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NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  SEPTEMBER  19, 2018    NEWS

Trump: Dems' handling of Kavanaugh accuser is 'obstruction'
President Trump blamed Democrats Tuesday for “obstruction” of his Supreme Court nominee but said all sides should have a chance to have their say now that allegations have been raised about Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. Mr. Trump told reporters he hasn’t spoken to Judge Kavanaugh since allegations of an attempted sexual assault were belatedly raised by Democrats last week, months after they first learned of them. But the president said he remains firmly behind his pick. “He can handle himself better than anybody, he’s a very outstanding man,” he said. “I’m very supportive. Few people that I’ve ever seen have been so outstanding as Judge Kavanaugh.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: There is no question that the Dems want to obstruct.

Kavanaugh, accuser set for high-stakes Senate showdown
Senate Republicans retreated from plans to have Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court by Oct. 1, and instead said they’ll call him back to Congress to testify next week about allegations of a decades-old attempted sexual assault. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has now made her allegations public, will also appear — setting up an incredibly high-stakes showdown between Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, with the Supreme Court vacancy on the line. “Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said. He canceled a committee vote that had been slated for Thursday, and instead set the hearing with both Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford for next Monday. Washington Times

Trump accuses China of trying to sway U.S. midterms with retaliatory tariffs
 President Donald Trump accused China on Tuesday of seeking to interfere in the U.S. congressional elections by slapping tariffs on products from politically pivotal states, even though it was the president who instigated the latest fight by imposing $200 billion in new tariffs on Beijing. "China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me," Trump tweeted. China's Finance Ministry said it increased tariffs on U.S. goods to fight back against “unilateralism and protectionism of the United States.” It appealed for “pragmatic dialogue” to “jointly safeguard the principle of free trade and the multilateral trading system,” in a statement on its website. USA Today
VOA VIEW: China will lose and trade war with the US.

Stormy Daniels memoir accuses Trump of sex, lies and cheating
The British media outlet The Guardian has obtained a copy of porn actress Stormy Daniels' soon-to-be released memoir "Full Disclosure," and the tale apparently is as salacious as the title would indicate. Daniels explains her claim that she slept with President Donald Trump in 2006, why she decided to sign a $130,000 hush agreement in the days preceding Trump's 2016 election, and why she later decided to go public with her story. The White House declined comment on the book Tuesday. Trump previously has denied the tryst but acknowledged repaying his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000. Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance violations and other charges. USA Today

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Leaders Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae-in meet in Pyongyang
North Korea blocked roads from Pyongyang International Airport to the city center for a car parade Tuesday to welcome South Korean President Moon Jae-in. thousands of citizens took to the streets and waved flowers, the North Korean national and Korean peninsula flags, as Moon and Kim Jong Un stood in an open car. Video footage showed the two leaders arriving at the North's state residence, Baekhwawon State Guesthouse, ahead of a luncheon. The two leaders had their first round of summit talks at the headquarters of the North's ruling Worker's Party on Tuesday. About 50 in the South Korean delegation, which consists of business leaders, politicians and major cultural, sports and religious figures, arrived in Pyongyang with Moon. Heads of South Korea's major conglomerates -- Samsung, SK, LG and Hyundai Motors -- met North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ri Ryong-nam, who's in charge of economic affairs. UPI

Facebook accused of allowing gender bias in job ads
Facebook is discriminating against millions of women by allowing companies to target job advertisements toward men, according to charges filed on Tuesday against the company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A group of job seekers has alleged that Facebook, which has come under fire for its technology allowing landlords to discriminate against African-Americans and other minority groups, helps employers exclude female candidates from recruiting efforts. The job seekers, working with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America, are filing charges against the Menlo Park-based company and ten other firms. FOX
VOA VIEW: Facebook needs to be sanctioned and regulated.

New York Times mistakes Angela Bassett for Omarosa Manigault Newman in embarrassing blunder
The New York Times issued a statement of “regret” after mistaking Angela Bassett for Omarosa Manigault Newman in the print edition of Tuesday’s paper.  The mistake was in a photo caption in which “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan accepted the best actress in a comedy at the 70th Annual Emmy Awards on Monday from presenters Bassett and Tiffany Haddish – but Bassett was identified as the former Trump staffer. The paper blamed the gaffe on a wire service but promised to issue a correction in Wednesday’s paper. Fox

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Hillary Clinton in blistering new attack on Trump: 'Our democracy is in crisis'
Hillary Clinton has unleashed a blazing attack on Donald Trump, accusing the man who beat her in 2016 in the race for the White House of cruelty, negligence, corruption, dishonesty, racism and malevolence that have combined to put democracy in America into crisis. In an afterword to the new paperback edition of her book on her 2016 presidential election defeat, What Happened, Clinton makes her most excoriating takedown yet of Trump’s character and actions since he took office. The essay, published on Monday by the Atlantic, accuses the sitting president of undermining basic democratic values and positioning himself as a tyrant. Guardian

