AP source: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme…
AP source: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday
WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from decades ago, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Lawyers for Ford and bipartisan representatives of the committee came to the tentative agreement after a short phone call, said one of the people, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity. The person said Kavanaugh would also appear.
Some details of the hearing, such as the order of their appearance, remained in negotiation. Talks were expected to continue Sunday.
The tentative accord could bring to a close days of high-stakes brinkmanship that have roiled Washington ahead of midterm elections and threated to jeopardize Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the court.
Tensions have been running on overdrive since Ford, a 51-year-old college professor in California, went public with her allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were at a house party in high school. Kavanaugh, 53, an appellate court judge, denied the allegation and said he wanted to testify as soon as possible to clear his name.
Travel still dangerous in flooded areas of North Carolina
BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders.
Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.
“Hurricane Florence has deeply wounded our state, wounds that will not fade soon as the flood waters finally recede,” Cooper said.
South Carolina also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.
The small farming community of Nichols, South Carolina, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the coast, was completely inundated by water, Mayor Lawson Batter said Saturday. He called the situation “worse than Matthew,” the 2016 hurricane that destroyed almost 90 percent of the town’s 261 homes. Battle said flooding from Florence has wiped out the 150 or so homes rebuilt afterward.
US seeks to curtail green cards for immigrants on public aid
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration on Saturday proposed rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance.
Federal law already requires those seeking green cards and to prove they will not be a burden — or “public charge” — but the new rules detail a broad range of programs that could disqualify them.
The Department of Homeland Security said current and past receipt of certain public benefits above thresholds would be considered “a heavily weighed negative factor” in granting green cards as well as temporary stays.
The proposal “will clearly define long-standing law to ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially and will not be reliant on public benefits,” the department said.
The 447-page proposal published on the department’s website will appear in the Federal Register “in the coming weeks,” triggering a 60-day public comment period before it takes effect.
Militants attack Iran military parade, killing at least 25
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Militants disguised as soldiers opened fire Saturday on an annual Iranian military parade in the country’s oil-rich southwest, killing at least 25 people and wounding over 60 in the deadliest terror attack to strike the country in nearly a decade.
Women and children scattered along with once-marching Revolutionary Guard soldiers as heavy gunfire rang out at the parade in Ahvaz, the chaos captured live on state television.
The region’s Arab separatists, once only known for nighttime attacks on unguarded oil pipelines, claimed responsibility for the brazen assault.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed regional countries and their “U.S. masters” for funding and arming the separatists, issuing a stark warning as regional tensions remain high in the wake of the U.S. withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
“Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.
World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming — and also encouraging the glimmer of hope over the nuclear standoff in North Korea.
This year, 133 world leaders have signed up to attend the General Assembly session, a significant increase from last year’s 114. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the expected large turnout “eloquent proof of the confidence of the international community in the United Nations,” though other U.N. officials and diplomats said it’s in response to growing concerns about an increasingly turbulent world.
The seven-year-old conflict in Syria and the three-year war in Yemen that has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and is now seriously threatening large-scale famine will certainly be in the spotlight, along with meetings on other Mideast and African hot spots. So will Iran, which faces escalating hostile rhetoric from the Trump administration over its activities supporting international terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies.
Guterres said last week that one of his overriding concerns in an increasingly globalized world is the threat to having the U.N.’s 193 member nations work together, which is the foundation of the United Nations.
“Multilateralism is under attack from many different directions precisely when we need it most,” the U.N. chief told reporters Thursday. “In different areas and for different reasons, the trust of people in their political establishments, the trust of states among each other, the trust of many people in international organizations has been eroded and … multilateralism has been in the fire.”
