Opinion: What exactly is Flake looking for?

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I understand why people may be surprised to learn that a person can be charged with a sex crime when there is no evidence other than the allegation of the person claiming to be the victim. But that’s the way the law works in many states, including Maryland, where Christine Blasey Ford said she was assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were teenagers. In a sex crime case, “he said, she said” may be enough to send someone to prison for a long time.
Agree with them or not, these laws make sense. Corroborating evidence is often nonexistent in sex crime cases. There is rarely an eyewitness to the assault because most of these crimes are committed when no one else is around. Physical evidence, while certainly present in some cases, is often elusive when the allegation relates to an incident that occurred many days or years before the report is made.
That’s why there should not be any expectation that the FBI, which is conducting a supplemental background investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh, will be able to corroborate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation.
And although Ford has identified Mark Judge as an eyewitness to the alleged assault, he may have been too drunk to remember the incident at all. And it should not be surprising if the other people who may have been present that day over 36 years ago simply have no memory of the gathering now. It makes perfect sense that they would not remember it as clearly as Ford. It was an extremely significant day for her, not so much for them.
Of course, there would also not be any physical evidence available to corroborate this allegation. It was not reported at the time. And, because it was allegedly an attempted rape, there may not have been any physical evidence even if it was investigated by law enforcement the very next day.
And while the FBI may now be slightly expanding what was initially a very restricted investigation, the effort remains focused on gathering interview notes, not investigating a crime.
Consider how significant the difference is. In addition to tight time constraints that are usually not present in criminal investigations, the FBI is also expected to follow traditional protocols for conducting a background investigation. This will likely mean the investigation will be extremely limited. I do not expect the FBI will try to turn over every rock, follow every lead, or even re-interview critical witnesses if new evidence is uncovered during the investigation.
While I initially thought Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor brought in by Sen. Chuck Grassley to question Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee, believed Ford’s allegations, I must have been wrong. Mitchell has since written a five-page memo criticizing various aspects of Ford’s testimony and, unnecessarily in my opinion, explaining why Kavanaugh shouldn’t be criminally charged based solely on Ford’s statements.
Although I agree with that conclusion based on the very limited information presented at the committee hearing (a deficiency Mitchell seems to acknowledge), a robust criminal investigation could very well change that calculation and uncover sufficient evidence to charge Kavanaugh with a crime. But, despite at least one request, it doesn’t appear that will ever happen unless Ford personally initiates it, something she has so far chosen not to do.
The problem is that at least one senator critical to Kavanaugh’s nomination wants more than just the word of Ford. In requesting this FBI supplemental investigation, Sen. Jeff Flake expressed what appears to be a common thought: Ford’s testimony was “compelling” and “credible” but we need more evidence because Kavanaugh is entitled to a “presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence.”
But what sort of corroborating evidence is Flake looking for. Would it be sufficient if the FBI could simply corroborate that there was a party in the summer of 1982 that both Ford and Kavanaugh attended? Would it be enough if the FBI could prove that Kavanaugh, despite his claims to the contrary, has been so intoxicated on one or more occasions that he blacked out? Or is Flake going to require independent evidence that the sexual assault actually occurred?
Of course, this is a judicial confirmation and not a criminal trial. Awarding Kavanaugh a presumption of innocence after Ford’s allegation is neither necessary nor appropriate under the law. The Senate’s constitutional obligation in this process is to provide the President with its “advice and consent” with respect to judicial nominees. In fulfilling that responsibility, the Senate looks to a wide variety of factors, none of which are exclusively determinative. There is no such thing as a “presumption of confirmation.”

Neymar scores hat trick in victory

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates his second goal during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade at Parc des Princes on October 3, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from their opening-match loss against Liverpool to beat Red Star Belgrade 6-1 at home in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. Neymar bagged a hat-trick, while Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe also got on the scoresheet. 

