Very interesting. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate from 2 to 2.25 percent in their third increase this year and eighth since late 2015. Chairman Jerome Powell said the rate hike was appropriate due to a strong economy — a “particularly bright moment” — ending the era of “accommodative” monetary policy. Although Powell also noted business concerns over the widening trade war with China. The central bank plans for another hike in December and three more next year while forecasting at least three more years of growth for the American economy.
The Presidential Daily Brief
On the day before testimony of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee, another accuser, Julie Swetnick, has said she observed the Supreme Court nominee in high school getting girls drunk in order to be raped. Kavanaugh said he didn’t know Swetnick, who is represented by Stormy Daniel attorney Michael Avenatti. Meanwhile, President Trump said he could still be convinced that Kavanaugh behaved inappropriately. ”It’s possible they will be convincing,” Trump said of his accusers. Republicans can’t afford more than one defection in their vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
In his address to the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, President Trump accused Iran’s leadership of sowing “chaos, death and destruction” across the Middle East and defended his decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal. In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed U.S. sanctions against Iran amount to “economic terrorism” meant to topple his government. Meanwhile, the EU, Russia and China discussed a payment mechanism aimed at persuading Tehran to stay in the agreement by allowing firms doing legitimate business with the Islamic Republic to skirt U.S. sanctions.
“It is time for justice.” So said Judge Steven O’Neill as he denied the disgraced comedian bail and ordered him jailed immediately for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. Cosby, who said he’d appeal the ruling, was convicted in April. He’s the first high-profile figure convicted of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began. Other women who accused the 81-year-old of similar crimes celebrated Cosby’s sentencing: “I am victorious,” said former model Janice Dickinson, who reportedly broke into uncontrollable laughter in the courtroom.
As Venezuela’s South American neighbors push for an international investigation into the country’s alleged crimes against humanity, Washington has slapped fresh economic sanctions on the highest levels of President Nicolas Maduro’s government. First lady Cilia Flores, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, and the country’s communications and defense ministers will have their U.S. assets seized and American citizens and entities will be barred from doing business with them. Meanwhile, President Trump described Venezuela as “a truly bad place in the world today” and claimed Maduro “could be toppled very quickly” by his own military.
Know This: After his remarks about his administration’s success provoked laughter at the U.N. yesterday, President Trump will chair a Security Council meeting today. Mexican investigators are probing the entire police force of Acapulco over suspicions it’s been infiltrated by drug cartels. A 27-year-old Chinese man was arrested in Chicago yesterday for allegedly acting as an “illegal agent” for Beijing. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Slovenia: Meet the paramilitary leader who still lives with his mom.
Listen to This: With the leaders of North and South Korea getting increasingly friendly, observers have pointed to an unlikely catalyst: naengmyeon, or cold noodle soup, which was on the menu during their meeting in Pyongyang last week.
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A 30-year-old man who made lewd comments to a woman on a bus near Paris has been fined around $350, the first conviction under the country’s new law against street harassment. He’ll also be jailed for three months for slapping her buttocks, an incident which prompted the bus driver to lock the doors on the inebriated man while waiting for police. “Bravo for the bus driver’s quick-wittedness,” said France’s gender equality minister. The new measure also allows for on-the-spot fines of nearly $900.
Qualcomm has accused its former partner of giving trade secrets to Intel in order to make cheaper iPhone modems, saying Apple was involved in a “years-long campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge.” Apple used Qualcomm chips for years before switching to Intel chips for some of its newer models in 2016. The allegations surfaced amid a tense legal battle that began when Apple sued Qualcomm for charging what it considered unreasonable fees. Qualcomm, in return, countersued seeking an import ban on iPhones with Intel chips.
Although smaller than New Jersey, the Adriatic country of 2 million boasts the highest proportion of protected land in Europe — and the second-highest in the whole world. Today 53.6 percent of Slovenian territory is protected, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., thanks to a combination of sustainable agricultural practices, legislation and community involvement. While the country’s conservation efforts date back more than a century, these days they’re partly out of necessity: More than half of Slovenia’s animals are on the European Red List of endangered species.
Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, has weighed in on the backlash over her character’s appearance in a trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet. Fans — and Rose — were dismayed at Tiana’s new look in the film, with more European features and lighter skin. On Instagram yesterday, the voice actress revealed she had approached Disney, which initially attributed the changes to differences in CGI rendering but later agreed to make adjustments to her character. “In doing so, they recognize that her legacy is also their legacy,” Rose said.
Veteran sports journalists Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm will make history as the league’s first female announcing team when they call Thursday’s Rams-Vikings game. Kremer said that in their 11 Thursday night games this season they’ll bring a “different voice and viewpoint” with their commentary, which will be streamed on Amazon Prime. Meanwhile, critics seized on the news to either disparage the idea of women announcing football or to protest the fact that the duo will only be heard on a streaming service and as one of four commentary options.