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Updated at 9:29 p.m. ET

Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her at a high school party when they were teenagers more than three decades ago, told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that an FBI investigation should be "the first step in addressing her allegations."

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

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President Trump today forcefully defended his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination is currently in a state of uncertainty. Kavanaugh faces an accusation of sexual assault from decades ago when he was a teenager.

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The sun is shining again on North Carolina today as the remnants of Hurricane Florence have moved into the mid-Atlantic. But a catastrophe is still unfolding, as rivers rise after days of torrential rains.

Water rescues continue for a fifth day. At the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, John Dorman with the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management is directing a team calculating flood levels, "then taking those flood elevations and determining if buildings will be flooded and how deep," he explains.

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President Trump wrote on Tuesday that he ordered the release of classified materials about the ongoing probe into Russian election interference because "really bad things were happening."

The White House said Trump is taking this action out of a desire for "transparency," but former law enforcement and intelligence officials warned the directive threatens to expose sensitive sources and methods.

Identity Politics Unmasked

8 hours ago

Political scientist Francis Fukuyama thinks identity politics is a disease. The cure? It can come from the country.

Left-wingers may deride national identities and far right-wingers twist them to racist ends, but he argues there is hope for unifying people and giving them a broad sense of purpose. Francis Fukuyama is in favor of national identities based on creed, like the American one, rather than identities based on race or heritage. He is keen on national service and suspicious of dual citizenship.

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

President Trump issued his most forceful defense yet of his embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference with Poland's president, Trump called Kavanaugh "a great man" and said that he feels "terribly" for the federal appeals court judge and his family.

Ahead of the midterm elections, NPR's Morning Edition wants to connect with parents expecting their first child. What issues matter to you this election? Share your story with us.

A producer may reach out to you to follow up on your response. Share your thoughts with us below or here.

Are you expecting your first child?

Today, JAMA publishes two major studies on a hot topic: physician burnout. Burnout is a buzzword that's been in the news, but what is it? How does it affect doctors and their patients?

It turns out, nobody really knows. The first study, a systematic review, summarizes the research to date on physician burnout. Study authors found that researchers do not use a consistent definition of burnout, and estimates of how common it is vary widely.

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

Georgia will continue using its touchscreen voting machines ahead of the midterms despite security concerns about the technology, a U.S. District Court judge ordered late Monday.

But Judge Amy Totenberg rebuked Georgia and state election officials over their handling of election security.

Georgia is one of 14 states using machines that lack a paper trail that voters can verify for themselves.

The title of Jill Lepore's new history of the United States should be instantly recognizable to all Americans.

It comes from, of course, the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It's hard to think of a single passage more emblematic of the American ethos.

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President Trump is defending his Supreme Court nominee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

As the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared, both parties had seen potential political benefits for them in the upcoming midterm elections.

For Republicans, it was a chance to energize the base by putting another conservative justice on the court, potentially reshaping it for a generation.

For Democrats, the specter of rolling back abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act and more was a way to further energize an already engaged liberal base to go to the polls.

Updated Sept. 18

The Justice Department, which the Trump administration says needs the controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 census, initially did not want to make the request, according to newly unredacted portions of a memo.

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Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

President Trump has ordered the intelligence community to "provide for the immediate declassification" of several documents related to the FBI and the Department of Justice, the White House press secretary announced Monday.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Monday that he is ordering 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China.

Trump also threatened to add tariffs on about $267 billion of additional imports if China retaliates against U.S. farmers or other industries.

It's the latest round of an escalating trade dispute between the two countries.

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Digital advertising is gaining ground as the medium of choice for political candidates. And now campaigns are making ads that don't just beam messages out. They bring money in. It's all about small donors, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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I'm Audie Cornish with a look at election security in All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF ULRICH SCHNAUSS' "NOTHING HAPPENS IN JUNE")

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A solar observatory in New Mexico reopened Monday after being closed by authorities for 10 days — which spawned national interest and speculation into the cause of its evacuation.

Let's get this out of the way: Scientists say that aliens were not involved.

On Sept. 6, the Sunspot Solar Observatory was suddenly closed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the consortium that operates it, without public explanation.

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