Christine Blasey Ford has asked the FBI to investigate her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago. Ford was set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday, but now says an investigation should be “the first step” before she’s forced to relive the “traumatic and harrowing incident” on national television. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley refused to delay Ford’s testimony, and Republicans signaled they could vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination next week. President Donald Trump offered sympathy to the judge, saying he feels “so badly” for Kavanaugh.
The Presidential Daily Brief
At a joint press conference in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un, announced the North would close a major missile testing facility in the presence of international experts. Kim — who pledged to visit Seoul in the “near future” — additionally agreed to shutter Pyongyang’s main nuclear complex in return for “reciprocal measures” from the United States. In their third meeting this year, the leaders also announced plans to connect railways across the peninsula and proposed a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
Yesterday Gov. Roy Cooper pleaded with thousands of evacuees to remain patient while officials distributed supplies to Wilmington, a coastal city of 120,000 almost entirely surrounded by floodwaters. “I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won’t end,” Cooper said. The official death toll has risen to 37 as the storm’s remnants moved northeast and its waters flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast. Meanwhile, Florence has wreaked havoc on local farms, killing 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 pigs — double the casualties from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.
Following President Trump’s announcement Monday of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, Beijing responded by slapping taxes on $60 billion in U.S. goods. The escalating trade war could threaten ongoing bilateral talks between the two sides — especially amid Trump’s pledge to levy another $267 billion worth of tariffs if Beijing retaliated. “I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China,” said a senior Chinese securities regulator. Meanwhile, U.S. business groups are pushing forward with their campaign to discourage the White House from imposing more tariffs.
Know This: President Trump has said he’s considering a permanent U.S. military base in Poland to deter Russian aggression. Danske Bank CEO Thomas Borgen resigned Wednesday over a $234 billion money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch. Officials in the Mexican city of Guadalajara have begun storing corpses from the country’s drug war in a refrigerated trailer after local morgues ran out of room. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Latvia, where singing helped topple Soviet power.
Read This: After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this week that the U.S. will lower its refugee cap next year from 45,000 to 30,000, critics are worried the country is backing away from its world-leading position of resettling those in need.
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After a campaign by three Baltic countries to compel the big box retailer to stop selling apparel featuring Soviet symbolism, a spokesman for Lithuania’s foreign ministry told The Associated Press that Walmart has pledged to remove the items from its online store. Annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have sought to distance themselves from their communist legacy since the 1991 collapse of the USSR — which Lithuania accused of committing “horrific crimes.” Walmart has not publicly commented on the report.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the social network of allowing recruiters to target job ads according to gender. The complaint, which also cites 10 other companies, says Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude potential female and non-binary applicants from seeing job ads for typically male-dominated positions, such as auto repair and moving services. Facebook, which has previously been rebuked for allowing advertisers to exclude users based on ethnicity and disability, pledged to remove 5,000 ad-targeting options in August.
A Northwestern University study involving 1.5 million survey responses suggests people fall into one of four “personality clusters” — average, reserved, self-centered and role model. Those archetypes are based on specific combinations of five character traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Researchers say most people are “average,” meaning they’re fairly agreeable and extroverted, though they also admit not everyone fits neatly into one category and that traits develop with age. The scope of the study has won over many scientists who had previously been skeptical of personality tests.
Action! A decade ago, female scriptwriters were a rarity in India’s enormous movie industry. But times are changing: Now they’re penning some of the biggest blockbusters in the business. In 2016, Bollywood’s screenwriters’ association elected its first female president, and these days women are increasingly banding together against industry predators, sharing blacklists of individuals to avoid. Meanwhile, opportunities continue to grow, especially with streaming platforms like Netflix opting for well-crafted and unique stories rather than Bollywood clones. Their success is slowly blinding producers to gender.
Show ’em the money. A group of 21 football greats is threatening to boycott the league’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, unless they receive health insurance and an annual salary. In a letter organized by running back Eric Dickerson, the Hall of Famers say they should be treated as “the founders and early employees of a wildly successful business.” The NFL hasn’t commented, while Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner and San Francisco legend Jerry Rice both said their names had been mistakenly attached to the letter.