Controversy continues to swirl around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of decades-old sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him by a pair of women.
What was expected to be a simple nomination process has been mired by the allegations, involving incidents alleged to have occurred while Kavanaugh was in high school or college.
Deborah Ramirez told The New Yorker he made unwanted advances toward her during a party at a dormitory during the 1983-84 school year, while she and Kavanaugh were attending Yale University. Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party in the 1980s, when they were both teenagers.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 26: President Donald Trump said Wednesday morning that Republicans “could not be nicer” in the way they’ve handled allegations of sexual misconduct levied against Kavanaugh.
“They could have pushed (Kavanaugh’s nomination) through two and a half weeks ago and you wouldn’t be talking about it right now,” he told reporters at the United Nations in New York. “The Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful to the process -- certainly could not be more respectful to the woman.”
The president also reiterated his support for Kavanaugh and accused the Democrats again of playing “a con game” with the sexual misconduct allegations.
“You don’t find people like this,” Trump said. “(Kavanaugh’s) an absolute gem, and he’s been treated very unfairly be the Democrats, who are playing a con game. They know what they’re doing -- it’s a con. They go into a backroom and theey talk to each other and they laugh at what they’re getting away with.”
Update 8:05 a.m. EDT Sept. 26: Kavanaugh’s lawyers shared pages from the Supreme Court nominee’s 1982 calendar in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday night, USA Today and National Law Journal are reporting.
His legal team plans to use the calendar pages to defend against Ford’s allegations, the newspaper reported.
Update 10:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Senate Republican leaders have tapped Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to question Christine Blasey Ford and SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, according to a statement from committee chair Chuck Grassley.
Mitchell, a career sex crimes prosecutor, will question Ford and Kavanaugh on Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when the two were in high school in the early 1980s.
“The goal is to de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaigns,” Grassley said.
Mitchell is on leave from the Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office in order to participate in the hearing Thursday.
Update 8:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein called the planned vote Friday morning on Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination “outrageous.”
“For Republicans to schedule a Friday vote on Brett Kavanaugh today, two days before Dr. Blasey Ford has had a chance to tell her story, is outrageous,” the California Democrat said in a statement Tuesday.
Feinstein accused the GOP of creating an unfair process.
“First Republicans demanded Dr. Blasey Ford testify immediately. Now Republicans don’t even need to hear her before they move ahead with a vote, she said.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, however, denied the accusations.
“Still taking this 1 step at a time,” Grassley said in a post on social media.
Grassley said that committee rules require three days notice before a vote.
“So we’re following regular order,” he said.
He also said if the committee isn’t ready to vote after Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday, then they’ll postpone it.
Update 6:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for Friday morning on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ford is set to testify before the committee on Thursday about the assault she said she suffered at the hands of Kavanaugh at a party when the two were still in high school.
There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will get a chance to tell her story before the committee votes, but committee staffers interviewed Kavanaugh Tuesday about her allegations and he denied them again, according to news reports.
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: An attorney representing Ramirez said Tuesday that his client wants the FBI to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh.
“We remain adamant that an FBI investigation, where all witnesses are questioned under threat of perjury, is the only way to get the truth,” attorney John Clune wrote on Twitter.
Clune added that Ramirez stands by her account of drunken wrongdoing by Kavanaugh, as told to The New Yorker and published Sunday.
Original report: President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Democrats of using the allegations to play a “con game” with Kavanaugh.
The president claimed that Deborah Ramirez, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of making unwanted sexual advances toward her during a college party in the 1980s, said, “She was totally inebriated, and she was all messed up, and she doesn’t know it was him, but it might have been.”
“This is a con game being played by the Democrats,” Trump said.
Ramirez is the second woman to go public with accusations against Kavanaugh. She told The New Yorker in a story published Sunday that he made unwanted advances toward her during a party at a dormitory during the 1983-84 school year, while she and Kavanaugh were attending Yale University.
University professor Christine Blasey Ford is expected to provide testimony Thursday at a public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about a separate alleged encounter she says she had with the Supreme Court nominee when they were both teenagers.
Ford told The Washington Post earlier this month that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh has issued several denials of the allegations.
"I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone," Kavanaugh said in an interview that aired Monday on Fox News. "I've always treated women with dignity and respect."
The Supreme Court nominee is also expected to testify at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Ew, it’s now OK to twerk after defeating your bestie in Scrabble.
The sixth edition of Merriam-Webster's "Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" added 300 words, including ew, bestie, twerk -- and even OK, CNN reported.
Be honest: Except for fanatical players of the popular board game, many may have believed that “OK” was OK to use in Scrabble. Well, it is now, officially.
"For a living language, the only constant is change," Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told CNN. "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary evolves to keep up with English as it is used today."
