Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Page Is ‘Horrible, Hurtful’ to a Woman It Named

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, and several classmates at Georgetown Preparatory School referred to themselves as “Renate Alumni” in the 1983 yearbook.CreditCreditJustin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

By Kate Kelly and David Enrich

Brett Kavanaugh’s page in his high school yearbook offers a glimpse of the teenage years of the man who is now President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: lots of football, plenty of drinking, parties at the beach. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze is a mysterious entry: “Renate Alumnius.”

The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.

Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Judge Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”

Judge Kavanaugh’s years at Georgetown Prep, in a Maryland suburb of Washington, are under intense scrutiny because of allegations by Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her during high school. Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegation. He and Dr. Blasey are scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Judge Kavanaugh’s peers have given different accounts of what he was like. But his yearbook provides a contemporaneous glimpse of the elite Catholic school’s hard-drinking atmosphere — Judge Kavanaugh’s personal page boasts, “100 kegs or bust” — and a culture that some describe as disrespectful to women.

This month, Renate Schroeder Dolphin joined 64 other women who, saying they knew Judge Kavanaugh during their high school years, signed a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is weighing Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. The letter stated that “he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”

When Ms. Dolphin signed the Sept. 14 letter, she wasn’t aware of the “Renate” yearbook references on the pages of Judge Kavanaugh and his football teammates.

“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Ms. Dolphin said in a statement to The New York Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”

Alexandra Walsh, a lawyer for Judge Kavanaugh, said in a statement: “Judge Kavanaugh was friends with Renate Dolphin in high school. He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.

“Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event,” the statement continued. “They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”

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Judge Kavanaugh mentioned Renate Dolphin on his yearbook page, his lawyer said, because of one high school event they attended together “and nothing else.” Address and some names have been obscured.

Ms. Dolphin said she had never kissed Judge Kavanaugh. “I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him,” she said through her lawyer.

In an interview on Fox News on Monday, Judge Kavanaugh defended his high school behavior in general terms. “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,” he said.

A White House spokesman, Raj Shah, declined to comment beyond the statement from Judge Kavanaugh’s lawyer.

Four of the men who were pictured with Judge Kavanaugh in a photo captioned “Renate Alumni” said it was simply a reference to their dating or going to dances with Ms. Dolphin.

An elite Catholic boys’ high school founded in 1789, Georgetown Prep has many alumni who have gone into public service. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch of the Supreme Court is a graduate, as is Jerome H. Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Judge Kavanaugh, a member of the football team and the captain of the basketball team, played a prominent role in Georgetown Prep’s firmament in the early 1980s. The school’s culture was one of heavy drinking and at times insensitivity.

The 1983 yearbook, for example, includes multiple apparent references to the Ku Klux Klan (but not on Judge Kavanaugh’s page). His page, in addition to the “Alumnius” entry, mentions his role as “treasurer” of the “Keg City Club.”

“The vast majority of the time I spent in high school was studying or focused on sports and being a good friend to the boys and the girls that I was friends with,” he told Fox News on Monday.

Some of Judge Kavanaugh’s high school peers said there was a widespread culture at the time of objectifying women.

“People claiming that they had sex with other people was not terribly unusual, and it was not terribly believable,” said William Fishburne, who was in Judge Kavanaugh’s graduating class and was a manager for the football team. “Not just Brett Kavanaugh and his particular group, but all the classmates in general. People would claim things they hadn’t done to sort of seem bigger than they were, older than they were.”

Bill Barbot, who was a freshman at Georgetown Prep when Judge Kavanaugh was a senior, said Judge Kavanaugh and his clique were part of the school’s “fratty” culture. “There was a lot of talk and presumably a lot of action about sexual conquest with girls,” Mr. Barbot said.

Ms. Dolphin was a subject of that braggadocio, according to Mr. Hagan and another classmate, who requested anonymity because he fears retribution. They said Judge Kavanaugh and his friends were seeking to memorialize their supposed conquests with the “Renate” yearbook references.

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Judge Kavanaugh, far left, and eight football teammates in a yearbook photo. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means,” Ms. Dolphin said. “I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue.”

“She should be offended,” Mr. Hagan said of Ms. Dolphin. “I was completely astounded when I saw she signed that letter” on Judge Kavanaugh’s behalf.

Some women who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time defended his conduct.

“These guys weren’t any different than other boys high schools across the country,” said Suzanne Matan, a friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s from their high school days. “And I chose to hang out with those boys and many other girls did, too, because they were fun, and they were safe, and they were respectful.”

The Georgetown Prep yearbook’s personal pages were designed and written by the individual students, according to alumni. A faculty adviser reviewed the pages.

