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The latest news from Life

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    yacht vacation

    • Superyacht owners are expected to get younger by 10 to 15 years in the next 20 years, reveals research by shipyard Rossinavi and the International University of Monaco.
    • Millennial superyacht owners prefer experiences over material possessions, adventure and socializing over luxurious comfort, and chartering over ownership, according to the Monaco Yacht Show press packet.
    • Their different preferences may change yachting in terms of design and selling tactics.

    Are millennials set to change the superyacht industry?

    Of the top 100 billionaires worldwide, 20% are below age 50, and superyacht owners are 10 to 15 years younger than they were 20 years ago, reveals new research by shipyard Rossinavi conducted in partnership with the International University of Monaco. And they're expected to get even younger — within the next 20 years, the median age of superyacht owners will decrease from the 45 to 55 range to the 35 to 45 range.

    But it's not just the age that's changing — it's also the mindset.

    This new group of superyacht owners views yachting as "an occasional pastime rather than an enduring passion," according to the Monaco Yacht Show media packet. As self-made millennials still developing their business interests, they view a yacht as only one component of their fast-moving lifestyle.

    Instead of mahogany and cigars, luxurious comfort and large cabins, millennial superyacht owners prioritize adventure, water sports, and exterior space. For them, it's all about having something new and surprising — life experiences take precedence over material possessions.

    "They will still want the use of superyachts, but will be less interested in owning the asset," reads the MYS packet. "In fact, they may even see ownership as a restriction."

    Johan Pizzardini, communications and media manager for the Monaco Yacht Show, told CNN that chartering is more appealing to millennials who don't want to be confined by superyacht ownership.

    "They're more adventurous," he said. "New millennials say 'I want to charter a boat this week and next week I'd like to be somewhere else in the world so I'll have another boat.'"

    As the MYS packet puts it: "They might spend a weekend on board in Sardinia, go back to work, and then join the boat the following weekend in Ibiza. It's a different concept from the traditional two-week cruise in the summer." 

    Millennial superyacht owners are slowly changing yachting

    "The way people consume superyachts has changed with the new clients that are entering yachting," Pizzardini told CNN.

    This is evident in yacht design. Based on its research, Rossinavi is the first to unveil a new yacht design category — superyachts designed for millennials.

    According to the MYS packet, formal dining rooms and salons will be less evident as yacht designers turn to gyms, spas, water sports, and spaces that enable open-air socializing to accommodate millennials' desires.

    And those who custom order superyachts are no longer requesting offices onboard, Business Insider previously reported, citing CNN. Instead, they want to be able to relax during their yachting excursions.

    With this upcoming wave of superyacht owners preferring to charter, yachting companies will likely have to shift their tactics in order to sell yachts to them. Such re-packaging will involve how they communicate and interact with prospective owners, such as making contact through social media for a more immediate, personal form of communication. 

    "We are going to see a time when the traditional idea of yacht ownership starts to follow the same path as car-sharing services: more convenient than a traditional taxi, and a real alternative to owning a car,"  reads the MYS packet.

    But it will be more of an evolution rather than a drastic change.

    "According to the study, millennials are going to do things differently and the product will have to be re-packaged, but the yachts will not change that much and the ownership concept will not go away anytime soon," the MYS packet stated. "They will want their own product like the rest of us. Things change, but human nature stays the same."

    SEE ALSO: The 12 largest superyachts at the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show, ranked

    DON'T MISS: 28 photos show how the 1% live it up at the Monaco Yacht Show, from cruising in on helicopters to partying aboard multi-million dollar yachts

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Christine Blasey Ford testimony

    • As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh in high school, we looked at a few of the ways that memories can be shaped by trauma.
    • Traumatic memories are not stored in the same way as other things we remember.
    • Research shows us that they're more intense, persistent, and can be impossible to put into words. 

    Christine Blasey Ford said she didn't really want to come forward with decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct aimed at Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, she felt she had to. 

    "I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school," Ford said Thursday during sworn testimony in front of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    Kavanaugh, meanwhile, says the accusations of sexual assault — from Ford and others — are false, and nothing more than "smears" intended to derail his nomination.

    But science suggests it's also possible that he remembers much less of what really happened in the summer of 1982 than Ford.

    Putting aside for a moment the specifics of the case at hand, and what really happened at one suburban Maryland prep school party, the truth is that any sexual assault can have long-lasting effects on the brain, the body, and memories of an event. 

    Here's what we know about how sexual trauma can affect a person's body and a brain, according to experts who work with trauma survivors as well as the latest research.

    Our memories are imperfect, human devices

    Neuroscientists haven't entirely figured out how our brains work.

    It’s impossible to pin down one exact place where a memory lands and lives in our grey matter, because the brain acts more like a network than a filing cabinet. We do know that one area of the brain, called the hippocampus, is involved in keeping track of our memories.

    In a state of heightened emotion, such as an attack or an assault, the stress hormones we release can strengthen connections in that area of the brain, even growing extra nerve cell extensions (dendrites) and leading to a chronic state of hyper-vigilance

    The body has a few options when presented with a threat like that: freeze, fly, or fight.

    The heart quickens, and we’re breathing swiftly, readying to fight back, run, or hide. Blood may start flowing out to the extremities as we prepare.

    Memories of this period of "high emotional intensity" can have a kind of "enhanced encoding," making them more salient and clear, as researchers wrote in a 2018 paper in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association  

    A deluge of long-term effects 

    Studies show that survivors of sexual assaults can suffer all kinds of troubling health effects. They have demonstrated higher rates of obesity and Type-2 diabetes, gastrointestinal issues (like irritable bowel syndrome), depression, and chronic pain. Trauma survivors can even be less likely to seek preventive care, because anything from a routine teeth cleaning to a pelvic exam can be a re-traumatizing experience of touch.

    David Emerson, a yoga teacher at the Trauma Center of the Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts, has studied how yoga might be able to help trauma survivors by allowing them to reconnect with their bodies. He says there are essentially two ways that trauma victims conjure up memories. One is explicit — the memories that we have words for and can share with others. The other kind of memory is a more implicit form.

    "Implicit memories are things we don't have words for, but that our bodies know," he said. "Our bodies will react, but we might not have language for what's happening, we just might shut down, or we might withdraw, we could lash out, whatever the response. There may be no language, but that would be considered a traumatic memory enacted." 

    The ways that implicit memory works inside our body are still not fully understood, he says, "but there seems to be a distinction between traumatic memories and non-traumatic memories." 

    When we are reminded of a traumatic memory, it often triggers some kind of flashback, and along with it, a bodily response. 

    "It's your whole organism that remembers the experience," Emerson said.

    Often, the first and most persistent memories of a traumatic event come as feelings, tastes, sounds. That's what Ford said she remembers most about the night of her alleged attack. 

    "The details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget," Ford said in prepared remarks Thursday. "They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me, especially as an adult." 

    In her testimony, Ford mentioned the sound of laughter as what she remembered the most from the alleged incident.

    "Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter," Ford said on Thursday. "The uproarious laughter between the two [boys] and their having fun at my expense."

    That tracks with what we know about the power of a traumatic memory.

    "Those kinds of things, they seem to be incredibly persistent, more reliable than narrative memory," Emerson said.

    Trauma is tougher when you feel powerless

    Many psychologists and therapists operate under the assumption that the best way to deal with trauma is to talk about it. But there's really no reward for sexual assault survivors who choose to process their trauma out loud. It's been much better to remain silent, speechless, and keep those memories hidden. 

    Ahead of the Thursday hearing, 85 year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg spoke up about that very problem. 

    "Every woman of my vintage has not just one story but many stories," she told a crowd of law students at Georgetown on Wednesday. "But we thought there was nothing you could do about it — boys will be boys — so just find a way to get out of it."

    In other words, the effects of feeling stuck and incapacitated are much larger than a neuro-biological issue. Trauma isn't always something that happens in a single person's nervous system. It can be ingrained in a culture. 

    "The abuse of power is so rampant and so obvious and so constant," Emerson said. "In the past, pushing back against that power has been a futile exercise."

    He thinks we're seeing some of the first signs that's no longer the case, as with Ford's testimony. 

    "People are feeling the impact of chronic power abuse," he said. "But for some reason, some people have access to [say] 'no more. That's not going to happen anymore.'"

    SEE ALSO: A former dominatrix reveals two straightforward ways to deal with jerks and sexual predators

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    Christine Blasey Ford testimony

    • Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault, delivered emotional and steadfast testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
    • Ford said she was "100%" certain that Kavanaugh assaulted her — and that his friend Mark Judge was a witness.
    • Democrats praised Ford's courage, thanked her for coming forward, and criticized Republicans' handling of the allegations of misconduct against Kavanaugh.
    • The 11 Republicans on the committee — all of them men — said very little during Ford's questioning, opting to turn their time over to the female prosecutor asking questions on their behalf.

    Christine Blasey Ford delivered emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in which she said she was "100%" certain that Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

    Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, at times spoke with emotion in her voice and tears in her eyes but remained calm and stalwart through several hours of questioning from senators and an independent counsel, Rachel Mitchell, a sex-crimes prosecutor.

    Ford repeatedly said she had no doubt that Kavanaugh assaulted her and that his friend Mark Judge was a witness, and she delivered a detailed account of the incident.

    At one point, Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, brought up the suggestion made by some Republicans and their allies that Ford is confused about the identity of the person who assaulted her.

    "I am asking you to address this new defense of mistaken identity directly," Durbin said. "Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe Judge Kavanaugh assaulted you?"

    Ford replied without hesitation: "100%."

    Ford's experience as a psychologist was evident in many moments throughout her testimony, particularly when she described the anxiety and other long-term effects she felt.

    When Ford was asked how she knows it was Kavanaugh and not another teenager who attacked her, she responded: "Just basic memory functions, and also just the level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that sort of, as you know, encodes — that neurotransmitter that codes memories into the hippocampus, and so the trauma-related experience is locked there, whereas other details kind of drift."

    Dianne Feinstein Christine Blasey Ford kavanaugh

    Democrats praise Ford's 'profound public service'

    While the 11 Republicans on the committee — all of them men — said very little during Ford's questioning, opting to turn their time over to Mitchell, every Democrat praised Ford's courage and thanked her for coming forward.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut at one point stated the obvious: "The senators on the other side of the aisle have been silent."

    He then quoted something his Republican colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in his 2015 book about his prosecutions of rape cases: "I learned how much unexpected courage from a deep and hidden place it takes for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant."

    Blumenthal said Ford had "inspired and given courage to women" while encouraging men "to listen respectfully to women survivors and men who have survived a sexual attack."

    He added: "That is a profound public service, regardless of what happens with this nomination."

    Democrats also defended Ford at points during the hearing.

    "You are not on trial," Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor and California attorney general, told Ford after a bout of questioning by Mitchell.

    Sen. Jon Tester, one of the handful of red-state Democrats seen as a swing vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, told reporters that he thought Ford is credible but that he was still undecided on his vote.

    "My reaction is that I think that proper questions have been asked, and I'll be interested to see what Kavanaugh has to say this afternoon," he said. "I want to hear the other side of the argument."

    'She's pleasing': Republicans assess Ford's credibility

    During breaks in the hearing, some GOP senators suggested to reporters that they believe Ford to be credible.

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said of Ford, "She's pleasing."

    "I don't find her un-credible," he said. "I think she's an attractive — good witness."

    Notably, hosts and commentators on Fox News appeared to sympathize with Ford.

    "This was extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible," the Fox News host Chris Wallace said during a break in the hearing, adding, "This is a disaster for the Republicans."

    Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:

    SEE ALSO: LIVE: Christine Blasey Ford says she's '100%' certain Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Christine Blasey Ford

    • Mark Judge has become a focal point of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee.
    • Ford, now a professor in California, said Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh forced himself on her and groped her at a high-school party when they were teenagers.
    • She accused Judge of standing by and aiding Kavanaugh.
    • There are growing calls for Judge to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Mark Judge, the friend of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, became a focal point of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, leading to growing calls for him to testify before the body.

    Ford, now a professor in California, said Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh forced himself on her and groped her at a high-school party when they were teenagers in 1982. She accused Judge of standing by and aiding Kavanaugh.

    Asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy to describe a detail she "cannot forget," Ford recalled how she felt she was the object of the boys' laughter.

    "Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and they're having fun at my expense," she said, adding, "I was underneath one of them while the two laughed — two friends having a really good time with one another."

    In her prepared written testimony, Ford said that "both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack."

    "They both seemed to be having a good time," she said, adding, "A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not."

    Ford said the only reason she was able to escape was that Judge eventually jumped on the bed with her and Kavanaugh, toppling the group and giving her an opportunity to exit the room.

    Kavanaugh and Judge have both denied Ford's allegations.

    Senate Democrats want Judge to testify

    Since the California professor came forward, Democrats have called for Judge to testify alongside Ford and Kavanaugh. Those calls increased on Thursday.

    "We believe Judge should be subpoenaed so the committee can hear from him directly," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking Democrat.

    Judge has declined to speak publicly on the matter, as well as an allegation of sexual misconduct from another woman, Julie Swetnick. He was spotted by a reporter earlier this week at a friend's house in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

    "Mark Judge should be subpoenaed from his Bethany Beach hideaway," Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said on Thursday.

    Judge became central to Ford's testimony. Ford said she saw Judge at a Safeway supermarket in suburban Maryland "six to eight weeks" after the alleged assault and that he "looked a little bit ill."

    "Mark Judge looked like he was working there and arranging the shopping carts," she said. "I said hello to him, and his face was white and very uncomfortable saying hello back. And we had previously been friendly at the times that we saw each other over the previous two years."

    Judge wrote in "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk," his memoir about his struggles with alcoholism and his partying days as a student at Georgetown Preparatory School, that he worked as a "bag boy at the local supermarket" in the summer of 1982 to raise money for a football camp.

    Ford has struggled to recall the exact date and location of the alleged assault, making her recollection of the encounter with Judge potentially significant.

    Ford said she would like Judge to be interviewed about the allegations

    Later in the hearing, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked Ford if she would like Judge to "be interviewed in connection with the background investigation and the serious, credible allegations" she's made.

    Ford, who has called for the FBI to investigate her allegation, said it would be her "preference" but that she was "not sure it's really up to me."

    "I certainly would feel like I could be more helpful to everyone if I knew the date that he worked at the Safeway so that I could give a more specific date of the assault," she said.

    Judge has not responded to repeated requests for comment from Business Insider.

    His attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, on Thursday told Business Insider she was not "commenting while the proceeding is ongoing."

    SEE ALSO: LIVE: Christine Blasey Ford says she's '100%' certain Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    GettyImages 955155242

    • HBO will be "pivoting away" from broadcasting live professional boxing this year, 45 years after its first televised match, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
    • "Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO," Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, told The New York Times.
    • The network reportedly has no fights scheduled after a middleweight title fight that is set to take place on October 27, according to The Times.

     

    HBO announced on Thursday that it will be "pivoting away" from its live broadcasting of professional boxing matches, 45 years after the cable network televised its first fight.

    Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, made the announcement in a meeting with the HBO Boxing staff on Thursday, according to The New York Times, which first reported the news.

    "This is not a subjective decision," Nelson told The Times. "Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO."

    "Going forward in 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO," HBO said in a statement to CBS Sports. "As always, we will remain open to looking at events that fit our programming mix. This could include boxing, just not for the foreseeable future."

    HBO broadcasted its first fight in 1973 with George Foreman's iconic knockout of Joe Frazier. According to The Times, the network has no fights scheduled after a middleweight title fight that is set to take place on October 27 at Madison Square Garden. 

    The Times reported a Nielsen measurement that said HBO boxing matches averaged about 820,000 viewers in 2018, or only about 2 percent of the network's subscriber base of 40 million viewers. This figure is down significantly from when major fights on HBO attracted as much as one-third of the network's domestic subscriber base in the 1980s and '90s, according to The Times.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    minimalist desk

    • Your desk should be organized in a way that maximizes productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work.
    • A cluttered, messy desk can negatively impact your ability to perform your job.
    • Here are nine things you should never keep at your desk.

     

    Organization comes naturally to some, but for others, it's just not in their nature. Maybe you're too busy to clean up, or perhaps organized chaos works well for you.

    Regardless, a messy desk can negatively impact productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work, according to a study published in The Harvard Business Review.

    Additionally, some of the items you keep on your desk may not be appropriate for the workplace, such as political items or documents with sensitive information.

    Whether your place of work is cubicle, corner office, or open layout, here are nine things you should never keep at your desk:

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you should always keep at your desk

    1. Lunch

    You may think it's wise  to eat lunch at your desk, when in fact, it could actually hurt your productivity.

    In a 2015 NPR article, Professor Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management noted, "We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment."

    "So staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It's also detrimental to doing that rumination that's needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an 'aha' moment," Elsbach said.



    2. Dirty coffee mugs

    Unwashed coffee mugs lying around can add clutter your workspace.

    "It's best to take a minute and leave your coffee mug in the kitchen immediately after usage," Valli Vishnubhotla, digital PR manager at AW Media, told Business Insider.



    3. Political items

    "Although everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions, your work colleagues may take umbrage to your political viewpoint," business coach and entrepreneur Eugene Gamble told Business Insider.

    This can lead to unnecessary work tension and conflict. Gamble suggested keeping your political views separate from the workplace.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kavanaugh ford hearing 2x1

    • Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
    • Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school.
    • Both Kavanaugh and Ford are expected to be questioned by senators on the committee and a career prosecutor enlisted by the Republican majority.

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and professor Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault, are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

    After committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, delivered their opening statements, Ford gave her opening statement before being questioned. Kavanaugh was set to testify after Ford, in the afternoon. (Ford and Kavanaugh will not be in the same room together.)

    Rather than questioning the two witnesses themselves, senators can yield the five minutes they're each allotted to an independent counsel, Rachel Mitchell, a career prosecutor experienced in handling sex crimes who was enlisted by the committee's Republicans.

    The Senate is narrowly divided, and Kavanaugh will need to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake — all of whom appear undecided — that he is innocent and fit to be confirmed.

    A committee vote to confirm Kavanaugh is tentatively scheduled for Friday.

    Watch the hearing here, and scroll down for updates on our live blog:

    SEE ALSO: How to watch the Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh hearings live — and what to expect

    SEE ALSO: GOP support for Kavanaugh and Trump is plummeting

    3:55 p.m. ET: Rachel Mitchell begins her questioning of Kavanaugh

    Mitchell gave Kavanaugh a document stating the definition of sexual behavior to review. 



    3:50 p.m. ET: Kavanaugh: 'I may never teach again ... I may never coach again'

    Kavanuagh said that the allegations made against him could "destroy" his future — not just his prospect of becoming a Supreme Court justice. 

    "I love teaching law, but thnaks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never teach again," Kavanaugh said.

    "I have a long record of service to America and to the Constitution," he said. "I ask you to judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother, or your son."



    3:08 p.m. ET: We're back from recess and Judge Brett Kavanaugh will begin his testimony

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivered a defiant opening statement. 

    "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations," he said. "I know that any kind of investigation ... will clear me." 

    Kavanaugh slammed the confirmation process as "a national disgrace" and called out a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee for calling him "evil." 

    "You have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy," he said. "You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit. Never."

    The judge insisted that he will not withdraw his nomination. 

    "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You have tried hard. You given it your all. No one can question your effort," he said. "Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroyed my family will not drag me out."

    The judge said he fears for the precedent that this will set for future confirmation processes. 

    "What goes around comes around," he said. "I fear for the future."

    Kavanaugh became emotional when describing the impact the allegations have had on his family and added that his daughter, Eliza, said the family should pray for her father's accusers. 

    "That's a lot of wisdom from a ten-year-old," he said.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo By Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

    • Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
    • Republicans opted to have a seasoned prosecutor question Ford instead of doing it themselves.
    • Most Republicans emerged from the hearing unmoved, with Democrats maintaining that Ford's testimony was credible.
    • Follow our live coverage.

    WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats came out of the testimony from professor Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday the same way they went into it — fiercely divided on whether or not the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault was telling the truth.

    The question of Ford's credibility was on the line, particularly with the few senators undecided on voting to confirm Kavanaugh and those in a political bind going into the 2018 midterm elections. But for the overwhelming majority of senators, nothing Ford said really changed their minds.

    "Do I find her credible? Well I don't know that we know anything new," Republican Sen. John Thune told reporters. "I mean I haven't watch it all but it seems like the fact pattern is pretty much the same. There's still nobody that can corroborate her story. So I'm not sure at this point there's anything that we've learned that we didn't already know."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, who like all the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee deferred their questioning time to the outside counsel hired for the hearing, told reporters he "wanted to hear it out," but did not like the constant distractions of other accusations.

    "What I regret is all this garbage coming in from left field — accusations that are just so over the top — has kind of taken away from this whole process," he said.

    Graham also reiterating a common theory among Republicans, that Ford misidentified Kavanaugh as the man who assaulted her when they were both in high school.

    "I think something happened to her somewhere in her life, but I'm stuck with the fact that somewhere in Maryland maybe in the summer of 1982 and I think it'd be pretty clear here in a few minutes that the people named don't corroborate it," he said.

    Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said Ford appeared to be credible, but that he thought the same of Kavanaugh, whose story is that he never committed any sexual assault.

    "Looks to me that she's credible," Shelby said. "I thought Kavanaugh was credible too. So we don't know, let's let the process work. That's all I know."

    But Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn emerged from the hearing with a different opinion than before it started.

    "I found no reason to find her not credible," he told reporters after Ford's testimony concluded. "There are obviously gaps in her story. Obviously we know people who are traumatized can have those sort of gaps. But again I regret that she finds herself in this circus-like setting."

    Cornyn noted that he still needs to hear from Kavanaugh as well.

    "I think we need to hear from the judge," he said. "I think his reputation is on the line. His career as well. This needs to be a fair process to both Dr. Ford and to Judge Kavanaugh."

    Democrats are still demanding the FBI take the lead

    Democrats have called on President Donald Trump to withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination, while also hammering in that the FBI needs to investigate the matter. So far that has not happened, but they continued to demand an investigation in lieu of the committee probing the allegations on their own.

    "I think she's a very credible witness," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, told Business Insider. "I think she's entirely believable."

