One half of Israel’s power couple, Sara Netanyahu can appear as much a part of the country’s leadership as her husband.
On the night of his last election victory in 2015, a jubilant Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I would like to thank my beloved wife Sarah. How many tribulations have you overcome by my side? You have so much strength my wife, and you grant me so much strength.”
This time, the spotlight is all on Sara Netanyahu.
Sara Netanyahu with her husband at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York in September 2017.

Alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money

On Sunday morning, she will arrive at Jerusalem District Court for her trial on charges of fraud and breach of trust, focusing on the alleged misuse of taxpayer dollars at the couple’s official residence at Balfour Street.
From April 2009 until March 2013, Sara Netanyahu ordered approximately $100,000 in meals from some of Jerusalem’s top restaurants, according to an indictment filed in June, which painstakingly detailed each transaction by month. For example, in December 2011, prosecutors say she ordered meals to the PM’s residence totaling 24,164 shekels — more than $6,500.
Under Israeli law, if there is no cook in the PM’s residence, it is permissible to order prepared food. But prosecutors say the Netanyahu family had a cook in the house and yet still ordered the food, with Israeli taxpayers footing the bill.
Netanyahu's troubles deepen as Israeli police arrest confidants

Netanyahu's troubles deepen as Israeli police arrest confidants

In addition, Sara Netanyahu used state funds to pay waiters to serve the meals on weekends and during private events, according to prosecutors, who said the hand-picked waiters were registered as “extra manpower” or “cleaners” to hide the fact that they were being illegally employed.
She has maintained her innocence. Her lawyer called the indictment false and hallucinatory.
“It’s the first time in Israel and in the world that the wife of a leader is put on trial for food entrees,” her legal team said in a statement in response to the indictment. “There was no fraud, no breach of trust or any other felony. We’re certain in the end that justice will speak. Truth and logic will prevail.”
Workers at the PM’s residence, led by one-time housekeeper Meni Naftali, have complained of cruel treatment at the hands of Sara Netanyahu. Naftali accused her of mistreating staff in the residence, including one instance where she woke him up in the middle of the night to scold him for buying milk in a bag rather than a carton. Naftali won a workplace mistreatment case against Netanyahu in a labor court, where he was awarded more than $40,000.
Sara Netanyahu denied any mistreatment.
 Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara pose for a photograph at the Taj Mahal in January 2018.

 Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara pose for a photograph at the Taj Mahal in January 2018.

Fixture of political scene

Sara Ben-Artzi first met Benjamin Netanyahu in 1989. At the time, she was a flight attendant on El Al, Israel’s national airline. The two wed in 1991. It was Sara Netanyahu’s second wedding and Benjamin’s third.
It was shortly before Benjamin Netanyahu’s first time in office that she cemented her status. At the time, Netanyahu was running to be the leader of his right-wing Likud party. During the 1993 campaign, Netanyahu, then 43 years old and two years into his marriage to Sara, publicly apologized on state television to an affair with his media advisor, Ruth Bar. Without naming names, Netanyahu blamed senior party members for trying to torpedo his candidacy.
Sara Netanyahu stood by her husband and became a fixture of Israel’s political scene.
Now 59 years old, she is often referred to by just her first name, a celebrity status not dissimilar to Madonna or Cher, even if only in Israeli circles.

Years in spotlight

The Netanyahus have long been a staple of international news. Being the leader of Israel, a country that draws an outsized portion of the world’s attention, means you’re rarely out of the news for very long. But not all of the stories have related to politics, diplomacy, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For years, the Netanyahu family has been dogged by accusations of wrongdoing, whether legal or ethical. (The couple’s youngest son, Avner, is the only member of the family who isn’t regularly in the news.)
During Benjamin Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli premier in the late-90s, police said they had enough evidence to indict him in a corruption case on charges of fraud and breach of trust. He was accused of promoting an attorney general who would pursue reduced charges against a minister in his government, but the sitting attorney general said there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges.

