Melania Trump is on her way to Africa this morning, in her first major solo trip as first lady.
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1. Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was questioned by police in 1985 after he was accused of starting a bar fight while he was at Yale. A police report on the incident obtained by CNN doesn’t say if anyone was arrested. The White House pushed back, with press secretary Sarah Sanders calling the story, first reported by The New York Times, “ridiculous.” It comes as Kavanaugh’s drinking gets renewed scrutiny (some of his college classmates have accused him of being dishonest about it). The FBI investigation into Kavanaugh, which after some criticism will include more witnesses, continues this week. CNN’s Chris Cillizza says the inquiry has everybody holding their breath.
The death toll keeps rising in Palu as desperation grows for survivors of last week’s earthquake and tsunami. At least 1,234 have been killed, and crews keep finding bodies in the rubble. Residents in Palu faced a fifth day without adequate food and clean drinking water. Motorists lined up for hours just to get a bit of gas. International help is on the way, with the Red Cross sending seven tons of logistical supplies, and Australia giving an initial $500,000 in aid. Here’s how you can help.
3. Bump stocks
Is a ban on bump stocks imminent? President Trump thinks so. Speaking on the anniversary of the Las Vegas concert massacre, Trump said a ban would happen “over the next couple of weeks.” Bump stocks, if you’ve forgotten, allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at a faster rate. They were used by the Las Vegas shooter when he killed 58 people at a country music festival. A proposed Justice Department rule on bump stocks just entered a 90-day review period, so it may still be a little while before final action is taken on them.
Both sides are claiming victory in Macedonia’s name change referendum. Voters overwhelming signaled their support for the measure, which would change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. (Greece wants the change because Macedonia is also the name of a Greek province.) But because turnout was so low for the nonbinding referendum — which also included a question about Macedonia joining the EU and NATO — name change opponents say it doesn’t reflect the will of the people. Regardless, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev can start the process of renaming his country.
5. Southwest weather
Tropical Depression Rosa is set to make landfall this morning in Baja California, putting more than 11 million people in the Southwest under a flash flood watch. Rosa could dump up to 10 inches of rain on Baja California, then move northeast to drench Arizona with as much as 6 inches. Yes, it is unusual for the Southwest to get hit by hurricanes or tropical storms, but we’ve seen more of them on the West Coast in recent years. Scientists blame global warming. You can track the storm here.
THIS JUST IN
Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in laser physics.
Hip hop beef
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Best of the best
Amazon’s latest bricks-and-mortar store is so fancy. It only sells items that are top sellers, are new and trending or have a four-star rating.
Yes, LAX will let you pack a small amount of weed in your carry-on luggage, but don’t even think about lighting up at the airport.
Fans said goodbye to Charles Aznavour, a singer so smooth he was often called France’s Frank Sinatra. He died at age 94.
The number of White House press briefings during September
“Like any siblings, they’re getting cranky, so mom’s really looking forward to the operation happening sooner rather than later.”
Elizabeth Lodge, CEO of Australian charity Children First Foundation, which raised $180,000 for an operation to separate a pair of 14-month-old conjoined twins
What the heck are these?
A kitten discovers she has ears, and it’s the cutest thing you’ll see today. (Click to view.)