Wednesday morning news: October 3, 2018

FBI continues Kavanaugh background check » Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate is still on track to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination within next few days.

He stated once more on Tuesday that the Senate will vote as soon as the FBI wraps up its supplemental investigation on the judge.

MCCONNELL: So the FBI report will be finished, and we will be voting this week on the Kavanaugh nomination.

But the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein said it’s too soon to say when senators will be ready to vote.

FEINSTEIN: It’s Tuesday, and we have to put all the facts together.

McConnell added that all senators will receive a copy of the FBI report, but it will not be made public.

Arizona GOP Senator Jeff Flake is one of a handful of Senators who requested the FBI probe. He said Tuesday that the bureau has spoken to several people that Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford identified as people who can at least partially corroborate her claims.  

FLAKE: They interviewed the first four that were named and have branched off from there, is my understanding, and are interviewing additional individuals, as it should be. 

Flake said if investigators find that Kavanaugh has misrepresented the truth in any significant way, he would vote against confirmation.  

Death toll rising from disasters in Indonesia » As rescuers continue to search for survivors in Indonesia, the death toll from a pair of natural disasters continues to rise. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Indonesian officials now say more than 1,300 people have died from the disasters. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the island Friday night, triggering a deadly a tsunami.

In the city of Palu, responders recovered 12 people from a collapsed seven-story hotel, but only three survived. And an Indonesian Red Cross spokeswoman reported that workers recovered the bodies of 34 students after a landslide covered a church at a training center.

And for survivors, the situation is growing more desperate. Trucks carrying relief supplies rolled into Palu Tuesday with a police escort to guard against looters. Four days after the quake and tsunami, supplies of food, water, fuel and medicine had yet to reach the hardest-hit areas. And many survivors still lack basic necessities.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

France condemns Iran for terror plot » France took action against Iran on Tuesday in response to an alleged bomb plot. French authorities say they thwarted a plot to detonate explosives at a rally near Paris for the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran. That’s an Iranian exile group.

French officials yesterday pointed a finger at Tehran as the force behind the plot, as they froze the assets of two Iranians as well as those of the internal security section of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.

In a rare joint statement by France’s interior, economy,  and foreign ministers, they made clear the six-month freeze on the Intelligence Ministry’s internal security section was linked to the alleged bomb plot.

This comes even as France has remained one of the strongest proponents of keeping the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in place.

UK Brexit plan shifts immigration priorities » British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday announced her country’s biggest shift in immigration policy in a generation.

She said after the UK exits the European Union, EU citizens will no longer receive preferential immigration status. Right now, all EU nationals can live and work in Britain under the bloc’s free-movement rules, but that will change after Brexit.

MAY: For the first time in decades it will be the UK government determining how many people and who can come to the United Kingdom. And, yes, this system will be based on skills. It’ll be based not on where somebody comes from, but on how they can contribute to our economy. 

Under the proposals announced at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, applicants from any country wanting to settle in Britain will have to meet a salary threshold. And they’ll only be able to bring their family to live with them if they are sponsored by their employers.

But the government did confirm its previous commitment that all of the 3 million EU citizens currently living in Britain can stay.

First lady Melania Trump visits Africa » AUDIO: [Sound of Melania’s visit]

First lady Melania Trump got a rousing welcome in the West African country of Ghana on Tuesday as she kicked off her first solo trip abroad as first lady. WORLD Africa reporter Onize Ohikere has more.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Melania Trump toured a hospital in the capital city of Accra along with Ghana’s first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo. They greeted hospital staff and passed out teddy bears and blankets to patients.  

Mrs. Trump will also visit Kenya, Malawi, and Egypt on her five-day tour of Africa.

In a statement before leaving Washington, the first lady said she will look into how the U.S. Agency for International Development can continue to help citizens in Malawi. She also highlighted the agency’s programs in Kenya, including early childhood education, wildlife conservation, and HIV prevention.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: surprising news out of California. Plus, Washington Wednesday. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters about the political battle for confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

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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