Happening Today: Kavanaugh-Ford Hearing, Flu, Childish Gambino, Gisele Bündchen

What to Know

  • With high drama in the making, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh emphatically fended off new accusations of sexual misconduct
  • The U.S. government estimates that 80,000 Americans died of flu and complications last winter — the highest death toll in at least 4 decades
  • Childish Gambino is postponing his 'This Is America Tour' to recover after he injured his foot, Live Nation says

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High Drama in Senate as Kavanaugh-Ford Hearing Day Arrives

With high drama in the making, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh emphatically fended off new accusations of sexual misconduct ahead of a charged public Senate hearing that could determine whether Republicans can salvage his nomination and enshrine a high court conservative majority. The Senate Judiciary Committee — 11 Republicans, all men, and 10 Democrats — was to hear from just two witnesses: Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge who has long been eyed for the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor who accuses him of attempting to rape her when they were teens. Republicans have derided her allegation as part of a smear campaign and a Democratic plot to sink Kavanaugh's nomination. But after more allegations have emerged, some GOP senators have allowed that much is riding on Kavanaugh's performance. Even President Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh and fiercely defends him, said he was "open to changing my mind." Kavanaugh himself has repeatedly denied all the allegations.

80,000 People Died of Flu Last Winter in US, CDC Says

The U.S. government estimates that 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, revealed the total in an interview. Flu experts knew it was a very bad season, but at least one found size of the estimate surprising. "That's huge," said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. The tally was nearly twice as much as what health officials previously considered a bad year, he said. In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC. Last fall and winter, the U.S. went through one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. The season peaked in early February. It was mostly over by the end of March, although some flu continued to circulate.

Childish Gambino Postpones Tour Due to Injured Foot

Childish Gambino is postponing his tour to recover after he injured his foot. Live Nation says the performer's "This Is America Tour" will resume on Dec. 2 in Nashville, Tennessee. The tour promoter says tickets for the rescheduled shows will be honored at the new dates. Gambino, whose real name is Donald Glover, injured his foot during a concert in Dallas. The injury is also forcing Gambino to cancel his appearance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. He will still perform at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans on Oct. 27. The Grammy winner's hits include "Redone" and "This Is America."

Gisele Bündchen Reveals She Once Considered Suicide

Gisele Bündchen's public life may have always looked perfect to the outside world, but she secretly has battled a world of pain. In her new memoir "Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life," set for release on October 2, Bündchen, the wife of Tom Brady and a mother of two, opens up about her mental health battles. She reveals that 15 years ago, as her career took off, she experienced her first panic attack on a bumpy plane ride. This led her to develop a fear of tunnels, elevators and other enclosed spaces. She then had more panic attacks, including in her own home, and eventually contemplated suicide. Bündchen said she sought professional help and was prescribed Xanax, but did not want to rely on the medication. Bündchen then decided to change her eating and drinking habits and turned to yoga and meditation to combat stress. The supermodel and her husband are nowadays known for their strict but healthy diet.

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