    "I think when you think back to understand what she's gone through and she was 15 when this happened, the big thing is we need an FBI investigation and that gets to the nuts and bolts of this. And it's believable," she added. "There's a real problem I think without an investigation by the FBI because people can say — make a lot of accusations — and none of them will be true and yet you can't prove or disprove it."

    For the few remaining swing voters on Kavanaugh's nomination, they are still delaying any judgment. Sen. Joe Donnelly told reporters Ford's testimony was "extraordinarily credible and compelling," but did not offer much more.

    Montana Sen. Jon Tester, one of the handful of Democrats up for re-election this year in conservative states, said he found Ford to be credible, but needed to wait out the entire process and hear from Kavanaugh as well.

    "I think that proper questions have been asked and it would be interesting to see what Kavanaugh has to say this afternoon," he said. "This is one side of the argument, I want to hear the other side of the argument before we make any [decision]."

    SEE ALSO: LIVE: Christine Blasey Ford says she's '100%' certain Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    brett kavanaugh

    • Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh held back tears during emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday as he described how allegations of sexual assault had affected his family.
    • He described how his 10-year-old daughter, Liza, had suggested praying for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
    • "That's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old," he said.
    • Kavanaugh delivered a blistering condemnation of how his confirmation was handled, and how his family and name may have been "permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations."
    • Follow along with our live coverage of the hearing.

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh choked up during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday as he delivered a fiery defense against allegations of sexual assault.

    His voice broke as he described how his 10-year-old daughter had suggested praying for Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged that Kavanaugh once groped her and attempted to rape her while the two were teenagers in the 1980s.

    "I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford and her family," Kavanaugh said, describing how his two daughters had coped with the news of the allegations.

    "Liza, all of 10 years old, said to Ashley, 'We should pray for the woman.' That's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old," he said.

    Kavanaugh repeated several times that he doesn't doubt that Ford was, indeed, sexually assaulted "by some person, in some place." But he said he has never sexually assaulted anyone.

    He added that he didn't travel in the same social circles as Ford, that he didn't recall ever meeting her, and that the friends Ford has cited as potential witnesses didn't recall the event.

    Kavanaugh grew enraged when describing the impact the allegations and his nomination overall have had on him and his family, calling the confirmation process "a national disgrace."

    "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations," he said. "You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit. Never."

    Watch a clip of Kavanaugh's testimony below:

     

    SEE ALSO: Christine Blasey Ford says the strongest memory she has of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault was 'the uproarious laughter'

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    Christine Blasey Ford testimony

    • Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in the summer of 1982.
    • Ford has named three other people she says were at the high school party when she was assaulted, including one who she claims was in the room.
    • All three have denied recollection of such a party. Here's what they've said.
    • Follow live updates from Ford and Kavanaugh's testimony here.

    Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee surrounding her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a Maryland house party in the summer of 1982, when he was 17 years old and she 15.

    Aside from Kavanaugh himself, Ford has named three other people she says were at the party during the alleged incident — one of whom she claims was in the room and a witness to the assault.

    All three have denied any recollection of being at such a party or knowing of an any alleged assault by Kavanaugh, but none have been called to testify in the confirmation hearings.

    During Kavanaugh's opening statement to the committee, he emphasized their denials, made to the Judiciary Committee under penalty of perjury, as proof of his innocence.

    "There were four boys I remember being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth, and one other boy whose name I cannot recall," Ford said in her prepared remarks. "I remember my friend Leland Ingham attending."

    Here are the people Ford says were at the party, and what we know about them:

    Brett Kavanaugh

    brett kavanaugh

    In her testimony before the Judiciary Committee and in multiple letters Ford and her attorneys have sent to members of Congress and the committee, Ford accuses Kavanaugh of attacking her.

    She specifically described walking up the stairs to go to the bathroom, only for Kavanaugh and Judge to push into a bedroom and lock the door behind her. She accuses Kavanaugh of pushing her onto the bed and attempting to remove her bathing suit and rape her while putting his hand over his mouth to stop her from crying out for help.

    Ford says she was able to escape when Judge jumped on top of them, toppling them over and allowing her to escape and leave the situation.

    In the decades since, she recalls only telling her therapist, her husband, and a number of close friends that she had experienced a sexual assault in high school, sometimes saying her attacker was a prominent judge and lawyer, but never identifying him by name until this June, when he was rumored to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

    Kavanaugh himself has vehemently denied Ford's allegations. "I had never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever," he told Fox News' Martha MacCullum on Monday. "I've always treated women with dignity and respect."

    He echoed those words in a defiant, emotional opening statement on Thursday, slamming the confirmation process as "a national disgrace".

    "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations," he said. "I know that any kind of investigation ... will clear me."

    Kavanaugh also denied being at such a party.

    Mark Judge

    Ford remembers Mark Judge, a close high school friend of Kavanaugh's, being in the room during the alleged assault. She specifically recalls him as blasting music and laughing with Kavanaugh during the alleged attack.

    "A couple times I made eye contact with Mark [Judge], thinking he would help me, but he did not," Ford recounted during questioning.

    Ford also recalled encountering Judge several weeks after the alleged attack at the Potomac Village Safeway. "I said hello to him and his face was white and very uncomfortable saying hello back," she recalled in the hearing. "He was just nervous and not really wanting to speak with me. He looked a little bit ill."

    In a statement sent from his lawyers to the Judiciary Committee, Judge denied that the alleged incident occurred and has not responded to calls from Democrats compelling him to testify under oath. They say that without Judge's testimony, the case would remain a "he-said, she-said" matter.

    "I have no memory of the alleged incident," he wrote. "Brett and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter."

    He continued: "I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford's letter."

    Kavanaugh and Judge both went to Georgetown Prep, an elite, all-boys high school in the Washington, DC, area. Kavanaugh said during the hearing the two were friends since ninth grade, and described Judge as a "popular", "funny guy" with a "serious addiction problem."

    Years after high school, Judge wrote a memoir, "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk." It chronicled his struggles with alcoholism while a teenager, painting his days at Georgetown Prep as filled with parties and black-out drunk nights.

    Judge changed names in the book to protect people's privacy, but he at one point referenced a friend named "Bart O'Kavanaugh." The character was described as someone who got so drunk he "puked in someone's car the other night."

    Judge, an author, filmmaker, and journalist, has also floated some controversial ideas and opinions in his writings.

    In 1983, for example, one of Judge's high school yearbook quotes read: "Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs."

    Patrick James 'PJ' Smyth

    Ford has named Smyth, one of Kavanaugh's classmates in the Georgetown Prep class of 1983, as one of the people present at the alleged gathering. During her testimony, she made it clear he was not a bystander to the alleged attack itself, just an alleged attendant at the party.

    Smyth denied having attended such a party or knowing of any alleged assault by Kavanaugh.

    "I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh," Smyth wrote in a statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee by his lawyers.

    Smyth had also signed his name onto a letter stating that Kavanaugh "is singularly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court" along with several other Georgetown Prep alums.

    During the hearing, Kavanaugh said he and Smyth were neighbors who carpooled together and played on the football team.

    Leland Ingham Keyser

    Ford recalled that her friend, Leland Keyser (maiden name Ingham), was downstairs at the party during the alleged incident, but that she did not discuss it with Keyser after it happened.

    Keyser, a long-time friend of Ford's, denied having attended such a party like the one Ford described after being contacted by staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    "Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford," her attorney Howard Walsh wrote in a statement sent to the committee.

    "Leland has significant health challenges, and let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes," Ford said during the hearing.

    She added: "Leland would not remember this unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening."

    Kavanaugh said during the hearing that he knew of Keyser, and that that they crossed paths in high school.

    Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:

    John Haltiwanger contributed reporting.

