SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST The Latest: McConnell takes key step toward Kavanaugh vote WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a key procedural step to begin voting on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the…
SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST
The Latest: McConnell takes key step toward Kavanaugh vote
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a key procedural step to begin voting on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The Republican leader filed a motion setting up a Friday vote on whether to limit debate on Kavanaugh and move forward.
A simple majority of 51 votes will be needed for Kavanaugh’s nomination to advance. A final vote could come Saturday.
Senators delayed a vote on Kavanaugh so the FBI could conduct a background investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Kavanaugh denies the allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee expected to receive the report from the FBI Wednesday evening.
A handful of Republicans and Democrats have not decided whether to support Kavanaugh. Their votes will likely decide whether he is confirmed.
POLICE SHOOTING-SOUTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Official IDs dead South Carolina officer
FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — An official has identified a South Carolina police officer who authorities say was killed during a confrontation with a man who held children hostage as he shot seven law enforcement officers.
City of Florence spokesman John Wukela told the Associated Press that Officer Terrence Carraway was fatally shot Wednesday. The conditions of the six other wounded officers have not been released.
Wukela says Carraway had just celebrated 30 years as a police officer in the city.
Authorities say the suspect is in custody. Officials have not released his name or condition.
The Latest: Utah man arrested in sending envelope to Trump
LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Authorities say a Utah man has been arrested in connection with suspicious envelopes sent to President Donald Trump and others.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for Utah said Wednesday that 39-year-old William Clyde Allen III was taken into custody Wednesday in Logan, a small city in northern Utah.
Pentagon authorities say two envelopes were addressed to top military chiefs containing the substance from which the poison ricin is derived.
Another envelope was sent to the president with unknown contents. The Secret Service says it didn’t reach the White House.
A Pentagon spokeswoman says the envelopes addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Navy’s top officer, Adm. John Richardson, contained castor seeds. They were isolated at a mail screening facility and sent to the FBI.
No attorney was immediately listed for Allen.
Little but uncertainty in Indonesian city hit by disasters
PALU, Indonesia (AP) — Life is on hold for thousands living in tents and shelters in the Indonesian city hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.
They are unsure when they’ll be able to rebuild and spend hours each day often futilely trying to secure necessities such as fuel for generators.
Residents whose homes had been destroyed had little but uncertainty on the seventh day since the disasters. But they also had hope more aid would pour into the city of Palu and the surrounding Donggala district on the island of Sulawesi.
The official toll has surpassed 1,400 deaths with thousands injured and 70,000 residents displaced. The death toll was expected to increase, but officials said rescue crews had reached all affected areas.
The U.N. announced a $15 million allocation to bolster relief efforts.
NORTH KOREA-CYBER THEFT
NKorea said to have stolen a fortune in online bank heists
WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests have stopped, but its hacking operations to gather intelligence and raise funds for the sanction-strapped government in Pyongyang may be gathering steam.
U.S. security firm FireEye is raising the alarm over a North Korean group it says has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by infiltrating the computer systems of banks around the world since 2014. It says the group is still operating and poses “an active global threat.”
That is part of a wider pattern of malicious state-backed cyber activity that has led the U.S. to identify North Korea as one of its main online threats.
Last month, the Justice Department charged a North Korean hacker said to have conspired in cyberattacks, including against Bangladesh’s central bank.
North Korea has denied involvement in cyberattacks.
COLOMBIA-DEA PROSTITUTION PROBE
DEA’s high-profile Colombia post roiled by misconduct probes
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — New turmoil has roiled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s high-profile office in Colombia, where at least three agents have left in recent months amid investigations into alleged misconduct.
That includes accusations one passed secrets to drug cartels and another used government resources to hire prostitutes.
The scrutiny begins with the DEA’s ranking official in South America. Richard Dobrich is under investigation after the agency received an anonymous complaint saying he directed Colombian drivers working for the U.S. Embassy in Bogota “to procure sex workers.”
That’s according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Associated Press and current and former law enforcement officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Dobrich says the accusation is false and his recent retirement had nothing to do with the probe.
The Latest: Wireless alert sounds across the US at 2:18 EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic devices sounded off across the United States Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management agency conducted an emergency alert test.
The tone sounded at 2:18 p.m. EDT. The subject read: “Presidential Alert” and text read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
It is the first test of the national wireless emergency system by FEMA. The message was broadcast on cell towers for 30 minutes. Some people got the alert multiple times. Others didn’t get it at all.
FEMA estimated about 225 million electronic devices, or about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, would receive the alert. It hasn’t said yet whether the test went well.
The system test is for a high-level “presidential” alert that would be used only in a nationwide emergency. The goal is to have phones get the alert at the same time.
RONALDO-RAPE LAWSUIT-THE LATEST
The Latest: Lawyers: Ronaldo accuser suffers from depression
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lawyers for a Nevada woman who has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her say a psychiatrist determined she suffers post-traumatic stress and depression because of the alleged 2009 attack in Las Vegas.
Kathryn Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Stovall, told reporters Wednesday that the psychiatrist’s medical opinion is that Mayorga’s psychological injuries made her “incompetent” to legally reach a non-disclosure settlement with Ronaldo’s representatives in 2010.
Mayorga filed a lawsuit last week in state court seeking to void the agreement she signed while accepting $375,000 to keep quiet about the alleged encounter.
Ronaldo has denied the accusations of rape against him, saying Wednesday on Twitter that he had a “clear conscience” as he awaits the conclusions of an investigation.
Las Vegas police say they’ve reopened their investigation of a sexual assault complaint that Mayorga filed nine years ago.
China orders actress Fan Bingbing to pay massive tax fine
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese media say tax authorities have ordered X-Men star Fan Bingbing to pay taxes and fines worth hundreds of millions of yuan but would spare her from criminal prosecution.
The official Xinhua News Agency’s announcement Wednesday ended months of speculation over the fate of the actress since she disappeared from public view in June amid reports she was being investigated for tax fraud.
The report gave no indication as to Fan’s whereabouts but indicated her agent was being held by police for allegedly obstructing the investigation.
Xinhua cited tax authorities as saying Fan would not be held criminally accountable as long as she paid the fines and taxes on time.
The report described unpaid taxes, fines and late fees amounting to nearly 900 million yuan or over $130 million.
The Latest: Tribe is concerned about Arizona dam’s integrity
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities still are concerned about the integrity of a 22-foot-high earthen dam in southern Arizona that was at risk of failing and flooding a small tribal village.
Tohono O’odham (TOH’-oh-no OH’-tum) Nation spokesman Matt Smith said Wednesday that the water level at Menagers Dam had fallen about 4 feet (1.2 meters).
Earlier in the day, runoff from rain dropped by the remnants of Hurricane Rosa had lifted the water level to just a foot (0.3 meters) below the top of the dam.
Isolated areas near the dam have seen 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimeters) of rain over the past three days.
The tribe had been coordinating the evacuation of Ali Chuk, a Native American community with 162 people.
With more rain forecast for the end of this week, tribal officials say they are assembling an engineering team to inspect the dam.