Tuesday morning news: September 18, 2018

Both Kavanaugh and accuser willing to testify » Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of assaulting her at a high school house party will be called to testify in the Senate on Monday. That news came just hours after both indicated they were willing to testify under oath.

Attorney Debra Katz represents Kavanaugh’s accuser, 51-year-old Christine Ford who claims a drunken Kavanaugh assaulted her at party in the early 1980’s. 

KATZ: She clearly considers this an attempted rape. She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped. 

Brett Kavanaugh said he is more than willing to testify to—quoting here—“refute this false allegation” and “defend my integrity.”

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a key swing vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation said she personally spoke with the judge about the allegation.

COLLINS: He emphatically denied that the allegations were true. He said that he had never acted that way with any woman. He was absolutely emphatic about that.

Collins said wants to hear Christine Ford’s account firsthand before she makes up her mind. But many, it appeared, already have. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer:

SCHUMER: I believe her. Many, many, many Americans believe her. 

Conversely, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared suspicious of an allegation brought forward—in his words—at the “11th hour.”

MCCONNELL: Now, after Democrats have spent weeks and weeks searching for any possible reason that the nomination should be delayed, now they choose to introduce this allegation.

President Trump said he continues to stand behind Kavanaugh and believes he will be confirmed though he acknowledged the allegations could delay a vote on his confirmation. 

Trump administration hits China with fresh tariffs » The Trump administration is hitting China with another new round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

The 10 percent duty will take effect on Monday, and it will rise to 25 percent in January. The White House says it’s further punishment for Beijing’s unfair trade practices.  

Many analysts believe the move is aimed at putting more pressure on Beijing ahead of planned trade talks later this month. But some fear China may pull out of those talks if President Trump does not reverse course on the new tariffs. 

Trump declassifies documents related to FBI Russia probe » President Trump on Monday declassified a trove of documents related to the FBI’s Russia probe. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has more. 

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: Among the documents the president declassified Monday: 20 pages of the warrant obtained to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Trump also declassified all FBI accounts of interviews with senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Ohr was in contact with the ex-British spy Democrats hired to conduct opposition research on then candidate Donald Trump. That research was compiled into an anti-Trump dossier later used by the FBI.

The president also released the text messages of Ohr, former FBI directors James Comey and Andrew McCabe as well as former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and recently fired special agent Peter Strzok.

The White House said the president declassified the documents “at the request of a number of committees of Congress.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones. 

Trump administration announces new cap for resettling refugees » Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. is slashing the number of refugees allowed into the country next year to 30,000.

The announcement comes despite protests from humanitarian groups that this year’s cap of 45,000 was too low.

The 30,000 ceiling is the maximum the U.S. will admit during the fiscal year that starts October 1st. The actual number allowed could be lower. 

POMPEO: This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country. 

Pompeo said that’s led to a “massive backlog” in asylum cases and “greater public expense.”

The new cap is the lowest number to date since the program began in 1980. 

US accuses Russia of cheating on NoKo sanctions » The United States says Russia is sabotaging efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

At a special meeting of the UN Security Council Monday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said… 

HALEY: Russia is working across the board to undermine the sanctions regime. 

She said Russia is delivering coal and oil to North Korea at sea, transferring the goods ship-to-ship to avoid port security. She added that the U.S. “has evidence of consistent and wide-ranging” violations. She also said Moscow pressured a panel of sanctions monitors to remove Russia from its report on North Korea sanctions. 

HALEY: Russian corruption is like a virus. It is impeding our ability to achieve complete denuclearization in North Korea. Now it has spread to the sanctions reporting process. 

Russia denies it has violated any sanctions. 

Typhoon Mangkhut death toll likely to rise » Typhoon Mangkhut weakened to a tropical storm Monday as it moved farther into southern China. But it’s already left plenty of death and destruction in its wake. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Rescue workers in the Philippines continue to search for survivors after Mangkhut slammed the country on Saturday. Rescuers used pikes, shovels, and heavy equipment to dig through collapsed buildings and terrain.

The storm has killed at least 69 people, although that death toll likely will rise as more than 40 people remain missing in the Philippines.

Chinese officials say at least four people died in Guangdong province.

Forecasters said southern China will continue to receive rains and strong winds through the day today. The Hong Kong Observatory called the typhoon the strongest to hit the city since 1979.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 37/51

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the latest from the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Florence. And Marvin Olasky on choosing colleges. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

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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