After a slow opening 20 minutes, the Ligue 1 champions shifted gear and barely gave the visiting Serbs any breathing room. Neymar opened the scoring with a free-kick and doubled his tally minutes later before Cavani and Di Maria added to the score.

Mbappe got his deserved goal after the break but Red Star pulled one back through former Chelsea man Marko Marin. Neymar completed his hat-trick inside the final 10 minutes.

Les Parisiens are favoured to advance from Group C alongside the Reds, who face Napoli on Matchday 2.


New Central Role Will Unlock Full Potential of Neymar, PSG

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel has experimented with his biggest star of late, using Neymar in a new central role as a main playmaker. In the formation, the Brazilian slots in behind Cavani and next to two attack-oriented players―in this case, Mbappe and Di Maria.

As The Athletic’s Nico Morales pointed out, the system carries some major risks due to Neymar’s defensive limitations:

But the former Barcelona man tracked back well on Wednesday, showing a healthy and needed work rate in midfield. Behind him, Adrien Rabiot bounced back from a rough start and Marco Verratti was his usual dominant self picking up runners with the ball.

The result was an efficient, impressive outing from the hosts. The threat of Neymar soaked up tons of attention, with defenders moving away from their own box to attack the trickster as soon as he touched the ball. That opened up tons of space for his team-mates, who took full advantage.

Former NFL star Chad Johnson watched Wednesday’s contest and came away impressed after Neymar bagged his second goal:

The system will be more severely tested against better teams who will pressure Neymar on the ball, but based on what we’ve seen so far, he has adapted well to the role and should be able to deal with that. He’s already showing a knack for finding space in between the lines despite limited time in the new role.

It’s a brave move from Tuchel to use Neymar in this way, but this role may just push Neymar to an even higher level―to the benefit of his team-mates.


Despite Liverpool Debacle, PSG Remain Among UCL Favourites

Many fans and pundits were down on the Ligue 1 giants after their disappointing loss against Liverpool on the opening matchday, but some context is in order.

For starters, it remains the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record this season. Any team can have a bad day or a bad run―just ask defending champions Real Madrid, who lost to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday and are now winless in their last three outings.

It’s also worth noting PSG hadn’t played a true top team since the Trophee des Champions and went into the match at Anfield untested. Top teams need to face the best to grow as a unit, and the Liverpool match served as a learning experience.

The schedule is about to heat up significantly for Les Parisiens, per sportswriter Jonathan Johnson:

This is a team that should be judged on how they perform in the second half of the season, and not an early-season trip to Anfield. PSG have dominated since that setback and appear to be right back on track.


Depth and Versatility Key to Difficult Stretch for Les Parisiens

There was a minor cause for concern in the first half when Di Maria went down with a knock that required some treatment and saw him removed from the pitch for a brief spell. But PSG fans likely didn’t worry when they saw who was warming up to potentially replace him:

Julian Draxler and Moussa Diaby are both exciting attacking talents who can hold their own in a variety of roles. The former can even play in midfield, giving Tuchel even more options.

PSG’s tough stretch of matches will carry into November, with fixtures against Lyon, Napoli (twice), Marseille, Lille, Monaco and Liverpool all to come before the calendar turns to December. Les Parisiens have ample depth to deal with any absences, however, and enough versatility to switch formations if needed.

Few teams can match the Ligue 1 giants in both departments, and thanks to their healthy eight-point lead in the domestic competition, Tuchel can already start thinking about rotating with an eye on the Champions League.


What’s Next?

PSG will host Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday, while Red Star visit FK Zemun in the Serbian SuperLiga.

