10 things you need to know today: October 6, 2018

Senate votes 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh to final Saturday vote, Manchin, Collins, and Flake back Kavanaugh, and more

An activist protests against the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh in front of the U.S. Supreme Court
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

1. Senate votes 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh to final Saturday vote

The Senate voted 51-49 Friday to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination to a final vote, scheduled for Saturday by about 5 p.m. Eastern. The advancement came after senators spent a day taking turns with an FBI report regarding sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Democrats said the probe was too limited in scope, but Republicans said it provided sufficient closure on the matter. Friday's vote ran along party lines, save for Democrat Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Republican Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who both crossed the aisle. Kavanaugh's confirmation looks all but assured.


2. Manchin, Collins, and Flake back Kavanaugh

In a winding speech Friday afternoon, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced she will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, condemning the "gutter-level" debate surrounding his nomination. A moment after she finished, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he too would support Kavanaugh in Saturday's vote. With fellow swing voter Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) also on board, Kavanaugh's confirmation is nearly guaranteed. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is the only Republican who said she opposes confirming Kavanaugh, though she will vote "present" so Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a "yes" vote, does not have to skip his daughter's wedding.

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3. Kagan warns Supreme Court 'middle position' may be gone

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy served as someone "who found the center," Justice Elena Kagan said Friday as nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation looked certain to succeed. "I think going forward, that sort of middle position — it's not so clear whether we'll have it," she continued. Kagan spoke at Princeton University with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who struck a more hopeful note. "We have to rise above partisanship in our personal relationships," she said. "We have to treat each other with respect and dignity and with a sense of amicability that the rest of the world doesn't often share."

The Hill CBS News

4. Ford opposes Kavanaugh impeachment, attorneys say

Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, does not want him to be impeached should Democrats regain control of Congress, her attorneys said Friday as Kavanaugh's confirmation process neared its close. "Professor Ford has not asked for anything of the sort," said Ford lawyer Debra Katz. "What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI, and that's what she sought to do here." Katz said Ford does not regret her allegations.

CNN Politico

5. Police officer found guilty of second-degree murder in McDonald shooting

A jury on Friday found Jason Van Dyke, a white police officer charged with killing a black teenager in 2014, guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Van Dyke, who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, is the first Chicago police officer to be convicted of murder for an on-duty shooting in about 50 years. Video of the shooting showed McDonald walking away from officers when Van Dyke opened fire, yet the defense argued Van Dyke believed his life was in danger because McDonald was holding a knife. Van Dyke faces decades in prison.

The New York Times CNN

6. Pompeo in Japan pledges 'fully coordinated' stance on North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Japan Saturday reassuring the long-time American ally its connection to the United States would not be negatively affected by developments in Washington's relationship with Pyongyang. He told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe their meeting is necessary "so we have a fully coordinated and unified view" on North Korean denuclearization progress, as well as North Korean "missile programs [and chemical and biological weapons] programs." Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang Sunday to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before heading to South Korea and China.

NBC News The Associated Press

7. Court rules against DOJ on sanctuary cities

A federal judge on Friday ruled against the Department of Justice in a case against California concerning sanctuary cities. At issue was Attorney General Jeff Sessions' policy of making public safety grants dependent on cities' compliance with his department's demand for cooperation of local police forces with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. Sessions required grant recipient cities to share information as well as prison and jail access with ICE. Sanctuary cities limit cooperation with federal immigration agents, arguing immigrants will be discouraged from reporting crime if they are worried about deportation.

Reuters The Hill

8. Federal personnel director resigns

Office of Personnel Management chief Jeff Pon resigned Friday after about eight months on the job, an announcement little noticed amid the furor over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A White House statement on Pon's departure did not say why he is leaving. For now, his duties will be assumed by Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Weichert, who will also keep her current role, said she is focused on "driving and really modernizing how we think about governing and our workforce."

The Hill The Washington Post

9. Interpol chief reported missing in China

French police have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of Meng Hongwei, the head of the international police agency Interpol, after his wife reported him missing Friday during a trip to China. Meng, 64, traveled to his home country on Sept. 29, and his wife told French police at Interpol's Lyon headquarters she hasn't heard from him since. Meng has held several positions in China, including vice minister of public security and director of anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism offices. Interpol's main purpose is to give police forces in different countries a way to alert their peers about wanted suspects.

The Associated Press Reuters

10. Ford to cut jobs, reorganize workforce

Ford Motor Company is planning to reorganize its workforce, the auto manufacturer said Friday, including cutting an as yet unknown number of its 70,000 salaried positions globally. "The reorganization will result in headcount reduction over time and this will vary based on team and location," said a company statement. Mark Truby, vice president of global communications at Ford, said executives would "need to dig into the process deeper" before being able to share "the absolutes" of how many jobs will go and how they will be terminated.

The Wall Street Journal Detroit Free Press

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