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Newsletter: Today: Kavanaugh’s Accusers

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing Sept. 5 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
(Christy Bowe / Globe Photos)

New sexual abuse allegations are roiling Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

TOP STORIES

Kavanaugh’s Accusers

Another accusation. Another denial. Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court is in further disarray after a graphic new allegation of sexual misconduct when he was a freshman at Yale. The White House distributed a vehement denial from Kavanaugh and denounced the accusation from Deborah Ramirez, published in the New Yorker, as a Democratic-inspired effort to “tear down a good man.” Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley said the Senate Judiciary Committee would “attempt to evaluate these new claims”; Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein called for an immediate postponement of confirmation proceedings until the FBI could investigate. Meanwhile, professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were teenagers, and the nominee are scheduled to testify before senators Thursday.

Year of the Woman, 2018?

As if the November midterm election wasn’t fraught enough, how Republicans are handling the Kavanaugh accusations has made it more so. The GOP push to install him on the Supreme Court before Nov. 6 has risked further alienating female voters already put off by President Trump and his party. An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll found that women want Democrats to control Congress by 58% to 33%. In California, suburban women will play a key role in at least half a dozen races that could flip seats held by the GOP, including in the contest between Republican incumbent Rep. Steve Knight and Democratic challenger Katie Hill.

Get more midterm election coverage on our Decision California page.

Trump Takes the U.N. Again

Trump is back in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. In his debut at the gathering of world leaders last year, Trump unleashed some verbal fire and fury, by threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea and blasting “loser terrorists.” This week, expect more tough talk on Iran and self-praise for talks with Kim Jong Un, U.S. trade protectionism and victories against Islamic State. His audience, though, may be a bit more jaded, having had a year to size up Trump’s bluster and find ways to work with or around him.

Rising and Falling With the 1%

Californians are just over six weeks away from electing their next governor. A new L.A. Times series is taking a look at the biggest issues John Cox or Gavin Newsom will face. First up: the economy and taxes. Did you know that nearly 70% of California’s revenue comes from personal income tax? And that the top 1% of filers paid out nearly 46% of income tax revenue? This top-heavy approach has its dangers, especially if the economy goes south. We asked Cox and Newsom what should be done — and we’re asking you too.

California's general revenue fund by source
California's general revenue fund by source Los Angeles Times

‘Like’ Lemmings?

On Instagram, the waterfalls and swimming holes of Angeles National Forest look amazing. In real life, even more so — except for the broken bones that can result. Officials in Southern California say rescues in nature areas have increased dramatically in recent years as people visit the spots they see on social media and sometimes try to create their own like-worthy posts by engaging in risky behavior, like diving into a rock pool. See the video — ouch!

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

-- Immigrants who rely on public benefits for food, housing and medical care could be denied green cards under new rules put forth by the Trump administration.

-- A Times analysis of complaints against police reported to the California Department of Justice shows law enforcement agencies across the state upheld 8.4% of complaints filed by members of the public from 2008 to 2017.

-- Eighty-seven days of smog: Southern California just saw its longest streak of bad air in decades.

-- A teenager from a wealthy family was acquitted in an alleged gang killing in South L.A. Critics say his race and privilege helped him.

-- When fake news kills: Lynchings in Mexico are being linked to viral child-kidnapping rumors.

-- Seemingly everyone in Hollywood kept telling Dan Fogelman how much they loved the film “Life Itself.” Then came the dismal reviews.

CALIFORNIA

-- The L.A. Department of Water and Power plans to reduce flooding the plains east of Yosemite National Park, as it’s done for nearly 100 years. Ranchers say their way of life is at risk.

-- Hotel workers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim overwhelmingly approved a contract that increases hourly salaries by at least 40% over two years.

-- How Marion “Suge” Knight’s image as a thug and feared enforcer crumbled in court.

-- Cal State Long Beach has officially retired Prospector Pete. Some say the mascot represents a history of racism and genocide against Native Americans.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Music’s highest-profile couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, celebrated grown-up commitment in concert at the Rose Bowl.

-- How about another reboot on TV? This time, it’s “Magnum P.I.” But where is the mustache?

-- “The House With a Clock in its Walls” topped the box office, while Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9” landed at No. 8.

-- In opening the L.A. Opera season, Plácido Domingo seemed ageless as ever in “Don Carlo.”

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Kermit the Frog. Fozzie Bear. Big Bird. Jim Henson, who was born on this date in 1936, created the Muppets for children growing up in an increasingly troubled era. When he died unexpectedly in 1990, he left behind a legacy that endures today.

NATION-WORLD

-- Two of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault decades ago say they hope he will be sentenced to prison time this week.

-- Russia has again blamed Israel for the downing of one of its military aircraft off Syria’s Mediterranean coast last week, saying an Israeli fighter jet used the Russian plane as a shield.

-- In Germany, environmentalists and police have been battling in a 12,000-year-old forest in a fight over coal mining.

-- Climate change is stoking environmental disasters around the globe and uprooting millions of people a year.

BUSINESS

-- An excerpt from “Who Is Michael Ovitz?” the former super agent’s memoir that recounts how he became a Hollywood power player.

-- After a 30-day test at L.A. International Airport, United Airlines has expanded a new boarding procedure designed to reduce passenger confusion.

SPORTS

-- Columnist Bill Plaschke says that the Rams were much more at home in their victory over the Chargers, even though both teams play in L.A.

-- Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship, a capstone to his comeback after four back surgeries.

OPINION

-- #MeToo is already one of the most effective social-justice movements in American history. How close is it to full riot mode?

-- If California wants to go carbon-free, it needs to end its nuclear moratorium.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- “My rapist apologized”: The Kavanaugh allegations led author Deborah Copaken to reach out to the man who had assaulted her decades before. (The Atlantic)

-- Forests in Brazil and Peru hold some of the world’s last remote indigenous groups. Now they are increasingly threatened by outsiders. (National Geographic)

-- When family members turn against each other over politics — on video. (Vox)

ONLY IN L.A.

When Deborah L. English was growing up, she had a passion for art, but her family didn’t have much money. So at roughly age 10, she started a business painting snowflakes, trees and elves on windows for Christmas. She’d go on to run her own multimillion-dollar firm designing the look of stores for food retail giants such as Whole Foods.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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