Hatch: Trump ‘may have to give up’ tax returns

“It’s funny they wouldn’t bring that up by the election (2016),” the Utah Republican told CNN’s Manu Raju. “I’d be happy to look into it. But right now, I don’t know enough about it.”
Democrats, including Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, often slammed Trump for not releasing his tax returns during the 2016 election. Clinton questioned what Trump was hiding by not releasing his returns, saying, “So you have got to ask yourself, why does he not release them?” during a May 2016 campaign stop.
When asked if Trump should release his tax returns, Hatch said: “He may have to — he may have to give up those returns,” but wouldn’t commit to seeking the returns himself. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve been in so many things.”
“If I was him, I wouldn’t want to give them up,” Hatch added.
The Times investigation reported that Trump had received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire by hiding millions in gifts in a “sham corporation” along with his siblings. Trump dismissed the report in a tweet Wednesday as “very old, boring and often told hit piece.”
Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder said the report was “100% false” in a statement Tuesday.
During his campaign for office, then-candidate Trump broke with presidential election norms when he refused to produce his tax returns for public review. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday she is “not aware of any plans” for the President to release his tax returns.

Trump is casting Kavanaugh as a victim. He’s felt the same

Kavanaugh himself has strenuously denied the allegations against him.
It also serves as a reminder that Trump, himself, faces a list of accusations, which he has denied. His reaction to Kavanaugh, therefore, is not happening in a vacuum, something he acknowledges.
“When you say does it affect me in terms of my thinking with respect to Judge Kavanaugh? Absolutely. Because I’ve had it many times,” Trump told reporters at the news conference amid the United Nations General Assembly last week.
“People want fame. They want money,” he added, alluding to what he thinks are the motivations of accusers.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, at least 13 women accused Trump of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault. They came forward in the wake of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that was released in October 2016 in which he is caught saying on a hot mic: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
The White House — through press secretary Sarah Sanders and others — has dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the campaign.
The President has also voiced suspicion about the year-old #MeToo movement in private, complaining that allegations made decades later can ruin a man’s life, people familiar with those conversations say. He has questioned why women wait so long to come forward if they are telling the truth. On Tuesday, he expressed concern for men in this moment.
“It is a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of,” Trump told reporters. “This is a very, very — this is a very difficult time. What’s happening here has much more to do than even the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.”
And on Tuesday night, he unleashed on Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, after previously calling her a credible witness.
“How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Mississippi, mimicking Ford’s testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Trump’s comments were met with laughter and applause from the crowd.
For context on his own experience, here’s a list of women who have made claims against Trump and their allegations, which the White House has denied:

Jessica Leeds

Leeds accused Trump of grabbing her chest and attempting to move his hand up her skirt on a flight in the 1980s.

Kristin Anderson

Anderson said she was sitting with friends at a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s when a man suddenly put his hand up her skirt. Moments afterward, she said she recognized the man to be Trump. The two had not spoken or met before the incident occurred. She first made the allegations to The Washington Post, which reported her claim that Trump touched “her vagina through her underwear.” CNN has not been able to independently confirm Anderson’s claim.

Jill Harth

Trump allegedly made unwanted sexual advances towards Harth, including groping her under her skirt on two different occasions in 1992 and 1993 during initial meetings regarding a business venture, according to Hart’s lawyer.

Temple Taggart

The former Miss Utah alleged that Trump twice subjected her to unwanted sexual advances in 1997. She said Trump gave her a non-consensual embrace and kissed her on the lips during a rehearsal for the Miss USA Pageant. She said the behavior was repeated later during a meeting at Trump Tower.

Cathy Heller

Heller told the Guardian that Trump “took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” without her consent in 1997 at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The Guardian reported that it spoke to a friend who Heller told about the incident and a relative who witnessed part of it. CNN has not been able to independently confirm Heller’s claims.

Karena Virginia

Karena Virginia said that in 1998 Trump groped her breast without her permission while waiting for a car service outside the US Open.

Mindy McGillivray

McGillivray said Trump grabbed her butt in 2003 when she was assisting a photographer hired to work a concert at Mar-a-Lago.

Natasha Stoynoff

Stoynoff alleged that in 2005 while on assignment to write a story on Trump’s wedding anniversary for People magazine, Trump pushed her against a wall, started “forcing his tongue” down her throat, and physically attacked her during a tour of the Mar-a-Lago.

