Hello! Here’s what’s happening on Wednesday.
1. US President Donald Trump rebuked Iran at the United Nations General Assembly and spent the day in a back-and-forth with the country’s leader, Hassan Rouhani. As he arrived at the UN, Trump said, “Iran has to change its tune before I meet with them.” The two were trading threats about a month ago, including Iran saying any conflict would be the “mother of all wars”.
2. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee hired a woman, an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, to ask questions at a hearing during which Christine Blasey Ford will speak about her sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The hearing set for Thursday is happening as Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee clamor to get Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court. A vote on that is due Friday.
3. Turkey could need a bailout that dwarfs the record-setting $50 billion loan to Argentina. Turkey has $180 billion in external debt that will come due soon, with a large portion of it in foreign currency, and Macquarie strategists estimate the country needs $75 billion.
4. San Francisco shut down its $2.2 billion transit terminal just weeks after opening when a crack was discovered in a support beam. The decision to close was made “out of an abundance of caution” as engineers inspect other beams and work to repair the problem.
5. Comedian Bill Cosby, 81, faces up to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago. A judge called Cosby a “sexually violent predator”.
6. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing is reported to be pursuing a defamation lawsuit in the US against a Chinese billionaire who accused her of having an affair with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. The actress, who played Blink in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, disappeared from the public eye in early July shortly after she was accused of tax evasion in China.
7. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary believes we’ll see pilot-less planes in the next 40 to 50 years. UBS research suggests only 17% of travellers would be willing to fly without a pilot, but O’Leary doesn’t think this is a deal breaker.
8. The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery, built by tech billionaire Elon Musk’s company Tesla last year in South Australia, has made its French owner Neoen up to $US17 million revenue in just six months. The battery bank can power up to 30,000 homes.
9. The man who built Star Wars droid BB-8 has created a giant rideable robot spider. Matt Denton, a British animatronics engineer, says Mantis, the world’s largest hexapod robot, can be driven at a gentle 1 km per hour.
10. A weird, cigar-shaped object flew through the solar system last year. And now astronomers say it was an Oumuamua -– whose name means “a messenger from afar, arriving first” in Hawaiian — an interstellar comet from beyond the solar system.
And finally …
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