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December 26, 2017

Thousands of protesters marched through Lima and across Peru on Monday in protest of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's decision Sunday to grant a medical pardon to former President Alberto Fujimori, who was serving 25 years in prison for human rights abuses and corruption. Police responded with tear gas. Kuczynski said in a statement that he made the "especially complex and difficult" decision to pardon Fujimori, 79, and seven other unidentified people on humanitarian grounds, adding, "I am convinced that those of us who consider ourselves democrats cannot allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison. Justice is not vengeance."

Critics say Kuczynski pardoned Fujimori in exchange for crucial abstentions that allowed him to survive an impeachment vote on Friday. Popular Force (FP), the conservative political party run by Fujimori's children, controls Congress, and daughter Keiko Fujimori — Kuczynski's rival in the 2016 presidential election — had pushed to impeach him over a scandal involving his financial ties to Brazilian construction behemoth Odebrecht; Kenji Fujimori and his FP allies abstained, allowing the impeachment vote to fall short. On Monday, Kenji Fujimori posted a video of himself showing his father the news of his pardon in a hospital, where the elder Fujimori was moved last week after suffering what his doctors say is a potentially fatal heart condition.

Two members of Congress from Kuczynski's party resigned in protest of his pardon, and with 18 percent approval, it's not clear if Kuczynski can weather this new political storm. "I regret Fujimori's humanitarian pardon," tweeted Human Rights Watch's Jose Miguel Vivanco. "Instead of reaffirming that in a state of law there is no special treatment for anyone, the idea that his liberation was a vulgar political negotiation in exchange for Pedro Pablo Kuczynski maintaining power will remain forever." Peter Weber

September 23, 2018
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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, has said he "can't recall" boys ever "rough-housing" with girls when they were teenagers, but a former college girlfriend of Judge's tells The New Yorker that's not what he told her.

Kavanaugh and Judge attended Georgetown Prep in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the 1980s. Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, and that Judge was in the room, encouraging Kavanaugh but also telling him to "stop." Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and Judge, a conservative writer, told The New Yorker he has "no recollection" of this. He was more abrasive when interviewed by The Weekly Standard, calling the accusation "just absolutely nuts." When asked, he said he remembered "rough-housing with guys. I don't remember any of that stuff going on with girls."

Elizabeth Rasor, who was in a relationship with Judge for three years at Catholic University, told The New Yorker he'd shared "a very different story" about the culture at Georgetown Prep. "I can't stand by and watch him lie," she said, adding that he once ashamedly described how he and several other boys took turns having sex with a woman who was drunk. He appeared to think this was a consensual experience, Rasor said, but did not tell her who else was involved and she does not know if Kavanaugh was there. Judge's attorney said he "categorically denies" the incident took place.

Another woman who attended high school in the 1980s in Montgomery County told Ford's lawyers and The New Yorker that she would see boys, including Georgetown Prep students, engaging in sexual misconduct at area house parties. The woman, who requested anonymity, told The New Yorker that the boys would get girls "blind drunk" off a grain alcohol– Hawaiian Punch concoction, then try to take advantage of them. "It was disgusting," she said. "They treated women like meat." Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2018
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In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent Sunday night, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked for an "immediate postponement of any further proceedings" regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

On Sunday, The New Yorker published an article where Deborah Ramirez, a classmate from Yale University, said while they were at a party freshman year, Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face. Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were both teenagers. Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

In her letter, Feinstein, the committee's ranking Democrat, also asked that "the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims." Should the White House not ask the FBI to launch an investigation, then the Senate Judiciary Committee "must subpoena all relevant witnesses," Feinstein added. "It is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward." Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2018
AP Photo/John Amis

Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday, giving the golfer his 80th career PGA Tour victory and his first since 2013.

Woods won by two shots over Billy Horschel, and with this win, he's now second in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Justin Rose. He will receive $3 million for his second place finish, and on Monday, will enter the top 15 in the world rankings.

"I had a hard time not crying on the last hole," Woods told reporters. "I just can't believe I pulled this off. It's been tough. Not so easy the last couple years. I've worked my way back, and I couldn't have done it without the help of everyone around me." In April 2017, Woods had spinal fusion surgery, and he was arrested for DUI a month later. Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2018
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Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, The New Yorker reported Sunday night.

Deborah Ramirez, 53, was one of Kavanaugh's classmates at Yale University, and she told The New Yorker that during their freshman year in the early 1980s, they were at a party where both were inebriated. Kavanaugh allegedly put his penis in Ramirez's face, causing her to touch it as she pushed him away. Kavanaugh told The New Yorker this "did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so."

At least two Democratic senators are investigating the incident, after receiving information from an attorney, The New Yorker reports. Ramirez, who was contacted by the magazine, said she was reluctant to discuss the alleged incident because she could not fully remember the party, where she was encouraged to drink heavily. She spent six days going over her memories and speaking with an attorney. The New Yorker contacted dozens of classmates, and one, who asked to remain anonymous, said he heard about the incident after it happened and was "100 percent sure" he was told it involved Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's freshman roommate, James Roche, said Ramirez was a close close friend and she was "exceptionally honest and gentle. I cannot imagine her making this up." He said he never saw Kavanaugh engaging in sexual misconduct, but he was "frequently, incoherently drunk," and it is "definitely" believable that Kavanaugh could be part of a "group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like" Ramirez. One of the classmates Ramirez said was at the party told The New Yorker he didn't think the incident happened and another said, "I have zero recollection." Other Kavanaugh friends from Yale released a statement saying "with confidence" the incident did not happen because "we would have heard about it." Read more at The New Yorker. Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2018

Christine Ford isn't expected to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until Thursday — but Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) already seems to have made up his mind.

"You can't bring [her allegation] in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn't even get a warrant," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?"

"Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this," Graham continued, before adding that Ford "should have her say" and will be "respectfully treated." Watch Graham's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

September 23, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke with President Trump and many of his supporters Sunday to argue that Christine Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "deserves respect and deserves to be heard."

"Accusers go through a lot of trauma. Some handle it one way and some handle it another way," she said on CNN's State of the Union, answering a question about Trump's tweeted response to Ford. "Regardless, it's not something we want to do to blame the accuser or try and second-guess the accuser. We don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don't know the circumstances."

Haley argued for a responsible but swift examination of Ford's claim by the Senate for the sake of both families involved. Watch an excerpt of her comments below, or read them in full here. Bonnie Kristian

September 23, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk trade war, Iran, and Friday's report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has proposed ousting President Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.

"To the extent one wants to call this a trade war, we are determined to win it," Pompeo said of Trump's escalating tariffs on Chinese imports. He ignored a question from host Chris Wallace about how long the administration would maintain this course, repeating, "We're going to win it. We're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave" in accord with "fundamental principles of trade around the world, fairness, reciprocity."

Though Pompeo, like Trump, has cast U.S. tariffs as a punishment for poor behavior from Beijing, the cost of the taxes is absorbed by American consumers, not Chinese producers. China's trade surplus with the United States has hit record highs since Trump's tariff scheme began.

Turning to Iran, Pompeo pushed back on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's angry response to Saturday's attack on an Iranian military parade. "When you have a security incident at home, blaming others is an enormous mistake," Pompeo argued, calling for Tehran to focus on domestic security "rather than causing insecurity around the world."

And he slammed those, allegedly including Rosenstein, who have considered undermining the Trump administration from within. "If you can't be on the team, if you're not supporting this mission," Pompeo charged, "maybe you've got something else to do."

Watch Pompeo's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

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