Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 p.m. EDT

September 22, 2018 - 12:00 am


The Latest: Lawyers say Ford to tell her story next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault say she has accepted a Senate committee's request to tell her side next week.

But they want to resume negotiations over the exact terms of her appearance. It's not immediately clear whether the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee will agree to more talks.

Also unclear is what day she might come to Capitol Hill and whether she's offering to speak in a public session or a private one.

Her lawyers' letter to the committee's GOP majority was released just at Saturday deadline set by the chairman, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

As Republicans considered their next move in private talks, they also made it clear they viewed Ford's offer as a way to delay voting on President Donald Trump's pick for the court.


The Latest: US government condemns attack on Iran parade

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — U.S. officials are condemning the attack on an Iranian military parade that killed 25 people and wounded more than 60, saying that "the United States condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives."

A State Department spokeswoman also voiced support for "the Iranian people" following Saturday's bloodshed in the city of Ahvaz in Iran's oil-rich southwest. It was the deadliest terror attack to strike Iran in nearly a decade.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says: "We stand with the Iranian people against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism and express our sympathy to them at this terrible time."


World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming — and also encouraging the glimmer of hope over the nuclear standoff in North Korea.

This year, 133 world leaders are expected to attend the General Assembly session, a significant increase from last year's 114. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the turnout is "eloquent proof" of confidence in the U.N., but other U.N. officials and diplomats say it's in response to concerns about the turbulent world.

Conflicts in Syria and Yemen will certainly be in the spotlight along with Mideast and African hotspots and Iran.


Vatican announces deal with China on bishop appointments

ROME (AP) — The Vatican has announced a breakthrough "provisional agreement" with China on the appointment of bishops, an issue that for decades has caused tensions between the Holy See and Beijing.

Beijing's long-held insistence that it must approve appointments of bishops in China had thwarted improved relations between the two sides. The deal, announced Saturday at the Vatican while Pope Francis was visiting the Baltics, could help pave the way for eventual diplomatic relations and a papal trip to China.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, speaking in Vilnius, Lithuania, told reporters the aim of the accord "is not political but pastoral, allowing the faithful to have bishops who are in communion with Rome but at the same time recognized by Chinese authorities."

He did not immediately provide details about the deal.


Tribal members settle abuse cases against Mormon church

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A lawyer says four Native Americans who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct Mormon church foster program decades ago have filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements.

Craig Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members, says the terms are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing.

Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Four cases recently were settled, three were settled last year and others reached agreements out of court.

One case remains in Washington state.

A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eric Hawkins, declined comment. He says the settlement agreement prohibits any discussion about the terms.


Rosenstein's fate could turn on which account Trump believes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who discussed secretly recording President Donald Trump and possibly suggested removing him from office, could turn on whether Trump believes the account of an ex-FBI official who he once tweeted had "LIED! LIED! LIED!"

The revelation that the No. 2 Justice Department official had even broached those ideas, sarcastically or not, creates greater uncertainty for Rosenstein's job status at a time when Trump has railed against law enforcement leadership as biased against him.

The president on Friday night said there was a "lingering stench" at the Justice Department that "we're going to get rid of," though he didn't name names.


Florence sweeps away motel and family's hard work, savings

SPRING LAKE, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence washed away half the rooms at the Starlite Motel in Spring Lake, North Carolina. What's left will probably have to be demolished.

Co-owner Kishor Depani says he and his brothers had saved for years to purchase the property a few months ago. Now they are hoping that the government can help because they didn't have flood insurance.

Depani said in an interview that he and his two brothers invested much of their life savings in the motel about nine months ago. He said that they had paid off little of their mortgage in that short time and estimates that they still owe the bank between $400,000 and $500,000.


Comcast beats Fox in Sky auction with $39B bid

LONDON (AP) — British regulators say Comcast has beat 21st Century Fox in a rare auction that allowed both sides to bid for European broadcaster Sky.

After three rounds of bidding behind closed doors, Comcast offered the higher price of 17.28 pounds ($22.58) per share, the equivalent of nearly 30 billion pounds ($39 billion). Fox offered 15.67 ($20.47) per share.

The regulator, the Takeover Panel, set up the auction to reduce uncertainty for Sky. It now gives Sky shareholders a firm bid to evaluate after Fox and Comcast engaged in a series of counteroffers.

Fox had long been trying to acquire the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own. Comcast wants to grow its operations in Europe.

Sky is Europe's largest pay-television operator, with 22.5 million customers in seven countries.


Some see signs of hope on North Korea as Trump heads to UN

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea's Kim Jong Un is "little rocket man" no more. President Donald Trump isn't a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard."

In the year since Trump's searing, debut U.N. speech fueled fears of nuclear conflict with North Korea, the two leaders have turned from threats to flattery.

And there's fresh hope that the U.S. president's abrupt shift from coercion to negotiation can yield results in getting Kim to halt, if not abandon, his nuclear weapons program.

Trump will address world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday on the back of an upbeat summit between South and North Korea, where Kim promised to dismantle a major rocket launch site and the North's main nuclear complex if it gets some incentive from Washington.


Trump picks combat over caution in court fight

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Combat won out over caution.

White House aides and congressional allies worked all week to keep President Donald Trump from unloading on the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

But as Kavanaugh's nomination hung in the balance, Trump couldn't contain his frustration any longer. He unleashed a direct Twitter attack on the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago during a high school party.

Friday's tweet landed with a splat in the noxious brew of gender and politics that has taken over a high-stakes confirmation battle playing out against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.

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