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    • Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum said on CNN that Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was "authentic" and would pose "a big problem for Brett Kavanaugh."
    • A number of commentators observed that Ford appeared confident and convincing when recalling how Kavanaugh allegedly groped and attempted to rape her in the 1980s.
    • Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegations and delivered his own scorching testimony decrying his confirmation process as a "national disgrace."

    Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum said on CNN that professor Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Brett Kavanaugh was convincing enough to pose a major hurdle for the Republican lawmakers trying to confirm him to the Supreme Court.

    "I would say that just watching her, that she seems authentic," he said. "The emotional responses, even the humor that she emoted at times. Everything just seemed authentic, and that's a big problem for Brett Kavanaugh."

    Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee throughout Thursday morning and afternoon, detailing her allegations that Kavanaugh once groped her and attempted to rape her at a party in the early 1980s.

    Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegations and delivered his own fiery testimony on Thursday afternoon, condemning his confirmation process as a "national disgrace" and said his family and reputation have been "totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations." 

    Ford's testimony yielded a number of emotional moments, where she detailed her memories of Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge laughing with each other during the alleged attack, and where she said she was 100% certain she hadn't mistaken Kavanaugh for another man.

    Santorum said Republicans now have to grapple with how to weigh Ford's testimony against their support for Kavanaugh.

    "They're not sure about the story — they want to believe Brett Kavanaugh because Brett Kavanaugh's a good and upstanding man and all these other things, and he said factually, 'This didn't happen,'" Santorum said. "And so I think most folks are saying, 'He's got a good track record; I believe him.'"

    He later suggested that Republicans could decide that Kavanaugh is not worth the challenges in confirming him.

    "Let's just be honest. I hate to say this. There are other alternatives than Brett Kavanaugh who can be a Supreme Court justice that are on the president's list who could get confirmed right now, and could get confirmed very quickly," Santorum said.

    He wasn't the only commentator moved by Ford's testimony Thursday. Fox News host Chris Wallace called her remarks "extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible," while NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly also said she thought Ford's testimony could be "deeply problematic" for Kavanaugh's nomination.

    SEE ALSO: Kavanaugh chokes up during Senate testimony describing how his 10-year-old daughter wanted to pray for his accuser Christine Blasey Ford

    DON'T MISS: Christine Blasey Ford says the strongest memory she has of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault was 'the uproarious laughter'

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    • Though it took place in the middle of the work day, many Americans stopped what they were doing on Thursday to watch Christine Blasey Ford testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    • Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her at a party when they were both in high school.
    • As Ford gave her side of the story, Americans watched in bars, at their offices, and in classrooms across the country.

    As Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Americans across the country stopped what they were doing to hear what she had to say.

    They watched in bars and offices. Some even tuned in on their transcontinental flights. A teacher in Boston projected the hearing onto her whiteboard so her students could witness history.

    Dozens took to social media to reflect on what it felt like to see Ford speak about the alleged sexual assault, which she says happened at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    "I felt her pain and her terror as I watched," one Instagram user wrote.

    See how Americans tuned in:

    SEE ALSO: LIVE: Christine Blasey Ford says she's '100%' certain Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school

    DON'T MISS: Christine Blasey Ford emerged confident and certain in the first part of her marathon testimony, and Trump's allies are worried

    Zette Emmons was on a JetBlue flight from New York to San Francisco when the hearing started. Almost everyone around her tuned in on their seatback TVs.



    A couple listened to Ford's hearing on a phone while riding the New York City subway.

    Source: Twitter/@aronczyk



    In Los Angeles, CNN's local bureau broadcast the hearing on TVs that face out to the street.

    Source: Getty



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Brett Kavanaugh

    • Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse went back and forth over details from his high-school yearbook in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.
    • They went over references to beer and "flatulence," among other things.
    • Kavanaugh's yearbook page has been scrutinized and carefully analyzed for any details that might pertain to allegations he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford. 
    • Kavanaugh dismissed many of the references on the yearbook page as youthful jokes and indiscretions. 

    Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Thursday went back and forth over details from his high-school yearbook in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, including references to beer and "flatulence."

    Kavanaugh is accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford at a high-school party when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. In this context, his yearbook page has been scrutinized and carefully analyzed for any details that might pertain to the alleged incident.

    Kavanaugh yearbook

    Whitehouse on Thursday said that "one of the reasons, Mr. Kavanaugh, that we are looking at the yearbook is that it is relatively consistent in time with the events at issue here.

    "And because it appears to be your words, is it, in fact, your words on your yearbook page?" he said.

    Kavanaugh told the senator they were his words, but it was possible that editors changed them before the yearbook was published. 

    Whitehouse then proceeded to ask Kavanaugh for clarification on various words on his yearbook page:

    • The senator, for example, asked Kavanaugh to explain a reference to "The Beach Week Ralph Club."
    • After high school students graduate in the Washington, DC, area, many head to Ocean City, Maryland, for what is known as "Beach Week." Whitehouse wanted to know to what "Ralph" alluded.
    • "That probably refers to throwing up. I'm known to have a weak stomach and always have. In fact, the last time I was here you asked me about having ketchup on spaghetti, I always have had a weak stomach," Kavanaugh said.
    • Kavanaugh dodged whether the vomiting was related to alcohol when asked by the senator, but at one point said to him, "I like beer. I don't know if you do. Do you like beer, senator? What do you like to drink?"

    Whitehouse did not reply, and continued questioning Kavanaugh. 

    At another point during the questioning, Whitehouse asked Kavanaugh for the meaning of "boofed," which was also referenced on the yearbook page. Kavanaugh said it was a slang term for "flatulence." 

    "It refers to flatulence. We were 16," Kavanaugh said.

    Kavanaugh dismissed many of the references on the yearbook page as youthful jokes and indiscretions. The Supreme Court nominee unequivocally denies the sexual misconduct allegations he faces. 

    Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:

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    Brett Kavanaugh

    • Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein got a letter in July from Christine Blasey Ford accusing the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but the allegation did not become public until Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings in September.
    • In the intervening months, Feinstein and her team considered hiring an investigator to look into Ford's allegation, The Associated Press reported. They did not want to make Ford's identity public because she had requested anonymity.
    • Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have accused Feinstein of keeping the allegation secret until the last minute to torpedo Kavanaugh's nomination.
    • Other Democrats were also upset that the allegation was kept quiet, but Feinstein felt she had no choice, according to the AP.

    The Democratic senator who has known about an allegation of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh since July said she held off on making it public because the accuser had asked her to keep it confidential.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein received a letter on July 30 from Christine Blasey Ford alleging that at a high-school party in the 1980s, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her, and put his hands over her mouth when she resisted.

    But Feinstein did not make the details public as Kavanaugh's hearings progressed, and leaks about the allegation caught other Democrats off guard, The Associated Press reported on Monday, citing "a dozen interviews with senators, aides, and others."

    Ford first met with Rep. Anna Eshoo, who later told Feinstein about Ford's allegation. Feinstein then asked that Ford write it in the letter, which the Senate Judiciary Committee has released in full.

    Feinstein then felt that she faced a dilemma, the AP reported. Telling other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee could risk identifying Ford, who had asked that her identity be protected. But withholding the allegation would prevent Kavanaugh from having to answer to it.

    Feinstein's team considered hiring an investigator to look into the allegation, but that would have violated Senate rules saying that both parties on a committee must consult with each other, the AP reported.

    Ford decided in August that she would not go public, according to the AP. She later told The Washington Post that she did not believe her story would affect Kavanaugh's confirmation and that telling it would be painful.