Rachel Crooks

Crooks said that in 2006, while she was working as a receptionist at the Bayrock Group, which was located in Trump Tower, Trump kissed her on the mouth without her consent.

Jessica Drake

In a hotel suite at a charity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in 2006, Drake alleges that Trump hugged and kissed her and two other women. Drake, an adult film actress and director, said she later received a phone call from Trump, who asked her to return and go out to dinner or attend a party with him. When she declined, he offered her $10,000 and use of his private jet if she accepted.

Ninni Laaksonen

Ninni Laaksonen, the former Miss Finland, accused Trump of grabbing her butt before an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 2006.

Summer Zervos

Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” alleged that in 2007, Trump kissed her on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City office. On a separate occasion in Beverly Hills, she alleges he kissed her aggressively and touched her breast.
Zervos filed a lawsuit against Trump in January 2017 alleging that he defamed her after she said in 2016 that he sexually assaulted her. Last month, Trump was instructed to provide written responses to questions from Zervos’ legal team.
According to CNN’s Erin Burnett, Trump suggested her friend, who was with him in a Trump Tower boardroom in 2010, take some Tic Tacs. Then he leaned in to kiss her on the lips, which caught her off guard.
“I was really freaked out,” the woman later told Burnett.
After that, Trump invited her into his office alone. He told the woman she was “special” and proceeded to give her his cell phone number.
“I ran the hell out of there,” the friend told Burnett.

Christine Blasey Ford inspired me to break my silence

I know, because in my own way I’ve spent the past two weeks doing just that.
Like so many, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster as I’ve absorbed the headlines and relived my own experience of being attacked as a teenager. But I’ve also been inspired and spurred by Ford’s example to figure out what I can do to seek redress decades after the fact.
Naomi Seligman

The man who attacked me will never be nominated to the Supreme Court, and I haven’t had to parse my words and defend my actions before an audience of millions. Still, I recognize many aspects of Ford’s experience: her hesitation in coming forward, her fear of humiliation and the value she’s found in seeking to protect others from harm.
It began, for me, with a single haunting detail: how Brett Kavanaugh, in Ford’s description, turned up the music and covered her mouth so nobody would hear her scream.
I wasn’t sure at first why this bothered me so much. Then I realized it was because, when I was assaulted as a 17-year-old high school senior from suburban Massachusetts, I was unconscious — passed out from drinking at my first college party — so my attacker hadn’t needed to take precautions to keep me quiet. My haunting details were the ones I absorbed after I came to: my disheveled clothing, the soreness, the missing bra that I found hanging from a tree outside.
Trump and Kavanaugh meet #MeToo

Trump and Kavanaugh meet #MeToo

Like Ford, I didn’t report the assault, out of embarrassment, shame and uncertainty about the process. And I continued to do nothing, even as I embarked on a successful career in political advocacy and pushed aggressively for public accountability in many fields, including government ethics and gender equity.
Those who know me know it’s not in my nature to let things go. I’m a fighter through and through. Yet, for 29 years, I let the single most painful experience of my life go unaddressed and unrepaired. It was always there, lurking, but I could not think about it.
There was a moment, when the #MeToo movement first gained ground, when I reached out to my attacker on Facebook, thinking I could somehow call him to account. But I had no clear plan, and when he responded, I realized that there was no conversation I wanted with him.
It wasn’t until I read — and reread — Ford’s account that I gained some sort of clarity. I felt in my bones that I had to take action. The big question was how.
Alyssa Milano: We can't let Trump and Kavanaugh be America's face

Alyssa Milano: We can't let Trump and Kavanaugh be America's face

I knew a lot about my attacker. Not only did we talk at that party at a Boston-area college, but a week after the attack I went with him to a fraternity formal on his own campus in an attempt to normalize what had happened. Yes, I went on a date with my rapist. As soon as I walked in and the DJ played “Seventeen,” I knew I’d made a terrible mistake.
A couple of years later, I was in college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and I ran into him again. He was just visiting the campus, but he began ribbing me like an old friend, then followed me to a restaurant. I was petrified and angry. It turned out he was childhood friends with a resident assistant I knew and had boasted to her about taking away my virginity. He’d even described the blood.
When I started thinking back on those days, I realized I couldn’t remember who, other than the RA, I’d ever told. I called a close friend, and she didn’t know anything. Neither did my family. Only my first boyfriend after the rape remembered. That alone helped me breathe again.
Trump's mockery emboldens rape culture