Judge Kavanaugh was one of 13 graduating seniors who referred to Ms. Dolphin in some way on their personal pages. Some gave themselves titles — DeLancey Davis, for example, listed himself as “chairman of the Bored” of the “Renate Club.” Another football player, Tom Kane, mentioned on his page “Renate’s Suicide Squad.”

The group photo, with Judge Kavanaugh and eight fellow football players in pads and uniform, grinning, was captioned “Renate Alumni.” Mark Judge, the commentator and author who has written about his alcohol-fueled years at Georgetown Prep, stands next to Judge Kavanaugh in the photo.

Barbara Van Gelder, a lawyer for Mr. Judge, declined to comment.

Four of the players in the “Renate Alumni” photo — Mr. Davis, Mr. Kane, Tim Gaudette and Don Urgo Jr. — said in a statement that they had “never bragged about” sexual contact or anything like that with Ms. Dolphin. The statement, issued by Jim McCarthy, a public-relations representative, said the yearbook’s “Renate” references “were intended to allude to innocent dates or dance partners and were generally known within the community of people involved for over 35 years.”

“These comments,” the statement continued, “were never controversial and did not impact ongoing relationships until The Times twisted and forced an untrue narrative. This shabby journalism is causing egregious harm to all involved, particularly our friend, and is simply beneath contempt.”

Michael Walsh, another Georgetown Prep alumnus, also listed himself on his personal yearbook page as a “Renate Alumnus.” Alongside some song lyrics, he included a short poem: “You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate.”

Mr. Walsh, a bank executive in Virginia, was one of scores of Georgetown Prep alumni who signed a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders vouching for Judge Kavanaugh’s “sharp intellectual ability, affable nature, and a practical and fair approach devoid of partisan purpose.” He did not respond to requests for comment.

Ms. Dolphin was aware that members of Judge Kavanaugh’s clique were reciting that poem, according to a person familiar with her thinking. She told the football players that she found it offensive, believing it made her seem like a cheap date, and she asked them to stop.

Some of Judge Kavanaugh’s peers said they doubted that the yearbook notations were good-natured. “Those guys weren’t big on crushes,” Mr. Fishburne said. “I think they felt that if a girl didn’t want to date them, then they must be gay. I’m serious.”

A high school friend of Ms. Dolphin’s, who also signed the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that while she stood by the letter’s contents, as a friend of Ms. Dolphin’s she was “sickened” by the yearbook’s “Renate” references. She and a second friend of Ms. Dolphin’s denied that there was any sexual contact between Ms. Dolphin and Judge Kavanaugh or anyone else in his circle.

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Yearbook ’83: Football, Kegs And Innuendo. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
COURTESY: NYT

Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for Andrea Constand sexual assault

Judge Steven O’Neill, the judge presiding over the sentencing hearing, ruled earlier Tuesday that Cosby is a “sexually violent predator.”
by Elisha Fieldstadt and Adam Reiss /  / Updated 

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby, who fell from grace as “America’s Dad” to convicted sex offender, was sentenced Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison.

The 81-year-old comedian was convicted in April of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women’s basketball administrator, who testified Cosby violated her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004 after she came to him for career advice.

“Nobody is above the law because of where they live, who they are, wealth, fame, celebrity or even philanthropy,” said Judge Steven O’Neill, who presided over the sentencing hearing.

Cosby, renowned for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” had been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, but was only criminally charged in Constand’s case. Cosby is the first star of his caliber to be convicted of sexual assault in the age of #MeToo.

The actor has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. He had faced up to 10 years in prison.

O’Neill ruled earlier Tuesday that Cosby is a “sexually violent predator.”

Image: Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in Norristown, Pennsylvania
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the sentencing hearings in his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 25, 2018.Jessica Kourkounis / Reuters

The distinction under Pennsylvania law means Cosby will have to undergo monthly counseling, and register with police if he moves so that neighbors and schools will be alerted if he lives nearby.

Cosby asked if he would have to register if he travels to another city overnight. He was told he would.

Cosby was also given a chance to speak in his defense on Tuesday, but declined. When he was asked if he wanted to add anything, he said, “I don’t need any more discussion on that.”

The defense also did not call any character witnesses.

Cosby’s lawyers argued he should serve his time on house arrest, given his age.

Prosecutors asked that Cosby be given five to 10 years in prison and pay a 25,000 fine on top of court costs given that he has allegedly hurt many people and shown no remorse.

“To say he is too old to [go to prison], that he should get a pass because it has taken this long to catch up for what he has done … what they are asking for is a get out of jail free card,” prosecutor Kevin Steele said. “Nobody is above the law. Nobody.”

Constand, 45, was given a chance to speak during the sentencing hearing Monday, and addressed the court for less than two minutes, but submitted a victim impact statement that was released Tuesday.

In the statement, Constand said she was “at the top of my game” — physically, professionally and emotionally — before Cosby assaulted her.

