In a letter to the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee said he won’t be intimidated into withdrawing from the confirmation process, after a second woman alleged sexual misconduct. A former Yale University classmate, Deborah Ramirez, told The New Yorker Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party during his freshman year in the early 1980s, an accusation Trump labelled as “totally political,” while Kavanaugh dismissed it as a “smear.” A Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s first accuser, on Thursday.
The Presidential Daily Brief
White House Press Seceretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the Deputy Attorney General will meet President Donald Trump on Thursday for “an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories.” Conflicting reports had caused confusion Monday over Rod Rosenstein’s fate and whether he would resign or be fired, prompting the statement. The speculation stems from a New York Times report claiming Roseinstein, who was overseeing the Russia investigation, suggested invoking the 25th amendment and secretly taping conversations with Trump.
It’s showtime … or is it? That’s what some are wondering ahead of President Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance at the U.N. General Assembly. Last year he captured global attention by threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea. But some experts say world leaders have grown used to the president’s style, while others believe Trump will be focused on trying to strike deals with adversaries. While he’s “prepared to bluster and threaten,” says one Obama-era official, Trump “also wants to achieve the deal of the century.” He’ll deliver his address to the U.N. tomorrow.
The city’s security bureau has upheld a July request by police to ban the separatist Hong Kong National Party, arguing that the group’s calls for independence from mainland China threaten national security and public safety. Critics have decried the move as Beijing further tightening its grip over the territory, which is semi-autonomous and generally enjoys more social and political freedoms than the mainland. It’s the first time since being handed over by the British 21 years ago that Hong Kong has banned a political party.
The trade war between Beijing and Washington escalated Monday as a fresh round of U.S. taxes on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect — and China responded by levying its own tariffs on $60 billion in American goods. While Chinese officials decried “trade bullyism” by the U.S., state media reported the government was considering restarting negotiations “based on mutual respect and equality.” That followed Beijing’s rejection over the weekend of trade talks proposed by Washington. Meanwhile, U.S. tech companies reliant on Chinese parts have warned the new measures could punish them too.
Know This: After its successful bid for pay-TV giant Sky Saturday, analysts say Comcast needs to prove the $38.8 billion purchase was worthwhile. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has blamed unidentified U.S. allies for an attack on a military parade Saturday that left 25 dead. Thousands of residents are ready to evacuate communities on the South Carolina coast amid post-hurricane flooding. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to South Africa: Meet the British banker giving French bonbons an African makeover.
Read This: As Venezuela continues to suffer from political and economic turmoil, several Latin American nations are preparing for an influx of Venezuelan refugees — 2.3 million of which have already left — in a crisis that could alter the region’s political dynamics.
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Something’s fishy here. As Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters receded, thousands of fish that had ventured far from their normal habitat were stranded on Interstate 40 in Pender County. Aside from the unpleasant smell, the situation was also hazardous for drivers, prompting local firefighters to power-wash the carcasses off the road. They reported, “We can add ‘washing fish off of the interstate’ to the long list of interesting things firefighters get to experience!” Meanwhile, a 20-foot-long whale was found washed ashore in Caswell Beach, North Carolina.
Following the emissions scandal that plagued parent company Volkswagen, the luxury brand announced it’ll no longer make diesel vehicles — the first major German carmaker to exit the market. In a recent interview, CEO Oliver Blume said the diesel crisis, in which Volkswagen was found to have rigged emissions tests, has “caused us a lot of trouble.” Blume added that by dropping diesel and focusing on developing hybrid and electric vehicles, “Porsche will be more Porsche.” In May German officials ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs over emissions cheating.
Gwen Ngwenya doesn’t suffer fools, colleagues say — especially when it comes to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress. As the first head of policy for the Democratic Alliance, the country’s chief opposition party, she’s crafting political and economic alternatives to the ANC ahead of the 2019 presidential election. Although Ngwenya’s been accused of serving as a useful “Black face” on a conservative agenda, the 29-year-old dismisses the criticism and says she’s content to remain behind the scenes crafting policy rather than kissing babies.
“Judgment day has finally arrived.” So said an attorney for one of the dozens of women who have accused the disgraced comedian of sexual misconduct. Today Cosby begins a two-day sentencing hearing in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He was convicted in April of the 2004 crime. While some of his accusers have said they hope the 81-year-old receives the maximum 30-year prison sentence, Cosby’s lawyers are likely to emphasize his age, health problems and history of charitable work in a bid for leniency.
Call it a comeback. The 42-year-old earned his 80th PGA Tour victory in Atlanta yesterday after playing only three tournaments in the last two years while recovering from multiple back surgeries. Thousands of fans walked with Woods to the 18th green to watch him win with a 1-over-par 71 — two shots over Billy Horschel. “This is crazy,” said one sign-bearer. Woods, congratulated by golfing greats like Jack Nicklaus, is expected to move to a world ranking of 13 from a low of 1,199 last year.