New words in the update released Monday include "beatdown," which is an overwhelming defeat; "bizjet," a small airplane used for business purposes; and "frowny," which means showing a frown, NBC News reported. The internet terms listicle and sheeple also found their way into the Scrabble dictionary, CNN reported.
Some more exotic words now allowed are arancini, which are balls of cooked rice; and qapik, a unit of money used in Azerbaijan, according to NBC News.
"It's a way to keep Scrabble fun instead of contentious," Emily Brewster, associate editor at Merriam-Webster, told NBC News. "It's a great moderator in a game that can get pretty impassioned."
After being sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison and processed at a local jail, a mugshot of comedian Bill Cosby has been released.
In the photo from Montgomery County Correctional Facility, the 81-year-old looks down camera, wearing suspenders and a white button down shirt. He appeared at the sentencing with a suit jacket, watch and tie, which were removed before he was handcuffed and led away.
Cosby was sentenced for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand released a victim impact statement Tuesday ahead of Cosby’s sentencing.
A second, newer mugshot, released Wednesday, shows Cosby in a pale blue collared shirt, looking slightly to his left. The latest image comes as he was transferred to SCI Phoenix, a maximum-security prison, Tuesday evening.
In addition to a three- to 10-year prison term, Cosby has to pay a $25,000 fine and cover the cost of his prosecution, People reported.
Cosby will also have to report regularly to authorities and undergo counseling for the rest of his life. Judge Steven O’Neil, who sentenced the actor, ruled that he is a “sexually violent predator,” meaning any neighbors and schools will need to be informed of his whereabouts.
Fire ants attacked a North Carolina woman this past weekend and nearly killed her.
Donna Kearns was landscaping her yard in Archdale when her string trimmer hit an ant pile.
The pile exploded, and ants started crawling and biting Kearns all over her body, WSOC reported.
Moments later, she had a severe allergic reaction from the attack, started feeling sick and collapsed.
Kearns could have died from the reaction, but a stranger saw her and stopped to help, WSOC reported.
"She got my husband to the door and she said I think this is your wife laying out in the yard," said Kearns.
The stranger did not want to go on camera, but said she's glad she was in the right place at the right time.
An Indiana driver swerved to avoid a deer Wednesday morning northeast of Indianapolis and wound up in a pond, WXIN reported.
The Lawrence Police Department reported that the vehicle ended out about 75 feet into the water, the television station reported. The accident occurred in Lawrence, a suburb of Indianapolis, police said.
The driver was able to get out of his car and swim to safety before the vehicle became fully submerged, WXIN reported.
The driver, who was not injured, told police a deer ran out in front of him. He swerved to avoid colliding with the animal and ended up in the water, WXIN reported.
Amazon on Wednesday announced that it’s expanded its Prime Now service, which allows customers to order items for quick delivery from Whole Foods Market, to 10 additional cities.
Prime Now launched Wednesday in Jacksonville, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Detroit; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee; Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis and Tampa, Florida. The service was also expanded in Seattle and New York City.
Prime Now allows customers to shop for items from Whole Foods Market, including groceries and everyday staples, with delivery available in as little as an hour.
Amazon also announced that a separate pickup service launched last month at Whole Foods Market has been expanded to five new cities: Fort Worth, Texas; Kennesaw, Georgia; Richmond, Virginia; Sacramento, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Customers using the pickup service can get free pickup from Whole Foods in as little as an hour on orders of $35 or more.
“It’s just another way we’re making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s healthy and organic food,” said Christina Minardi, executive vice president of operations for Whole Foods Market.
Amazon officials said there are plans to expand both the Prime Now and the Whole Foods pickup service to more cities in the future.
Former welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz was arrested in California on Tuesday and charged with three felony sexual assault charges, ESPN reported.
Ortiz, 31, turned himself in to the Oxnard Police Department Tuesday afternoon. His bail was set at $100,000. According to a police report, Ortiz is charged by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office with forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible digital penetration, ESPN reported.
Ortiz was identified as a suspect on the date of the incident, Oxnard police Cmdr. Sharon Giles told the Ventura County Star.
Ortiz is scheduled to fight Sunday night against John Molina Jr. in a 12-round welterweight bout in Ontario, California, ESPN reported. It is uncertain whether the fight will continue as scheduled.
Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, has been tapped by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were high school students.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said late Tuesday in a statement that "The majority members have followed the bipartisan recommendation to hire as staff counsel for the committee an experienced career sex-crimes prosecutor to question the witnesses at Thursday’s hearing.
"The goal is to de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaigns,” Grassley said in a statement released late Tuesday. “I’m very appreciative that Rachel Mitchell has stepped forward to serve in this important and serious role.
