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September 23, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, has said he "can't recall" boys ever "rough-housing" with girls when they were teenagers, but a former college girlfriend of Judge's tells The New Yorker that's not what he told her.

Kavanaugh and Judge attended Georgetown Prep in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the 1980s. Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, and that Judge was in the room, encouraging Kavanaugh but also telling him to "stop." Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and Judge, a conservative writer, told The New Yorker he has "no recollection" of this. He was more abrasive when interviewed by The Weekly Standard, calling the accusation "just absolutely nuts." When asked, he said he remembered "rough-housing with guys. I don't remember any of that stuff going on with girls."

Elizabeth Rasor, who was in a relationship with Judge for three years at Catholic University, told The New Yorker he'd shared "a very different story" about the culture at Georgetown Prep. "I can't stand by and watch him lie," she said, adding that he once ashamedly described how he and several other boys took turns having sex with a woman who was drunk. He appeared to think this was a consensual experience, Rasor said, but did not tell her who else was involved and she does not know if Kavanaugh was there. Judge's attorney said he "categorically denies" the incident took place.

Another woman who attended high school in the 1980s in Montgomery County told Ford's lawyers and The New Yorker that she would see boys, including Georgetown Prep students, engaging in sexual misconduct at area house parties. The woman, who requested anonymity, told The New Yorker that the boys would get girls "blind drunk" off a grain alcohol–Hawaiian Punch concoction, then try to take advantage of them. "It was disgusting," she said. "They treated women like meat." Catherine Garcia

11:02 p.m.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights had a come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night, defeating Prairie View A&M and securing the school's first-ever NCAA tournament win.

The final score for the First Four game was 82-76. It was also a good night for senior guard Darnell Edge, who scored a career-high 33 points. Fairleigh Dickinson has four campuses and two teams, with the Knights representing the Metropolitan Campus in Hackensack, New Jersey. The school has played in six NCAA tournament games.

Coach Greg Herenda, who recently recovered from life-threatening blood clots, told The Associated Press that the win was "overwhelming." He has been a coach for 35 years, and at Fairleigh Dickinson for six. On Thursday, the team will face the No. 1 seed, Gonzaga, in Salt Lake City. Catherine Garcia

10:33 p.m.

One day before Lion Air Flight 610 crashed last October shortly after taking off from Jakarta, a different crew struggled to gain control of the plane as it entered a dive, people familiar with the incident told Bloomberg.

An off-duty pilot was sitting in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet on Oct. 28, and quickly realized that the anti-stalling flight-control system was malfunctioning. He directed the crew to cut the power to the motor that was forcing the nose down, Bloomberg reports, and the plane stabilized. Investigators said the same malfunction happened the next day, Oct. 29, causing the plane to crash into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

This previously undisclosed detail was not mentioned in the report released by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee. It's believed that a similar issue with the anti-stalling system led to an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 plane crashing on March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa. Following the Lion Air crash, two U.S. pilots' associations shared their concerns that the possible risks associated with the anti-stalling system were not clearly stated during training and in manuals. Catherine Garcia

9:26 p.m.

The White House is refusing to give the House Oversight Committee any documents or produce any witnesses for its investigations, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Tuesday night. He called this an "unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay, and obstruction."

Cummings, the committee chairman, said Democrats were elected so the House could serve as a "truly independent check and balance on the executive branch." His committee is the House's primary investigative body, and he has sent the White House 12 letters on six topics, "some routine and some relating to our core national security interests." The White House, Cummings said, "has not turned over a single piece of paper to our committee or made a single official available for testimony during the 116th Congress."

One investigation is focusing on White House security clearances, in the wake of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lying about his communications with the Russian ambassador and reports that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, received a top-secret clearance despite warnings. The White House "offered to let us read — but not keep — a few pages of policy documents that have nothing to do with the officials we are investigating, along with a general briefing on those policies during which they will answer no questions about specific employees," Cummings said.

