Friday morning news: October 5, 2018

Senate nears Kavanaugh vote » After reviewing the FBI’s supplemental report on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, lawmakers are gearing up for a final confirmation vote. The Senate is expected to end debate today, setting up a final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination most likely tomorrow.

Republican leaders said the FBI report revealed nothing lawmakers didn’t already know. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…

MCCONNELL: No backup from any witnesses, including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the people who brought the allegations in the first place. 

But Democrats were unconvinced. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer:

SCHUMER: We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all the facts. 

He said after reviewing the report those fears were realized.

Kavanaugh’s fate will rest in the hands of just a handful of undecided senators. As of Thursday night, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin was the only undecided Democrat. All others plan to vote “no.”

A key Republican, Arizona’s Jeff Flake, appears likely to vote “yes.” Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins, haven’t said which way they’ll vote. But Collins praised the FBI for—quote—“a very thorough investigation.”

New cybercrime charges against Russia » The U.S. and other Western nations leveled a torrent of new allegations against Moscow’s secretive GRU military spy agency on Thursday.

British and Australian authorities accused Russia of being behind the catastrophic cyberattack that caused billions in losses to Ukraine last year and a host of other hacks. British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson…

WILLIAMSON: What we’re seeing is that Russia is quite willing to use such weapons such as cyberattacks against these organizations. 

Hours later, Dutch officials accused GRU agents of attempting to hack into the systems of an international chemical weapons watchdog group. That group had been investigating an April Novichok nerve agent attack in the UK. Officials broadcast photos and a timeline of Russian agents’ alleged actions.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday…

MATTIS: The GRU cyberattack, which has been revealed on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the latest in a worldwide pattern of reckless and irresponsible behavior from Moscow. 

And the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations.

The DOJ said hackers targeted people who publicly supported banning Russian athletes from the Olympics and other competitions and some who simply spoke out against Russia’s state-sponsored doping program.

Russia has once again denied all wrongdoing.

Iran supreme leader promises to ‘slap’ US » AUDIO: [Sound of Khamenei]

Iran’s supreme leader says the Islamic Republic will “slap” the United States by defeating new American sanctions.

AUDIO: [Sound of Khamenei]

Addressing a select group of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Ayatollah Khamenei said he heard President Trump tell European leaders that Iran would collapse in the coming months over American sanctions. He dismissed the idea and said Iran will still not renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.  

U.S. sanctions are set to take full effect next month.

Pence: We will not be intimidated by China » Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused China of trying to undermine the U.S. on trade and other issues.

Pence said China is trying to sew discord within the U.S. using—quote—“wedge issues like trade tariffs to advance Beijing’s political influence.”  

PENCE: Our intelligence community says that China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. 

The remarks came at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Pence also said the administration is prepared to hit China with more tariffs unless Beijing reverses unfair trade practices.

Last week at the UN General Assembly, President Trump accused China of trying to interfere in the upcoming midterm elections in the U.S.

Judge stops end of special immigration protections (KC✓) (JC✓)

The Trump administration is condemning a federal judge’s ruling to stop the government from ending protection for immigrants from four countries in turmoil. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ordered the administration to temporarily stop its plan to end Temporary Protected Status—or TPS—for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

The protection program began in 1990 to aid migrants from countries battling natural disasters or war. Some 300-thousand migrants are in the United States on TPS. The Department of Homeland Security said TPS should end because living conditions had improved in the four countries.

But Chen said the administration failed to establish that the migrants pose any harm and said the decision could break up many families. He also wrote the decision was driven by—quote—“animus against non-white, non-European aliens.”

A Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said the ruling “usurps the role of the executive branch.” Chen set a hearing for October 26th.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. And later—Ask the Editor with Marvin Olasky. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

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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