    But even though Feinstein said she kept quiet, details of the allegation began to leak. Democrats on the Judiciary Committee called on Feinstein to send Ford's letter, with her name redacted, to the FBI. They were upset that Feinstein had not shared the information, the AP reported.

    President Donald Trump has accused Feinstein and other Democrats of waiting to release the allegation so as to jeopardize Kavanaugh's nomination.

    "Senator Feinstein and the Democrats held the letter for months, only to release it with a bang after the hearings were OVER — done very purposefully to Obstruct & Resist & Delay," the president tweeted last week. "Let her testify, or not, and TAKE THE VOTE!"

    The AP described Kevin de Leon, a Democrat in California's state Senate, as saying that Feinstein should have confronted Kavanaugh with the allegation at his confirmation hearing and that she could have done so without naming Ford.

    "But Feinstein would claim she had no other choice," the AP said.

    Ford, who went public with her allegation in an interview with The Post in early September. She gave an emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

    SEE ALSO: Read the full timeline of Christine Blasey Ford's and Brett Kavanaugh's testimony here

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    Lindsey Graham.JPG

    • GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted his Democratic colleagues during a confirmation hearing over allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 
    • "When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you've done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics," he said.
    • Watch live updates of Ford's testimony here.

    As the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over allegations he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when both were in high school in the early 1980s, Sen. Lindsey Graham used his allotted time to blast his Democratic colleagues. 

    "What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You've said that. Not me. You've got nothing to apologize for," he said.

    "When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you've done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics," he added, referring to President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

    Addressing Democrats and then Kavanaugh, Graham said, "You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford. None. She's as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this, you're looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend."

    When Kavanaugh told Graham that he'd "been to hell and then some" over the allegations, Graham responded, "This is not a job interview, this is hell." 

    Graham then went on to discuss Kavanaugh's reported good character and strong ethical standards, arguing that the behavior of assaulting women would have continued long after his high school days had it been true. 

    "This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap," he continued. "You have interacted with professional women all your life. Not one accusation. You're supposed to be Bill Cosby when you're a junior and senior in high school. And all of a sudden, you got over it." 

    Graham ended his fiery remarks by calling on his fellow Republicans not to vote against Kavanaugh over the allegations. "To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics. You want this seat, I hope you never get it."

    Turning to Kavanaugh, he said, "I hope you're on the Supreme Court. That's exactly where you should be." 

    Earlier in the day, Graham told reporters that Democrats can expect their judicial nominees to also face misconduct allegations in the future"If this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees," he said. 

    Watch Graham's full remarks:

     

    Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:

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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • All three women who have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school and college said he was intoxicated during the alleged incidents.
    • Kavanaugh said during a Monday interview that the minimum legal drinking age was 18 back then.
    • But in 1982, when Kavanaugh was 17, Maryland — where he grew up and attended high school — changed the minimum legal drinking age to 21 from 18. Therefore, any drinking that Kavanaugh did in the state of Maryland during high school was illegal. 

    Central to the sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh are the parallel accusations that Kavanaugh was intoxicated while he committed the alleged wrongdoing.

    During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Kavanaugh insisted that he has never been a heavy drinker, despite multiple allegations from his accusers and former classmates that he became "aggressive" and "belligerant" when he drank excessively, which he did regularly in high school and college. 

    According to multiple accounts, Kavanaugh was an eager participant in a hard-partying culture at his elite all-boys high school, Georgetown Preparatory, and at Yale University, where he was a member of a fraternity and an all-male secret society, Truth and Courage, nicknamed "Tit and Clit."

    At one point during a Monday interview with Fox News, Kavanaugh addressed Georgetown Prep's drinking culture.

    "Yes, there were parties, and yes, the drinking age was 18," Kavanaugh told the Fox host Martha MacCallum. "And yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion. And people generally in high school — I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit."

    But Maryland's minimum legal drinking age for beer and wine was changed to 21 from 18 in July 1982, during the summer before Kavanaugh's senior year. It was already 21 for hard liquor. Therefore, any drinking that Kavanaugh did in the state of Maryland during high school was illegal. 

    Residents who had turned 18 by that time were grandfathered in and allowed to drink legally. Kavanaugh was 17 at the time.

    In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act made the minimum legal drinking age 21 nationwide.

    Kavanaugh appeared to correct his assertion about the drinking age during his Senate testimony on Thursday, during which he repeated his claim that he never never drank so much that he could not recall what happened while he was drunk (known as "blacking out"). 

    "The drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school, and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school," he said, adding, "I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone." 

    James Roche, Kavanaugh's college roommate, told The New Yorker he remembered Kavanaugh being "frequently, incoherently drunk" and said it was plausible that Kavanaugh exposed himself to a Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez, who alleges that he thrust his penis in her face against her will while he was inebriated.

    "Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely," Roche said, referring to Ramirez, whom he described as a close friend in college. "Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes."

    Kavanaugh has denied all of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, calling them "smears, pure and simple" and "grotesque and obvious character assassination."

    SEE ALSO: Kavanaugh defends himself in Fox News interview alongside his wife by claiming he never sexually assaulted anyone and didn't have sex until 'many years after' college

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    brett kavanaugh

    • Brett Kavanaugh delivered an emotional and angry rebuttal Thursday of the sexual-assault allegation that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford made against him.
    • But legal experts said the most important piece of evidence regarding Kavanaugh's credibility didn't come from what he said, but what he didn't say.
    • Kavanaugh repeatedly dodged Democratic lawmakers' questions about whether he would support an FBI investigation into Ford's claims, and whether he would be in favor of Mark Judge, who Ford says is an eyewitness to the alleged assault, to testify before the Senate.
    • "This damages his credibility, perhaps irrevocably," said one former Justice Department prosecutor.
    • "Focus on the only potential eye witness," said another. "Where is Mark Judge?"

    Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's embattled nominee to fill a Supreme Court seat, came out swinging when he defended himself Thursday against a bombshell allegation of sexual assault.

    But the most salient piece of evidence came not from what Kavanaugh said, but what he didn't say.

    At the center of Thursday's hearing is an accusation of sexual assault that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, made against Kavanaugh earlier this summer and which became public last week.

    Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford said Kavanaugh attacked her when they were at a high school gathering in the summer of 1982. She also said that Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, witnessed the alleged assault and at times egged Kavanaugh on.

    Kavanaugh vehemently and categorically denied Ford's allegations on Thursday.

    But he became visibly evasive when Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked him two pointed questions: would Kavanaugh be in favor of Judge testifying before the committee, and would he ask the White House to order the FBI to investigate the claims against him?

    When Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Kavanaugh whether he wanted Judge to testify, Kavanaugh replied: "He's already provided sworn testimony," referring to an affidavit Judge submitted which was signed by his lawyer.

    When Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin asked Kavanaugh whether he would support an FBI investigation into Ford's claims and Judge appearing before the committee, Kavanaugh said that the FBI "does not reach conclusions" and dodged Durbin's inquiries about Judge.

    "You can't have it both ways," Durbin told Kavanaugh. "You can't say here at the beginning ... 'I welcome any kind of investigation,' and then walk away from this."

    "This thing was sprung on me," Kavanaugh said. "This thing was sprung at the last minute after being held by staff, you know, and I called for a hearing immediately."

    Durbin replied: "Judge, if there's no truth to her charges, the FBI investigation will show that. Are you afraid they might not?"

    Kavanaugh then accused Durbin of asking a "phony question," saying that the FBI would "just go and do what you're doing: ask questions and then type up a report. They don't reach the bottom-line conclusion."

