Friday morning news: September 7, 2018

Kavanaugh hearing, Day Three » Today is the fourth and likely final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It follows several days of contentious questioning and bickering among senators.  

Tense moments at the start of Day Three on Thursday, when New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker said he planned to release emails from Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush administration that were marked confidential.

Booker said he wanted to draw attention to the lack of transparency in the process. 

BOOKER: We’re rushing through this before me and my colleagues can even read and digest the information. 

But Texas Republican John Cornyn accused Booker of grandstanding as he prepares to run for higher office.

CORNYN: Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of the confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to.

Top Republicans on the committee later released those emails.

Democrats again pressed Kavanaugh for answers about the scope of presidential power and the limits of the law against a sitting president. And the judge repeated… 

KAVANAUGH: No one’s above the law in the United States. That’s a foundational principle that I’ve talked about. 

But Democrats were again frustrated in attempts to get direct answers on questions such as whether a sitting president can be indicted.

The hearing resumes a little after 9 a.m. this morning.

Trump administration fires back at New York Times op-ed » Multiple Trump administration officials reacted Thursday to an op-ed published in The New York Times a day earlier criticizing the president. The paper described the anonymous author as a “senior administration official” voicing doubts and concerns about Trump’s leadership.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said if the op-ed was truly written by a senior administration official, it’s “sad that someone would make that choice.”  

POMPEO: I come from a place where if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option, and that is to leave. And this person instead, according to The New York Times, chose not only to stay but to undermine what President Trump and this administration are trying to do. 

A spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence said the person who wrote the quote—“false, illogical, and gutless op-ed” should be ashamed.

North, South Korea continue nuclear talks » While the president deals with negative press at home, he received more kind words this week from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. That, as officials from South Korea work to jumpstart stalled nuclear negotiations. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: South Korean leaders are set to meet once again with their North Korean counterparts later this month to resume denuclearization talks.  

Following a meeting in Pyongyang with Kim Jong Un this week, a South Korean envoy said Kim wants to keep improving his country’s relationship with the United States.

The U.S. recently called off a planned visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing a lack of progress toward denuclearization.

The head of the South Korean delegation to Pyongyang said Kim told him  he still had faith in Trump. And he said Kim emphasized that he has not once talked negatively about Trump to anyone.

President Trump responded Thursday by tweeting, “Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Japan hit with powerful earthquake » At least nine people are dead and 30 others remain missing after a powerful earthquake hit northern Japan on Thursday. The 6.7 magnitude quake struck Japan’s northernmost main island, Hokkaido, triggering dozens of landslides. Officials said more than 350 people were hurt.

The quake also damaged power plants, leaving 3 million households without power.

And it was just the latest in a string of natural disasters to strike Japan. Six people died earlier this week when Typhoon Jebi struck western Japan.

Burt Reynolds dies » Actor Burt Reynolds has died. He was best known for starring roles in the 1972 Oscar-winning film Deliverance, the 1997 Oscar-nominated Boogie Nights, and of course his biggest hit, Smokey and the Bandit

AUDIO: Now getting to Texarkana and back in 28 hours, that’s no problem.

He was also the voice of Charlie in the animated film All Dogs Go To Heaven

AUDIO: I came to say goodbye. Where you going? Just on a little trip. 

He is survived by his son Vincent, whom he adopted with his second wife, Loni Anderson.

His agent confirmed his death Thursday but did not provide further details. Burt Reynolds was 82.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—a peek behind the stagecraft in Washington. And Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, right, reacts as closing remarks begin in the evening of the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

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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