Cummings listed the different requests that have been ignored, including for documents related to Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, making hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and White House officials allegedly using private email to conduct business, which is illegal. "If our committee must resort to issuing subpoenas, there should be no doubt about why," Cummings said. Read the entire revealing op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

8:09 p.m.

Postpartum depression affects as many as 400,000 women in the United States every year, and on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug specifically created to treat the disorder.

Brexanolone, also known as Zulresso, is delivered intravenously. The infusion takes 60 hours, and during a clinical trial, most participants showed improvement within 24 hours of receiving the drug, and reported they still felt the effects 30 days later. Brexanolone contains a synthetic form of allopregnanolone, a derivative of progesterone, which increases during pregnancy and drops dramatically after giving birth. It is thought allopregnanolone could contribute to postpartum depression.

Women with postpartum depression often feel profound sadness, anxiety, or despair. Many are treated with antidepressants that take weeks to kick in, and sometimes don't work at all, as they do not address the hormonal changes that happen during and after pregnancy. Each infusion is expected to cost $20,000 to $35,000, NBC News reports, and it's unknown how much insurance will cover. Researchers said each patient will likely only need one infusion. It is expected the FDA will soon decide if the drug is safe for women while breastfeeding. Catherine Garcia

6:58 p.m.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Catholic diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former bishop, Michael Bransfield, alleging that they violated the state's consumer protection laws by "knowingly" employing pedophiles.

The suit alleges that the diocese and Bransfield did not conduct substantial background checks on people hired to work in Catholic schools and camps, The Washington Post reports, and then tried to "cover up and conceal arguably criminal behavior of child sexual abuse." The first incident mentioned in the suit took place in 1965, when a priest accused of sexually abusing a child was hired by the diocese, and later became director of Camp Tygart despite new alleged victims coming forward. Morrisey is seeking to block the diocese from "continuation of any such conduct."

By using consumer law to file a civil lawsuit, the church's files could be viewed through legal discovery. The diocese, which covers the whole state, released a statement Tuesday saying it "strongly and unconditionally rejects the complaint's assertion that the diocese is not wholly committed to the protection of children." Last week, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori prohibited Bransfield from conducting any priestly duties, after multiple adults accused him of sexual harassment. Catherine Garcia

5:51 p.m.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein apparently likes being the Department of Justice's punching bag.

Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that Rosenstein, who once oversaw Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, was planning to keep his job "a little longer" than he once thought. His decision to stay on reportedly came after a discussion with Attorney General William Barr, and CNN's Pamela Brown seems to have a reason why.

Rosenstein has long been seen as a stable voice in a tumultuous DOJ under Trump. He survived what seemed like an inevitable ouster late last year, and was reported to be considering an exit in mid-March. After plans of him staying on longer were reported Tuesday morning, national security expert Clint Watts devised his own explanation: that Barr found a first briefing on Mueller's report too "complicated" to work out on his own, he tweeted. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:51 p.m.

A group of German archaeologists found about 400 artifacts from World War II after excavating three rural sites near the towns of Warstein, Suttrop, and Eversberg, LiveScience reported on Tuesday.

While exploring the sites of former Nazi camps, the researchers said that most of the 400 artifacts came from Langenbach Valley near Warstein, where LiveScience says 60 women, 10 men, and a child "were taken into the forest, under the pretense of being moved to a different labor camp, and then shot." The vast array of personal items included everything from prayer books and dictionaries to shoes, harmonicas, and Soviet coins — all believed to have been owned by and buried with the massacre's victims.

Bullet cartridges were also found scattered in the area, which could suggest that some of the Polish and Russian forced laborers tried to escape the firing squad. Nazis killed 208 laborers in the region at the end of the war, and only 14 of the victims have ever been identified by name, due to Nazi efforts to conceal their crimes.

Matthias Löb, the director of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe — the group behind the excavation — said in a statement that despite the tragic finds, these discoveries serve as an essential reminder of the atrocities committed during that period. Löb also said Germany has seen an increase in "trivialization" and denial of Nazi crimes, and that the discovery of these artifacts are proof of a part of German history "that we have to face." Read more at LiveScience. Marina Pedrosa

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