Both Kavanaugh and Ford will appear before the committee on Thursday to testify under oath.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to take her clothes off during a party at a home in Maryland in the early 1980s when the two were teenagers.
Ford sent a letter to her congresswoman in July outlining her accusations against Kavanaugh. The letter was then forwarded to Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee tasked with making a recommendation as to whether Kavanaugh’s nomination should be voted on by the full Senate.
In the letter, Ford asked that her name and her story be kept confidential. News that the letter existed and that Ford was its author was revealed by The Washington Post on Sept. 16.
While Mitchell will question Kavanaugh and Ford, Democrats on the committee say they will ask their own questions of the two.
The committee will vote Friday on whether to recommend Kavanaugh’s nomination be voted on by the full Senate, according to Grassley
Here is what we know about Mitchell:
A judge sentenced comedian Bill Cosby to three to 10 years in state prison Tuesday, five months after a jury found him guilty of drugging and molesting a onetime friend in 2004.
Judge Steven O’Neil handed down the sentence after ruling earlier Tuesday that Cosby, 81, is a “sexually violent predator.” The designation means he will have to undergo lifetime counseling and report regularly to authorities.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 7:50 a.m. EDT Sept. 26: Authorities released a new mugshot of Bill Cosby “dressed in prison blues,” WTXF reported early Wednesday.
Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Bill Cosby has left the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, according to local media reports, where he was taken directly after his sentencing Tuesday.
He has been moved to a state prison, the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix, CNN reported, where he’ll undergo testing and evaluations which will help authorities determine a permanent placement for him.
Every inmate goes through the process, which could take months.
Cosby was sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against former friend and victim Andrea Constand.
Dozens of women had accused Cosby of drugging and raping them dating back to the 1970s.
Update 5:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Bill Cosby is being moved to the state correctional facility after his sentencing Tuesday afternoon.
Several news outlets have posted his jail booking photo on social media.
Once he’s checked into prison, officials will issue him the following: prison attire, one blanket, two sheets, one towel, one washcloth, one hygiene kit (containing a toothbrush, tooth paste, a bar of soap, shampoo, deodorant, a pen and a comb), according to WCAU-TV.
Update 4 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Tuesday that he was “pleased” with the “fair and significant sentence” handed down to Cosby on Tuesday.
“He used his acting skills and endearing TV personality to win over his victims and then keep them silent about what he did to them,” Steele said. “Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked.”
He praised Andrea Constand, who was drugged and molested by Cosby in 2004, for her steadfast resolve in seeing the actor prosecuted.
“We are all better off because she is in our lives,” Steele said. “She’s been through an ordeal these past 14 years and she’s been solid and steadfast. She’s been a rock. She’s done the right thing over, and over, and over again.”
Constand said in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that life as she knew it “came to an abrupt halt” in January 2004, after she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby.
“After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened, but the pain spoke volumes,” she said. “The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself.”
She said that she is still grappling with fallout from the incident.
Update 3:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office told The Associated Press that Cosby will be held at the county jail for a few days before he’s taken too SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside of Philadelphia.
“(There) staff will assess his physical, medical and security needs,” the AP reported. “Cosby could end up in a long-term medical care unit.”
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, called his client’s trial “the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States” after a judge sentenced him Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison.
Wyatt said jurors never heard of Cosby’s history as a pillar in the community during his trial. The comedian did not take the stand during the proceedings.
“Mr. Cosby knows that God is watching over him. He knows that these are lies,” Wyatt said. “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened. (I’m) not saying Mr. Cosby is Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.”
Wyatt said Cosby and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused by at least two women of sexual misconduct, are victims of a “sex war.”
“What is going on in Washington today with Judge Kavanaugh is part of that sex war that Judge O'Neil along with his wife are a part of,” Wyatt said.
Update 3 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby kept his gaze down after Tuesday’s sentencing hearing as he was escorted from the courtroom with his hands handcuffed in front of him.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 32 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, said the court sent an “important message” with Cosby’s sentence.
"This is a very important day,” she said. “Judgement day has come."
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: O’Neil denied bail for Cosby after handing down his sentence Tuesday, according to WHYY.
Cosby’s attorneys had argued for bail, the news station reported.
“I’ve imposed sentencing at this stage,” O’Neil told Cosby’s attorneys, according to KYW-TV. “If you want to take it up with another court, you can.”
Update 2:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: O’Neil sentenced Cosby to three to 10 years imprisonment Tuesday.
Cosby will serve out his sentence in state prison, WHYY reported.
Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison while the defense asked for Cosby to be sent home on house arrest.
Cosby was convicted in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. A jury determined that Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, who then worked as the director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, in 2004 at his suburban Philadelphia home.
O’Neil earlier deemed Cosby a “sexually violent predator.” The designation means he will have to register as a sex offender and undergo counsel for the rest of his life.