Hundreds mark Hurricane Maria anniversary near Trump resort
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dozens of vehicles slowly approached President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday afternoon, blasting reggaeton and salsa as they drove by. They honked their horns and waved Puerto Rican flags draped from their car windows and trunks. They were on their way to a rally a few miles away to mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
Despite the scorching hot sun, hundreds of activists showed up at the Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. Buses full of protesters came from as far as Miami and Orlando. The crowd was lively. People spread out on the grass and walked around carrying posters that read “Respeta Mi Gente” (Respect My People) and “Justice for Puerto Rico.” To one side of the stage, a giant blowup balloon of Trump depicted as a baby had been inflated. Crowds waited in line to take photographs in which they gave the orange balloon the middle finger.
Event organizers encouraged those in attendance to vote in the midterm elections in November. Anyone with a microphone was constantly telling people to vote, to register to vote, and to spread awareness about voting.
“We’re honoring the lives that were lost,” said Marcos Vilar, the president and executive director of Alianza for Progress, one of the event organizers. “We are recognizing all the people that were displaced and are living here in South Florida, central Florida and throughout the state.”
Vilar believes that although Puerto Ricans are citizens, the current administration’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has proven that Puerto Ricans are not treated equally.
Vatican, China make breakthrough deal on bishop appointments
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican and China said Saturday they had signed a “provisional agreement” over the appointment of bishops, a breakthrough on an issue that stymied diplomatic relations for decades and aggravated a split among Chinese Catholics.
The deal resolved one of the major sticking points in recent years, with the Vatican agreeing to accept seven bishops who were previously named by Beijing without the pope’s consent.
The development comes nearly seven decades after the Holy See and Beijing severed official relations. Beijing’s long-held insistence that it must approve bishop appointments in China had clashed with absolute papal authority to pick bishops.
With the status of the seven bishops now reconciled, the Vatican said all bishops in China are now in communion with Rome — even though the Catholic community in China is still split between Catholics who belong to the official Chinese church and those in the underground church who remain loyal to the pope.
“Pope Francis hopes that, with these decisions, a new process may begin that will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome, leading to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics,” a Vatican statement said.
Congress takes aim at shrinking seats, legroom on airplanes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration would be required to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes under legislation to be considered in the House this week, possibly giving passengers a break from ever-shrinking legroom and cramped quarters.
The regulation of seat width and legroom is part of a five-year extension of federal aviation programs announced early Saturday by Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate committees that oversee the nation’s air travel.
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep FAA programs running. The Senate will also need to take up the bill this week or both chambers will need to pass a short-term extension.
The bill would prohibit the involuntary bumping of passengers who have already boarded a plane. But in a nod to the power of the commercial airliners, lawmakers declined to include language that would have prohibited airlines from imposing fees deemed “not reasonable and proportional.”
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said lawmakers from both chambers agreed it was time to take action on “ever-shrinking seats.”
No. 5 Oklahoma escapes with 28-21 OT win over Army
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Kyler Murray threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in overtime, and Parnell Motley intercepted Kelvin Hopkins’ fourth-down pass to help No. 5 Oklahoma escape with a 28-21 victory over Army on Saturday night.
Kenneth Murray had a school-record 28 tackles for the Sooners (4-0).
Army had the ball for 44:41 and ran 87 plays to Oklahoma’s 40.
Oklahoma led 21-14 at halftime after Army had 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drives on its first two possessions. Murray passed for 123 yards and two touchdows and ran for 40 yards and another score before the break.
Hopkins ran for 55 yards in the first half, including a nifty 5-yard touchdown run. Army (2-2) ran 39 times for 183 yards in the first half and had the ball for 22:01 of the 30 minutes. Oklahoma only had the ball for 20 plays in the first half.
Tiger Woods with 3-shot lead and 1 round away from winning
ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods made it look and sound as if he had never been gone.
More than turning back time, every hole seemed like the one before Saturday at the Tour Championship. A tee shot striped down the middle of the fairway. The clean strike of an iron as he held his pose. A sonic boom of the cheers from around the green. Another birdie.
“I got off to an ideal start,” Woods said. “And the next thing you know, I was off and running.”
With the most dynamic golf he has played all year, Woods built a five-shot lead in seven holes before he cooled from there, settled for a 5-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose and an ideal chance to end this comeback season with a moment that has defined his career.