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Kavanaugh To Face Sex Assault Accusation

Kavanaugh allegations set stage for Anita Hill sequel. The Hill: "Brett Kavanaugh, a Supreme Court nominee who last week appeared to be cruising toward confirmation, has suddenly found himself in the sequel to the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings of 1991 that rocked Washington and vaulted the issue of sexual harassment into the national spotlight. The Senate Judiciary Committee is now slated to hear public testimony from Kavanaugh and his accuser, much like senators 27 years ago heard additional testimony from Thomas and questioned Hill about her accusations against the then-nominee. President Trump’s pick has been accused by Christine Blasey Ford, a Ph.D.-level research psychologist at Palo Alto University in California, of sexual assault more than three decades ago, when she was a 15-year-old sophomore and he a 17-year-old junior. Longtime observers of Supreme Court confirmation fights see eerily similar parallels between Kavanaugh’s now besieged nomination and the maelstrom that engulfed Thomas in the fall of 1991, which left indelible scorch marks on the Senate."

U.S., China Escalate Trade War

China hits back at Trump with tariffs on $60 billion of US goods. Business Insider: "China has hit back at the US with a fresh series of tariffs less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday that it would levy tariffs of between 5% and 10% on $60 billion of new US goods being imported into China, with 5,207 individual products impacted. They will take effect from September 24. 'In order to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to retaliate as a response,' a statement from the ministry said earlier on Tuesday, before the specifics of the retaliation were released. Overnight, the Trump administration said it had ordered the US trade representative to impose the new tariffs, escalating the US-China trade war. When the new tariffs take effect, over half of all Chinese goods coming into the US will be subject to duties. The US has sought to use tariffs to pressure Beijing to change some of its trade practices."

Trump Slams Door On Refugees

Under Trump, refugee admissions are falling way short — except for Europeans. Vox: "The Trump administration has slammed the brakes on bringing refugees to the US. At the end of its first full fiscal year, new government data shows, the administration is falling way short of the expectations it set for resettling refugees — which were, themselves, way lower than the levels set by President Barack Obama and his predecessors. While refugee arrivals from other parts of the world are down as much as 90 percent from Obama-era levels, resettlements from Europe — specifically, the former Soviet Union — have taken only a modest hit. In the rest of the world, the Trump administration isn’t going to come anywhere close to the “ceilings” it set for the fiscal year ending September 30. Resettlements from Africa are less than half of the 'ceiling.' In the Near East and South Asia, the administration set a fiscal year 2018 ceiling of 17,500 — as of the end of August, with one month of the fiscal year left, it had resettled 3,642. Refugee arrivals from Europe, however, haven’t suffered. In fact, they smashed through their regional “ceiling” months ago, and haven’t slowed down since. To people who already assume that the Trump administration is aiming to slow American demographic change by disfavoring nonwhite immigration, this may not seem surprising. But the reasons for Trump’s apparent refugee exceptions are more complicated than that. In fact, the reasons that European refugees are still coming into the US in higher-than-expected numbers end up revealing why nearly everyone else is not. The Trump administration has deprioritized taking in refugees, from the explicit bans of Trump’s first year to a lack of investment in the infrastructure needed to vet people and bring them over in a timely fashion. The former Soviet Union is the exception that proves the rule."

WH Wants To Gut Social Safety Net After Midterms

Kudlow Confirms Trump and GOP Ready to Gut Safety Net After Midterms. Common Dreams: "As the GOP plows ahead with another round of budget-exploding tax cuts for the rich just before the crucial 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser and former television personality Larry Kudlow confirmed on Monday that the White House will push for cuts to life-saving safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security if the GOP retains control of Congress in November. 'We have to be tougher on spending,' Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, declared in remarks to the Economic Club of New York. Asked when Social Security and Medicare will be targeted for "reforms"—which, as one advocacy group noted, is 'code for massive cuts"—Kudlow said, "Everyone will look at that—probably next year.' 'Believe them when they say they are coming after Medicare and Social Security,' Topher Spiro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote on Twitter in response to Kudlow's comments. 'This election is the last chance to stop them.'"

Border Patrol Agent Charged With Serial Murders

Border Patrol agent targeted vulnerable women. AP: "A Texas prosecutor says a Border Patrol agent targeted a vulnerable community when he killed four women. Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz spoke Monday about the allegations against 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz. He's accused of fatally shooting four women and injuring a fifth who escaped. Alaniz says Ortiz sought out a 'community of people' who were vulnerable 'whether it be because of alcohol, substance abuse, drug addiction or prostitution.' Alaniz noted that all of the victims were shot in the head with a handgun and taken to desolate areas around Laredo. Alaniz says Ortiz 'executed' the victims in a 'cold and callous way.' Alaniz said that investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the killings."

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