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Democrats Say Rosenstein Firing Would Be a Gift

October 1, 2018 at 7:19 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Reuters: “Democratic Party sources and strategists say they know that if Trump fires Rosenstein, he will ignite a firestorm of accusations that the president is attempting to shut down the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election he won.”

“That will likely bolster their argument that Democrats should gain power to serve as a check on the presidency.”

“This week, Trump is due to hold his first meeting with Rosenstein since a Sept. 21 New York Times report said he considered secretly recording the president as part of a possible effort to remove him from office.”



Las Vegas Strip Will Go Dark to Mark One Year Since Mass Shooting

Source: The Daily Beast

The iconic Las Vegas Strip will go dark Monday night to mark a year since a mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured over 400. Gunman Stephen Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition at a country music festival crowd from his high-rise hotel room exactly a year ago. The Strip will go dark at 10:01 p.m.—the time of the shooting—and elsewhere the police department will host a remembrance ceremony, a prayer vigil will be held at City Hall, a new memorial wall will be dedicated, and a reading of the names of victims will take place at the Community Healing Garden site. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said: “The people of Nevada will never forget this tragic day, and hold the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in their thoughts and prayers.”



Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/las-vegas-strip-will-go-dark-to-mark-one-year-since-mass-shooting

Trump Administration Prepares a Major Weakening of Mercury Emissions Rules

Source: The New York Times

By Coral Davenport
Sept. 30, 2018

The Trump administration has completed a detailed legal proposal to dramatically weaken a major environmental regulation covering mercury, a toxic chemical emitted from coal-burning power plants, according to a person who has seen the document but is not authorized to speak publicly about it.

The proposal would not eliminate the mercury regulation entirely, but it is designed to put in place the legal justification for the Trump administration to weaken it and several other pollution rules, while setting the stage for a possible full repeal of the rule.

Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who is now the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected in the coming days to send the proposal to the White House for approval.

The move is the latest, and one of the most significant, in the Trump administration’s steady march of rollbacks of Obama-era health and environmental regulations on polluting industries, particularly coal. The weakening of the mercury rule — which the E.P.A. considers the most expensive clean air regulation ever put forth in terms of annual cost to industry — would represent a major victory for the coal industry. Mercury is known to damage the nervous systems of children and fetuses.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/30/climate/epa-trump-mercury-rule.html

A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 1, 2018, on Page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Prepares Major Weakening of Mercury Rules.

China Cancels High-Level Security Talks With the U.S.

Source: The New York Times

By Jane Perlez
Sept. 30, 2018

BEIJING — China canceled an important annual security meeting planned for mid-October with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Beijing, saying a senior Chinese military officer would not be available to meet him, an American official said on Sunday.

The decision to withdraw from the high-level encounter, known as the diplomatic and security dialogue, was the latest sign of bad blood between China and the United States, and capped a week of tit-for-tat actions by both nations as they settled into a newly chilly relationship.

The cancellation of the dialogue, an event that China until recently had advertised as a productive way for the two sides to talk, showed how quickly the tensions over an escalating trade war have infected other parts of the relationship, particularly vital strategic concerns including Taiwan, arms sales and the South China Sea.

A senior American foreign policy official summarized the administration’s attitude to China last week, telling a crowd at the celebration of national day at the Chinese Embassy in Washington that the United States was intent on competing with China — brittle language that is usually absent from formal events.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/30/world/asia/china-us-security-mattis.html

Iran Revolutionary Guard launches missiles into Syria over parade attack

Source: NBC News

The force alleged that "terrorists" are supported and guided by the United States in line with "satanic" plans of the White House.

by Associated Press / Oct.01.2018 / 3:06 AM EDT / Updated 5:26 AM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said Monday that it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting militants the force blames for a recent attack on a military parade in Iran.

The launch was the Islamic republic's second such missile attack on Syria in over a year.

Iranian state television and the state-run IRNA news agency said the missiles "killed and wounded" militants in Syria, without elaborating. Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the strike.

The TV aired footage of one of its reporters standing by as one of the missiles was launched, identifying the area as being in Iran's western province of Kermanshah. A state TV-aired graphic suggested the missiles flew over central Iraq near the city of Tikrit before landing near the city of Abu Kamal, in the far southeast of Syria.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-revolutionary-guard-launches-missiles-syria-over-parade-attack-n915256

Outside counsel tells Republican senators 'reasonable prosecutor' would not bring Ford case...

Source: CNN

Outside counsel tells Republican senators 'reasonable prosecutor' would not bring Ford case against Kavanaugh

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT) October 1, 2018

Washington (CNN)In a memorandum to Republican senators, Rachel Mitchell says a "reasonable prosecutor" would not bring a case against Brett Kavanaugh based on Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault allegation given the evidence presented to the Judiciary Committee.

But Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor hired by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans who questioned Ford last Thursday, also notes, "A Senate confirmation hearing is not a trial, especially not a prosecution."

Mitchell cites inconsistencies in Ford's statements to the committee, The Washington Post, and her therapist about the alleged assault, which Ford alleges took place when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.

Mitchell also notes the lack of corroboration of Ford's account, including recalling details that could back her story.

Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/30/politics/rachel-mitchell-kavanaugh-ford/index.html

In memo, outside prosecutor argues why she would not bring criminal charges against Kavanaugh

By Seung Min Kim
September 30 at 11:07 PM

The outside prosecutor Senate Republicans hired to lead the questioning in last week's hearing about the sexual assault allegations against Brett M. Kavanaugh is arguing in a new memo why she would not bring criminal charges against the Supreme Court nominee.

In the five-page memo, obtained by The Washington Post, Rachel Mitchell outlines more than half a dozen reasons why she thinks the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford -- who has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a house in suburban Maryland when they were teenagers in the early 1980s -- has some key inconsistencies.

"A 'he said, she said' case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that," Mitchell writes in the memo, sent Sunday night to all Senate Republicans. "Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them."

Mitchell continued: "For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the [Senate Judiciary] Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard."

The memo is likely to prompt significant pushback from Democratic senators, who have argued that Ford is not on trial and that Kavanaugh is merely interviewing for a job. But the memo is clearly aimed at assuaging the concerns of a handful of GOP senators who are on the fence about whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh and are considering whose story -- Ford's or Kavanaugh's -- to believe.


James Comey: The F.B.I. Can Do This

Despite limitations and partisan attacks, the bureau can find out a lot about the Kavanaugh accusations in a week.

By James Comey
Mr. Comey is the former F.B.I. director.

Sept. 30, 2018

The F.B.I. is back in the middle of it. When we were handed the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2015, the bureau’s deputy director said to me, “You know you are totally screwed, right?” He meant that, in a viciously polarized political environment, one side was sure to be furious with the outcome. Sure enough, I saw a tweet declaring me “a political hack,” although the author added, tongue in cheek: “I just can’t figure out which side.”

And those were the good old days. President Trump’s decision to order a one-week investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, comes in a time of almost indescribable pain and anger, lies and attacks.

We live in a world where the president routinely attacks the F.B.I. because he fears its work. He calls for his enemies to be prosecuted and his friends freed. We also live in a world where a sitting federal judge channels the president by shouting attacks at the Senate committee considering his nomination and demanding to know if a respected senator has ever passed out from drinking. We live in a world where the president is an accused serial abuser of women, who was caught on tape bragging about his ability to assault women and now likens the accusations against his nominee to the many “false” accusations against him.

Most disturbingly, we live in a world where millions of Republicans and their representatives think nearly everything in the previous paragraph is O.K.

In that world, the F.B.I. is now being asked to investigate, on a seven-day clock, sexual assaults that the president says never happened, that some senators have decried as a sham cooked up to derail a Supreme Court nominee, and that other senators believe beyond all doubt were committed by the nominee.


House GOP cancels Yoder (KC-area) ad buys

BY REID WILSON - 09/30/18 01:24 PM EDT

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has canceled more than 1 million dollars in planned advertising aimed at helping Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) in the coming weeks.

The decision to cut advertising, described to The Hill by a source familiar with the NRCC's strategic thinking, is a hint that Republicans are pessimistic about Yoder's chances of holding his Kansas City-area district.

Yoder has had significant help from outside groups already. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the largest super PAC backing Republican candidates, has spent about $1.8 million on television advertisements on his behalf. The group still has $750,000 booked in the Kansas City media market for the election's final four weeks.

But the NRCC, which faces a huge battlefield in a political environment in which Democrats have an edge, will use its money elsewhere. The committee was slated to spend $1.2 million on ads beginning October 9.

Yoder has represented the district since winning election in 2010, when he replaced Democrat Dennis Moore. Yoder has never faced a particularly stiff challenge from a Democrat, though he only took 51 percent of the vote in 2016.


Trump knocks 'Saturday Night Live' after season premiere: 'It is just a political ad for the Dems'

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 09/30/18 01:13 PM EDT

President Trump on Sunday bashed "Saturday Night Live" after its season premiere, claiming that the show "is just a political ad for the Dems."

The president in a tweet claimed he does not watch the show, despite previously hosting it and regularly being a focal point of its sketches.


"Saturday Night Live" opened its 44th season with actor Adam Driver hosting and West, a vocal Trump supporter, serving as the musical guest.

The opening of the show skewered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's fiery testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, mocking how frequently he referenced his affinity for beer and his use of a calendar from 1982 as proof that he did not attend a party where Christine Blasey Ford alleged he sexually assaulted her that year.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/409147-trump-knocks-snl-after-season-premiere-it-is-just-a-political-ad-for

Hundreds of Migrant Children Quietly Moved to a Tent Camp on the Texas Border

Source: The New York Times

By Caitlin Dickerson
Sept. 30, 2018

In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in South Texas.

Until now, most undocumented children being held by federal immigration authorities had been housed in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room. They received formal schooling and regular visits with legal representatives assigned to their immigration cases. But in the rows of sand-colored tents in Tornillo, Tex., children in groups of 20, separated by gender, sleep lined up in bunks. There is no school: The children are given workbooks that they have no obligation to complete. Access to legal services is limited.

These midnight voyages are playing out across the country, as the federal government struggles to find room for more than 13,000 detained migrant children — the largest population ever — whose numbers have increased more than fivefold since last year.

The average length of time that migrant children spend in custody has nearly doubled over the same period, from 34 days to 59, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees their care.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/30/us/migrant-children-tent-city-texas.html
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