Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh under fire again, GM workers' strike, and oil prices soar: The Morning Rundown

Oil prices have spiked after the Saturday attack on Saudi facilities hits global supplies.
Image: United Auto Workers members picket at a gate at the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant after the UAW declared a national strike against GM at midnight on Sept. 16, 2019 in Flint, Michigan.
United Auto Workers members picket at a gate to the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant after the UAW declared a national strike against GM at midnight on Sept. 16, 2019 in Flint, Michigan.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

A new book about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has reignited the debate over his confirmation, thousands of General Motors workers have gone on strike, and oil prices have soared after the attack on Saudi facilities over the weekend.

Here's what we're watching today.


Democrats call for Kavanaugh impeachment over new sexual misconduct claims

A number of prominent Democrats called on Congress to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual misconduct that had once threatened to torpedo his nomination to the bench resurfaced.

The new revelations came to light in an opinion-section article written by two New York Times reporters, published late Saturday, whose book on the Kavanaugh nomination will be released this week.

President Donald Trump lashed out at the new reporting, calling Kavanaugh "an innocent man."

Reached through the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh declined to comment to NBC News on Sunday. He delivered a broad denial of misconduct during his confirmation hearings last year.


Nearly 50,000 GM auto workers go on strike

Tens of thousands of auto workers across the country went on strike after negotiations faltered between their union and General Motors.

As many as 50,000 United Auto Workers at dozens of facilities across the Midwest and the South are expected to join the picket lines on Monday morning.

The union said that negotiators still hadn’t been able to agree on wages, health care benefits, temporary workers, job security and profit sharing.

The move could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. A two-day strike in 2007 — the last time the UAW called such a work stoppage — cost General Motors more than $600 million.


Strike on Saudi oil facilities heightens regional tensions as oil prices soar

Attacks on crucial oil sites in Saudi Arabia Saturday threatened to renew tensions in the Gulf amid hopes for diplomatic progress between the United States and Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran directly for what he called "an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply," in a tweet.

President Trump even hinted at military retaliation.

"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," the president tweeted Sunday. "There is reason to believe we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"

With the war of words unfolding on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote, “Having failed at maximum pressure, @SecPompeo's turning to maximum deceit.”

Oil prices spiked by more than 15 percent to their highest level in nearly four months on Sunday after the attack on the Saudi oil facilities knocked out more than five percent of global oil supply.

We apologize, this video has expired.

Girl power goes green: Teens strike for global action on climate change

Upward of 2 million teenage climate change activists — from The Hague to Kampala, Uganda — regularly skip class on Friday and take to the streets to protest government inaction on climate change. And many of them are young women.

The Fridays for Future school strikes have eclipsed the quiet, solitary protests started by its founder, 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, in August 2018.

“The world is watching us,” said Isabelle Axelsson, 18, who has skipped class weekly to march with Fridays for Future in Stockholm. Eleni Kalorkoti / for NBC News

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Plus

  • Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids.
  • RIP Ric Ocasek: The frontman and songwriter for the Cars, has died at 75.
  • "Let's be honest, fat-shaming is just bullying": James Corden shot back at a monologue by late-night host Bill Maher with a personal rebuttal.
  • Tough night's sleep: A California woman dreamed about eating her engagement ring — and woke up to realize she really had.

THINK about it

Donald Trump claimed the primaries were rigged in 2016. Now he's the one rigging them, Sarah Longwell, executive director of Defending Democracy Together and Republicans for the Rule of Law, writes in an opinion piece.


Science + Tech = MACH

Fake gravity and "supersized basketball": A look inside a proposed space hotel.


Live BETTER

Do you handle the money in your relationship? Here's how to make sure your partner can take over.


Quote of the day

"The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson comparing himself to the Marvel comic book hero.


One fun thing

Denny Dyke is a sand-struck artist.

He and a team of volunteers transform Oregon’s Bandon Beach into a series of labyrinths, as part of his “Circles in the Sand” project about 60 times a year.

Visitors are invited to stroll through the spirals, what Dyke calls his "Dreamfield, " for a few hours before nature takes its course.

"It just gives you such a feeling of — of peace and comfort," said visitor Judy Ruflin. "Leave your troubles in the sand."


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra