10 things you need to know today: October 3, 2018

Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, The New York Times reports Trump made millions from "dubious" tax schemes, and more

Trump at a rally in Mississippi
(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser at Mississippi rally

President Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford's Senate testimony about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, attacking her memory and saying Ford's supporters have "shattered" Kavanaugh. "How did you get home? 'I don't remember,'" Trump said, mimicking questioners and Ford. "How did you get there? 'I don't remember.' Where is the place? 'I don't remember ... But I had one beer — that's the only thing I remember.'" Trump previously called Ford a "very credible witness." Ford has said she is "100 percent" certain Kavanaugh attacked her in an upstairs bedroom. A lawyer representing Ford, Michael Bromwich, called Trump's attack "vicious, vile, and soulless," and tweeted: "Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?"

CBS News The New York Times

2. New York Times: Trump made millions from 'dubious' tax schemes

President Trump used "dubious" and in some cases fraudulent tax schemes in the 1990s that significantly increased the fortune he got from his parents, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing its own investigation. Trump said in his campaign that he was a self-made billionaire, but the Times reported that tax returns and financial records indicated that he received the equivalent of at least $413 million in 2018 dollars from his father's real estate empire. Trump and his siblings allegedly set up a sham corporation to evade taxes on millions in gifts from their parents, according to the Times. Trump declined to comment, but one of his lawyers, Charles Harder, said the Times' "allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false." New York launched a state tax investigation after the report.

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The New York Times MarketWatch

3. McConnell says Kavanaugh vote coming as FBI wraps up interviews

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Senate would vote this week on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. The FBI is expected as early as Wednesday to wrap up its interviews of people about Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. "The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close," McConnell said. Ford's attorneys on Tuesday urged the FBI to interview her and follow up on leads they have provided. "It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr. Ford's allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you," Ford's attorneys wrote to top FBI officials.

CNN Politico

4. Flake says he's 'troubled' by Kavanaugh's partisan tone

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he was concerned about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's partisan tone during last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. "I was very troubled by the tone of the remarks," said Flake, who forced an FBI investigation into the matter by telling his fellow Republicans he was uncomfortable voting for Kavanaugh's confirmation without one. "The interaction with the members was sharp and partisan, and that concerns me." In heated opening remarks at last week's hearing, Kavanaugh accused Democrats of conspiring to use personal allegations to derail his confirmation.


5. Four white supremacists arrested in connection with Charlottesville rally

Federal authorities in Virginia on Tuesday arrested four California men who belong to a hate group on charges that they violated a federal rioting law during the violent 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The U.S. attorney's office in Charlottesville identified the men as Benjamin D. Daley, 25; Thomas W. Gillen, 34; Michael P. Miselis, 29; and Cole E. White, 34. Prosecutors said the men traveled to Charlottesville from California "with the intent to ... commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot." The so-called Unite the Right rally erupted in violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters. Police say a self-professed neo-Nazi drove through a crowded street, leaving 35 people injured and one, counterprotester Heather Heyer, dead.

The Washington Post

6. Pentagon investigates suspected ricin-tainted mail

The Pentagon said Tuesday it had put its mail facility under quarantine after it received mail that initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin. At least one envelope was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The envelopes were tested after being detected at a mail sorting facility by Pentagon police on Monday. Exposure to a tiny amount of ricin can kill within 36 to 72 hours, and there is no known antidote. Envelopes and packages laced with suspected ricin have been sent to several government offices in recent years, including in 2013, when ricin-tainted letters were addressed to the White House, a senator, and an official in Mississippi. Letters containing anthrax spores, another potentially deadly substance, were sent to New York and Washington shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


7. Iraqi lawmakers elect moderate Kurd to mostly ceremonial presidency

Iraq's Parliament elected Barham Salih, a moderate Kurdish politician, as the country's president on Tuesday. Under a power-sharing arrangement, top government positions are divided among Iraq's ethnic groups, and the president's job is largely ceremonial. Since 2003, Iraq's president has been a Kurd while the prime minister's post has gone to a Shia Muslim, while the parliamentary speaker has been a Sunni Arab. Salih, who belongs to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, trounced his main rival, Fuad Hussein of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, 219 votes to 22. "I promise to safeguard Iraq's unity and safety," said Salih.

BBC News

8. Scientists win chemistry Nobel for harnessing evolution to solve problems

Scientists Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Gregory Winter won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday for research using directed evolution to produce enzymes for new chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Arnold, based at Caltech, harnessed evolution to make enzymes more effective at catalyzing chemical reactions. Her work has been applied in brain imaging, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and the chemical industry. She will split the $1 million prize with Smith of the University of Missouri and Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the U.K. They developed ways to make therapeutic antibodies now used to treat autoimmune diseases, anthrax, and cancer. One committee member said the scientists have "applied the principles of Darwin in the test tube" to solve some of the world's chemical problems.

Reuters New Scientist

9. DHS inspectors find violations at private immigration jail

A team from the Department of Homeland Security's office of inspector general found major violations in a surprise May visit to a private, for-profit immigration jail in California that holds about 2,000 immigrants under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a report released Tuesday. The findings included "nooses" dangling from air vents in 15 of 20 cells they visited, one detainee left in his wheelchair for nine days straight, and immigrants who had teeth fall out while they waited years for fillings, among other major violations of federal detention standards. The jail, in Adelanto, is one of 71 federal detention centers operated by GEO Group. ICE said it takes the report's findings "seriously" and has "agreed to conduct a full and immediate review of the center."

The Washington Post The New York Times

10. WNBA president steps down to run Time's Up

WNBA president Lisa Borders said Tuesday she is stepping down to become the first CEO and president of Time's Up, the legal defense organization that seeks to combat sexual harassment against women. Borders had led the WNBA since 2016. Time's Up, founded by celebrities who were responding to the "#MeToo" movement in Hollywood, raises money to fight "systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace" for women. Borders said she is "thrilled" to lead Time's Up, and that she will seek to "shift the paradigm of workplace culture." NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will oversee the WNBA until Borders is replaced.

The Hollywood Reporter ESPN

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