Wednesday, September 19, 2018

AP Top News at 11:49 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he would have shaken the hand of a school shooting victim's father during a break in last week's Senate hearing had he recognized him before being whisked away by security detail. Kavanaugh's explanation for the encounter with Fred Guttenberg— captured in an Associated Press photo that went viral on social media — was among a 263-page response to written questions from senators on a range of issues including abortion, executive power and his personal finances. Kavanaugh wrote that he assumed the man who approached him "and touched my arm" during a break at the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings had been one of the many protesters in the hearing room.NEW YORK (AP) — A video of Harvey Weinstein aired on television Wednesday showing him boldly propositioning a woman who later accused him of rape and repeatedly touching her and stroking her arm and back during what was supposed to have been a business meeting. Melissa Thompson, who sued Weinstein in June, said she made the recording, shown by Sky News, while demonstrating video technology for the movie mogul-turned-#MeToo villain at his New York City office in 2011. Weinstein is seen on the video rejecting a handshake from Thompson and then hugging her instead and rubbing her back. He then caresses her shoulder as they sit side-by-side in front of her laptop computer.The United States may have reclaimed the title of the world's biggest oil producer sooner than expected. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that, based on preliminary estimates, America "likely surpassed" Russia in June and August after jumping over Saudi Arabia earlier this year. If those estimates are right, it would mark the first time since 1973 that the U.S. has led the world in output, according to government figures. The energy information administration and the International Energy Agency, a global group of oil-consuming nations, had predicted that the U.S. would eventually pass Russia and Saudi Arabia but possibly not until 2019.VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis summoned the presidents of the world's bishops' conferences Wednesday to a summit on preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children, responding to the greatest crisis of his papacy with the realization that Vatican inaction on the growing global scandal now threatens his legacy. Francis' key cardinal advisers announced plans for the summit early next year the day before the pope meets with U.S. church leaders embroiled in their own credibility crisis from the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse scandal. The meeting, scheduled for Feb. 21-24, would assemble more than 100 churchmen to represent every bishops' conference.NEW YORK (AP) — CBS News on Wednesday fired "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, who has been under investigation following reports that he groped women at parties and tolerated an abusive workplace. The network news president, David Rhodes, said Fager's firing was "not directly related" to the allegations against him, but came because he violated company policy. A CBS News reporter working on a story about Fager revealed that he had sent her a text message urging her to "be careful." Fager is the third major figure at CBS to lose his job in the past year over misconduct allegations, following news anchor Charlie Rose last November and CBS Corp.CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple unveiled three new iPhones on Wednesday, including its biggest and most expensive model yet, as the company seeks to widen the product's appeal amid slowing sales. CEO Tim Cook showed off the iPhone XS Max, which has a bigger screen than the one on last year's dramatically designed model , the iPhone X. It'll cost about $1,100, topping the iPhone X, which at $1,000 seemed jaw-dropping at the time. An updated iPhone X, now called the XS, stays at $1,000. As with the iPhone X, both new phones have screens that run from edge to edge, an effort to maximize the display without making the phone too awkward to hold.YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Naomi Osaka's victory in the U.S. Open has added her to a growing list of athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and beauty pageant contestants who have raised the issue of what it means to be Japanese. The daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka was born in Japan but raised in the United States. But she is being lauded in Japan as the first from the country to win a Grand Slam singles tennis title, which has upstaged most questions about her mixed background. Some children from mixed race families in Japan often get bullied and demeaned, called "hafu" — from the English word "half" — and are chided that they aren't fully Japanese.ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered five former residents of a ramshackle New Mexico compound to remain jailed amid accusations that a woman in the group declared herself a prophet while her partner helped train children for potential attacks on schools, law enforcement agencies and other institutions. The ruling came a day after a federal grand jury indicted the group on firearms and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from accusations that Jany Leveille, who is originally from Haiti, had been living in the country illegally and that the others had conspired to provide her with firearms and ammunition. The four others charged in the case are Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40; his sisters Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, and Subhanah Wahhaj, 35; and his brother-in-law Lucas Morton, 40.

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