Trump's mockery emboldens rape culture

I knew from my research before Ford’s testimony that my attacker had a wife and children, and I thought about letting the matter drop. I wasn’t out for revenge. Maybe — you never know — he’d changed and become a better person. But I also knew that my attacker was a professor at a community college, where I had to think he was in regular close contact with young women. Other people’s lives and well-being were at stake, too.
The more I thought about that, the harder I found it to sleep. And so, one morning before dawn, the day after Ford’s letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein broke, I wrote everything down in a letter to the college. I wanted the administration to know his history. I wanted to make sure that anyone who came forward with a complaint would be heard and believed. Most of all, I was determined that no other woman would have to wait 30 years, or anywhere close, to tell her story.
The Title IX coordinator, whose role includes oversight into complaints alleging sexual harassment and assault, called me within hours and was sympathetic and supportive. She also told me there had been no sexual assault complaints about him for as long as she’d been at the college, and perhaps that should have made me feel better.
But it didn’t. Just because nobody had complained, I couldn’t be sure he hadn’t traumatized someone else the way he had traumatized me.
Of course, my attacker will likely never be held accountable for what he did. I have to live with that. But I know, at least, I’ve given voice to my scared 17-year-old self — and just maybe helped protect someone else. For me, Ford’s bravery has been transformative already.
Will I do more? I’m not ruling it out. I know that nothing about the long years after sexual assault are easy to work through. Telling our stories is often excruciating, with no guarantee that we will be believed. But it can also be crucial: Think of the two survivors who challenged Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator and played a part in persuading him to consider a delay in the Kavanaugh confirmation. Our voices, in this moment, have become essential, and silence intolerable.

Paddleboard yoga may have landed this man in prison

LaMarche was sentenced to nine months in prison on Monday. He had pleaded guilty to theft of government property and wire fraud in March, admitting he collected more than $177,000 in disability payments, according to the Department of Justice.
While receiving disability payments, LaMarche owned and operated Emerald City Charters, a sailing outfit whose promotional video showed him sailing the boats.
Investigators from the Railroad Retirement Board Office and the US Coast guard also dug up a Seattle tourism video that showed LaMarche and others doing yoga on paddleboards.
Both videos were used to incriminate LaMarche, according to the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The 67-year-old’s scheme began in 1988, when LaMarche claimed he could no longer work as a railway conductor due to a back injury. Five years later, he began receiving a disability annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board.
Despite the Railroad Board investigating the disability claim in 2015, LaMarche continued to submit false reports, saying he could not “lift, pull or carry heavy items,” was “unable to run or jump” and had “debilitating headaches daily,” the Justice Department said.
US District Judge James Robart called LaMarche a “thief” at his sentencing.
“He’s obviously made a lot of money, but he’s stealing every year,” Robart said.
The investigation ordered LaMarche to pay $177,369 in restitution as well as an additional $177,369 in penalties, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington.
Although Emerald City Charters’ website claims “the fun isn’t stopping anytime soon,” their head captain won’t be able to man the decks until 2019. After the nine months in prison, LaMarche will be under supervised release for two years.
His captains license is currently under review by the US Coast Guard, a Coast Guard spokesman told CNN.
LaMarche was ordered to report to prison on Tuesday.

This season’s highest-paid college football coaches

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, left, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban shake hands during a press conference at the Marriott downtown convention center in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Ohio State is slated to square off against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban tops the annual USA Today list of highest-paid coaches in college football with a total salary of $8.3 million for the 2018 season.