New investigations

Netanyahu is once again at the center of corruption investigations that have implicated many members of his inner circle. Police say they have enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust in three separate investigations, known as Case 1000, 2000, and 4000.
In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas.
Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israel's PM, suspected of receiving bribes, police say

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israel's PM, suspected of receiving bribes, police say

In Case 2000, police have investigated conversations Netanyahu had with a newspaper publisher about limiting the circulation of a rival paper in exchange for more favorable coverage.
Case 4000 is the biggest investigation facing the PM. Investigators allege he gave regulatory benefits worth some $280 million to his friend in exchange for favorable media coverage in an online news site.
Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, a former family spokesman, and the former director-general of the Ministry of Communications have all become witnesses for the state as the investigations have unfolded. They’ve agreed to provide testimony in the cases against the Israeli leader.
Netanyahu has decried the investigations as a witch hunt, maintaining his innocence and vowing to continue to serve. He often dismisses the investigations, saying: “There will be nothing because there is nothing.”
Investigators have also said Sara Netanyahu is suspected of bribery in Case 4000, an allegation she has denied.

Focus on eldest son

In recent years, the couple’s eldest son has made headlines of his own. A 2015 recording publicized by Israel’s Hadashot news in January caught Yair Netanyahu talking about prostitutes and going to strip clubs with his friends. In the recording, he can be heard saying, “Speaking of whores, what is open at this hour?”
The Prime Minister said his son was only joking and criticized the decision to release the recording, while Yair Netanyahu decried the report from an “illegal hidden recording” while he was drinking, which he said was scurrilous.
“In a night-time conversation, under the influence of alcohol, I said nasty things about women and other things that should not have been said,” Yair Netanyahu said in an apology. “These things don’t represent the person I am, the values I was educated on and what I believe.”
The 27-year-old’s social media posts have also drawn attention. Last September, he shared a meme on Facebook with overtones of anti-Semitism. The post drew criticism from Israeli officials and Jewish groups, but it was praised by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Without offering an apology or an explanation, Yair Netanyahu deleted the post.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair visit the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem in March 2015.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair visit the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem in March 2015.

Popularity unaffected

The headlines surrounding the Netanyahu family have barely damaged the Prime Minister’s popularity or his standing in the polls. If elections were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would probably improve the number of seats it currently holds in Israel’s Knesset.
The controversies surrounding the family have only drawn his supporters closer, with the Israeli leader blaming the media and the left for a conspiracy to unseat him.
He has framed the case against Sara Netanyahu as a part of that campaign, already dismissive of the investigation and its findings, regardless of the outcome.
For a family that is so frequently in the news, the trial is another episode in the limelight in a very public life.
Christine Blasey Ford had just revealed her identity and was prepared to testify in public, detailing her allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to sexual assault her more than three decades ago. On top of that, a New Yorker article had just revealed that a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, was accusing Kavanaugh of exposing his genitals to her while they were college students.
Then came Michael Avenatti.
The combative lawyer, who represents Stormy Daniels and has been a ubiquitous presence on cable television, revealed a stunning new allegation: A woman, Julie Swetnick, said she had witnessed the Supreme Court nominee attending more than 10 house parties between 1981 and 1983 where Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, were present. At some of those parties, she alleged, Kavanaugh was “fondling and grabbing girls without their consent” and, along with others, spiking drinks to force girls to lose their inhibitions.
She also alleged that at some parties, boys lined up by a bedroom to “gang-rape” incapacitated girls and claimed those in the lineup included Kavanaugh and Judge. But she did not say Kavanaugh or Judge assaulted the girls, nor did she provide the names of corroborating witnesses.
Kavanaugh furiously denied the allegations.
But the eye-popping nature of those claims suddenly gave Republicans an opportunity to shift the narrative away from Ford’s allegations and make a broader case that the growing accusations of sexual misconduct amounted to an orchestrated Democratic smear campaign, something Sen. Susan Collins, the swing GOP vote, cited herself when announcing she’d be the decisive vote to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Susan Collins just made Brett Kavanaugh a Supreme Court justice

