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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 7, 2018

Bonnie Kristian
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1.

Kavanaugh sworn in to Supreme Court after 50-48 vote

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in to the Supreme Court Saturday evening, shortly after the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm him as the newest justice. Kavanaugh's confirmation process has been fraught with scandal, as he was accused by three women of sexual assault and other misconduct in his high school and college years. The confirmation vote was mostly along party lines, though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) crossed the aisle to support Kavanaugh, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who opposed the confirmation, voted "present" so Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a "yes" vote, would not have to skip his daughter's wedding. [C-SPAN, The Hill]

2.

Trump expresses 'a hundred percent' confidence in Kavanaugh

"I'm a hundred percent. I'm a hundred percent. I have no doubt" about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's innocence of the sexual assault allegations against him, President Trump said after Kavanaugh's confirmation vote. "If there was even a scintilla of something wrong — he was a very big judge for years, on what they call the second highest court — that would have come out loud and clear." Trump also hyped the win on Twitter, applauding the Senate for "confirming our GREAT NOMINEE," which he declared "Very exciting!" [The Hill, Donald J. Trump]

3.

Trump revels in Kavanaugh win at Kansas rally

President Trump headlined a campaign rally in Kansas Saturday night, an event he claimed on Twitter boasted a larger crowd than the protesters outside the Senate in Washington. Much of his speech focused on the day's "tremendous victory," the confirmation of new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Citing protests against the judge, Trump called Democrats an "angry left-wing mob" and "the party of crime." Urging his audience to turn out for Republicans on Election Day, the president told them to "imagine the devastation [Democrats] would cause if they ever obtain the power they so desperately want." [CNN, Fox News]

4.

McConnell calls Kavanaugh win a 'shot of adrenaline' for GOP at midterms

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday predicted the controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation will be a "shot of adrenaline" to get GOP voters to the polls at the midterm elections. Protest of Kavanaugh "has actually produced an incredible surge of interest among these Republican voters going into the fall election," he said. "We've all been perplexed about how to get our people as interested as we know the other side is. Well, this has done it." [USA Today, The Hill]

5.

Pompeo says he had a 'great, great visit' in North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday touted the success of his trip to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "We had a great, great visit this morning. President Trump sends his regards. And we had a very successful morning, so thank you," Pompeo told Kim through a translator after a two-hour meeting followed by a lunch. Kim responded in kind, declaring "a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries." Pompeo's last trip to North Korea was in July, and Kim's regime denounced his "gangster-like demands" after he left. [Reuters, The New York Times]

6.

Deadly 5.9-magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti

At least 12 people were killed and 162 more injured by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation of Haiti Saturday night. "Damage has been recorded mainly in the Far North. All my sympathies to the victims. The executive at the highest level is mobilized to provide appropriate answers. I call on the population to be cautious and calm," Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant said in a tweeted statement. The death toll is expected to continue to rise. A 7-magnitude quake in Haiti in 2010 left up to 300,000 people dead. [CNN, Miami Herald]

7.

Pope orders 'thorough study' of Vatican papers on disgraced cardinal

Pope Francis has authorized a "thorough study," the Vatican said Saturday, of all its documents pertaining to the sexual abuse allegations against Theodore McCarrick, a prominent cardinal who resigned in July. An August letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano alleged McCarrick's misconduct with seminarians was known in Catholic hierarchy for years, and that Francis removed sanctions against him despite this knowledge. The pope initially refused to comment on Vigano's charge. By permitting an examination of the paper trail, the Vatican said, Pope Francis has determined to "follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead." [Reuters, The Associated Press]

8.

Turkish officials claim journalist was killed inside Saudi consulate

Unnamed Turkish officials have told multiple news outlets they believe Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been critical of the regime in Riyadh, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate," one official told NBC News on Saturday. The claim has not been independently confirmed. Saudi Arabian state media "strongly denounced these baseless allegations," and Saudi officials said Khashoggi left the consulate of his own volition and went to an unknown location. [NBC News, CNN]

9.

Brazil votes in polarized presidential election

Brazilians head to the polls Sunday for the first of possibly several rounds of voting in their presidential election. If no candidate takes an outright majority, a runoff vote will be held in several weeks. The frontrunner is a far-right populist, Jair Bolsonaro, who has run on a "tough on crime" message, pledging to lower Brazil's surging murder rate and embrace democracy despite his repeated praise for a past military dictatorship. His primary opponent is Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers' Party, who is supported by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. [BBC News, Reuters]

10.

Melania Trump draws controversy in Africa

First lady Melania Trump completed a brief solo tour of Africa Saturday after visits to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt. She said the aim of her trip was to show "we care." Speaking in Egypt, Trump denied hearing her husband declare African nations "shithole countries" and said she does not always agree with the president. The first lady also said she "wish[es] people would focus on what I do, not what I wear," but her choice of khaki jodhpurs and a pith hat — styles evocative of European colonizers in Africa — drew unfavorable comment. [CNN, Reuters]