In Mississippi, Trump mocks Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — President Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday by mocking a woman who has claimed she was…
In Mississippi, Trump mocks Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — President Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday by mocking a woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago.
The audience laughed as Trump ran through a list of what he described as holes in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She testified that Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, tried to take off her clothes and covered her mouth in the early 1980s, when the two were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations.
“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember,'” Trump said at the rally in Southaven. “How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.'”
Imitating Ford, he added, “But I had one beer — that’s the only thing I remember.”
It marked the sharpest criticism by Trump of Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month. He had previously called Ford a “very credible witness.”
NY Times: Trump got $413M from his dad, much from tax dodges
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times reported Tuesday that President Donald Trump received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax dodges, including outright fraud.
The 15,000-word Times report contradicts Trump’s portrayal of himself as a self-made billionaire who started with just a $1 million loan from his father.
The Times says Trump and his father, Fred, avoided gift and inheritance taxes by setting up a sham corporation and undervaluing assets to tax authorities. The Times says its report is based on more than 100,000 pages of financial documents, including confidential tax returns from the father and his companies.
A lawyer for Trump, Charles J. Harder, told the Times that there was no “fraud or tax evasion” and that the facts cited in the report are “extremely inaccurate.”
The White House dismissed the report as a “misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times.” It criticized the newspaper and other media outlets, saying their low credibility with the public is “because they are consumed with attacking the president and his family 24/7 instead of reporting the news.”
Lawyers for Kavanaugh accusers question FBI’s thoroughness
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for two women who accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct say they fear the FBI is not conducting a thorough investigation, as Republican leaders steer toward a decisive vote on the nomination this week.
Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, who says she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh at a party when they were teenagers, wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking why the FBI hasn’t contacted their client after she offered to cooperate in the FBI’s reopened background investigation of Kavanaugh.
Also Tuesday, an attorney for another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, said he’s seen no indication that the FBI has reached out to any of the 20 people who Ramirez told them may be able to corroborate her account that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were Yale freshmen. The attorney, John Clune, said Ramirez was interviewed by the FBI on Sunday and provided agents with the witnesses’ contact numbers.
Clune said he is concerned that the bureau “is not conducting — or not being permitted to conduct — a serious investigation.”
Demonstrating that the investigation is credible is crucial as the White House and Senate Republican leadership look to win the support of several wavering senators — including three Republicans — who will determine whether the 53-year-old conservative judge is confirmed to the lifetime post.
Experts say Trump’s EPA moving to loosen radiation limits
WASHINGTON (AP) — The EPA is pursuing rule changes that experts say would weaken the way radiation exposure is regulated, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight.
The government’s current, decades-old guidance says that any exposure to harmful radiation is a cancer risk. And critics say the proposed change could lead to higher levels of exposure for workers at nuclear installations and oil and gas drilling sites, medical workers doing X-rays and CT scans, people living next to Superfund sites and any members of the public who one day might find themselves exposed to a radiation release.
The Trump administration already has targeted a range of other regulations on toxins and pollutants, including coal power plant emissions and car exhaust, that it sees as costly and burdensome for businesses. Supporters of the EPA’s proposal argue the government’s current model that there is no safe level of radiation — the so-called linear no-threshold model — forces unnecessary spending for handling exposure in accidents, at nuclear plants, in medical centers and at other sites.
At issue is Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on transparency in science.
EPA spokesman John Konkus said Tuesday: “The proposed regulation doesn’t talk about radiation or any particular chemicals. And as we indicated in our response, EPA’s policy is to continue to use the linear-no-threshold model for population-level radiation protection purposes which would not, under the proposed regulation that has not been finalized, trigger any change in that policy.”
Aid slowly is tricking to Indonesian disaster-hit areas
PALU, Indonesia (AP) — Aid was trickling into areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck a central Indonesian island, with one neighborhood’s residents clapping, cheering and high-fiving in their excitement Wednesday at seeing a stopped truck laden with supplies.
“I’m so happy,” said Heruwanto, 63, who goes by one name. He was clutching a box of instant noodles. “I really haven’t eaten for three days.”
Food, water, fuel and medicine had yet to reach the hardest-hit areas outside Palu, the largest city heavily damaged in Friday’s disasters. Many roads were broken and split by the violent shaking or are blocked by debris and communications lines are down in the damage zone.
“We feel like we are stepchildren here because all the help is going to Palu,” said Mohamad Taufik, 38, from the town of Donggala, where five of his relatives are still missing. “There are many young children here who are hungry and sick, but there is no milk or medicine.”
The official death toll is 1,234 and hundreds were injured, but officials acknowledge scores of uncounted bodies could still be buried in collapsed buildings in Sigi and Balaroa.