A host of Democratic senators and senior aides told CNN that the allegations from Avenatti’s client gave the GOP an opening to conflate — and dismiss — all the allegations in one broad brush.
“Well you know at some point there were a lot of folks coming forward making all sorts of accusations,” said Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, when asked about the allegations raised by Avenatti and his client. “It turns it into a circus atmosphere and certainly that’s not where we should be.”
Asked if Avenatti was helpful, Peters said: “I think we should have focused on the serious allegations that certainly appeared very credible to me that would be our best course of action.”
Privately, the assessment was far more scathing.
“Democrats and the country would have been better off if Mr. Avenatti spent his time on his Iowa vanity project rather than meddling in Supreme Court fights,” a senior Senate Democratic aide fumed, referring to Avenatti toying with the idea of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “His involvement set us back, absolutely.”
A Democratic senator, who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly, said: “Not helpful at all. I think Susan was always yes, but Avenatti was a useful foil.”
Reached for comment Saturday, Avenatti pushed back, criticizing anonymous Democrats as “cowards” and saying the assessment shows the “failed leadership” in the Democratic Party.
“It is outrageous that these so-called Democrats would attack a sexual assault victim from coming forward,” Avenatti told CNN. “I guess their position is that she should have shut her mouth and remained silent? It is disgusting that these cowards blame my client and the other accusers from coming forward.””
Avenatti, who represented Daniels, the porn actress who was paid by Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen in the 2016 campaign to keep silent about an alleged affair with Trump, has furiously criticized the FBI for not investigating the allegations, saying Swetnick would be willing to testify under oath about her claims.
While Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited the allegation once they were made public to call for the confirmation to ground to a halt, other Democrats quickly distanced themselves from the allegation, choosing instead to keep the focus on Ford’s claims — and a lesser extent, Ramirez’s.
And on Friday when she announced her critical decision to give Kavanaugh the votes to confirm his nomination, Collins called the allegation “outlandish” without “any credible supporting evidence.”
“Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important,” Collins said on the floor. “I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by Professor Ford, but of the allegation that, when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape.”
Avenatti sharply criticized Collins — and Democrats, as well.
“How do they know her claims, supported by six witnesses were not credible?” Avenatti said. “They did basically nothing to find out.”
Many Democrats did not know what to make of the claims made by Avenatti’s client. In particular, Democrats pointed to more than 1,000 pages of FBI tips on Kavanaugh that poured in and were never investigated — some of which, they said, could have been credible. They said Swetnick’s could well be credible — or perhaps not.
“I just step back and I just look at the totality — this was not attempted to be a serious process,” said Sen. Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, when asked if Avenatti was helpful to the case against Kavanaugh. He called the FBI probe a “coverup” directed by the White House
“I just consider this to be a larger story,” Markey said, when asked again about Avenatti’s clients came.
Peters said some Republicans pointed to the Swetnick allegations “to distract from the task at hand, which is really about pursuing what are serious allegations, and one that seemed to be credible.
“So there are always efforts whenever you dealing with a serious issue like this, that people want to change the discussion and have everybody chanse another different shiny object,” Peters said. “Our job in the Senate, and it should have been the job of the FBI too, is to focus on those that are credible.”
One Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee privately was more direct.
“It wasn’t helpful because the story became about Avenatti,” the Democratic senator said.
Avenatti, who headlined an Ohio fundraiser Friday and is considering running for president in 2020, said he wears that Democratic criticism with a “badge of honor.”
“Many establishment Democrats are concerned because they see me as a threat,” Avenatti said.
Christine Blasey Ford had just revealed her identity and was prepared to testify in public, detailing her allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to sexual assault her more than three decades ago. On top of that, a New Yorker article had just revealed that a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, was accusing Kavanaugh of exposing his genitals to her while they were college students.
Then came Michael Avenatti.
The combative lawyer, who represents Stormy Daniels and has been a ubiquitous presence on cable television, revealed a stunning new allegation: A woman, Julie Swetnick, said she had witnessed the Supreme Court nominee attending more than 10 house parties between 1981 and 1983 where Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, were present. At some of those parties, she alleged, Kavanaugh was “fondling and grabbing girls without their consent” and, along with others, spiking drinks to force girls to lose their inhibitions.
She also alleged that at some parties, boys lined up by a bedroom to “gang-rape” incapacitated girls and claimed those in the lineup included Kavanaugh and Judge. But she did not say Kavanaugh or Judge assaulted the girls, nor did she provide the names of corroborating witnesses.
Kavanaugh furiously denied the allegations.
But the eye-popping nature of those claims suddenly gave Republicans an opportunity to shift the narrative away from Ford’s allegations and make a broader case that the growing accusations of sexual misconduct amounted to an orchestrated Democratic smear campaign, something Sen. Susan Collins, the swing GOP vote, cited herself when announcing she’d be the decisive vote to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Susan Collins just made Brett Kavanaugh a Supreme Court justice

