'Would I change my vote? Possibly' – Leadership contender Bridges on marriage equality vote

He has thrown his hat into the ring, but will past votes come back to haunt him? Source: 1 NEWS


Second woman accuses Trump's Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault

The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a hearing Friday for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who says he sexually assaulted her as a teenager, as a claim of sexual misconduct emerged from another woman.

The New Yorker magazine reported today that Senate Democrats were investigating a second woman's accusation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh dating to the 1983-84 academic year, Kavanaugh's first at Yale University.

The New Yorker said 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine.

Ramirez recalled that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away, the magazine reported.

In a statement provided by the White House, Kavanaugh said the event "did not happen" and that the allegation was "a smear, plain and simple."

A White House spokeswoman added in a second statement that the allegation was "designed to tear down a good man."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called for the "immediate postponement" of any further action on Kavanaugh's nomination.

She also asked the committee's chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to have the FBI investigate the allegations of both Ford and Ramirez.

The New Yorker said it contacted Ramirez after learning of a possible involvement in an incident with Kavanaugh and that the allegation came to Democratic senators through a civil rights lawyer. She had been considering speaking to the magazine for at least a week.

Meanwhile, Republicans were pressing for a swift hearing and a vote.

Christine Blasey Ford says she’ll give evidence against Brett Kavanaugh, as long as Senators ensure her safety. Source: Breakfast

The magazine reported that Ramirez was reluctant at first to speak publicly "partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident."

She also acknowledged reluctance "to characterise Kavanaugh's role in the alleged incident with certainty."

The magazine reported that after "six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections" to recall the incident.

The new information came hours after the Senate committee agreed to a date and time for a hearing after nearly a week of uncertainty over whether Ford would appear to tell her story.

The agreement and the latest accusation set the stage for a dramatic showdown as Kavanaugh and Ford each tell their side of the story.

The developments could also determine the fate of Kavanaugh's confirmation, which hangs on the votes of a handful of senators.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, September 4, 2018, to begin his testimony in his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Source: Associated Press


Phil Twyford hits back at Simon Bridges over 'meth cook' Housing NZ compensation

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has rebutted the opposition over methamphetamine compensation, saying "meth crooks" will not be compensated by Housing NZ.

National leader Simon Bridges appeared on TVNZ1’s Breakfast where he said he was against compensation for those Housing NZ tenants found to have used or produced methamphetamine in their homes.

READ MORE: Simon Bridges against compensation - 'What sort of message does that send?'

Mr Twyford released a statement saying compensation will not be given to those convicted of the supply or manufacture of meth.

The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, the housing minister said. Source: 1 NEWS

"Housing NZ has been very clear that those convicted of the supply or manufacture of methamphetamine from a Housing NZ house will not receive compensation," Mr Twyford said in a statement.

The National leader says it sends a poor message that those found to have cooked or used meth in Housing NZ homes get compensation. Source: Breakfast

"The 800-odd families that will have their costs reimbursed were in homes that tested under Sir Peter Gluckman’s new recommended level."

"Housing NZ has also acknowledged that these people were denied natural justice as there was no baseline testing before the test that led to their evictions."

"The comments by Opposition Leader Simon Bridges today are at odds with his comments in June when he apologised to these tenants for being kicked out of their homes on ‘dud advice’.”

The Housing Minister defended the compensation decision against the National MP's hardline questions. Source: 1 NEWS


Jacinda Ardern says she's not the gold standard for raising a child

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has downplayed a portrayal of her as trailblazing mother and national leader in New York, saying she is “not the gold standard” for raising a child.

After delivering a speech about child poverty at UNICEF's social good summit, Ms Ardern appeared on a panel where she was praised for inspiring women juggling motherhood and a career.

“Thank you for putting in that caveat, because anytime anyone remarks on the fact that I’m only the second leader in the world to have a child in office, I’m reminded I’m lucky, I have an incredible support network around me,” she said.

“I have the ability to take my child to work, there’s not many places you can do that, I am not the gold standard for bringing up a child in this current environment because there are things about my circumstances that are not the same.”

Ms Ardern told the panel flexible working arrangements, extended parental leave and spaces at workplaces for breastfeeding made it easier for mothers but there needed to be a cultural shift.

Ultimately, we can provide all of that but unless there is a culture that accepts that children are part of our workplaces, then we won’t change anything,” she said.

“If I can do one thing and that is change the way we think about these things, then I will pleased we have achieved something.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has downplayed a portrayal of her as a trailblazer, telling a panel in New York she is “not the gold standard” for raising a child. Source: 1 NEWS

Chicago priest removed after burning rainbow flag, angering LGBT community

The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich announced Rev Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church.

Cupich said he acted "out of concern" for Kalchik and parishioners. He said the 56-year-old priest needed "time away from the parish to receive pastoral support."

Kalchik told the newspaper on Friday that he's not anti-gay and that he was "about as much of a gay basher as Mother Teresa."

An archdiocese spokeswoman told the paper Saturday that the priest's removal wasn't "directly due" to banner's destruction and had been "in the works."

Man in popes garment holding holy bible. Adobe RGB for better color reproduction.
Source: istock.com