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At least 128 people were arrested on Capitol Hill Monday protesting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been publicly accused of sexual assault by two women. Bob Bland, co-president of the Women’s March, helped organize the mass civil disobedience.
Bob Bland: “Women from all over the country have come to Washington to put their bodies on the line, to say we will not go back, we believe survivors, and to say, look at all of the thousands of women and allies who are here today. Women are to be believed, to be trusted. And we will always come out for each other, because we have each other’s backs.”
On Monday night, Brett Kavanaugh and his wife sat down for an interview with Fox News. It was his first public comment since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused the judge of attempting to rape her when she was 15 years old. Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh: “No. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever. I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.”
He would not answer the question whether the FBI should investigate. Both Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself and thrusting his penis in her face during a college party in a dorm room when they were both students at Yale University. In addition, attorney Michael Avenatti says a third woman will come forward before Thursday with new evidence against Kavanaugh.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was at the center of attention Monday as rumors swirled that he was about to resign or be fired by President Trump. But for now Rosenstein still has his job. He is scheduled to meet with the president on Thursday. This comes days after The New York Times reported Rosenstein had suggested secretly recording President Trump in the White House and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office for being unfit. Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, called the Times report “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” Some have said his remark about wiring the president was sarcastic.
The Dallas Police Department has fired the white police officer who shot and killed a 26-year-old black man in his own apartment. The officer, Amber Guyger, entered Botham Jean’s apartment and opened fire, killing him on September 6. Police claim the officer believed it to be her apartment. While Guyger was charged with manslaughter after the shooting, she remained on the police force until Monday. The announcement of her firing came on the same day Botham Jean’s family buried his body in his home country of St. Lucia.
In news on Hurricane Florence, a new study says rising sea levels in the Carolinas fueled a stronger storm surge, leading to far more destruction in the region than would have otherwise been possible. Researchers are estimating that sea level rise over the past five decades led to 11,000 homes being damaged that would not have suffered damage previously. Steven McAlpine of the First Street Foundation said, “Even though the impact of Hurricane Florence continues to be felt, we already know that sea level rise has made the damage significantly worse, as observed with other recent storms.” Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on tides for the Carolinas show an average rise in sea level of about six inches since 1970. Climate change is expected to result in even greater sea level rise in the coming years and decades.
At the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in Monday. The meeting came just days after Moon wrapped up a 3-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. President Trump said he expects to meet again with Kim soon, as well.
President Donald Trump: “We’ll be having a second summit with Chairman Kim in the not-too-distant future. The secretary of state will be dealing with that subject, but Mike Pompeo has been in touch with them, and we’ve been in touch with them. And I think within a fairly pretty short period of time, that will be announced it. It will be location to be determined, but we’re both very much looking forward to having it.”
Meanwhile, President Trump announced on Twitter this morning that he would not be meeting with the president of Iran during the U.N. gathering. Trump wrote, “Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!” Over the weekend Iran blamed the United States for being behind an attack that killed 29 people during a military parade in the city of Ahvaz. Trump is addressing the U.N. General Assembly today.
Russia has announced plans to provide Syria with an advanced S-300 missile defense system. The move comes just days after Syrian missiles accidentally shot down a Russian military aircraft, killing 15 crew members. The downing occurred as Israeli jets attacked targets in Latakia province. Israel and the United States decried Russia’s move, describing it as a significant escalation to the war.
Top Trump administration officials are saying U.S. forces will remain in Syria for the indefinite future. National Security Adviser John Bolton told the Associated Press on Monday, “We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis also confirmed U.S. troops would be staying, but said their focus remains on fighting militants tied to ISIS.
In news from Mexico, a newspaper journalist in the southern state of Chiapas has been assassinated after reporting on corruption involving a local member of Congress. Mario Gómez Sánchez becomes at least the ninth journalist killed in Mexico this year. He was killed on Friday when two attackers on motorbikes approached him and opened fire.
The Trump administration is moving toward overturning an Obama-era safety rule that required trains carrying oil and other flammable material to have a modern electronically controlled braking system. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is arguing such a braking system would be too expensive. Such trains are sometimes referred to as bomb trains because of the danger they pose to local communities. In 2013, 47 people died in Quebec when a runaway train carrying volatile crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale exploded. Since 2010 there have been at least 20 derailments in the United States and Canada involving trains carrying oil and ethanol.
Winners of this year’s Right Livelihood Award have been announced. The prize is widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” This year’s winners are anti-corruption champions Thelma Aldana of Guatemala and Iván Velásquez of Colombia; three imprisoned civil and human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia, Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair; a farmer from Burkina Faso named Yacouba Sawadogo and the Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo.