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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Under right terms, Kavanaugh accuser may testify after all

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christine Blasey Ford may testify against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after all, her attorney said Thursday, breathing new life into the prospect of a dramatic Senate showdown next week over Ford’s accusation that he assaulted her when both were in high school.

The preference would be for Ford to testify next Thursday, and she doesn’t want Kavanaugh in the same room, her attorney told Judiciary Committee staff in a 30-minute call that also touched on security concerns and others issues, according to a Senate aide who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ford is willing to tell her story to the Judiciary Committee, whose senators will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — but only if agreement can be reached on “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety,” the attorney said in an email earlier Thursday. In the call, she said Ford needs time to secure her family, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington. No decisions were reached, the aide said.

The discussion revived the possibility that the panel would hold an electrifying campaign-season hearing at which both Ford and President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could give their versions of what did or didn’t happen at a party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh, now a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has repeatedly denied her allegation.

The accusation has jarred the 53-year-old conservative jurist’s prospects for winning confirmation, which until Ford’s emergence last week had seemed all but certain. It has also bloomed into a broader clash over whether women alleging abuse are taken seriously by men and how both political parties address such claims with the advent of the #MeToo movement — a theme that could echo in this November’s elections for control of Congress.

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China distances children from families to subdue Muslim west

ISTANBUL (AP) — Every morning, Meripet wakes up to her nightmare: The Chinese government has turned four of her children into orphans, even though she and their father are alive.

Meripet and her husband left the kids with their grandmother at home in China when they went to nurse Meripet’s sick father in Turkey. But after Chinese authorities started locking up thousands of their fellow ethnic Uighurs for alleged subversive crimes such as travel abroad, a visit became exile.

Then, her mother-in-law was also taken prisoner, and Meripet learned from a friend that her 3- to 8-year-olds had been placed in a de facto orphanage in the Xinjiang region, under the care of the state that broke up her family.

“It’s like my kids are in jail,” Meripet said, her voice cracking. “My four children are separated from me and living like orphans.”

Meripet’s family is among tens of thousands swept up in President Xi Jinping’s campaign to subdue a sometimes restive region, including the internment of more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities that has alarmed a United Nations panel and the U.S. government . Now there is evidence that the government is placing the children of detainees and exiles into dozens of orphanages across Xinjiang.

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4 dead, including suspect, after Maryland warehouse shooting

ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — A woman working a temporary job at a drugstore warehouse in Maryland got into an argument at work Thursday morning and began shooting colleagues, killing three before fatally turning the gun on herself, authorities and witnesses said.

Workers at the Rite Aid distribution center in northeastern Maryland described terrifying moments of “crazy” gunfire and people screaming and running in all directions after the shooting. Others said they helped the wounded, one person tying blood-soaked jeans around a man’s injured leg in a bid to stop the bleeding.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said at a news conference that the woman was later identified as a temporary employee of the distribution center, Snochia Moseley of Baltimore County.

“She had reported for her workday as usual, and around 9 a.m. the shooting began, striking victims both outside the business and inside the facility,” Gahler said. “We do not at this time have a motive for this senseless crime.”

Krystal Watson, 33, said her husband, Eric, works at the facility and told her told her that the suspect had been arguing with somebody else near a time clock after a “town hall meeting.”

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Telling men to ‘step up,’ Sen. Hirono strides into spotlight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, one of only four women on the 21-member Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh the same questions on sexual harrassment she has asked dozens of other nominees.

Had Kavanaugh “made unwanted requests for sexual favors” or committed verbal or physical harrassment of a sexual nature since he became a legal adult? And had he ever faced discipline or settled with anyone over that kind of conduct?

Kavanaugh said “no” to both questions at his confirmation hearing earlier this month. But few in the room, or watching on television, knew at the time how relevant Hirono’s questions would prove to be.

A little more than a week later, a California professor named Christine Blasey Ford contended that at a house party in the 1980s, a drunken, 17 year-old Kavanaugh tried undressing her and muffling her cries on a bed before she fled. Kavanaugh denies that account.

Ford’s accusation has upended his previously smooth confirmation process for Kavanaugh — and thrust the often low-key Hirono, 70, into the spotlight as one of the most outspoken senators in Ford’s defense.

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It’s high times for soaring marijuana stocks on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Reefer Madness has gripped Wall Street.

Investors are craving marijuana stocks as Canada prepares to legalize pot next month, leading to giant gains for Canada-based companies listed on U.S. exchanges. Some experts are concerned that the ending will be a buzzkill.

Billions of dollars have poured into the stocks in the last few months, and investors smell green (money, not leaves) in the air as they consider the opportunities these companies might have as the marijuana market in Canada grows, along with the possibility that the U.S. and other countries could follow suit.

The value of one company, British Columbia-based Tilray, has jumped tenfold since its initial public offering just two months ago. The company had $20 million in sales in 2017, but it’s now worth considerably more than Macy’s or Hasbro. With those huge gains have come extreme swings.

Wednesday was a trip for Tilray stock: after closing at $154 the previous day, it opened at $233 a share, soared to $300, and then plunged to $151 before rallying to close at $214. Trading was halted several times because of that volatility.

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Florence-weary South Carolina could get more record flooding

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — As rivers swollen to record levels started to recede Thursday in North Carolina, officials tried to head off potential environmental disasters and prepared for more record flooding downstream in South Carolina.

Roads were still clogged with people trying to make it back to where the floods had creeped back, leaving silty mud on walls and floors. Crews closed some bridges and reopened others as trillions of gallons of water continued its long, meandering journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

Potential environmental problems remained. Duke Energy issued a high-level emergency alert after floodwaters from the Cape Fear River overtopped an earthen dike and inundated a large lake at a closed power plant near Wilmington, North Carolina. The utility said it did not think any coal ash was at risk.

State-owned utility Santee Cooper in South Carolina is placing an inflatable dam around a coal ash pond near Conway, saying the extra 2.5 feet (76 centimeters) should be enough to keep floodwaters out. Officials warned human, hog and other animal waste were mixing in with floodwaters in the Carolinas.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion in a letter that says the flooding will be the worst disaster in the state’s modern history. McMaster asked Congressional leaders to hurry federal aid.

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AP Analysis: Trump heads to UN as US retreats from world

WASHINGTON (AP) — America first? Try America first, second and third.

As President Donald Trump prepares for his second U.N. General Assembly, the Olympics of international diplomacy, his administration has turned unabashedly and profoundly inward, pursuing ever more unilateral policies in what critics argue is a great retreat from global engagement that had been a bipartisan hallmark of previous U.S. leaders.

Trump aides who used to qualify his well-worn campaign slogan by insisting that “America first does not mean America alone” are gone. In their place are advocates of inviolable state sovereignty who share a belief that many of the institutions established after World War II to secure and maintain international order are either obsolete or in need of serious revision.

Ahead of the General Assembly, some expect the meeting to have a different tone from last year when wary world leaders weren’t prepared for Trump’s brand or style of diplomacy or for his determination to push an “America first” agenda. This time around they know what to expect.

“A lot of leaders have gamed out how to deal with the president,” said Jon Alterman, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They will be nice to him in person, but will work to create broad coalitions to block or undermine a lot of the president’s initiatives because they think they are misguided. They’ll try to use this meeting to advance strategies that promote their vision and not the president’s, but not rub the president’s face in it.”

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Cornell review finds academic misconduct by food researcher

NEW YORK (AP) — A prominent Cornell University food researcher resigned after an investigation found he committed academic misconduct, including misreporting data, the school announced Thursday.

Brian Wansink has been removed from all teaching and research positions and will retire at the end of the school year next June, Cornell said in a statement.

Wansink had previously helped update the U.S. dietary guidelines and is known for his research on consumer behavior, which has been widely cited including in articles by The Associated Press.

Cornell says Wansink’s academic misconduct also included “problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship.”

Thursday’s announcement comes a day after six more of Wansink’s papers were retracted. The most recent retractions included a 2005 paper that said people eat more when served in large bowls and a 2013 article that said grocery shoppers buy food with more calories when they’re hungry.

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Suge Knight pleads to manslaughter over fatal confrontation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Averting a murder trial that had been nearly four years in coming, former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight pleaded no contest Thursday to voluntary manslaughter for running over and killing a Compton businessman and agreed to serve nearly 30 years in prison.

The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea in Los Angeles Superior Court after striking a deal with prosecutors, and has agreed to serve 28 years. Jury selection for his trial, which could have led to a life sentence, had been scheduled to begin Monday.

Knight was charged with murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run after fleeing the scene of a dispute in January 2015 outside a Compton burger stand. Knight and Cle “Bone” Sloan, a consultant on the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” traded punches before Knight clipping him with his pickup truck and ran over businessman Terry Carter, who died from his injuries.

Knight’s attorneys have said he was acting in self-defense and was fleeing armed attackers when he ran over Carter and Sloan. Sloan has denied he was carrying a gun during the confrontation.

During Thursday’s hearing, Knight, wearing orange jail attire with his arms and legs in chains, answered Judge Ronald Coen’s questions, loudly and quickly saying “no contest” when the judge asked for his plea. He will be formally sentenced on Oct. 4.

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‘Assassination Nation’ wants to get under your skin

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Assassination Nation” is trying to make you uncomfortable. The film even starts out with about a dozen “trigger warnings” previewing the horror that is to come in this internet age Salem witch trial about four teenage girls who become the enemies of an entire town when a hacker stars leaking individuals’ information.

Morality, sexuality, female nudity, homophobia, misogyny, pornography, pedophilia, mob mentality and gun violence are just a few of the subjects and taboos addressed in writer-director Sam Levinson’s purposefully insane film. According to Levinson, it is simply about, “All the anxieties and pressures and fears of growing up in the digital age.”

Out Friday, it’s the kind of film that could become an instant cult hit, or the subject of outrage, but it’s one audiences will want to discuss after. It’s as provocative as it is divisive, but those who are on board are really and fully on board. Levinson said its unabashed outlandishness helped sell it to financers, even with its disquieting images and little-known cast.

“It’s a terrifying script. Truly terrifying,” said Odessa Young, the 20-year-old Australian actress who plays the lead character Lily. “You’re meant to look at this as a mirror and examine yourself and examine the world that you live in.”

Suki Waterhouse, 26, who plays one of the girls, Sarah, said some of her agents even cautioned her against doing the film. That made her want to do it even more.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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