US surgeon and girlfriend suspected of multiple drug rapes
A California surgeon and his girlfriend have been charged with two sexual assaults, and investigators suspect there could be "hundreds" more victims. Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, allegedly attacked two women they met at a bar and a restaurant in 2016. Prosecutors told the BBC "thousands and thousands" of videos of potential victims were on the defendants' phones. Investigators are trying to identify the women in the clips. At a news conference on Tuesday, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said the pair were suspected of using their "clean-cut" looks to lure targets into a false sense of security. BBC

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Kavanaugh accuser has not yet responded to invitation to testify before Senate
The woman who has accused Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, has been invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, but the chairman of the committee, Sen. Charles Grassley, says that she has not responded to the three or four emails sent by the staff over "the last 36 hours." The committee spokesman said that the emails had been sent to her lawyer, and there has been no answer. "We've not heard from them," Grassley said on the "The Hugh Hewitt Show." "So it kind of raises the question, do they want to -- do they want to come to the public hearing or not?"  On Monday, the committee invited both Kavanaugh and Ford to testify on the allegations, delaying the committee's confirmation vote, originally scheduled for Thursday. Kavanaugh accepted the invitation to testify. Mark Judge, who allegedly was also at the party in question in the 1980s, said through his attorney he has no memory of the alleged incident and does not wish to testify publicly. CBS

Florence flooding threat still real: 'Do not try to return home yet,' North Carolina governor pleads
North Carolina's governor on Tuesday pleaded with residents to remain in shelters until flooding from Florence recedes. "I know it was hard to leave home, and it's even harder to wait and wonder whether you have a home to go back to," Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference. "But please, for your safety ... do not try to return home yet." Roads remain dangerous and creeks and rivers continue to rise, he added. About 10,000 people are still in shelters and over 4,000 people have been rescued since the deadly storm made landfall on Friday. ABC

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Fmr. Vice President Al Gore weighs in on President Trump's policies
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell sat down with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss storms and rising sea levels, President Trump’s Puerto Rico comments, trade penalties and more. Gore also weighs in on President Trump’s war with the justice department. “We have gone through worse times. We have bounced back before,” he said. “These elections this November may turn out to be the beginning of a course correction.” MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Foolish!

U.S. fight against Chinese espionage ensnares innocent Americans
Espionage, orchestrated by China, to rip off American trade secrets and intellectual property has been declared a national security emergency by the U.S. Justice Department, costing our economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The Obama administration launched a new strategy to fight back with more aggressive investigations and a greater number of prosecutions, an effort that's intensified under President Trump.  But, as we first reported in 2016, we've discovered the dragnet isn't just catching Chinese spies, it's ensnaring a growing number of Americans who aren't spies at all. Xiaoxing Xi: It was so urgent, the pounding was so urgent that I run here to open the door without even being fully dressed. CBS

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Agreement over buffer zone to spare civilians in Syria’s Idlib welcomed by top UN officials
In a statement, Mr. Guterres also urged all parties in Syria to ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of the country, where a brutal civil conflict has raged for more than seven years. “The Secretary-General stresses the need for swift action to address the root causes of the conflict and forge, at long last, a durable political solution in line with Security Council resolution 2254”, noted the statement, released by his Spokesperson. The agreement, reached between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, aims to avert a full-scale military operation that the UN chief warned last week, could turn the region into a “bloodbath”. The last rebel-held Governorate in Syria, half of Idlib’s population of nearly three million, are internally-displaced civilians, and a million are children. UN

America First Won't Last Much Longer in Stocks, JPMorgan Warns
For the last few months in stocks, the world’s loss has often seemed like America’s gain. The S&P 500 is up almost 9 percent while everything else is down more than 6 percent, taken as a whole. It won’t last. This is the latest warning from JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists led by Marko Kolanovic, who say to cut holdings in U.S. equities and add money in emerging markets. As the benefits from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts dissipate, the world’s largest economy is set to lose its edge in growth, they said. Bloomberg

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Maduro's Turkish feast sparks outrage as Venezuelans go hungry
A viral video showing the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, feasting on a steak prepared by a celebrity chef at a time many in his crisis-racked nation are going hungry has provoked fury from opponents of the embattled socialist leader. Maduro visited the famed Nusr-Et steakhouse in Istanbul when he stopped over briefly in Turkey on the way home from a trip to China to raise investment. In the videos, he can be seen puffing on a cigar from a personalized box while he and the first lady, Cilia Flores, watch the owner, Nusret Gökçe, in dark aviator glasses and a tight black T-shirt, cut into a steak in flamboyant fashion. Guardian

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