Cosby’s conviction was the first of a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era.
Update 12:35 p.m. EDT Sept 25: O’Neil told people gathered in court Tuesday that he will announce Cosby’s sentence at 1:30 p.m., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Andrea Constand said in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that life as she knew it “came to an abrupt halt” in January 2004, after she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby.
Constand was working as director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team after a professional stint with a team in Italy when the assault happened. She said the incident made her feel powerless and left her with years of unrelenting pain, stress and anxiety.
“When the sexual assaulted happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities,” she wrote. “Now, almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged woman who’s been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward.”
Cosby was found guilty in April of drugging and molesting Constand in 2004. The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the same charges.
Cosby’s conviction marked the first of a celebrity in the #MeToo era. A judge is expected to hand down the comedian’s sentence Tuesday.
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 25: A judge ruled Tuesday that Cosby is a “sexually violent predator,” meaning that he will have to undergo lifetime counseling and report regularly to authorities, according to The Associated Press.
The designation was made Tuesday by Judge Steven O’Neill on the second day of a two-day sentencing hearing for Cosby. Prosecutors are asking that the 81-year-old get five to 10 years in prison for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby’s attorneys have asked for house arrest.
Update 8:55 a.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning to start the second day of his sentencing hearing on charges of aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told The Associated Press that the 81-year-old comedian doesn’t plan to make a statement in court. Cosby did not testify at either of his trials.
Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. His attorney wants the judge to send Cosby home on house arrest, saying he’s too old and frail for prison.
Update 5:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: Comedian Bill Cosby could see less than 4 years in jail after the judge Monday merged the three counts of aggravated indecent assault Cosby was convicted of into one for sentencing purposes because the counts were all connected to one event, according to news outlets. Cosby may not even see any jail time based on criminal guidelines in Pennsylvania and the fact that he has no previous record. He was facing as much as 30 years behind bars.
Also during proceedings Monday, victim Andrea Constand and members of her family delivered impact statements.
Constand said she just wants “justice” in the case, according to CNN.
"I have testified, I have given you my victim impact statement. You heard me, the jury heard me and Mr. Cosby heard me. All I'm asking for is justice as the court sees fit," Constand said in court.
Her mother, father and older sister also delivered impact statements.
The defense has not called any witnesses, yet, including Bill Cosby, but could tomorrow.
Original report: Cosby, 81, could spend the rest of his life behind bars. He is facing as many as 30 years in prison, although state guidelines for someone like Cosby, who does not have any prior convictions, call for between one and four years in prison.
The sentencing hearing will begin with testimony about Cosby's sex offender evaluation and whether he should be deemed a sexually violent predator. That would make him subject to lifetime counseling and community notification.
A jury found Cosby guilty in April 2018 of drugging and molesting onetime friend Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand was in court Monday for Cosby’s sentencing hearing.
Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, making his the first conviction of a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era.
The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the same charges.
Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days in June 2017, but they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether Cosby drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home, The Associated Press reported.
Cosby maintained that he and Constand shared a consensual sexual encounter. Cosby's attorney said Constand was a "con artist" who leveled false accusations against the comedian so that she could sue him.
Dozens of women have made high-profile accusations that Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, but Constand’s case was the only one to result in criminal charges against Cosby.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Police are looking for the person who shot a college student in the head during a road-rage incident on I-575 in Georgia.
WSB-TV has learned the road-rage incident started when the victim, Neil Seiz, 23, and his passenger were driving back to Acworth from an Atlanta Braves baseball game early Saturday. According to police, they were on I-575 and about to exit onto Bells Ferry Road when a landscaping truck cut them off.
Police said Seiz sped up, and both drivers exchanged words.
The driver of the landscaping truck fired a gun, and the shot hit Seiz in the head, police say.
Seiz was released from a hospital Sunday.
Seiz's father, Ed, spoke to WSB-TV's Chris Jose on Tuesday.
Ed Seiz said his son is back home recovering.
"He’s come through this quite well. He’s going to have a bullet lodged in his neck for the rest of his life," Ed Seiz said.
A police spokesperson told Jose a good Samaritan stepped up and helped Seiz get assistance.
"There was a good Samaritan who was passing by, saw that took place, and he was able to get the injured into his vehicle and took him to the hospital," said Sarah O'Hara.
Police haven’t identified the good Samaritan.
Jose called Neil Seiz’s passenger but he said he was afraid the gunman would retaliate if he spoke up.
"He’ll pull through," said Ed Seiz, adding that his son is a fighter who never quits.
"Everybody is doing OK, everybody is behind Neil and we know he’s going to be OK," he said.
Ed Seiz is asking anyone with information about the shooter to call police at 770-499-3900.
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