Image: Andrea Constand returns to the courtroom during a lunch break at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby
Andrea Constand returns to the courtroom during a lunch break at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Sept. 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.David Maialetti / Getty Images

“I knew who I was and I liked who I was,” she wrote. But “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it,” Constand wrote. “He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in my self and others.”

Constand said reliving the assault in court during the first trial, which ended in a mistrial in June 2017, and in the retrial, along with the criticism she took on as a result, left her feeling “traumatized all over again.” But she said she knew she had to speak out in an effort to save possible future victims from Cosby, and with the hope of helping all sexual assault victims.

She said she has often expected to find a sense of peace and closure after the assault, but “almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged women who’s been stuck in a holding pattern most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or move forward.”

Adam Reiss reported from Norristown, and Elisha Fieldstadt reported from New York.

COURTESY: NEWS

Days of flooding ahead in the Carolinas as Florence leaves at least 13 dead

Are you affected by Tropical Storm Florence? When it’s safe, text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN: 347-322-0415

(CNN)Tropical Storm Florence’s relentless rain is flooding parts of the Carolinas and promises even more for days, officials said Saturday, a day after it landed as a hurricane and left at least 13 people dead — including a baby.

The issues prompted North Carolina to tell drivers coming down Interstate 95 from Virginia to go around — the entire state. The state wants motorists to go west to Tennessee and take Interstate 75 into Georgia.
“The one thing I want to prevent is thousands of people stranded on our interstates or US routes,” said state Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdan.
A 73-mile stretch of the highway closed Saturday because of flooding and an accident involving a tractor-trailer.
Officials warned the flooding was only just starting.
“The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it … made landfall 24 hours ago,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday morning. “We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns.”
The storm’s center is crawling over South Carolina, but many of its main rain bands still are over already-saturated North Carolina — setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.
Serious flooding is expected throughout the two states, and some rivers may not crest for another three to five days.
Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 796,000 customers in that state and South Carolina.
It has trapped people in flooded homes, with citizen swift-water rescue teams from out of state joining local emergency professionals to try to bring them to safety.

Key developments

• Florence’s location: By 5 p.m. Saturday, Florence’s center was 60 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It was moving west at 2 mph, the National Weather Service said. The storm was expected to dump rain in the Carolinas through the weekend.
• Winds: Sustained winds of at least 39 mph can be felt as far away as 150 miles from the center of Florence.
 Looting arrests: Wilmington police arrested five people who allegedly were looting a Dollar General store, authorities said. Another person was arrested after they allegedly looted an Exxon gas station and convenience store in Wilmington on Saturday evening, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
• No electricity: About 760,000 customers are without power in North Carolina, emergency officials said. In South Carolina, some 36,000 customers are without power, officials said.
• Trapped and rescued: In New Bern, North Carolina, officials tweeted Saturday afternoon that water rescues had been completed. In nearby Onslow County, three US Coast Guard helicopters were helping with rescue missions, officials said.
• Much flooding to come: By storm’s end, up to 40 inches of rain will have fallen in parts of North Carolina and far northeastern South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. Some other parts of South Carolina could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said. Florence “will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and South Carolina for some time,” NOAA official Steve Goldstein said.
• Record rainfall: Florence has dumped more than 30 inches of rain in Swansboro, North Carolina, as of Saturday morning, breaking the record for rainfall from a tropical system in the state. The previous record of 24.06 inches was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

‘It’s time to go’

Across the Carolinas, officials are sounding the alarm: More communities will flood as rivers collect water from upstream and spill over.
In Rocky Point, North Carolina, Susan Bostic and her family were packing to leave Saturday morning, even though Florence’s center was long gone.
The Northeast Cape Fear River flooded there after Hurricane Floyd, destroying her original home. This round of flooding is predicted to be worse — cresting at what would be a record 22.8 feet just to the north by Tuesday — and the river already was encroaching into her yard Saturday.
“We know it’s time to go,” Bostic told CNN. “We don’t (where we’re going) yet. We just know we’re getting out of here.”

Rapidly rising river

Anxiety also reigned Saturday in Lumberton, a North Carolina city that was submerged for days after 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.
The water in the Lumber River was rising faster than officials expected. It went up 5 feet overnight and was at 17.6 feet, more than 4 feet above flood stage, by Saturday night. It was expected to reach 24 feet by lunchtime Sunday.
Corey Walters, the city’s deputy director of public works, said this was a worst-case storm scenario.
There is flooding “everywhere in the city,” he said, and “the rescues are non-stop.” There have been “hundreds of rescues.”
Volunteers and city workers have been filling sandbags, trying to plug a low point in the city’s levee system before the Lumber River crests.
The Lumber River was several feet higher Saturday afternoon than when a CNN crew first observed it that morning.

