The now-tropical storm – which had been as strong as a Category 4 hurricane – is poised to make landfall along Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Monday evening, where heavy rain was already being reported. Flood watches are in effect across portions of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah, including the cities of Phoenix, Las Vegas, Flagstaff and Salt Lake City. More than 12 million people are at risk of flooding, the National Weather Service said. USA Today

Supreme Court starts new term as Kavanaugh, lawmakers await FBI inquiry
Amid controversy, the FBI is moving quickly with an expedited investigation into sex assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh -- an inquiry former director James Comey said the bureau is well-suited to handle. The Senate judiciary committee agreed last week to investigate claims made by Christine Blasey Ford before the full chamber votes on Kavanaugh's appointment. But the FBI has only a week to complete the probe. Kavanaugh testified Thursday that claims of misconduct and sexual assault from 1982 are untrue. His testimony followed that Ford's. The one-week break will allow the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh's behavior as a teenager. UPI

Canada concedes dairy market access in new U.S. trade deal
In a new trade deal, Canada conceded a major sticking point in the negotiations with the United States by agreeing to open its dairy market to U.S. milk exports. Canada uses high tariffs to keep foreign milk out of its market. This enables the government to control national milk prices, and protects its small dairy farms from international competition. The U.S. dairy industry, which has no such protection, has long sought free trade. President Donald Trump took up that cause during negotiations, often tweeting that the tariffs were unfair and hurt American farmers. UPI
VOA VIEW: American won.

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Minnesota Senate candidate calls on state to investigate Keith Ellison domestic abuse allegations
Karin Housley, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has officially requested an investigation into the allegations of domestic abuse against Rep. Keith Ellison. Ellison, a Democrat running for attorney general in Minnesota, has been accused by his former girlfriend of physical and emotional abuse throughout the time they dated. Karen Monahan alleged Ellison once dragged her off a bed while shouting profanities and sent multiple abusive text messages. Ellison has vehemently denied the accusations and asked the House Ethics Committee to launch a probe into the allegations. Minnesota’s Democratic Party has also commissioned an investigation. Fox

Grassley taunts Bernie Sanders in salty response to Kavanaugh probe letter
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley taunted Sen. Bernie Sanders in a sarcastic response to the Vermont senator's weekend call for the FBI to expand its ongoing investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Sanders, I-Vt., had penned a letter to Grassley, R-Iowa, on Saturday, asking that the FBI investigate Kavanaugh for possible perjury before the committee. “In order for the FBI investigation regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to be complete, it is imperative the bureau must not only look at the accusations made by Dr. Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, it should also examine the veracity of his testimony before the Judiciary Committee,” Sanders wrote, adding that a “thorough investigation should include a review of Judge Kavanaugh’s numerous untruthful statements in his previous testimony before Congress.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Sanders is an idiot.

Whole Foods workers fear Amazon's changes
Whole Foods staff are worried that Amazon, the grocery chain’s new owner, is trying to turn them into “robots” and are seeking to set up a union to protect their jobs.
Workers at “America’s healthiest grocery store” say management is trying to cut jobs and reduce wages as they reshape the 38-year-old grocery chain in Amazon’s image. “No one trusts Amazon and there are fears in upper management that Amazon will clean house if sales rates aren’t hit,” said one of the founders of the Whole Worker community in an interview. Staff are reluctant to speak on the record for fear of retaliation and the company has recently started training managers to fight back against union organization. Guardian

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Trump leaves Rose Garden listeners punch-drunk … even without alcohol
It may have been the world’s worst advertisement for teetotalism. On Monday Donald Trump careered all over the place, displaying no discernible inhibitions, his speech a little slurry at times, blurting out words that most people would regret in the morning as he held his second wild ride with the media in less than a week. The US president was ostensibly making an announcement about a new trade deal with the Canada and Mexico, but was also questioned about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s youthful drinking habits. Trump was quick to remind the gathering in the White House Rose Garden that he has never touched a drop. “I’m just saying, I’m not a drinker,” he said, arms outstretched. “I can honestly say I never had a beer in my life, OK? It’s one of my only good traits. Guardian
VOA VIEW: The liberal media sounded like the fools they are.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to take Martins Beach case
In a significant victory for beach access rights in California, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Silicon Valley billionaire’s appeal to keep a beach to himself. The decision caps an all-out legal battle over a small stretch of sand in San Mateo County known as Martins Beach. What began as a local dispute over a locked gate has exploded into a cause célèbre for beachgoers across California. The decade-long squabble spurred a spate of lawsuits that zeroed in on whether property owner Vinod Khosla needs state permission to gate off the road. LA Times

Puerto Rico's governor risks riling Republicans by endorsing in contested Florida races
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to endorse the two Democratic candidates for statewide office in Florida on Monday at two separate events in the state. It's a bold political move by Rosselló. As Puerto Rico's governor, he's overseeing the island's recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria, and the federal government -- led by President Donald Trump -- is playing an important role in that process. Trump has lashed out over criticism of the federal government's response, and Rosselló's expected decision to back Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum has the potential to complicate that relationship even more. And a new wave voters from Puerto Rico, displaced by the storm, could have a huge impact on the outcome of both races. CNN
VOA VIEW: Dems have hurt PR and should not be given a chance to make maters worse.