A host of Democratic senators and senior aides told CNN that the allegations from Avenatti’s client gave the GOP an opening to conflate — and dismiss — all the allegations in one broad brush.
“Well you know at some point there were a lot of folks coming forward making all sorts of accusations,” said Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, when asked about the allegations raised by Avenatti and his client. “It turns it into a circus atmosphere and certainly that’s not where we should be.”
Asked if Avenatti was helpful, Peters said: “I think we should have focused on the serious allegations that certainly appeared very credible to me that would be our best course of action.”
Privately, the assessment was far more scathing.
“Democrats and the country would have been better off if Mr. Avenatti spent his time on his Iowa vanity project rather than meddling in Supreme Court fights,” a senior Senate Democratic aide fumed, referring to Avenatti toying with the idea of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “His involvement set us back, absolutely.”
A Democratic senator, who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly, said: “Not helpful at all. I think Susan was always yes, but Avenatti was a useful foil.”
Reached for comment Saturday, Avenatti pushed back, criticizing anonymous Democrats as “cowards” and saying the assessment shows the “failed leadership” in the Democratic Party.
“It is outrageous that these so-called Democrats would attack a sexual assault victim from coming forward,” Avenatti told CNN. “I guess their position is that she should have shut her mouth and remained silent? It is disgusting that these cowards blame my client and the other accusers from coming forward.””
Avenatti, who represented Daniels, the porn actress who was paid by Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen in the 2016 campaign to keep silent about an alleged affair with Trump, has furiously criticized the FBI for not investigating the allegations, saying Swetnick would be willing to testify under oath about her claims.
While Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited the allegation once they were made public to call for the confirmation to ground to a halt, other Democrats quickly distanced themselves from the allegation, choosing instead to keep the focus on Ford’s claims — and a lesser extent, Ramirez’s.
And on Friday when she announced her critical decision to give Kavanaugh the votes to confirm his nomination, Collins called the allegation “outlandish” without “any credible supporting evidence.”
“Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important,” Collins said on the floor. “I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by Professor Ford, but of the allegation that, when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape.”
Avenatti sharply criticized Collins — and Democrats, as well.
“How do they know her claims, supported by six witnesses were not credible?” Avenatti said. “They did basically nothing to find out.”
Many Democrats did not know what to make of the claims made by Avenatti’s client. In particular, Democrats pointed to more than 1,000 pages of FBI tips on Kavanaugh that poured in and were never investigated — some of which, they said, could have been credible. They said Swetnick’s could well be credible — or perhaps not.
“I just step back and I just look at the totality — this was not attempted to be a serious process,” said Sen. Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, when asked if Avenatti was helpful to the case against Kavanaugh. He called the FBI probe a “coverup” directed by the White House
“I just consider this to be a larger story,” Markey said, when asked again about Avenatti’s clients came.
Peters said some Republicans pointed to the Swetnick allegations “to distract from the task at hand, which is really about pursuing what are serious allegations, and one that seemed to be credible.
“So there are always efforts whenever you dealing with a serious issue like this, that people want to change the discussion and have everybody chanse another different shiny object,” Peters said. “Our job in the Senate, and it should have been the job of the FBI too, is to focus on those that are credible.”
One Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee privately was more direct.
“It wasn’t helpful because the story became about Avenatti,” the Democratic senator said.
Avenatti, who headlined an Ohio fundraiser Friday and is considering running for president in 2020, said he wears that Democratic criticism with a “badge of honor.”
“Many establishment Democrats are concerned because they see me as a threat,” Avenatti said.

Millions of pounds of beef are targeted after a salmonella outbreak

A nationwide recall on certain beef products was linked to a salmonella outbreak.

About 6.9 million pounds of beef products were recalled this week because they may be contaminated with salmonella, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said.
Arizona-based meat producer JBS Tolleson Inc. recalled the products, which were sold nationwide under brand names including Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart and JBS Generic.
Fifty-seven cases of salmonella illness were reported in 16 states between August 5 and September 6, and health officials identified JBS as the common supplier of raw ground beef that’s believed to have been the source of the illnesses.
The recalled products were packaged between July 26 and September 7. The USDA inspection mark on the packaging of the recalled products contains the establishment number “EST. 267.”
The inspection service said it is concerned that some of the product may still be in people’s freezers. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” it said.