Saban is followed by the Ohio State Buckeyes’ Urban Meyer ($7.6 million), the Michigan Wolverines’ Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million), the Texas A&M Aggies’ Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and the Auburn Tigers’ Gus Malzahn ($6.7 million) in this year’s top five, released Wednesday.

The Tide coach, who signed an eight-year, $74.4 million contract extension in July, said last year he “probably” wasn’t worth his salary.

“But I don’t really do this for money, and I never really have,” he told reporters. “I started out in this profession making $8,000 a year, and that was after two years as a graduate assistant making nothing. I was going to graduate school and loading trucks at night, and my wife worked in the registrar’s office, and we were happy when my dad brought us a case of peas so we could have a side dish.”

Saban is tied with fellow Bama legend Bear Bryant for the most national championships as a head coach with six, including five since joining the Tide in 2007.

Meanwhile, Meyer won’t receive his full salary for the 2018 campaign.

Ohio State announced in August he would “forgo six weeks of compensation” in addition to his since-served three-game suspension for his handling of domestic-violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith, who was fired in July.

Harbaugh found himself nearing the hot seat after a season-opening loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but Michigan has bounced back with four straight wins.

In all, there are 13 coaches with total pay of at least $5 million, which doesn’t include potential bonuses, and 82 coaches who are earning at least $1 million this season.

Seven schools (Air Force, Army, Baylor, BYU, Rice, SMU and Temple) didn’t provide information for the USA Today database. 

A suspect is in custody after an active shooter situation, Florence County officials say

One of the five law enforcement officers shot on Wednesday has died, Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken said, according to CNN affiliate WBTW.
[Previous story, published at 6:33 p.m. ET]
Three Florence County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office deputies and two city officers were shot Wednesday, chief deputy Glenn Kirby said, according to CNN affiliates.
The shootings took place during an active shooter incident, which is now over, the Florence County Emergency Management Department said on its Twitter page.
The extent of the injuries was not immediately known.
A suspect is in custody, the county said.
The scene of the shooting in Vintage Place off Hoffmeyer Road remains a crime scene, the county emergency management said.
“Prayers with injured officers in Florence and their families,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said on social media.
More details to follow.

Another typhoon barrels toward Japan

The typhoon is projected to track near southern Japan on Saturday morning local time with sustained winds of 120 kph (75 mph) — the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane.
This storm comes on the heels of Typhoon Trami, which made landfall this past Sunday in Wakayama province.
The country has seen more than its fair share of named storms this year: Eight came close enough to bring direct impacts on the country.
Kong-rey will be the third former super typhoon to impact Japan this year, though — like the previous two, Jebi and Trami — the storm will have weakened below the super typhoon threshold (winds greater than 240 kph) when it reaches the island nation.
Eight named storms have already had a direct impact on Japan in 2018.

In the first days of September, Jebi — the strongest typhoon to hit the mainland in 25 years packing wind gusts of over 200 kph (125 mph) — slammed into Kochi province.
When Typhoon Kong-rey nears mainland Japan, it is currently not forecast to be as strong as Jebi or even Typhoon Trami, which made landfall as a strong typhoon 157 kph (97 mph).
However, it is forecast to follow a similar track that Typhoon Prapiroon took in early July, skirting between the Korean Peninsula and western Japan.
Typhoon Prapiroon and a stationary “Baiu” front caused one of the deadliest disasters Japan has experienced since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Hundreds died from flooding as Prapiroon drew moisture across the mountainous terrain of central Japan. In the course of 10 days, some locations in Japan received two to four times the amount of rain they normally receive in the month of July.
This storm is not forecast to dump nearly as much rain, but portions of southern Japan and South Korea could see upwards of 250 mm (6 inches) of rain as Kong-rey passes by — which could lead to flash flooding and the potential for landslides.