Boeing, Embraer to build KC-390 military cargo jet in U.S.
U.S. planemaker Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer are in talks to set up an assembly line to build KC-390 military cargo jets in the United States, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Monday. In July, the two planemakers announced a deal to give Boeing an 80 percent stake in Embraer’s commercial aircraft arm, marking the biggest realignment in the global aerospace market in decades. Rueters

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Kavanaugh pal Mark Judge interviewed by FBI
The feds have interviewed a high school drinking buddy of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as part of their probe into sexual assault allegations. The lawyer for Mark Judge, who attended the Georgetown Prep in Maryland and who was reportedly in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted Christine Blasey Ford in 1982, confirmed that the interview had begun but “has not been completed.” Judge had earlier said he didn’t remember the party or the incident, and has been hiding out in Delaware. Another classmate, Patrick “PJ” Smyth, was also interviewed and has fully cooperated with the FBI as it investigates Ford’s accusation that a drunken Kavanaugh forced her onto a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. New York Post

Menendez tied with GOP challenger weeks before election
Menendez grabbed 45 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Hugin with the Nov. 6 election just five weeks away, Stockton University pollsters reported. Libertarian Murray Sabrin pulled 3 percent, while about 8 percent of voters were undecided. Any incumbent who can’t reach 50 percent is considered vulnerable. A Quinnpiac University poll in August had Menendez up by 6 points. New York Post

U.S. judge strikes down Kentucky abortion restriction
A federal judge on Friday struck down a Kentucky law requiring abortion providers to sign advance agreements with hospitals and ambulance services for emergency patient care, in a ruling that keeps the state from revoking the license of its only remaining abortion clinic. U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers in Louisville sided with the EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood in challenging a law that threatened to make Kentucky the first U.S. state without a single legal abortion provider. “This decision keeps open the doors of the only health center in Kentucky that provides safe and legal abortion care,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
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Massive earthquake in Indonesia leaves hundreds dead: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’
Casualty numbers are expected to rise, and thousands of buildings in the city of Palu, Central Sulawesi, have collapsed. A tsunami was also triggered by the earthquake, generating waves of up to 3 metres (10 feet) high, according to reports. Rescue efforts are reportedly underway, but are hampered by a major power cut, and a landslide that has blocked the main road to Palu. The UN chief has extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Indonesia, adding that the United Nations stands ready to support the Government-led ongoing rescue and relief efforts. UN

Amazon will raise company's minimum wage to $15 for all US employees
Amazon will be raising its minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. employees, the company said in an announcement Tuesday. The $15 per hour wage will include all types of employee: full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” The company said the wage will benefit more than 250,000 of the company's employees, and another 100,000 seasonal employees. ABC
VOA VIEW: Amazon has become to big.

Trump Clears Deck for China Trade War With New Nafta Deal
President Donald Trump looks to be preparing for a potentially protracted economic war with China by clearing the decks of disputes with America’s other trading competitors. In just the last few weeks, he’s struck a last-minute deal with Canada and Mexico, signed a trade agreement with South Korea and convinced Japan to begin bilateral economic negotiations. The North American accord also includes provisions seemingly aimed at keeping Chinese products out of the region. “Several months ago the U.S. had a multi-pronged attack on its trading partners,” said Dec Mullarkey, managing director for Sun Life Investment Management which oversees $47 billion in assets. “Now the U.S. can zero in on China.” Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: China will lose any trade war with the US.

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‘We must work together like never before’ to realize sustainable development, says Canada at UN
Addressing world leaders at the Assembly’s annual debate, Marc-André Blanchard, chair of Canada’s delegation called on the international community to find opportunities amidst challenges it confronts. “We have to find new ways of doing things, for silos to be broken between Governments and civil society; between Governments and the private sector; between North and South; and between the traditional so called like-minded and non-traditional like-minded.” In particular, the response to climate change offers potential for new technologies, representing a 26 trillion-dollar opportunity, said Mr. Blanchard. “To harness this opportunity, starting with the most vulnerable, small island States, we must all work together with scientists, multilateral institutions, regional banks, investors, and civil society like never before,” he urged. UN

Tropical Storm Rosa set to drench Arizona and the Southwest with heavy rainfall
fter soaking northwestern Mexico with heavy rains as it neared the Baja California Peninsula, reportedly claiming at least one victim, Tropical Storm Rosa is expected to drench the U.S. Southwest. From Arizona to Utah, some residents filled sandbags in anticipation of heavy rainfall forecasts and potential flooding. The center of Rosa, which was a hurricane until late Sunday, was expected to hit Baja California and Sonora by early Tuesday, bringing 3 to 6 inches of rain, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It's then expected to move quickly northwestward as it weakens, bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain to central and southern Arizona and 1 to 2 inches to the rest of the desert Southwest, Central Rockies and Great Basin. Isolated areas might see even more precipitation. In southern Arizona, heavy rain Monday flooded streets in Yuma and caused power outages in parts of the city. At least six roads in Tucson were closed because of flash flooding from washes that overflowed. CBS

Yale classmate says Kavanaugh has "not told the truth" about his drinking
A Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accused him on Sunday of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and making a "blatant mischaracterization" of his drinking while in college. "I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth," Chad Ludington said in a statement to CNN. Ludington said in the statement he often drank with Kavanaugh when they were classmates, and said Kavanaugh had played down "the degree and frequency" of his drinking in his testimony. Ludington said he often saw Kavanaugh "staggering from alcohol consumption," and said he often became "belligerent and aggressive" while drinking. CNN

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