    But during his opening statement, Kavanaugh touted the background checks the FBI had conducted on him when he was up for other jobs within the US government earlier in his career, which he said found no evidence of any wrongdoing in his past.

    A 'straw man argument'

    Christine Blasey Ford

    Throughout the hearing, at least five Democratic lawmakers asked Kavanaugh about opening an FBI investigation on at least nine different occasions. Each time, he declined to give a yes-or-no answer.

    Meanwhile, Republicans on the panel asserted that the FBI did not need to investigate the allegations because the committee was conducting an inquiry into them.

    Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor in Chicago, characterized the claim as a "straw man argument."

    "FBI finds potential eyewitnesses, tries to confirm surrounding facts," and more, he said. "Kavanaugh and the sex-crimes prosecutor asking questions would both agree that they would want to talk to any potential witnesses before reaching any conclusions. Any rookie prosecutor, or investigator, or finder of fact, would talk to Mark Judge. A court would do so under oath."

    Durbin later brought up Ford’s testimony, during which she said that she ran into Judge at a local supermarket six to eight weeks after the alleged assault. Durbin said that if the committee subpoenaed Judge to testify, lawmakers could get answers on some of the specifics of the event that Ford said she could not recall.

    "So the point I’m getting to is, we at least can connect some dots here and get some information," Durbin said. "Why would you resist that kind of investigation?"

    Kavanaugh repeated that he wanted a hearing before the committee as soon as the allegation became public last week. He did not say whether he wanted his friend to testify.

    "He complains about delays & says [Mark] Judge submitted an affidavit, but refuses to agree he should testify & be subjected to cross examination," wrote the former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance. "This damages his credibility, perhaps irrevocably."

    "He asserts the truth in a prepared statement but can’t seem to handle questions he has to have known were coming," she added.

    Cramer echoed that view and highlighted Judge's importance in the hearing.

    "Democrats should say the name Mark Judge in every question," he said. "How far was Mark Judge from you and Brett? Where was Mark Judge standing? Did Mark Judge say anything? Did you make eye contact with Mark Judge while being pinned down by Brett?"

    Ford said during the hearing that the sharpest memory she had of the attack was the "uproarious laughter" Judge and Kavanaugh allegedly shared at her expense.

    "They both seemed to be having a good time," Ford said in her opening statement. "Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not."

    Legal scholars and those who observed the testimony from both sides of the aisle said Thursday that they found Ford to be a credible witness.

    Kavanaugh was "certainly forceful until it comes to the FBI asking questions or Mark Judge testifying," Cramer said.

    "An affidavit, as the judge knows, is meaningless. Democrats' questions are weak but targeted. Focus on the only potential eyewitness. Where is Mark Judge?"

    SEE ALSO: Christine Blasey Ford emerged confident and certain in the first part of her marathon testimony, and Trump's allies are worried

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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: US Senator Lindsey Graham adresses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

    • South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham launched a fiery tirade at Senate Democrats during the testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, becoming the first Republican to not use the outside counsel brought in to question both the Supreme Court nominee and the woman accusing him of sexual assault.
    • Graham's lecture to Democrats invigorated Republicans, prompting them to take a stronger stance backing the embattled Kavanaugh.
    • The committee is moving ahead with the confirmation process.

    WASHINGTON — "My bullshit meter got pegged," Sen. Lindsey Graham told Business Insider shortly after the hearing to address the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday.

    When Graham became the first Republican to actually ask a question in the marathon hearing in lieu of yielding his time to the outside counsel, he took it to 100.

    Graham's high-tempered excoriation of Democrats for what he said was a politically motivated smear campaign against an otherwise qualified jurist did more than make a few headlines; it galvanized Republicans and fired up a sulking and nervous set of lawmakers.

    Once Graham chose to ditch Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who enabled Republicans to avoid any gaffes or unfavorable headlines from the hearing, every other GOP senator on the committee followed. Their themes echoed Kavanaugh's own defense that this is a disgrace, revenge, and purely about politics. One after the other, Republicans beat their chests and tore into Democrats for what Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called "one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the United States Senate."

    "I didn’t know what I was going to do but I had it up to here with talking about his yearbook and trying to imply that ‘Why won’t you ask for an FBI investigation?’ like he’s the problem," Graham said. "[Kavanaugh] has stepped up, he never shied away. Those folks on the other side created this problem. That’s when the dam broke for me."

    For Republican senators not on the committee, they returned to Capitol Hill late Thursday evening full of caffeine for a closed-door conference meeting echoing and praising Graham's tirade.

    Graham received a thunderous applause in the conference. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson likened him to TV's Matlock. The right wing, pro-Trump online community was rousing with praise for Graham.

    Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said "of course" Graham's speech resonated with him because the Democrats "destroyed a man’s reputation."

    "I thought he made a good talk," said Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby. "Matter of fact, I thought Dr. Ford was credible, but I thought Kavanaugh was strong. Very credible, very strong."

    "It’s shameful what has gone on in this country in the last two weeks," Montana Sen. Steve Daines told Business Insider. "This has brought the United States Senate to an all-time low."

    Trumpworld loved the increased energy and rage

    The fire Graham lighted under their feet changed the mood. Allies of President Donald Trump had soured on Mitchell doing all the questioning for Republicans. Back at the White House, the feeling was similar. Mitchell's methodical and calculated approach does not exactly illicit high ratings.

    But Kavanaugh's furious defense of himself and his family name, paired with Graham's tirade, won Republicans' hearts and minds. 

    Immediately after the hearing concluded, Trump mimicked Kavanaugh's testimony and called for a vote on his nomination. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican once on the fence about confirming Kavanaugh, declared in a statement that he would vote to confirm.

    "Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him," Trump wrote on Twitter. "His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!"

    And the night ended well for Graham in Trumpworld. He ate Chick-Fil-a with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

    SEE ALSO: LIVE: Christine Blasey Ford says she's '100%' certain Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school

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    Abudujilili Supi

    • Abudujilili Supi, a Chinese Muslim of the persecuted Uighur ethnic minority, was arrested for no clear reason in the United Arab Emirates last week.
    • His family fears that he was arrested for being Uighur, and that he will be deported to China and imprisoned there.
    • His wife witnessed the entire arrest, and has since fled to Turkey. Supi's brother, who is currently with her, told Business Insider what happened.
    • This is one of the first cases of a Uighur family in the Gulf region speaking out about an arrest and potential deportation to China.

    A man belonging to China's persecuted Muslim Uighur community was arrested for no apparent reason last week, an act which his family fears is down to his ethnicity and could see him deported to China and punished.

    Abudujilili Supi, a Chinese citizen living and working in the United Arab Emirates, was arrested by four men outside his local mosque last Thursday, Supi's brother Mijiti Yisake told Business Insider in a series of WhatsApp messages.

    He says Supi's captors — it is not clear whether they are police — told him he will be taken to China. Yisake fears that if his brother is deported to China, he will be imprisoned in a detention center or re-education camp.

    Rights groups have accused China of imprisoning up to 1 million Uighurs in such camps in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where some 8 million Uighurs live.

    This is one of the first cases of a Uighur family in the Gulf region speaking out about an arrest and potential deportation to China.

    Dozens of Uighurs in other countries have already been deported to China, according to experts and families, who fear they have been held in degrading re-education camps.

    Abudujilili Supi china passport redacted

    The arrest

    Supi's wife, a Muslim Uighur named Mayila Xianmuxiding, witnessed the arrest from their apartment, which overlooked the mosque. She described the incident to Yisake, who relayed details to Business Insider.

    According to Xianmuxiding, Supi entered the Abdullah Bin Rawahah Mosque in Sharjah, a city northwest of Dubai, for daily prayers around 4 p.m. and left around 4:20 p.m.