CBS executive placed on leave following allegations of sexual and homophobic language

“I’ll never forget the day he told me he got four erections while watching Jennifer Hudson rehearse,” a female former CBS executive recalled to CNN.
Favale allegedly made the comment about Hudson as he watched the Oscar-winning performer rehearse ahead of a December 2015 appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Two other CBS employees, one former and one current, told CNN they heard Favale say the vulgar remark. Others told CNN they learned about it from co-workers later that day. Of the five sources CNN spoke to about the incident, two said Favale allegedly made the remark in the presence of a CBS standards and practices representative.
Favale was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for CBS, following CNN’s request for comment on this story. Favale denies allegations of retaliation and said his comments were taken out of context.
In his current role, Favale develops programing around talent and advises on comedy bookings for the network. He started his career with CBS in 1996 and served as a senior programming executive for “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” through 2017. He appeared on the program in comedic bits several times during Letterman’s tenure.
From 1998 to 2001, Favale also oversaw the CBS syndicated “Howard Stern Radio Show.” He gained recognition among followers of Stern in numerous appearances on his TV shows between 2004 and 2012. He is also credited as one of the founders of the Comedy Central television network.
According to several people who work or worked with Favale as a CBS executive, the off-color humor prevalent in some comedy circles has followed him professionally.
Nine current and former CBS employees, a mix of men and women, agreed to be interviewed by CNN as part of this story. All spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing non-disclosure agreements, or concern over professional retribution. These individuals described instances in “Late Show” meetings and rehearsals, between 2015 and 2018, where Favale used sexual innuendo, made homophobic comments and allegedly said derogatory remarks about the appearances of female guests.
When contacted by CNN for this story, Favale issued the following statement:
“Allegations that I have ever retaliated against anyone in any fashion are 100% false. I have spent my entire career working at comedy shows, where there has always been a wide latitude to make transgressive jokes while preparing the program. While we make a lot of jokes, these jokes attributed to me, whether said in rehearsals or production meetings, are being taken out of context and were not said in the way being presented here.”
The individuals interviewed for this story said they felt emboldened to share their accounts about Favale’s language after former CBS CEO Les Moonves resigned last month.
Moonves was forced to step down following allegations of sexual harassment and assault in two reports by Ronan Farrow published by The New Yorker. While Moonves acknowledged consensual relations with three women cited in the stories, he disputes the allegations of assault and harassment.
Two sources detailed a problematic “Late Show” department meeting around 2015, where Favale was in attendance and loud construction could be heard outside the office.
“There was a big drill, and we looked outside and went to the window. [Favale] compared the drill to ‘a big black dick’ as it was drilling into the ground,” a former CBS employee recalled. “I couldn’t believe he said that.”
This former employee said she complained to her superior about Favale’s drill remark and other comments she deemed offensive and felt she faced retaliation.
Favale began blocking her out of “important” and “necessary” meetings, she said. She voluntarily left her role at CBS and said Favale was a contributing factor.
The former CBS executive told CNN two employees complained to her after the drill remark and she shared their concerns with the company’s human resources department. She said it appeared to her the network did not take any visible action against Favale. She, too, felt he began to retaliate against her.
“He definitely knew that I had gone to HR. I told him, ‘People are complaining about you and I let HR know,'” she said. “He stopped talking to me for long periods of time. Our roles required that we interact … he shut me out of meetings. I went back to HR and complained, but I was told it wasn’t happening and had been addressed with him.”
In April 2017, after at least one formal HR complaint had been made against Favale, he was promoted from the network’s east coast late-night executive to his current role.
“After you realize that that’s the kind of thinking and logic that advances one’s career at CBS, as a woman, you are left with one choice,” a current CBS employee told CNN. “Are you a person who raises questions and calls that person out and has your employment jeopardized, or someone who just says nothing? Or do you become a good-time girl who laughs along with him and hopes that becoming a cool girl that gets it will help you advance? Those are not choices that someone should have to make in the workplace.”
“He has been known to say sexist things,” another CBS employee said about Favale. “But I think that no one [in HR] took it seriously because it wasn’t physical. It wasn’t groping, so he got away with it.”