Official predict that when the water reaches 26 feet, the barriers will be overwhelmed.
The city installed 11 pumps to help deal with the river, but Mayor John Cantey said he wants people living near it to get out.
There is a mandatory evacuation order for the area, officials said.
Water rises Saturday in Conway, South Carolina, near the Waccamaw River.

In Cumberland County, which includes Fayetteville, officials ordered people within a mile of the Cape Fear River to evacuate by 3 p.m. Sunday.
In South Carolina, the worst is likely yet to come for communities such as Conway, about 15 miles inland from Myrtle Beach.
Water was rising Saturday morning in a flood plain near the Waccamaw River, lapping up against homes and pooling over at least one main road.

At least 13 have been killed

Florence has left at least 13 people dead, including a mother and her child who died after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, police said. The father was hospitalized with injuries.
In Hampstead, North Carolina, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest found their path blocked by downed trees. When they got to the home, the woman was dead, authorities said.
Two men were also killed in Lenoir County, North Carolina. One was electrocuted while trying to connect two extension cords and the other while checking on his dogs outside, emergency officials said.
Three people died Saturday in Duplin County, North Carolina, because of flash flooding and “swift water on roadways,” the sheriff’s office there said.
Also, officials in Cumberland County determined that a fire that killed two people Friday was storm-related.

In South Carolina’s Union County, a 61-year-old woman was killed Friday night when the car she was driving struck a downed tree, state emergency management spokesman Antonio Diggs said.
A man and woman died in Horry County due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Earlier Saturday, officials in North Carolina’s Carteret County said two other people were dead as a result of the storm. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence.

She called 911. No one came

Those who stayed behind gave harrowing accounts of getting trapped in their homes surrounded by water.
Annazette Riley-Cromartie said she and her family thought they’d be safe in their brick house in eastern North Carolina. But the water kept rising.
She, her husband and three children escaped into the attic, but the winds howled, and the family fled to an upper floor bedroom.
As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors screaming for help. Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can’t do anything,” she said.
She said she called 911, but no one came. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from Indiana arrived with a boat and rescued them.
Kim Adams wades through floodwaters surrounding her home Saturday in Southport, North Carolina.

States of emergency

Officials have declared states of emergency in several states, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
Part of downtown Wilmington, North Carolina,  is inundated by water from the swollen Cape Fear River.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will travel through upstate South Carolina, be downgraded to a tropical depression, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.
As it moves near Ohio and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low. Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extratropical low with gale-force winds.

COURTESY: CNN

Florence kills 5, including infant, in North Carolina, officials say

Are you affected by Tropical Storm Florence? When it’s safe, text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN: 347-322-0415

(CNN)At least five people, including a mother and her infant, have died in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence slowly moved from the Tar Heel State into South Carolina, officials said Friday.

After coming ashore in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday afternoon and trudged into South Carolina as night came.
Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s police department said.
“WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington. A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house,” police tweeted Friday afternoon. “The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries.”
The hospital said it has received three injured patients.
In the town of Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest Friday morning found their path blocked by downed trees. When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
The fourth person who died was a man in Lenoir County who was hooking up a generator, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death Friday morning, emergency officials said.
Florence was inching along Friday night into Saturday, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering.
Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers — and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.
Billy Sample, a resident stuck in the town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said Friday night: “The height of the storm didn’t feel as bad as it is now. The house is shaking back and forth much more violently than when the eyewall came through.”
Sample said that when he looked outside of his house, which is about 1,000 yards from the beach, he saw the rain pooling up on the street and what looked like storm surge coming up the road.
In the besieged city of New Bern, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by midmorning Friday, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said. That number was down to 40 later in the day.

Key developments

• Florence’s location: By 11 p.m. Friday, Florence’s center was moving west-southwest through South Carolina at 5 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The center was about 20 miles north-northeast of Myrtle Beach. Gradual weakening was expected Friday night, the hurricane center said.

• Prolonged, dangerous winds: Tropical storm-force winds extend 175 miles from Florence’s center. The storm is expected to lumber into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina through Saturday, punishing the area with rain and damaging winds.
• No electricity: There were 788,916 homes and businesses without power Friday night, according to the North Carolina Emergency Management agency. In South Carolina, the storm knocked out power to approximately 130,000 customers, according to Kim McLeod of South Carolina Emergency Mnagement.
• Flooding for miles: Up to 40 inches of rain, and storm surges pushing water inland and not allowing rivers to drain, “will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” the National Hurricane Center says. “You’re going to have flooding miles and miles inland,” the center’s director, Ken Graham, said. Some areas of South Carolina could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said.
• Record gusts: Wilmington’s airport recorded a 105-mph wind gust — the fastest measured since Hurricane Helene hit the city in 1958, the National Hurricane Center said. Later Friday, a wind gust of 68 mph was measured at a station in Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington.
• Nuclear plant shutdown: A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, North Carolina, shut down operations because of the storm, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Twitter. “Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds,” agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN. Federal officials had said midweek they weren’t concerned about that facility or five other nuclear plants in the storm’s path, calling them “hardened.” Expert scientists, however, had said they were worried about Brunswick because of scant public information about its readiness.