    While Supi was praying, his wife said four men who looked Emirati were waiting outside the mosque for prayers to end. Xianmuxiding doesn't know how long they were waiting there — she said she had been praying at home around the same time her husband was at the mosque, and only looked out when she was done.

    After Supi exited the mosque, she said the four men approached her husband, grabbed his arms, and bundled him into a small white car. It all happened quickly, Yisake said, citing his sister-in-law.

    Xianmuxiding thought the four men who approached her husband were fellow worshippers at the mosque at first, she said. She said she didn't realise who they were until the mosque's cleaner told her the four men were Emirati police.

    Business Insider has not been able to establish who the men were, and the Emirati government has not responded to questions.

    sharjah mosque arrest

    "I am going with people"

    Supi called Xianmuxiding three days after the arrest, on Monday.

    "Please travel to another country," he told his wife, according to Yisake. "I am going with people. I don't know where I am going. They said to me, 'You will be returned to China.'"

    Supi didn't specify who the "people" were — his family thinks he meant the police.

    That was the last time Supi and his wife spoke.

    Xianmuxiding has since fled to Istanbul, Turkey, where she remains with her brother-in-law Yisake. "She is feeling very sad about her husband," Yisake told Business Insider.

    Read more:What it's like inside the internment camps China uses to oppress its Muslim minority, according to people who've been there

    istanbul

    Supi, 27, was born in Xinjiang, and studied in Egypt before traveling to the UAE to learn English. After his studies, he found a job as a muezzin — who leads and recites the daily call to prayer — for the local government in Sharjah.

    Although he remained a Chinese citizen, he lives and works legally in the UAE, Yisake said. Business Insider has seen copies of two legal documents confirming Supi's employment, his UAE residency card, and Chinese citizenship.

    Yisake and Supi both left China in 2012, but have returned every year to visit. Their last visit was in 2016, Yisaki said.

    They still have about 30 relatives still in Xinjiang, but Yisake doesn't know where they are — he thinks they have all been locked up in prison camps.

    There's no way of finding out, he says. If he tries to contact them on WhatsApp or WeChat — the popular Chinese messaging app monitored by the Chinese government— the state will come for his family, Yisake said.

    "If we call them from abroad, Chinese police will torment our family members in East Turkestan," Yisake told Business Insider, "and put them in prison." East Turkestan is the name many Uighurs use for Xinjiang

    "Everything and everyone's phones are controlled by the government."

    Read more:Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here's what China does to people who speak out against them

    Xinjiang

    Why this family is speaking out

    The UAE government has not responded to Business Insider's numerous requests for confirmation on Supi's case.

    Two experts have independently told Business Insider that they are aware of it.

    Both say that this is the first case in which a Uighur has publicly spoken out about an impending deportation to China from the UAE.

    Yisake told Business Insider: "If I don't mention this story, he will be deported to China."

    "We understand every country's laws and we obey the laws of all countries we live in," he added. "Why does the Chinese government speak about us like all Uighur people are criminals?"

    Beijing has repeatedly justified its surveillance and crackdown in Xinjiang as preventing terrorism, and insisted that detaining Uighurs was "not mistreatment," but "to establish professional training centers, educational centers."

    Read more: How a Chinese region that accounts for just 1.5% of the population became one of the most intrusive police states in the world

    xinjiang uighur security

    Rian Thum, an historian on Islam in China at Loyola University New Orleans, told Business Insider:

    "Uighur exiles in the Middle East often feel that they remain there at the whim of their host governments, and that if they make any public complaints they themselves risk deportation to China and near-certain confinement in mass-internment camps.

    "It's difficult to know whether the lack of public complaint about incidents in the Gulf states is a reflection of these fears or of a low incidence of actual threats."

    Egypt, one of China's economic partners, deported at least 12 Uighurs back to China last summer, with at least 22 more detained for no reason, according to The New York Times. Statistics on other Muslim countries' record on Uighur arrests and deportations are not clear.

    Sophie Richardson, the China director of Human Rights Watch, also told Business Insider:

    "On the chances for deportation or the UAE releasing him: We just don't know.

    "But if he is returned to China we share his family's concerns that he is at high risk of ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, and/or other human rights abuses."

    xinjiang uighur pray

    Leaders of Muslim countries have been silent over China's repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang, with some experts attributing this to their reluctance to anger Beijing and risk losing its economic investment.

    Last week officials in Pakistan, China's largest Muslim ally, broke ranks to criticize China's treatment of the Uighurs. Muslim groups across southeast Asia protested against the Chinese camps this month, with activists in Pakistan accusing its government of betraying Muslims for economic benefit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Some Western countries, however, have spoken up. Earlier this month the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, called for international monitors to be let into Xinjiang. (Beijing told her to back off and "respect China's sovereignty" in response.)

    The Swedish government also halted the deportation of an unspecified number of Uighurs to China due to concerns over their treatment, according to Agence-France Presse. Germany also halted the deportations of all Uighurs to China, citing the same concern, last month.

    Richardson said: "The UAE would do well to examine the recent decisions made by Germany and Sweden to not forcibly return Uighurs or other Turkic Muslims to China."

    SEE ALSO: China reportedly detained a man on terrorist charges because he set his watch 2 hours behind Beijing time

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    air niugini crash.JPG

    • Air Niugini Flight 73 crash-landed into a lagoon off a small Micronesian island on Friday morning.
    • The pilot of the Boeing 737 plane had missed the runway by 450 feet.
    • All 35 passengers and 12 crew members on board survived.
    • The passengers and crew left the plane and boarded local boats to get on shore.
    • A passenger described seeing water from the lagoon seep into a hole on the side of the plane.
    • The exact cause of the crash is not clear. Air Niugini said it was told weather conditions were poor.

    A Boeing 737 aircraft crash-landed into a lagoon off a small Pacific island after the pilot missed the runway during landing.

    Air Niugini Flight 73 was due to land in the Micronesian island of Chuuk at 8:55 a.m. local time on Friday morning, according to plane tracking site FlightRadar24. It flew from Pohnpei, another Micronesian island earlier that day.

    The pilot missed the runway and crash-landed into a lagoon off Chuuk around 10:10 a.m., Air Niugini said in a statement. The airline called the incident a "short landing."

    Jimmy Emilio, the general manager of Chuuk Airport, told Reuters: "It was supposed to land but instead of landing it was 150 yards [450 feet] short and she went down."

    The exact cause of the crash remains unclear. Air Niugini said it received reports that the weather was poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of the incident.

    air niugini crash land boats

    All 35 passengers and 12 crew members on board survived and were able to evacuate the plane, Air Niugini said.

    They exited the plane via emergency exits and boarded boats sent out by the island's locals, said Bill Jaynes, a journalist on the flight, in a video posted to Facebook.

    Many of them were taken to hospital, where eight remain, Reuters reported, citing a hospital spokesman. Four are in serious condition with bone fractures and other injuries.

    The video below, taken by witness Jumeta Esenaf, shows local boats going out to rescue the exit.

    Jaynes, the passenger, described seeing water from the lagoon seep into a hole on the side of the plane.

    He said: "It is surreal. I thought we landed hard until we looked over and saw a hole on the side of the plane, and water was coming in."

    "Unfortunately the flight attendants panicked and started yelling, and I was trying to be calm and help as best I could," he added. "I called my wife and she cried, and I asked her why, because I'm talking to her."

    Jaynes, who sustained a minor head injury, described seeing severe injuries on other people on the plane.

    Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea and operates flights around the region.

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