When contacted by CNN for this report, CBS issued the following statement:
“The comments reported in this story are offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives or the culture we want at CBS. The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken. However, since concerned voices are speaking up nearly three years later, additional review is warranted. Mr. Favale has been placed on leave while we look into this situation further.”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” declined to issue a separate response.
Some of the people CNN spoke to also allege Favale made homophobic comments. A current CBS employee and the former executive said they heard Favale derogatorily use “homos” and “gay” in reference to heterosexual guests and co-workers. He allegedly questioned Colbert’s sexual orientation in rehearsals.
“He would frequently call Stephen [Colbert] gay because of his seeming inability to interview women well,” the former executive told CNN. “He would say this in rehearsals, the control room. Sometimes the CBS attorney would even be present, which to me is just shocking that nothing was done.”
The current CBS employee recalled an incident in which Favale was “bashing” actor Hugh Jackman, when the actor appeared on the show in 2017 to promote his film “Logan.” The employee said that Favale was standing in front of five to seven colleagues when she heard him say Jackman was “gay” and “in the closet.” Favale allegedly described Jackman’s now 22 year marriage to Deborra-lee Furness as “fake.”
“It was so offensive,” the employee said. “I really couldn’t believe it. I mean, this is an executive talking so openly like this … it’s mind blowing.”
Two people told CNN they witnessed Favale rhetorically ask, “Who wants to see that ugly man on TV,” when talking about an appearance by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. Another source heard Favale say a similar comment about a second high-profile, openly lesbian guest.
Favale would tell “Late Night” producers to “book hotter” women, several current and former CBS employees said. And while prioritizing attractive television guests is par for the course in the industry, the sources said they felt Favale was particularly critical about women who were booked to talk about political or social issues.
“If we wanted to include female scientists or political wonks there were a lot of notes about their looks,” one former employee said.
An instance that stood out to the former CBS executive and one current employee of the show, was a meeting in which Favale and the producing team were discussing women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem.
“When we wanted to book [Gloria], he said that instead we should find younger feminists who were hot,” the employee said.
Other sources pointed to a 2016 “Late Show” staff meeting with more than 20 people in attendance, where they were discussing a group of feminist artists called the “Guerilla Girls.”
“We were talking about how we were going to mic them and they were on to talk about equality in the art world, and [Favale] said, ‘We should make their microphones not work,'” the former employee recalled. “As a woman, when an executive says women who fight for equal pay should be silenced, how do you feel as a woman in that culture?”
The former CBS executive told CNN that Favale made it known from her first day on the job that he “had a direct line to Moonves.”
“He would talk about Les and Julie [Chen] all the time … he was just connected all the way up to the top. He would say whatever he wanted to say, even if it was outrageous,” she said.
CBS has hired outside counsel to investigate the allegations against Moonves, as well as the culture at the company more broadly. CBS also announced a $20 million donation to organizations that support the #MeToo movement, to be deducted from any potential severance agreement with Moonves.
Last week, CBS disclosed in an SEC filing it has received subpoenas about the allegations against Moonves from both the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Human Rights Commission. The company said it is cooperating with the subpoenas and declined to comment about the filing.
A current “Late Show” employee told CNN that Favale’s 2017 promotion has led to less interaction with the show’s staff.
“Vinnie was a horrible fit with the Colbert team from day one. Those abhorrent comments were just a symptom of a man who held the entire staff and show in contempt,” the employee said. “The fact that he was forced on us as long as he was is an indictment of the classic ‘old boys network’ that existed at the highest level of CBS.”
Another CBS employee said although the allegations against Favale don’t rise to the level of those brought against Moonves, or some other Hollywood executives, people should take notice.
“These are the people that are making decisions about what you see or don’t see on television every day and that’s important,” she said. “It might be easy to dismiss these women, ‘Oh, they just got their feelings hurt,’ or we are crying because the boys were mean to us. But these men are the people that decide what you see on television, what your children see on television and that should matter and [the executives and CBS] should take that responsibility seriously.”