Rescues and narrow escapes

Rainfall totals for the storm will be similar to those in hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999, the National Weather Service’s Chris Wamsley said
“The only difference is, back then it was within 14 days,” he said. With Florence, “we’re looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days.”
One of the rescuers in New Bern was Jason Weinmann, a retired Marine who has a military troop transport vehicle he bought at a government auction.
He picked up 10 people on one run and took them to a shelter. Jennifer Morales, 20, said there was 3 feet of water in her home.
“It was pretty bad. We didn’t know where to go,” she said.
Another woman who was rescued by another group in New Bern told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360˚” that she and her family thought they would be safe in their brick home and heard the storm had been downgraded from a Category 4.
“About 11:30, 12 (midnight), the water came into the house. It came in slowly but then it just steady, just kept rising,” Annazette Riley-Cromartie said.
She, her husband and three children went up into the attic for a while, but the winds howled and the family descended to an upper floor bedroom.
As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors calling for help.
Her husband went to see if he could assist them but the water was chest high, she said.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help and you can’t do anything,” she said.
Eventually a citizen rescue crew came with a boat.
An area in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina,  usually meant for street parking and relaxing on park benches is inundated by water from the swollen Cape Fear River.

Swift-water rescue teams from out of state helped local rescuers evacuate people whenever conditions allowed. One team from Maryland helped with about 40 rescues in New Bern starting Thursday, member Mitchell Rusland said.
In Belhaven, the Pungo River roared into town, crashing up against homes at a waist-high level and higher late Thursday and early Friday, video from Amy Johnson showed.

A terrifying night

In Morehead City, Brooke Kittrell rode out the storm Thursday and Friday with her boyfriend aboard their docked boat, hoping it didn’t break loose and slam something.
She succeeded — staying awake all night, retying broken dock lines in howling winds. But there were times she thought they wouldn’t survive, she told CNN.
A boat is wedged in trees Friday in Oriental, North Carolina, in a photo from Angie Propst.

“I honestly cried,” Kittrell said. “I was born and raised here and been through every storm the last 30 years, but this one seems to be doing more damage than we expected.”
By Friday morning, the shore was flooded, and buildings were damaged, in video she put up on Facebook.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
High winds and a storm surge from then-Hurricane Florence hit Swansboro, North Carolina, on Friday.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will travel through upstate South Carolina, be downgraded to a tropical depression, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.
As it moves near Ohio and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low. Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extratropical low with gale-force winds.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

Hong Kong (CNN)Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall early Saturday in the northern Philippines, bringing with it gale-force winds and heavy rains as aid agencies warn millions are at risk.

Known locally as Ompong, Mangkhut is lashing the northern parts of Luzon Island as it heads west into the South China Sea and toward Hong Kong and southern China.
Mangkhut made landfall in far northeastern Luzon in Cagayan province about 2:30 a.m. local time Saturday. It has maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers per hour (165 mph), with gusts as high as 325 kilometers per hour (200 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.
“All things being equal, Mangkhut is a bigger, stronger and more dangerous storm” than Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm battering the US Southeast coast, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. “Any land hit directly would see more significant and destructive impacts from the super typhoon due to its size and intensity.”
An estimated 5.2 million people are within 125 kilometers (77 miles) of the projected path of the Super Typhoon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
On Friday, parts of Luzon were placed under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 4 by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, meaning those areas could expect winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour (114 mph) that could uproot trees, destroy crops, take out electricity and damage buildings.
The agency warned of storm surges up to 19 feet along the Cagayan and Isabela province coastlines.
Most of the rest of the island is under Signal No. 3, meaning it can expect winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) and significant risk to trees, crops and structures. Parts of the island are also at risk of flooding due to heavy rains.
Mangkhut is on track to be as strong as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 6,000 people dead in the Philippines in 2013, though that storm hit a more populated part of the country.
Northern Luzon was also devastated in 2016 by Super Typhoon Haima, with 14,000 houses destroyed and 50,000 homes damaged, according to CNN Philippines.
“We are bracing for the worst here,” said Lanelyn Carrillo, a spokeswoman for World Vision, a humanitarian organization. “There is a sense of fear that we might be facing a storm as bad as Haiyan or Haima.”
As of Friday morning, 2,298 families had been pre-emptively evacuated from their homes in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera administrative regions in northern Luzon.
Gov. Bojie Dy reports more than 5,000 people have been evacuated from coastal areas in Isabela province.
The Philippines Red Cross said it had activated 30,000 volunteers across Luzon to prepare for the impact of the storm and dispatched a “humanitarian caravan” consisting of rescue and relief vehicles to the parts of the island expected to be among the worst affected.
“We’re worried for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August,” Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said in a statement. “We are preparing our emergency assets and relief items. Our staff and volunteers are on high alert for possible deployment.”
Officials told CNN Philippines the cost to rice and corn crops could be upward of $116 million, with more than 1,220,000 hectares of fields expected to be damaged by the storm.
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Typhoons vs. hurricanes: What’s the difference? 00:49