Ready-to-eat ham has been linked to listeriosis

Several brands of ham produced by Johnston County Hams have been recalled.

Several brands of ham produced by Johnston County Hams have been recalled.

More than 89,000 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products should be returned or thrown away because of possible listeria contamination.
The Johnston County Hams products were recalled this week after health officials linked them to an outbreak of listeriosis, the Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday.
The recalled items were produced between April 3, 2017, and October 2, and shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia. The products include Johnston County Hams Inc. country-style fully cooked boneless deli ham and the Old Dominion brand ole fashioned sugar-cured premium full cooked country ham. (See full list.)
Four people in North Carolina and Virginia were confirmed ill with listeriosis — one of whom died — between July 8, 2017, and August 11, the inspection service said.

Eggs are causing salmonella infections

Eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms were recalled in September, but some consumers still could have them.

Eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms were recalled in September, but some consumers still could have them.

And there was an update about a recall from last month involving eggs that still could be in people’s fridges.
The US Food and Drug Administration said this week that eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms in Cullman, Alabama, have been linked to 38 cases of salmonella in seven states.
The cage-free large eggs, sold in stores in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, were recalled in September after illnesses were confirmed.
The recalled eggs have a UPC code of 7-06970-38444-6 and best-by dates of July 25 through October 3. A list of locations where the eggs were sold can be found on the recall announcement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the eggs should not be eaten, sold or served. They should be thrown away or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Some Toyota Prius cars need a stalling fix

Certain 2014 Toyota Prius vehicles were part of the automaker's latest recall.

Certain 2014 Toyota Prius vehicles were part of the automaker's latest recall.

Food isn’t the only thing to look out for. Toyota wants hundreds of thousands of Toyota Prius owners to get a fix over concerns that their cars could stall while in motion.
The global recall issued Friday involves about 807,000 cars in the United States. They are certain 2010-2014 model year Prius and 2012-2014 Prius v cars.
The vehicles are supposed to enter a “failsafe driving mode” when a fault occurs in the hybrid system, but Toyota said that in rare situations, the cars instead could lose power and stall.
“While power steering and braking would remain operational, a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash,” the Japanese carmaker said in a statement.
Toyota said it will update the software for the recalled vehicles at no charge. Owners can check whether their cars are involved by entering their vehicle identification numbers at toyota.com/recall or nhtsa.gov/recalls.
The same vehicles also were recalled in February 2014 and July 2015 over similar issues.
Just last month, Toyota recalled more than 1 million Prius and other hybrid vehicles over a potential fire risk.
Crowds started forming in front of the Supreme Court building and at the US Capitol around 9 a.m. ET and grew through the morning. More than 300 protesters have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests this week in the nation’s capital.
The Senate vote was expected to be held midafternoon. Kavanaugh’s confirmation appeared to be a sure thing after Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would support Kavanaugh.
A protester holds up a "Predators Club" sign Saturday on the Capitol's East Lawn.

Demonstrators held signs calling Kavanaugh a bad nominee because of sexual assault allegations against him and saying the selection process seemed to be biased against women. One woman held a sign saying “Predators Club” with pictures of Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas and President Donald Trump.
Protesters have confronted lawmakers on the street and in elevators throughout the week. It was not known if they would employ that tactic Saturday or try to get inside the Capitol.
Activists demonstrate Saturday in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.

Activists demonstrate Saturday in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.

A demonstration was scheduled for Saturday outside Collins’ office in Portland, Maine, to show opposition to her support of Kavanaugh.
A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.
“It’s just this feeling of being utterly ignored,” Jenny O’Connell of Portland told WGME on Friday. “Susan Collins just made a huge choice to ignore her constituents and survivors (of sexual assault).”
The senator was elected in 1996 and would be on the ballot in 2020 if she decides to seek re-election.
According to postings on Facebook, protests also were scheduled Saturday in at least 10 other cities, including New York, Cleveland, New Orleans and Tucson, Arizona.
Crowds started forming in front of the Supreme Court building and at the US Capitol around 9 a.m. ET and grew through the morning. More than 300 protesters have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests this week in the nation’s capital.
The Senate vote was expected to be held midafternoon. Kavanaugh’s confirmation appeared to be a sure thing after Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would support Kavanaugh.
A protester holds up a "Predators Club" sign Saturday on the Capitol's East Lawn.

