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A second woman accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct; Russia’s alliance with Israel weakens as one with Syria grows.
A second accuser
- A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to a new report by the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer. Ramirez claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and put his penis near her face at a party during their freshman year at Yale University. [New Yorker / Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer]
- Ramirez’s accusation comes just 10 days after Christine Blasey Ford came forward with accusations that Kavanaugh assaulted her under similar circumstances — while intoxicated at a party more than 35 years ago. [New Yorker / Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer]
- Senate Republicans were reportedly aware of Ramirez’s claim in the days leading up to the New Yorker’s report. They told Mayer and Farrow that they were concerned “about [the accusation’s] potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination” and then relaunched a campaign to expedite the confirmation process. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
- Kavanaugh said both women’s accusations are “smears” and a “grotesque and obvious character assassination” in a statement to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley. Kavanaugh emphasized that he “will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process.” [PBS / AP]
- Ford then sent a letter to Grassley in the wake of Kavanaugh’s statement asking for “fair and respectful treatment” and promising that “fear will not hold me back from testifying.” Grassley, for his part, said that he is “committed to fair and respectful treatment of you, as you’ve requested.” [Politico / Elana Schor]
- Much of the criticism of Ramirez’s accusations has been about how the story is, for the most part, uncorroborated. Only one anonymous man said he heard about stories of the assault when it happened, but he does not want to make his identity known to the public. [Washington Post / Aaron Blake]
- Mayer, however, said she and Farrow saw an email chain from Yale alumni discussing the assault back in July — before Ford went public with her accusations. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- Many are also criticizing Ford and Ramirez for waiting more than 30 years after the fact to bring such accusations forward. A campaign quickly launched on Twitter where women spoke about their own experiences under the hashtag “#WhyIDidntReport.”[Vox / Christina Cauterucci]
- In many cases of sexual assault accusations against powerful men, women are empowered to come forward after others do. Some say this is because “a lone woman’s voice often isn’t given the same weight as a man’s.” [Vox / Anna North]
- More accusations may come — sooner rather than later. Lawyer Michael Avenatti claims he is representing a client who will go public with a new accusation on Wednesday and is looking to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. [The Hill / Emily Birnbaum]
Russia to supply Syria with advanced missile defense system
- Russia is moving forward with plans to provide Syria with an advanced S-300 missile defense system. This deal is expected to harm Russia’s relationship with Israel. [BBC]
- The decision comes after Syrian missiles downed a Russian military aircraft, killing 15 crew members. Russia faults Israel for the crash because Israeli air forces were, at the time, attacking a Syrian military warehouse with missiles that Iran was planning to give to the terrorist group Hezbollah. [Axios / Barak Ravid]
- Russian officials said that the decision, which is a departure from a 2013 agreement with Israel to not supply Syria with the missiles, was due to a “situation [that’s] changed” and is “no fault of ours.” [Washington Post / Anton Troianovski, Loveday Morris, and Liz Sly]
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Russia is putting the missile system in “irresponsible hands” and “will increase the dangers in the region.” [Jerusalem Post / Tovah Lazaroff]
- Scientists have created a new gene-editing technology that may be able to wipe out the mosquito population once and for all. [Atlantic / Sarah Zhang]
- The Bachelor Vietnam is making headlines after a contestant declared her love for another female contestant during the rose ceremony and asked her to “come home” with her. Perhaps the American Bachelor should take a cue. [BuzzFeed / Rachael Krishna]
- Comedian Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing began on Monday after he was convicted of sexual assault in April. Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison if prosecutors successfully persuade the court to deem him a “sexually violent predator.” [AP / Maryclaire Dale and Michael R. Sisak]
- Serial is back with a new season; for its third installment, the podcast is dissecting life and systematic norms at the Cleveland Justice Center. [The Verge / Andrew Liptak]
“I would think an FBI investigation would be warranted.” [Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward and accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, in conversation with Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer / New Yorker]
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