SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Kavanaugh says he may have been ‘too emotional’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is acknowledging he “might have been too emotional” in Senate testimony but says he can be counted on to be an “even-keeled” judge.
Kavanaugh said Thursday in an op-ed that his “tone was sharp” and he said “a few things” he should not have during testimony to the Judiciary Committee about accusations of sexual misconduct. He forcefully denied the allegations.
Kavanaugh’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal was published on the eve of a key procedural vote in the Senate on his nomination. His column appeared aimed at winning over the three GOP senators who remain undecided.
He wrote that he always treats others with “utmost respect,” and “going forward, you can count on” him to be the “same kind of judge” he’s always been.
Heitkamp says no to Kavanaugh, citing temperament
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s decision to vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination defies her state’s heavy support for President Donald Trump.
But the vote could boost Heitkamp’s standing with independents and women just as she’s in a fight for her political life.
Heitkamp cited Kavanaugh’s temperament on Thursday in announcing her decision. She also said she believes the woman who accused him of a decades-old sexual assault — which Kavanaugh has denied.
Heitkamp is in a close race with Republican Kevin Cramer. Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster who’s not involved in the North Dakota race, says her stance could energize her base by showing she’s up for the fight.
The Latest: Russian envoy rejects reports of cybercrimes
LONDON (AP) — A top Russian diplomat is warning the U.S. that its allegations of cybercrimes by the Russian intelligence could dangerously escalate tensions between the nuclear superpowers.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers.” He added the U.S. allies in Europe should also think about it.
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other international organizations. Britain and the Netherlands accused the Russian GRU intelligence agency of a series of global cybercrimes.
Ryabkov rejected the accusations as unfounded. He said they were intended to support Washington’s claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and create a pretext for new sanctions against Russia.
New York AG fires another salvo at Trump Foundation
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general says in a new court filing that the state has a strong case that President Donald Trump ran his charitable foundation with disregard for state and federal law.
Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing the foundation, saying it broke rules prohibiting charities from engaging in political activity.
Trump’s lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss the case, saying it was politically motivated.
In its latest salvo Thursday, state lawyers reiterated their demand that Trump be barred from being involved in running any charities for 10 years.
They said the foundation was improperly used to benefit Trump personally several times and was turned into a wing of his campaign organization during the 2016 election.
Trump’s lawyers have said any rule violations were minor.
INDONESIA-EARTHQUAKE-RIDING THE WAVE
Crew recount terror of tsunami that dumped ferry in village
WANI, Indonesia (AP) — The captain and crew sailing the Sabuk Nusantara ferry to new owners got the task done and then some.
The hulking ship was bounced like a basketball as a massive earthquake rocked an Indonesian island.
A week after the magnitude 7.5 quake and tsunami, the captain and 20 crew remain on the ferry, waiting for a decision on whether it can be put back to sea.
To the crew, the sudden drop in water level was bewildering and it seemed like the Earth was rising. Petty officer Imat saw the ground get higher and the pier had collapsed, then “I could see a wave, a dark high wave” he couldn’t imagine.
The captain estimated the ferry now lies about 50 meters (yards) from its original position at the dock.
Juan Romero, who aided wounded Robert Kennedy, dies at 68
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The hotel busboy who came to Robert F. Kennedy’s aid when the New York senator was shot in Los Angeles, has died.
The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday that Juan Romero died of Monday in Modesto, California, at age 68.
Longtime friend Rigo Chacon of San Jose tells the Times that Chacon suffered an apparent heart attack several days earlier.
Romero was a teenage busboy in June 1968 when Kennedy walked through the Ambassador Hotel kitchen after his victory in the California presidential primary and an assassin shot him in the head.
Romero held the mortally wounded Kennedy as he lay on the ground, struggling to keep the senator’s bleeding head from hitting the floor.
The moment captured on film haunted Romero for years.
CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD-THE LATEST
The Latest: Alternates say they would’ve convicted officer
CHICAGO (AP) — Two alternate jurors in the trial of white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke say they would have found him guilty in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
The alternates, one man and one woman, made the comments to reporters Thursday evening after Judge Vincent Gaughan dismissed them and sequestered the rest of the jury for the night.
A male alternate says there were a lot of reasons why he would have voted guilty, but he specifically noted that he thought Van Dyke “should have waited a little bit longer.”
The woman says she “leaned towards a guilty verdict” because other officers had encountered McDonald that night and “they didn’t feel the need to use deadly force.”
Three other alternates remain and were not dismissed.
Jurors will resume deliberations Friday morning.
Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon
NEW YORK (AP) — A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to alter plants’ genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.
In a paper in Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification about the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries.
The military research agency says it has been open about its goal to protect the nation’s food supply from threats like drought, crop disease and bioterrorism. It says the State Department was briefed to ensure the work doesn’t violate international treaties.
The project differs from genetically modified seeds because it seeks to alter crops already growing in fields.
Nike ‘deeply concerned’ by ‘disturbing’ Ronaldo rape claims
LONDON (AP) — Nike has told The Associated Press that it’s “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations” facing soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
The emailed statement Thursday from the media department for the U.S. sportswear firm follows the filing of a lawsuit in Las Vegas by a woman who alleges that she was raped by Ronaldo in 2009.
Ronaldo has denied the claims.
In the email, Nike says “we are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Nike has had a contract with Ronaldo, one of the wealthiest and most famous soccer players in the world, since 2003.
WARMING WIND POWER
No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study out of Harvard finds that ramping up wind power in America would also dial up the nation’s temperatures.
The study finds overall that the U.S. would warm a few tenths of a degree if the number of turbines were increased dramatically. That’s because wind mixes the normal layers of warm and cool air in a way that makes the surface toastier.
As Harvard professor David Keith puts it, when it comes to energy production, “there is no free lunch.”
Still, the researchers and other scientists stress that climate change from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels is clearly a far bigger threat globally and over the long term.
And despite the potential drawbacks, they say wind energy still makes more sense for the environment than fossil fuels.
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