Demonstrators held signs calling Kavanaugh a bad nominee because of sexual assault allegations against him and saying the selection process seemed to be biased against women. One woman held a sign saying “Predators Club” with pictures of Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas and President Donald Trump.
Protesters have confronted lawmakers on the street and in elevators throughout the week. It was not known if they would employ that tactic Saturday or try to get inside the Capitol.
Activists demonstrate Saturday in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.

Activists demonstrate Saturday in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.

A demonstration was scheduled for Saturday outside Collins’ office in Portland, Maine, to show opposition to her support of Kavanaugh.
A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.
“It’s just this feeling of being utterly ignored,” Jenny O’Connell of Portland told WGME on Friday. “Susan Collins just made a huge choice to ignore her constituents and survivors (of sexual assault).”
The senator was elected in 1996 and would be on the ballot in 2020 if she decides to seek re-election.
According to postings on Facebook, protests also were scheduled Saturday in at least 10 other cities, including New York, Cleveland, New Orleans and Tucson, Arizona.
A final confirmation vote is scheduled to take place later Saturday afternoon.
Democrats railed against the nomination in Senate floor speeches Friday night and Saturday morning, and protests opposing Kavanaugh are expected throughout the day on Saturday. But the GOP has the votes to successfully confirm Kavanaugh.
The confirmation will mark a major victory for President Donald Trump, who will soon be able to take credit for appointing two conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his relatively brief time in office so far.
President Donald Trump's winning streak

Friday morning began with uncertainty over whether Senate Republicans had the support necessary to push the nomination across the finish line, but the day ended with confirmation all but assured after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, followed by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and red state Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, announced they, too, would support Kavanaugh.
It was not clear that Kavanaugh would have the votes for confirmation until Collins said in a Senate floor speech that she would support his nomination.
In outlining her argument, Collins argued that while she believes that Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, “is a survivor of a sexual assault,” she does not believe that the allegation was corroborated.
“I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court,” Collins said. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who told reporters that while she believes Kavanaugh is “a good man,” she also felt the confirmation process had become about something “bigger than a nominee.”
In a floor speech later on Friday, Murkowski expressed sympathy for both Ford and Kavanaugh. She said, however, that she sets a high bar for nominees to win confirmation and talked about the importance of selecting judges who will act at all times in a manner that promotes “public confidence” in the judiciary.
“In my conscience … I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time,” the senator said.
Murkowski added in her speech, however, that she plans to ultimately vote “present” in the final vote as a gesture of goodwill toward her Republican colleague, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh, but will be in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. The move will not impact the overall outcome of the vote, but it will allow for the margin to be the same as it would have been if Daines had been there to participate.
Murkowski to vote 'present' on Kavanaugh so Daines won't have to leave daughter's wedding

Murkowski to vote 'present' on Kavanaugh so Daines won't have to leave daughter's wedding

“I do hope it reminds us that we can take very small steps to be gracious with one another and maybe those small, gracious steps can lead to more,” Murkowski said.
“The Holy See will, in due course, make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick,” the Vatican statement said.
US Catholics have been reeling in recent months from allegations that McCarrick, a former top American cardinal, sexually abused seminarians and an altar boy.
McCarrick, who has denied the accusations about the altar boy and not responded to the allegations about the seminarians, resigned from the College of Cardinals in July.
US Catholic bishops announce new policies to police bishops

The allegations, as well as an explosive letter from a former papal diplomat, have raised serious questions among senior church leaders about why McCarrick was allowed to rise through the church’s ranks, as well as who knew about the accusations.
In its statement, the Vatican said it had ordered a preliminary investigation in September last year after it was informed by the Archdicoese of New York that a man had accused McCarrick of having abused him in the 1970s.
The investigation was conducted by the Archdiocese of New York, where the alleged abuse took place. The Archdiocese then sent its findings to the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, which acts as a watchdog division.
“In the meantime, because grave indications emerged during the course of the investigation, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Archbishop McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, prohibiting him by order from exercising public ministry, and obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance,” the statement said.
Sex abuse scandal sends Pope's approval among US Catholics to new lows