Southern China braces for impact

Once it passes over the Philippines, Mangkhut will continue west through the Luzon Strait into the South China Sea, making expected landfall early Sunday in southern China.
The Hong Kong Observatory said it is still likely to be at super-typhoon level as it nears that city and Macau, bringing with it winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour (120 mph), equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.
Mangkhut could be one of the strongest storms to have an impact on Hong Kong in more than six decades.
Officials in Hong Kong held emergency meetings Friday, and residents in low-lying areas and outlying islands have been urged to move to temporary shelters.
Macau’s Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau warned that Manghkut would “pose a serious threat” to the Pearl River Delta, where the city is located.
Last year, 10 people died in Macau as a result of Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to hit the city in more than five decades. It caused widespread flooding and damage to property.
courtesy: CNN

New York Fashion Week: Rihanna, diversity and drag queens

Fashion

Published 14th September 2018
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New York Fashion Week: Rihanna, diversity and drag queens
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Written byMikelle Street, CNNNew York
Once an insular industry trade event, New York Fashion Week has transformed into a high-priced, fast-paced, public-facing marketing opportunity. Shows are livestreamed, Instagrammed and live-tweeted, immediately transmitting what happens on the runway to the masses.
With social media helping to democratize the industry, conversations surrounding fashion week aren’t always centered on the clothing. Here are five of the wider conversations spurred by the Spring-Summer 2019 event.

Diversity on the runway

Models pose backstage at the Chromat Spring-Summer 2019 show. Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images
The fashion industry is, like our culture at large, increasingly engaged in discussions around representation. More than ever, designers are being forced to consider who should be seen — or excluded — on the runway and why.
Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran has long championed broader inclusion by casting a diverse range of femme, female-identified and gender non-binary models on her runways, featuring people of all different shapes, sizes, ages and abilities. This season, her models wore swimwear and athletic apparel, inspired by the idea of wearing T-shirts at pool parties in an effort to hide one’s body.
Elsewhere, British artist Patrick Church confronted ageism with a series of printed bodysuits, crop tops and skin-tight wares that were modeled exclusively by older women. Tome’s models — wearing sustainable menswear-inspired pieces — also represented a variety of different age groups. Meanwhile
Shanel Campbell, who has dressed the likes of Solange and Teyana Taylor, made her event debut with an all-black cast of models, and a predominantly black team working behind the scenes. And Marco Marco Underwear, which presented everything from evening gowns to sheer bodysuits, hired an all-trans lineup. The show reportedly made history by assembling the largest group of trans men ever used in a runway show at New York Fashion Week.

T-shirts as political billboards

Jeremy Scott walks his own runway in a shirt that says "Tell Your Senator No on Kavanaugh."

Jeremy Scott walks his own runway in a shirt that says “Tell Your Senator No on Kavanaugh.” Credit: Pietro D’aprano/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Fashion has always been political. But in recent years, designers have become less discreet with their words.
Jeremy Scott, for example, sent out a 62-look show (seemingly aimed at club kids) featuring words like “resist” and “riot” in a comic-book font. The designer then took his bow in a T-shirt urging attendees to contact their senators in protest against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the US Supreme Court.
“Project Runway” alumnus Christian Siriano may best known for gowns and evening dresses, but he too found space in his lineup for a political T-shirt. It directed guests to “Vote For Cynthia,” referring to New York’s gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, who was seated on the front row (and who was today defeated in the Democratic primary, despite Siriano’s best efforts).
Pyer Moss Spring-Summer 2019

Pyer Moss Spring-Summer 2019 Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Kerby Jean-Raymond, of the buzzy label Pyer Moss, used slogans like “See Us Now?” in his range — particularly potent, given that his brand is dedicated to celebrating and elevating the experiences of African Americans. One of his line’s most talked-about designs was a simple graphic tee printed with the words “Stop Calling 911 On The Culture,” a reference to recent high-profile incidents of unnecessary and racially motivated calls being made to US police. The $125 item went on to sell out within a day of release.

