Friday morning news: September 28, 2018

Ford and Kavanaugh testify » Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford both gave emotional testimony to lawmakers Thursday.

Ford told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee her version of events from a house party in 1982. 

FORD: I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school. 

Ford, under oath, repeated her allegation that a teenaged Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in a bedroom at one point covering her mouth to keep her from screaming. Ford said she was able to escape only because Kavanaugh was severely intoxicated.

She testified that she vividly remembers the incident and she responded to a question from Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar with a description of details she remembers from that night.

FORD: The bed on the right side of the room—as you walk into the room, there was a bed to the right and the bathroom in close proximity; the laughter, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so.

She also told lawmakers she is certain that Kavanaugh was the boy who assaulted her.

But hours later, an equally impassioned Brett Kavanaugh was adamant he never assaulted Ford or anyone else.

KAVANAUGH: I swear today under oath before the Senate and the nation, before my family and God, I am innocent of this charge. 

Kavanaugh also said allegations by two other women reported in the media in recent days are also entirely false. And he came out swinging at Democratic lawmakers. He noted that ranking member Dianne Feinstein kept Ford’s allegation under wraps for almost two months and said the timing of each allegation is no coincidence. 

KAVANAUGH: After I have been in the public arena for 26 years without even a hint, a whiff, of an allegation like this, and when my nomination to the Supreme Court was just about to be voted on, this onslaught of last-minute allegations does not ring true.

GOP lawmakers also said Democrats calling for the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background check are simply trying to delay the process.

Republicans said there simply is no convincing evidence to corroborate Ford’s allegation. Kavanaugh must be presumed innocent and they intend to move forward with today’s planned committee vote. 

President Trump: I would like to keep Rosenstein » President Trump postponed a planned Thursday meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein yesterday. The White House said it didn’t want to interfere with the ongoing Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.

Rosenstein has denied media reports that he discussed secretly recording Trump and that he suggested invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unfit.

President Trump said Thursday… 

TRUMP: I’m talking to him. We had a good talk. He said he never said it. He said he doesn’t believe it. He said he has a lot of respect for me, and he was very nice. We’ll see.

He added “My preference would be to keep him” and allow him to keep working.

Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. He appointed Mueller last year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. 

British investigators ID poisoning suspect as Russian colonel » A British investigative group says it has discovered the real identity of one of the suspects in the Novichok nerve agent attack in the UK. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The online investigative group Bellingcat released a report Wednesday stating that Ruslan Boshirov is actually Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga a highly decorated officer  in the Russian GRU military intelligence agency.

Britain has charged Boshirov and Alexander Petrov in the March Novichok attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Scripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. But British investigators acknowledged their names were likely aliases.

Bellingcat connected Boshirov to passports of Chepiga from 2003 and 2009, adding it also received tips from former Russian military officials.

Russia claims both men are innocent ordinary citizens.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Rising rivers still threaten some in South Carolina » Rising rivers are still threatening some communities in South Carolina today.

Thousands of residents along the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers were told to evacuate earlier this week as floodwaters from Florence flow south toward the Atlantic.

Officials had expected rivers to crest around the middle of this week. But Georgetown County Administrator Sal Hemingway said Thursday… 

HEMINGWAY: Now that projection has been pushed back even further to just basically a date range between Friday and Saturday.

The later cresting could mean wider flooding, but Hemingway said “we may not see quite the vertical rise” originally projected.

Emergency officials have warned the swollen rivers could overtake several bridges in Georgetown County. 

Adultery no longer a crime in India » The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law criminalizing adultery. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Calling it archaic and unconstitutional, the five judges voted unanimously to abolish the 158-year-old law.

The law made adultery punishable by up to five years in prison. It penalized men for sexual relations with married women without their husbands’ consent, but it did not allow women to prosecute their adulterous husbands.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said adultery can serve as grounds for divorce, but cannot be judged as a criminal offense.

The ruling is the latest in a string of social reform cases in India. Earlier this month, the court legalized homosexuality.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. And your listener feedback. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Melina Mara/Pool/The Washington Post) Christine Blasey Ford testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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