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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. President Trump affirmed his support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee facing an allegation of sexual assault, calling the controversy “very unfair.”
Mr. Trump said he wanted to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser, saying, “If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting.”
Dr. Blasey, a researcher and statistician, was reluctant to come forward with her allegation. Here’s how she went from the anonymity of academia to the center of a confirmation fight.
2. The fallout from Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas continues, and officials are concerned about a particularly nasty problem: lagoons of overflowing pig waste. Above, a view of Fayetteville, N.C.
If the untreated slop enters rivers, ecological damage and fish die-offs can follow. And when the runoff gets into groundwater, it can lead to health risks.
Another problem: A small fraction of North Carolina homes at risk of flooding have flood insurance — and the federal flood insurance program won’t pick up the slack.
3. For undocumented families living in fear of deportation, the storm presented a dilemma: Was it safe to seek government help?
When the police are everywhere, one immigrant said, “You feel fear from head to toe.”
Separately, the U.S. cannot account for nearly 1,500 migrant children who entered the country and were placed with sponsors, according to congressional findings.
This has raised concerns that the children could end up with human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the children were not “lost” — their sponsors had simply failed to respond.
4. President Trump visited storm-ravaged areas in North Carolina today, inspecting damage and meeting residents.
He tried to soften his earlier criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but told reporters, “I’m disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons.”
Asked whether he planned to fire Mr. Sessions, the president added, “We are looking at lots of different things.”
5. A new economic Cold War?
As President Trump escalates his trade fight with China, many are worried that strained relations could last for years.
Mr. Trump’s latest round — imposing tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatening to tax nearly all imports from China if it retaliated — has bewildered, frustrated and provoked Beijing. And it’s not clear what the U.S. stands to gain from the pugilistic approach.
As the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma put it, “If you want a short-term solution, there is no solution.”
6. Kim Jong-un of North Korea promised some concrete steps toward denuclearization, including dismantling facilities central to the production of fuel for nuclear warheads.
On Day 2 of a three-day summit meeting with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, Mr. Kim also vowed to visit Seoul. He would be the first North Korean leader to visit the South’s capital.
But Mr. Kim stopped short of agreeing to denuclearize, saying that would happen only if the U.S. took “corresponding” measures, including formally declaring an end to the Korean War.
7. Consider this your field guide to the House races this fall, seven weeks away.
Our political reporters grouped the roughly 75 most competitive districts into five battlefields — not by what part of the country they’re in, but by the social and cultural characteristics they share. (Think “outer suburbs,” “the open West” and “metropolitan melting pots.”)
Our analysis looks at how Democrats and Republicans will try to piece together a House majority from these voting blocs. Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to retake the House.
8. Facebook is setting up a central hub to root out disinformation and false news.
Our reporters got an exclusive look at the social network’s election “war room,” including dashboards designed to track unusual activity.
More than 300 people across the company are working to safeguard elections in the U.S. and abroad.
“We see this as probably the biggest companywide reorientation since our shift from desktops to mobile phones,” the team’s leader said.
9. The editor of The New York Review of Books, Ian Buruma, left his position amid an uproar over the magazine’s publication of an essay by a man accused of sexual assault.
The essay’s author, Jian Ghomeshi, who was acquitted of the charges in 2016, lamented his status as a pariah, “constantly competing with a villainous version of myself online.” Critics derided what they saw as a self-pitying tone and the soft-pedaling of the accusations against him.
In an interview with Slate before his departure, Mr. Buruma defended the decision, saying: “I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be?”
10. Finally, our pop music critic mourns the end of a beloved genre: the celebrity profile.
Since the 1960s, the in-depth interview has been a mainstay of the star-making process and a regular feature of high-level celebrity maintenance.
But now, the famous are saying less (if anything at all), and granting interviews to their friends and sharing on social media instead of talking to journalists. “It’s a shame,” Jon Caramanica writes. “We’ll never know the answers to the questions that aren’t asked.”
Have a great evening.
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