Pitch-perfect collaborations

With high fashion increasingly taking its cues from the streetwear market — which prizes partnerships and “drops” — it’s no surprise that there were a number of collaborations on show.
Luxury label The Blonds, known for its over-the-top looks, partnered with Disney on a collection inspired by the studio’s villains. Yes, Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella de Vil all got their runway moments on the backs of Paris Hilton, Leiomy Maldonado and Patrick Starr, among others.
Paris Hilton walks the runway at Disney Villains x The Blonds.

Paris Hilton walks the runway at Disney Villains x The Blonds. Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Streetwear label Kith welcomed brands like Ugg, New Balance and Levi’s to its roster of collaborators, in addition to producing collections for Tommy Hilfiger and Greg Lauren. In an unexpected twist, the label also unveiled a 24-look capsule collection with Versace, featuring fur jackets, sweatsuits, biker shorts and more.

The fashion show as ‘happening’

With the over-proliferation of fashion shows and the growing role of social media, brands are opting for increasingly dramatic fashion week productions. What may have once been a simple catwalk show is now a high-wattage fete, complete with dancers, drones and live musicians.
To that end, Telfar, winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2017, held its show on a helipad near the East River. Featuring the likes of Selah Marley and Moses Sumney, and presided over by singer Ian Isiah and South African duo Faka, the event saw audiences watched behind a chain-link fence while performers roamed freely around a drum set.
Ralph Lauren Spring-Summer 2019

Ralph Lauren Spring-Summer 2019 Credit: Pietro D’aprano/FilmMagic/FilmMagic,,
New York label Opening Ceremony put on a performance — though one of a different kind altogether. Founders Humberto Leon and Carol Kim recruited drag queen Sasha Velour to curate a line-up of performers to showcase the brand’s new wares, including notable queens like Shea Coulee and Hungry, as well as non-drag talent like Christina Aguilera.
Ralph Lauren arguably went the biggest (it was the brand’s 50th anniversary, after all). He took the industry to Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace, where the likes of Hillary Clinton, Kanye West and Donna Karan listened to Oprah pay tribute to the designer. The fashion veteran also turned out a casting that spanned a range of ages and races, as well as a collection showing the company’s breadth, from Polo Sport and RRL to women’s evening wear.

Rihanna steals the spotlight

Rihanna closed out New York Fashion Week with a show for her lingerie and intimates line, Savage X Fenty. And while the event started late (the organizers were waiting for editors to arrive from the delayed Marc Jacobs show), it has attracted almost universal praise.
Savage X Fenty Autumn-Winter 2018

Savage X Fenty Autumn-Winter 2018 Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty
The show dovetailed many of the week’s trends: It was an elaborate production with dancers, runway choreography, an incredibly produced set and an expansive line-up of models representing a variety of colors and sizes — including two pregnant models.
If Rihanna’s celebrity glow wasn’t enough, she also cast Bella and Gigi Hadid. With the livestream repeating lines like “We know beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive,” and, “We know that we can be as competent in the boardroom as the bedroom,” the entire production was — as Rihanna herself called it when speaking with Vogue — “a celebration of womanhood.”
COURTESY: CNN

Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says

Manafort’s lawyer says he ‘accepted responsibility’ with plea deal

Lawyer Kevin Downing said Paul Manafort is accepting responsibility “for conduct that dates back many years,” with his plea deal on Sept. 14. 

September 14 at 12:05 PM

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is pleading guilty Friday to two criminal charges under terms of a plea deal that includes his cooperation as a potential witness for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The decision by Manafort to provide evidence in exchange for leniency on sentencing is a stunning development in the long-running probe into whether any Trump associates may have conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort’s defenders have long insisted that he would not cooperate with Mueller, and didn’t know any incriminating information against the president.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday’s plea hearing that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Speaking at the hearing before U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson, Weissmann said the 17-page plea document included the terms of Manafort’s expected cooperation.

Weissmann gave a detailed, 40-minute description of the criminal conduct in the Manafort case.


Kathleen Manafort, left, wife of Paul Manafort, enters federal court, in Washington, D.C. on Friday. (Keith Lane/For The Washington Post)

“I believe it’s fair to say that’s probably the longest and most detailed summary that ever preceded this question, but is what the prosecutor said a true and accurate description of what you did in this case,” Jackson asked Manafort.

“I did. It is,” Manafort, said, resting both hands on the lectern before him and flanked by his attorney, Richard Westling.

The deal will short-circuit Manafort’s trial scheduled for later this month.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a brief statement following the announcement. “This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign,” she said. “It is totally unrelated.”

The president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said “once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: the president did nothing wrong.”

The spectacular rise and fall of Paul Manafort

Before he joined the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort made a name for himself in the D.C. lobbying world, but his past caught up with him. 

A criminal information — a legal document filed by prosecutors to detail the criminal conduct to be admitted by the defendant — was filed in advance of the plea. The document shows Manafort intends to plead guilty to two crimes of the seven he faced at trial: conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct justice.

