First Thing: ‘I was in Trump’s grip, and I couldn’t get out of it’

First Thing: ‘I was in Trump’s grip, and I couldn’t get out of it’

Good morning. Amy Dorris, a former model, has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in his VIP box at the US Open tennis tournament in New York in 1997. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Dorris said that the incident, which allegedly took place when she was 24, had left her feeling “sick” and “violated”:

He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything. I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it.

‘I feel sick, violated’: former model alleges sexual assault by Donald Trump – video

Dorris provided the Guardian with evidence to support her account. Trump, via his lawyers, denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward her.

  • Dorris is at least the 26th woman to come forward with claims of sexual misconduct by Trump. Lucy Osborne lays out the previous allegations against the now-US president. Trump denies all the claims.

The CDC director says the public won’t see a vaccine for a year

Donald Trump says CDC director ‘confused’ about Covid-19 vaccine arrival date – video

Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, told a Senate panel on Wednesday that it would be a year before a Covid-19 vaccine was available to the American public – and that, in the meantime, face-masks were the best defence against the virus. Trump disagreed, however, telling reporters at the White House that Redfield was “confused” about the timeline, and repeating his assertion that “we’re going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks”.

On the same day, administration health official and Trump loyalist Michael Caputo said he would take a leave of absence, after claiming in a Facebook video that government scientists were part of a “resistance” movement against Trump.

Armed civilians are manning illegal roadblocks in Oregon

As firefighters battled on against the wildfires in Oregon, and search teams scoured the remains of thousands of incinerated homes for the missing, Trump on Wednesday approved a federal disaster declaration, boosting US government assistance for the state’s emergency efforts.

Meanwhile concerns have been raised about a group of heavily armed civilians setting up illegal roadblocks in the unincorporated town of Corbett, Oregon, apparently in response to widespread rumours about arsonists and looters.

Taiwan says there’s ‘a real possibility’ of war with China

The foreign minister of Taiwan has called on the international community to help his country face down the threat from China, and what the Taipei government believes is “a real possibility” of war. Chinese state newspaper the Global Times stated in an editorial this week that Taiwan was “destroying their strategic manoeuvring ability by completely siding with the US”, thus increasing the risk of military conflict with Beijing, which considers Taiwan a part of China.

On Thursday, an American delegation led by the US undersecretary for economic affairs, Keith Krach, is set to arrive in Taiwan for two days of talks, amid reports of unprecedented US arms sales to Taipei, including mines, cruise missiles and drones.

  • Trump has questioned TikTok’s deal with US firm Oracle, after the video app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance announced it would retain a majority stake in TikTok’s US operations. “I can tell you that I don’t like that,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday, saying the sale “has to be 100% as far as national security is concerned”.

In other news…

Hurricane Sally: level-two storm hits Florida and Alabama – video
  • Hurricane Sally killed at least one person and left a trail of chaos and flood damage as the slow-moving storm battered the Florida and Alabama coastlines on Wednesday.

  • Saudi Arabia has mineable uranium ore reserves sufficient to start its own nuclear fuel production, increasing concerns about the Kingdom’s interest in an atomic weapons programme, according to a confidential report seen by the Guardian.

  • Bill Barr suggested bringing sedition charges against protesters, according to multiple reports which said the US attorney general urged prosecutors to explore aggressive charges against those involved in recent unrest in US cities.

Great reads

Frank Gehry: on his ‘modest’ Eisenhower memorial

Just as many historic statues are being pulled down across the US, architect Frank Gehry has unveiled a new memorial to Dwight Eisenhower in Washington, DC. But it is not a traditionally bombastic “great man” monument, he tells David Smith: “I think the statues going up are fairly modest compared to the ones coming down.”

The first openly gay NBA player discusses white privilege

The former basketball player John Amaechi, now a professional psychologist, was the first NBA player to come out as gay. Now he’s trying to educate his fellow Brits about white privilege. As a sports star, he tells Kehinde Andrews, “You don’t have a choice in being a role model – the only choice is whether to be a good or bad one.”

Opinion: should I really have volunteered for the Covid vaccine?

Thomas Gokey signed up for a risky “human challenge trial” to test Covid-19 vaccines because he wanted to make humanity safer. Now he’s worried that he might just be helping to make Big Pharma richer, or produce a vaccine available only to US citizens.

I cannot speak for other volunteers, but I suspect they might feel the same: I would refuse to participate in a human challenge trial if the eventual vaccine wasn’t made available to everyone, everywhere. And because vaccines are impossible without potential trial participants, we can demand a better vaccine process for everyone, not just for Covid-19, but for the future.

Last Thing: hot tub crime machine

Seven hot tubs – valued at more than C$150,000 (US$113,000) – have been stolen in a brazen daylight robbery in Alberta, by what Canadian police believe is a sophisticated network of criminals with semi-trucks, using forged papers to pretend they’re delivery drivers.

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