The Weekly National News Roundup – by Shlomo Rudman

Supreme Court Hearings – The Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on President Trump’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, judge Brett Kavanaugh. The hearings began in contentious fashion, with Democratic senators complaining that they received only a small percentage of documents relating to Kavanaugh that were requested. Dozens of protesters were arrested by Capitol Police after interrupting the hearing by shouting various slogans at Kavanaugh and the senators on the committee.

Haqqani Chief Dead – The Taliban announced that the founder of the militant Haqqani network, Jalaluddin Haqqani, has died in Afghanistan after an illness. He was 71. Haqqani used his militants to fight the Soviet Union in the 1980’s and was hailed by President Ronald Reagan as a “freedom fighter”. Haqqani later became a bitter enemy of the United States after the United States invaded Afghanistan following his close friend Osama Bin Laden’s masterminding of the 9/11 attacks.

Kyl To Replace McCain – Arizona governor Doug Ducey announced that he would be appointing former U.S. senator John Kyl to the Senate seat vacated by the death of John McCain. The 76-year old Kyl had represented Arizona in the Senate for 18 years before announcing his retirement in 2012. Kyl has been serving as judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate guide through the Supreme Court confirmation process.

Trump Attacks Sessions, Again – President Trump once again took to Twitter to vent his frustrations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, admonishing him for prosecuting two sitting GOP Congressman before the midterms. Trump received widespread criticism over the tweet for apparently saying that Sessions should put politics above the rule of law.

Anonymous Op-Ed – In a highly unusual move, the New York Times published an anonymous opinion piece written by a senior official in the Trump administration. In the article, the official said Trump has zero principles and is essentially a bumbling fool. The White House responded to the piece by calling the writer ‘gutless’ and calling for the official to resign. Trump tweeted that the Times should immediately release the name of the official on national security grounds.

Woodward Book – A new book by famed journalist Bob Woodward claims to show a ‘nervous breakdown’ of the Trump presidency. Woodward claims to have hundreds of hours of audio recording to back up the claims in his book, including allegations that Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “retarded”, claims that officials pull documents from Trump’s desk so he can’t make rash decisions, and that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis ignored his orders to kill Kim Jong Un.

US Cuts UNRWA Funding – The United States announced that they would no longer provide funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which was set up to help Palestinian refugees following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The State Department justified the move by saying the agency was an “irredeemably flawed operation” and that the US would be looking into alternative options to assist Palestinians. While not the only funder of the program, the US cutting financing leaves a hole of around $200 million in the agency’s coffers.

Gordon Drenches Gulf – Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border on Tuesday, bringing a deluge of rain and damaging winds to the Gulf Coast, and killing at least 1. While the storm is rapidly weakening, it is still expected to bring substantial rains and flooding to Arkansas before heading into the Midwest US.

Koreas To Meet Again – North Korea stated that Kim Jong Un had reaffirmed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two Koreas are expected to meet September 18-20 to continue discussions on denuclearizing the region and how to implement potential agreed-upon measures.

Trump Won’t Answer Obstruction Questions – Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the president will not answer any questions, whether verbal or in writing, about possible attempts by Trump to block the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. It is the clearest signal yet that the president’s lawyers are concerned about what he may say in a potential interview. It is not clear if Trump personally endorsed Giuliani’s statement, as he has said in the past that he wants to be interviewed by Mueller’s team.

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