Friday morning news: September 21, 2018

Kavanaugh accuser faces deadline » Christine Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as a teenager has reportedly told lawmakers she “would be prepared to testify next week” if the terms are fair.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has given Ford until 10 a.m. this morning to provide a copy of her prepared testimony if she plans to testify on Monday.

GRASSLEY: We’ve got to have time for a hearing, and if it’s going to come off, there’s a certain time we’ve got to notify people.

Democrats have been calling for an FBI investigation of the matter before Ford testifies and have accused Republicans of trying bully Ford into testifying. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono…

HIRONO: Really I would call it a railroad job, and it’s totally unfair. 

But Garett Ventry, who is a spokesman for the GOP-controlled Judiciary Committee said the Senate panel is bending over backwards “to find a comfortable setting for Ford” to testify.

VENTRY: We’ve offered an opportunity to a public hearing, a private hearing, to meet with staff; we’ve even offered to fly anywhere around the globe to meet with her.

Republicans say if Ford does not testify next week, the nomination process for Judge Kavanaugh should not be delayed any further.

Three killed in Maryland shooting » A shooting at a Rite Aid warehouse in Maryland Thursday left four people dead, including the shooter. Several others were wounded.

The suspect was a 26-year-old woman, who was a temporary employee at the warehouse in Aberdeen, Maryland. One witness said the suspect had been arguing with somebody in a break room when she just starting shooting indiscriminately. Sheriff Jeff Gahler told reporters:

GAHLER: It appears to be a single weapon that was used, a handgun. And there were no shots fired by any of the law enforcement officers responding at the scene. 

The suspect took her own life after shooting her coworkers. Police are still investigating a possible motive.

That shooting came one day after gunman opened fire at the offices of a software company in Middleton, Wisconsin. The gunman wounded three people before police shot and killed him.

Family members demand answers after two women drown during police transport » Family members of two women who drowned while being transported by sheriff’s deputies in South Carolina Tuesday are demanding answers, after reports that officers knowingly drove into a flooded roadway. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has more.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: Officers Joshua Bishop and Stephen Flood were driving the women to mental-health facilities when they apparently drove the transport van around a road-closure barricade that was blocking a flooded section of the road.

Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson said it can be assumed that the deputies disregarded the barricade.

After floodwaters quickly overtook the van, the officers tried to free the women, but were unable to open the rear doors. The deputies were later rescued from the roof of the vehicle.  

Divers later recovered the bodies of 45-year-old Windy Newton, and 42-year-old Nicolette Green.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

Cardinal hires judge to examine church sex abuse » U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan has appointed retired judge Barbara Jones to review how the Catholic Church handles allegations of abuse. Dolan said Jones will scrutinize procedures and policies and recommend changes where needed.

The Thursday announcement came a day after Catholic bishops set up a hotline for reporting complaints about sexual abuse within the church.

Dolan said recent months have been difficult.

DOLAN: Summer officially ends on Saturday, and I for one am sure glad it’s over. Many of our people and our priests are calling it the summer of hell. 

Two years ago, the Manhattan-based archdiocese where Dolan serves set up a compensation fund for victims of abuse willing to forego lawsuits. It’s paid out about $60 million dollars so far.

Philippines landslide » Another landslide in the central Philippines killed at least 21 people and left dozens of others trapped beneath the rubble.

Mud and debris covered about 30 houses in two of the city’s rural villages. Some of the victims were able to alert authorities by text message shortly after the landslide.

At least 64 people remain missing. The area is still unstable, making rescue efforts difficult.

Typhoon Mangkhut slammed the country’s agricultural region on Saturday … killing at least 88 people.

Abe on course to become Japan’s longest serving prime minister » Japan’s Shinzo Abe is on track to become the country’s longest-serving prime minister. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Abe was re-elected as head of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide Thursday. The prime minister survived a series of scandals to win a third term—and another three years—in office.

Abe will take on several challenges, including Japan’s aging and declining population and the country’s sluggish economy.

But his most ambitious goal is to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution, imposed by the United States after World War II. It currently limits the scope of Japan’s military.

In a victory speech Thursday, Abe said, “It’s time to tackle a constitutional revision.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. Plus, Word Play with George Grant. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

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