The Latest: McCaskill says she’ll vote no on Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON (AP) — Missouri’s Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she will vote against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, depriving President Donald Trump’s nominee of a possible swing vote.
McCaskill calls the recent sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh troubling, but says she based her decision on the judge’s views on issues like presidential power and “dark money” in campaigns.
McCaskill is the first of five undecided Senate Democrats in competitive re-election races to come out against Kavanaugh.
Her decision had been awaited by those watching her close re-election battle with Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who has urged Kavanaugh’s swift confirmation.
A vote on Kavanaugh has been delayed by the accusation from Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens. Kavanaugh says that accusation is false.
The Latest: Stone marker has wrong dates for Moon’s visit
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A stone marker commemorating South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Pyongyang has the wrong dates carved on it.
The stone was unveiled during a tree-planting ceremony attended by Moon and senior North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae on Wednesday.
The carving saying “Commemorating Visit to Pyongyang. Sept. 18-21. South Korean President Moon Jae-in” temporarily confused journalists who wondered if Moon’s visit had been extended a day.
Moon plans to return to South Korea on Thursday, or Sept. 20. Moon’s office says North Korean workers made a mistake.
ELIZABETH SMART KIDNAPPER-PRISON RELEASE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Smart won’t live in fear after kidnapper release
DRAPER, Utah (AP) — Elizabeth Smart says she’s moving forward with her life and trying not to live in fear now that one of her kidnappers has been released from prison.
Smart gave a speech Wednesday at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, telling reporters beforehand that it was “a statement in my moving forward” that she was able to come to the school to speak about sexual violence.
Smart said she’s grateful for the support she received during her “roller coaster of emotion” after the surprise announcement that 72-year-old Wanda Barzee was being released from a Utah prison years earlier than expected.
Barzee served 15 years in the 2002 kidnapping of Smart. She pleaded guilty to helping her husband, street preacher Brian David Mitchell, who took Smart from her bedroom at knifepoint.
The Latest: Company officials ‘heartbroken’ after shooting
MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) — Officials at a Wisconsin software company say they’re “heartbroken” one of their employees shot four people in the office.
WTS Paradigm Marketing Manager Ryan Mayrand said in a statement Wednesday evening that the company is “shocked and heartbroken” and is working to set up counseling for workers.
He asked the media to respect the privacy of the workers, particularly those who were among the victims.
Police say a WTS Paradigm employee opened fire in the office Wednesday morning in Middleton, a suburb of Madison. They say three victims suffered serious injuries, while a fourth suffered a graze wound.
The suspect died after being shot by police.
SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-65 WOMEN
How 65 women came to Kavanaugh’s defense in matter of hours
NEW YORK (AP) — The allegation of a high-school-era sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had just emerged last week when friends who knew him as teenagers sprang into action and began a letter-writing effort.
By the next morning, 65 women had signed, backing Kavanagh and attesting to his character.
Now, even as details about the alleged incident have come out, more than a dozen signers who have spoken to The Associated Press or other media outlets are standing by their declaration. The rest are declining to be interviewed.
Women who organized and signed it say it was a rapid response by a social network that endures decades after they graduated, and that it was easy to mobilize.
Federal agency says it lost track of 1,488 migrant children
For the second time in less than a year, the federal government has lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children after placing them in the homes of sponsors across the country.
The Health and Human Services Department recently told Senate staffers that case managers could not find 1,488 children after they made follow-up calls to check on their safety from April through June.
The agency first disclosed that it had lost track of 1,475 children late last year.
Members of a Senate subcommittee have introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at requiring the agency to take responsibility for the care of migrant children, even when they are no longer in its custody. They say they want to ensure children don’t end up in abusive households or fall prey to human trafficking.
Lawmaker: US Senate staff targeted by state-backed hackers
A U.S. lawmaker says foreign government hackers continue to target the personal accounts of U.S. senators and their aides — and that the Senate’s security office won’t help defend them.
Senator Ron Wyden says in a letter to Senate leaders that “at least one major technology company” has warned an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal accounts were targeted by foreign government hackers.
Similar methods were employed by Russian agents to influence the 2016 elections. A spokeswoman for the Senate security office said it would have no comment.
Wyden did not specify the notifications’ timing, but a Senate staffer said they came within the last few weeks or months. That staffer spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
Florence shows how storm coverage is politicized
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump Junior’s attack tweet this week showing CNN’s Anderson Cooper waist-deep in flood waters has driven home the point that politics, and not just weather, was an important subtext of the media’s coverage of Hurricane Florence.
While the president’s son suggested Cooper tells lies to make his father look bad, Cooper said it was Trump telling lies.
Instead of just covering the storm, Trump’s defenders and opponents repeatedly made him a part of the story. Ever since the response to Hurricane Katrina crippled George W. Bush’s administration, politicians are aware of the big stakes involved when a big storm sweeps ashore.
Judge: US can’t deny passport for refusing to pick gender
DENVER (AP) — A judge has ruled that U.S. officials cannot deny a passport application from an intersex Colorado resident based solely on a refusal to select male or female for gender.
U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson said in a ruling released Wednesday that the U.S. State Department was arbitrary in rejecting the application and violated federal law.
Dana Zzyym (ZIM) sued in 2015. Zzyym was born with ambiguous sexual characteristics and doesn’t identify as male or female.
The judge in 2016 ordered the State Department to reconsider Zzyym’s passport application. The department denied it again in 2017.
Several countries issue passports with gender designations other than female or male, including “X” or “O.”
The agency didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
SHOOTING-OUTSIDE JUDGE’S OFFICE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Police killed gunman who shot at them, others
MASONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Fayette County officials say police shot and killed a gunman who opened fire in the lobby of the Masontown Borough Center.
Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower confirmed Wednesday that a German Township police officer shot the gunman multiple times, killing him. Bower says the gunman, who was not identified, was due in court on a domestic violence charge.
He says the gunman entered the lobby off the building just after 2 p.m. with a handgun drawn and exchanged gunfire with a police officer who was injured.
Bower says the gunman then shot two males and one female. He declined to say whether the gunman knew them.
A spokesman for the West Virginia hospital where the civilians were taken says they are all in fair condition as of about 5:45 p.m.
Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.