Sex abuse scandal sends Pope's approval among US Catholics to new lows

The investigation’s conclusions will be made known “in due course,” and the information gathered during the preliminary investigation will be combined with other Church records regarding McCarrick “in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively,” the statement said.
The archdiocese earlier said it had found the allegations against McCarrick to be “credible and substantiated” and that it had handed the accusation over to law enforcement.
“The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues. However, as Pope Francis has said: ‘We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,'” the Vatican statement said.
“Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.”
Germany's Catholic Church 'dismayed and ashamed' by child sex abuse

Germany's Catholic Church 'dismayed and ashamed' by child sex abuse

The US Catholic bishops’ conference last month issued a dramatic apology for the role of bishops in the church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal and announced new initiatives to hold abusive or negligent bishops accountable.
Francis has come under increasing pressure to act over the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church in countries around the world, with survivors complaining that the Vatican is moving at a “glacial” speed on the issue.
The Pope last month summoned the church’s top officials from across the world to the Vatican for a February meeting to discuss the problem.
In Saturday’s statement, the Vatican said Francis “renews his pressing invitation to unite forces to fight against the grave scourge of abuse within and beyond the Church, and to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society.”
A final confirmation vote is scheduled to take place later Saturday afternoon.
Democrats railed against the nomination in Senate floor speeches Friday night and Saturday morning, and protests opposing Kavanaugh are expected throughout the day on Saturday. But the GOP has the votes to successfully confirm Kavanaugh.
The confirmation will mark a major victory for President Donald Trump, who will soon be able to take credit for appointing two conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his relatively brief time in office so far.
President Donald Trump's winning streak

Friday morning began with uncertainty over whether Senate Republicans had the support necessary to push the nomination across the finish line, but the day ended with confirmation all but assured after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, followed by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and red state Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, announced they, too, would support Kavanaugh.
It was not clear that Kavanaugh would have the votes for confirmation until Collins said in a Senate floor speech that she would support his nomination.
In outlining her argument, Collins argued that while she believes that Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, “is a survivor of a sexual assault,” she does not believe that the allegation was corroborated.
“I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court,” Collins said. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who told reporters that while she believes Kavanaugh is “a good man,” she also felt the confirmation process had become about something “bigger than a nominee.”
In a floor speech later on Friday, Murkowski expressed sympathy for both Ford and Kavanaugh. She said, however, that she sets a high bar for nominees to win confirmation and talked about the importance of selecting judges who will act at all times in a manner that promotes “public confidence” in the judiciary.
“In my conscience … I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time,” the senator said.
Murkowski added in her speech, however, that she plans to ultimately vote “present” in the final vote as a gesture of goodwill toward her Republican colleague, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh, but will be in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. The move will not impact the overall outcome of the vote, but it will allow for the margin to be the same as it would have been if Daines had been there to participate.
Murkowski to vote 'present' on Kavanaugh so Daines won't have to leave daughter's wedding

Murkowski to vote 'present' on Kavanaugh so Daines won't have to leave daughter's wedding

“I do hope it reminds us that we can take very small steps to be gracious with one another and maybe those small, gracious steps can lead to more,” Murkowski said.
“I would say if we’re talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he’s highly qualified for the Supreme Court. I’m glad that Dr. Ford was heard, I’m glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. FBI investigation was done, is completed and Senate voted,” Trump said while speaking with reporters in front of the Sphinx in Egypt during her first major solo trip abroad.
The first lady also would not say if she believed Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh.
“I will move on that and I think that all the victims they need — we need to help all the victims no matter what kind of abuse they had, but I am against any kind of abuse or violence,” she said.
Kavanaugh was accused by Ford in September of committing sexual and physical assault while they were both at a party in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Both testified about the alleged incident at a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. An agreement with Republicans on the committee led to President Donald Trump calling on the FBI to complete a supplemental background investigation into the allegation.
Members of Congress had the opportunity to review the FBI’s completed report this week, and a final vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which is expected to pass, is slated for Saturday afternoon.