Amazon jumps out ahead of its rivals and raises wages to $15
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, the business that upended the retailing industry and transformed the way we shop for just about everything, is jumping out ahead of the pack again, announcing a minimum wage of $15 an hour for its U.S. employees that could force other big companies to raise their pay.
The online giant also said it will push Congress to increase the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25.
Given Amazon’s size and clout, the move Tuesday is a major victory for the $15-an-hour movement, which has organized protests of fast-food, gas station and other low-paid workers. Already, several states and cities have raised their minimum wages above the federal one.
Amazon, whose value topped an awesome $1 trillion in September, has been under political and economic pressure to pay its employees more.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
Watchdog: US unprepared for ‘zero tolerance’ immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigration officials were not prepared this summer to manage the consequences of a “zero tolerance” policy at the Southwest border, which resulted in the separation of nearly 3,000 children from their parents, Homeland Security’s watchdog said in a report made public on Tuesday.
The resulting confusion along the border led to misinformation among separated parents who did not know why they had been taken from their children or how to reach them, longer detention for children at border facilities meant for short-term stays, and difficulty in identifying and reuniting families. And backlogs at ports of entry may have pushed some into illegally crossing the U.S-Mexico border, the report found.
While the Trump administration had been widely criticized for the policy, the criticism previously came mostly from political opponents and not from independent, nonpolitical investigators.
Investigators with Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General compiled the report after speaking with about 50 immigration employees, plus 17 detainees and parents who had been separated from their children and later released. They also reviewed documents and data. Homeland Security is the umbrella department for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Homeland Security officials say the report illustrates how difficult it is to enforce broken and poorly written immigration laws. The inspector general, they said, wrongly mixed up what happens to migrants caught crossing illegally between borders with migrants who come to legal ports of entry seeking asylum.
‘A scary time’: Trump taps fears of #Metoo run amok
WASHINGTON (AP) — Men of America, be afraid. This could happen to you.
That’s the alarm President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are increasingly sounding as they try to defend their Supreme Court nominee from sexual assault allegations. The three-decade-old accusation facing Brett Kavanaugh is not only false, they argue, but an example of the #MeToo movement gone too far in its call to believe the women — and not the men. It’s a message that looks to channel the frustration and anxieties of the party’s bedrock voters — white men — just weeks before an election.
This is “a scary time,” Trump said Tuesday. “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. You can be somebody that was perfect your entire life and somebody could accuse you of something … and you’re automatically guilty.”
At a campaign rally later in Mississippi, Trump pretended to be a son asking his mother how to respond to such an accusation. “It’s a damn sad situation,” Trump said.
Trump also mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, for her Senate testimony last week. He imitated Ford responding “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember” to questions about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago.
Some blacks see a racial double standard in Kavanaugh case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Marcus Dixon was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in Georgia for having sex with an underage white girl when he was 18. Dayonn Davis, another black youth, got a five-year prison sentence for stealing a $100 pair of shoes at gunpoint when he was 15.
It’s cases like those that minorities and others point to with frustration when they hear some of Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders say the sexual assault and underage-drinking accusations against the Supreme Court nominee fall under the category of “Boys will be boys.”
Some see a racial double standard at work, complaining that when young blacks get into trouble, their actions rarely are viewed as youthful folly in the way that the misdeeds of privileged whites are.
“I think there is a very distinct difference between the benefit of the doubt that is extended to black males and to white males,” said Jarvis DeBerry, columnist and deputy opinion editor of NOLA.com/Times Picayune.
Studies show young blacks are often perceived as older and less innocent than whites their age, a phenomenon some say translates all too often into African-American youths being demonized as “thugs,” arrested, incarcerated and sometimes killed.
Poll: Half of young Americans see better financial future
About half of young Americans expect to be financially better off than their parents, according to a new poll, a sign that the dream of upward mobility is alive but somewhat tempered.
The poll, by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, found that half of 15- to 26-year-olds think they eventually will be better off than their parents in terms of household finances. About 29 percent expect to do as well as their parents, and 20 percent expect to be worse off.
Parents were slightly more optimistic: 60 percent think their children will do better than they did, a view that held true for parents across all income groups. Overall, only 12 percent of parents said that they felt their children might do worse.
It’s no longer a guarantee that children will achieve upward income mobility. About half of the Americans born in 1984 earned more at age 30 than their parents, down from 92 percent in 1940, according to the study by famed economist Raj Chetty and others that was released in 2016.
Jennifer Narvaez, 23, is among those who anticipates her financial future will be a bit brighter than that of her parents. Narvaez said she expects to have more opportunities as a college graduate to get a job and own a home than her parents, who grew up in Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States. The Miami resident holds an undergraduate degree in biology and is planning on attending medical school to become a cardiologist.