The document indicates he will admit to funneling millions of dollars in payments into offshore accounts to conceal his income from the Internal Revenue Service. “Manafort cheated the United States out of over $15 million in taxes,” the document states.

The filing also offers new details about the various ways in which Manafort sought to surreptitiously lobby the U.S. government and influence American public opinion toward Ukraine.

In 2012, Manafort set out to help his client, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, by tarnishing the reputation of Yanukovych’s political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, according to the document.

“Manafort stated that ‘[m]y goal is to plant some stink on Tymo’,” according to the document. At the time he made that statement, he was trying to get U.S. news outlets to print stories that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official, according to the criminal information.

The document also says Manafort “orchestrated a scheme to have, as he wrote in a contemporaneous communication, ‘[O]bama jews’ put pressure on the administration to disavow Tymoshenko and support Yanukovych,” the document said.

Manafort set out to spread stories in the U.S. that a senior American Cabinet official “was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko,” according to the document. “At one point, Manafort wrote to an associate, “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.” The document does not identify the then-Cabinet official and it wasn’t immediately clear if any such story was published.

As part of his deal, the government plans to seize four properties, including a nearly $2 million house in Arlington, Virginia, owned by one of Manafort’s daughters. The deal also calls for forfeiture of four financial accounts and a life insurance policy.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously — but unsuccessfully — against Mueller’s probe. The 69-year-old political consultant was convicted last month in Alexandria federal court on charges of bank and tax fraud.

In-person jury selection for his Washington trial was set to start Monday, with opening statements scheduled for Sept. 24 before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Any deal would not be final until Manafort admits guilt before the judge, who would need to approve the plea.

Another conviction would cap a dramatic fall for the international power broker and confidant of Republican presidents dating to Ronald Reagan. Manafort’s decision could be mixed news for Trump, who tapped the consultant to serve as his campaign chairman in June 2016 as he was securing the GOP presidential nomination.

Manafort’s cooperation with Mueller could provide investigators new evidence or leads to chase; a guilty plea, however, would prevent weeks’ worth of headlines about the trial in the month before congressional elections.

The longtime lobbyist resigned from his position as campaign chairman in August 2016 amid increasing scrutiny of his work on behalf of a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine.

Over a 40-year career, Manafort redefined and expanded Washington’s influence industry domestically and internationally, parlaying successful campaigns into lobbying opportunities. But by the mid-2000s, there were signs that his consulting career had slumped, and at times his finances appeared to be shaky. It was in Ukraine that he revived both — in ways prosecutors say violated the law.

Both cases brought against Manafort by the special counsel stem from his work in Ukraine. The jury in Virginia found that Manafort hid millions of dollars he made in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes and then lied to get loans when the political party that was paying him was ousted from power and the funding dried up.

In the trial scheduled in Washington, Manafort faces charges of conspiring against the United States, money laundering, failing to register as a lobbyist, making false statements and conspiring to obstruct justice by trying to influence witnesses.

Manafort had the choice to consolidate both cases into one but declined. He had been jailed since June as a result of the witness-tampering charges.

He has yet to be sentenced in Virginia, where legal experts say he faces eight to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines on the eight of 18 counts on which he was convicted. A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 charges after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

It is unclear how a guilty plea might alter his ultimate sentence, and some lawyers have questioned whether he is focused on winning a reprieve elsewhere. Law enforcement officials have come to suspect that Manafort hopes he will be pardoned by the president, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.

Trump has sought advice from his attorneys on the possibility of pardoning Manafort and other aides accused of crimes, his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani previously told The Washington Post, and was counseled against pardoning anyone involved in the ongoing Mueller probe. The president agreed to wait at least until the investigation concludes, Giuliani has said.

Several defendants have cooperated or pleaded guilty in connection with the special counsel probe, including Manafort’s former right-hand man Rick Gates; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Manafort; W. Samuel Patten, who admitted arranging for a Ukrainian businessman to illegally donate to Trump’s inauguration; and former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to 14 days in jail last week after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

The decision by Trump’s onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a “flipper.”

Earlier this year, Manafort derided Gates, his former business partner, for striking a deal with prosecutors that provided him leniency in exchange for testimony against his former partner.

“I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence,” Manafort said in February.

Kevin M. Downing, an attorney for Manafort, also said this summer that there was “no chance” his client would flip and cooperate with prosecutors.

That posture drew plaudits from Trump, who praised his former campaign chairman for his unwillingness to cooperate with the special counsel.

Prosecutors “applied tremendous pressure on him and . . . he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal,’ ” the president tweeted last month. “Such respect for a brave man!”

Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Jackman, Justin Jouvenal, Philip Rucker and Rachel Weiner contributed to this report.

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