Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 p.m. EDT


The Latest: Trump calls hearing ‘brutal,’ praises Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump described Thursday’s heated Senate hearing as “brutal” and “hard to watch” during an evening GOP fundraiser.

But Trump also praised Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s performance defending himself against allegations of sexual assault.

Trump described Kavanaugh as a “great guy” and a “great man” as he headlined a fundraising dinner at his Washington hotel, according to an attendee who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to describe Trump’s speech publicly.

He made no mention of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, the person said.

Trump arrived late at the fundraiser, leaving the White House only after Kavanaugh had finished his testimony.

The fundraiser was for “Protect the House,” a joint committee that benefits the National Republican Congressional Committee and other groups.

— Jill Colvin



The Latest: Iran dismisses Israeli ‘atomic warehouse’ claim

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister is deriding as an “arts and crafts show” Israel’s visual-aid-enhanced accusation that his country is keeping a secret atomic warehouse.

State-run media report that Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday there’s nothing to the allegation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made at the U.N. General Assembly.

Displaying maps and a photo, Netanyahu said Iran has been keeping tons of nuclear equipment and material in a property near its capital.

Zarif notes the International Atomic Energy Agency has certified that Iran is in compliance with its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal meant to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. withdrew from the deal this year.

In a tweet, Zarif called Netanyahu’s presentation an “arts and crafts show” by a country that he says needs to come clean about its own nuclear program.

Israel is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal but has never publicly acknowledged it.


The Latest: Tesla, directors indicate they stand behind Musk

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla and its board of directors are indicating their support for CEO Elon Musk, who federal regulators are seeking to oust over allegations he committed securities fraud.

In a brief joint statement, the electric car maker and its board say they are “fully confident” in Musk, his integrity and his leadership of the company. It says their focus remains on ramping up production of Tesla’s Model 3 and “delivering for our customers, shareholders and employees.”

Earlier Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal court to oust Musk as Tesla’s chairman and CEO, alleging in a complaint that he committed securities fraud with false statements in August about plans to take the company private.


The Latest: Police chief: ‘I’m heartbroken’ after body found

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — The chief of a North Carolina police department said he was “heartbroken” over the discovery of a body believed to be that of a missing 6-year-old boy.

Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton fought back tears and a breaking voice at a news conference Thursday to announce officials believed the body searchers found was that of Maddox Ritch. The boy’s father said he ran off from him as he and a friend walked at Rankin Lake Park last weekend. Ian Ritch said he couldn’t catch up with his son because he has neuropathy in his feet due to diabetes.

Gastonia Fire Chief Phil Welch said the body was found in a creek, slightly more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) east of the park, by a searcher who was walking down the middle of the creek as his partners stood on the bank. He said the area had been searched previously by drones, all-terrain vehicles and on foot.

FBI agent Jason Kaplan said the investigation is continuing.


Marijuana now ok at LAX but getting it on plane may be hard

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Here’s another thing travelers can consider bringing when a trip takes them through Los Angeles International Airport: marijuana.

Just be careful about carrying it onto the plane.

A written policy posted by airport police after California legalized marijuana in January says small amounts may now be carried into one of the world’s busiest airports.

But police also warn that pot possession remains a federal crime and TSA agents may catch you before you get to the plane.

If they do, TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said Thursday they’ll turn you over to local authorities.

Officer Alicia Hernandez says authorities will let you go at LAX.

Still, travelers should be wary.

LAX police note marijuana laws vary from state to state. They encourage cannabis consumers to do their research before traveling.


Graham to Kavanaugh: ‘You’ve got nothing to apologize for’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett Kavanaugh looked in desperate need of a fighter on his behalf Thursday as he gave impassioned testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying allegations of sexual assault.

He found it in Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who told the judge straight out, “You’ve got nothing to apologize for.”

Kavanaugh alternated from anger to tears during fiery testimony. He took deep breaths and lengthy sips of water to gain his composure.

Democratic senators pressed Kavanaugh over and over again to request an FBI investigation if he had nothing to hide.

Enter Graham, who told Democrats, “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020.”

Soon, the White House was also tweeting its appreciation to the senator.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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