SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST The Latest: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday WASHINGTON (AP) — A tentative agreement has been reached for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Supreme Court nominee Brett…
SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday
WASHINGTON (AP) — A tentative agreement has been reached for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault from decades ago.
That’s according to a person briefed on the matter who isn’t authorized to discuss it by name.
The person says that lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford and bipartisan representatives of the committee came to the tentative agreement Saturday. Other terms of the public hearing will be negotiated Sunday.
The tentative accord could close days of brinkmanship over whether Ford would testify.
Ford alleges Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party when they were teens. Now an appeals court judge, Kavanaugh denies the allegations. He has said he wants to testify as soon as possible to clear his name.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Tropical Storm Kirk moving west across Atlantic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Kirk is continuing to move west across the eastern Atlantic but does not currently pose any threat to land.
In a Saturday evening update, the National Hurricane Center said Kirk was 430 miles (690 kilometers) south of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west at 15 mph (24 kph) with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (64 kph).
Forecasters expect some strengthening through Sunday.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
US seeks to curtail green cards for immigrants on public aid
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing 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 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 Saturday that current and past receipt of certain public benefits above thresholds will be considered “a heavily weighed negative factor” in granting green cards as well as temporary visas.
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.
The Latest: UN chief offers condolences over attack in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is offering condolences to Iranians affected by an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and wounded dozens.
A statement issued Saturday by the U.N. says Guterres also “condemns the attack today in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz.”
The statement adds that Guterres “expresses his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Iran. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery.”
An Arab separatist group in Iran says members of the organization carried out the attack.
UNITED NATIONS-THE WORLD GATHERS
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 are expected to attend the General Assembly session, a significant increase from last year’s 114. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the turnout is “eloquent proof” of confidence in the U.N., but other U.N. officials and diplomats say it’s in response to concerns about the turbulent world.
Conflicts in Syria and Yemen will certainly be in the spotlight along with Mideast and African hotspots and Iran.
HURRICANE MARIA RALLY
Hurricane Maria caravan, rally focuses on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Activists marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico are staging a rally and caravan focused on President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Organizers say the Saturday afternoon event will include about 20 buses carrying Puerto Ricans and members of other Hispanic groups, along with faith leaders, progressives and others around the Palm Beach resort. A rally will follow in nearby West Palm Beach to remember those who suffered and died in last year’s hurricane.
Among the scheduled speakers is Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who faces a re-election challenge from Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Both have campaigned steadily among Puerto Ricans living in Florida.
Trump recently has challenged estimates that nearly 3,000 died in the storm, claiming the number is aimed at making him look bad.
Vatican announces deal with China on bishop appointments
ROME (AP) — The Vatican has announced a breakthrough “provisional agreement” with China on the appointment of bishops, an issue that for decades has caused tensions between the Holy See and Beijing.
Beijing’s long-held insistence that it must approve appointments of bishops in China had thwarted improved relations between the two sides. The deal, announced Saturday at the Vatican while Pope Francis was visiting the Baltics, could help pave the way for eventual diplomatic relations and a papal trip to China.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, speaking in Vilnius, Lithuania, told reporters the aim of the accord “is not political but pastoral, allowing the faithful to have bishops who are in communion with Rome but at the same time recognized by Chinese authorities.”
He did not immediately provide details about the deal.
Congress takes aim at shrinking seats, legroom on airplanes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is preparing to require the Federal Aviation Administration to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes. The aim is to give passengers a break from ever-shrinking legroom and cramped quarters.
The regulation of seat legroom and width is part of a five-year extension of federal aviation programs agreed to by Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate committees that oversee the nation’s air travel.
The House takes up the legislation this week. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep FAA programs running.
The bill would also 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 stop airlines from imposing fees deemed “not reasonable and proportional.”
Japanese supply ship heads to space station after delays
TOKYO (AP) — An unmanned Japanese space capsule is heading to the International Space Station with 5,500 kilograms (12,000 pounds) of cargo including food, experiments and new batteries.
The craft was launched Sunday at 2:52 a.m. from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. It will take four and a half days to reach the space station.
The launch was delayed for about two weeks because of bad weather and a mechanical problem.
The delay has led NASA to postpone two space walks to install the six lithium-ion batteries until new crew members arrive next month. They will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for the station’s electric power.
The capsule is a 9-meter- (30-foot-) long cylinder that will be retrieved by the space station’s robotic arm. It is named Kounotori, which means white stork.
Comcast beats Fox in Sky auction with $39B bid
LONDON (AP) — British regulators say Comcast has beat 21st Century Fox in a rare auction that allowed both sides to bid for European broadcaster Sky.
After three rounds of bidding behind closed doors, Comcast offered the higher price of 17.28 pounds ($22.58) per share, the equivalent of nearly 30 billion pounds ($39 billion). Fox offered 15.67 ($20.47) per share.
The regulator, the Takeover Panel, set up the auction to reduce uncertainty for Sky. It now gives Sky shareholders a firm bid to evaluate after Fox and Comcast engaged in a series of counteroffers.
Fox had long been trying to acquire the 61 percent of Sky it doesn’t already own. Comcast wants to grow its operations in Europe.
Sky is Europe’s largest pay-television operator, with 22.5 million customers in seven countries.