WILMINGTON, N.C. - The powerful first surges of Hurricane Florence hit the sandy beaches of the Carolinas on Thursday, swamping oceanfront homes and roads as hundreds of thousands of people evacuated in the hope of escaping a storm expected to dump up to three feet of rain and cause flooding not seen here in decades. Florence has been bearing down on the Carolinas for days, and it has expanded in size, with tropical-storm-force winds extending nearly 200 miles from the storm's eye.
WASHINGTON - The bitter Senate fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court plunged into deeper chaos Thursday as a top Democrat disclosed she had referred "information" about President Donald Trump's nominee to the FBI. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a brief, cryptic statement about the referral, but the absence of any details only raised questions. The information came in a letter that describes an alleged episode of sexual misconduct involving the 53-year-old Kavanaugh when he was in high school, according to a person familiar with the matter.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump drew widespread rebukes Thursday - including from several fellow Republicans - after falsely claiming that the number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria had been inflated by Democrats to "make me look as bad as possible." In morning tweets, Trump took issue with the findings of a sweeping report released last month by George Washington University that estimated there were 2,975 "excess deaths" in the six months after the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017.
Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, on Thursday announced he was starting up philanthropic organizations focused on providing help to homeless families and preschools for low-income communities, a later start on charitable giving than many of his fellow billionaires. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, said he would begin with an initial commitment of $2 billion to create what he called the Day One Fund. It was the result, he said in a statement, of a months-long campaign to solicit philanthropic ideas from the public.
If someone you love is dying, how much are you willing to pay for just one more day with them? Doing the math, Melany Knott figured it cost about $1,100 a day. That got them 21 months. "No regrets," Knott said. "I wouldn't change a thing. And I won't wonder about anything."
The outer bands of Hurricane Florence, a large and dangerous Category 2 storm, landed on the North Carolina coast Thursday morning. Winds were already gusting to 70 mph and sea water was surging ashore along the Outer Banks, washing over roads. It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which - by the time it's over - is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he was "under no pressure to make a deal with China," signaling a readiness to escalate his trade war with Beijing. "They are under pressure to make a deal with us," Trump tweeted in reference to China. "Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing." The president's statement sought to downplay any hope that the United States would extend a hand toward reconciling the trade conflict, amid word that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited Chinese officials to return to talks.
As many as 1,000 asylum seekers whose claims were heard and rejected by the government under traumatic circumstances of family separation will get a second chance under an agreement announced late Wednesday. While the government did not agree to return parents already removed from the country, it said it would consider "individual cases in which plaintiffs's counsel believes the return of a particular removed" class member "may be warranted."
Pope Francis has ordered an investigation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, in connection with sexual harassment charges and accepted his resignation, the Vatican announced Thursday. The pope instructed Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to conduct a probe into allegations that Bransfield, 75, sexually harassed adults, the Catholic News Service reported. Lori was also appointed as apostolic administrator of Wheeling-Charleston.
The testimony pouring out of the witness was grim, as disturbing as anything a criminal jury could be tasked to absorb. There in an Oregon courtroom in March 2017 was a daughter accusing her own father of sexual abuse.