Friday US briefing: Republican swing votes lift Kavanaugh as Senate ballot nears

D-day looms for Trumps supreme court pick Far-right candidate leads Brazil opinion polls Joint Nobel peace prize for efforts to end sexual violence

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Top story: Senate to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination

The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court on Friday after weeks of controversy over sexual assault allegations, which he denies, and more than 300 arrests at protests in Washington. If the vote passes, a final vote on his nomination will be held over the weekend, probably on Saturday. More than one defection by a Senate Republican would defeat the vote – but only assuming all Democrats oppose the nomination. Senators spent Thursday reviewing an FBI report into at least two separate incidents of alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh.

– Republican backing. Two key Republican senators have increased Kavanaugh’s chances of being confirmed after they expressed satisfaction with the FBI report’s scope and findings.

– “Not alone”. Hundreds ofGuardianreadershave responded to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the US Senate judiciary committee last week in which she said Kavanaugh had assaulted her at a house party when she was 15.

Nobel peace prize awarded to campaigners against sexual violence in war

Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad. Photograph: Christian Lutz/AP

Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege and Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist Nadia Murad have won the 2018 Nobel peace prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon in war. The Nobel committee praised Murad’s courage in recounting her own suffering after she was capture by Islamic State and speaking up for other victims. The committee said Mukwege was “the foremost symbol of the struggle to end sexual violence in war”.

– Unknowing winners. The committee was initially unable to contact Mukwege and Murad on the telephone to tell them they had won the prize.

Far-right candidate leads polls before Brazil election

Jair Bolsonaro. Photograph: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

About 147 million Brazilians will go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president and hundreds of lawmakers. The far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is expected to win the first round of voting to become commander-in-chief, but fall short of winning the majority he needs to claim outright victory. A second-round runoff between the top two candidates will be held on 28 October if there is no clear winner on 7 October. Some polls give the former paratrooper a 10-point lead.

Crime and punishment. The campaign has been dominated by a growing public safety crisis and huge corruption scandal.

– Brazilian Trump? Bolsonaro delights in comparisons with the US president, telling the Guardian this year: “I’m a Trump admirer.”

Crib sheet

– The Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk, has mocked the US Securities and Exchange Commission hours after a federal judge ordered the billionaire and the regulator to justify their securities fraud settlement.

Concerns over US inflation and falling unemployment spooked global financial markets overnight before the publication of a payroll report on Friday.

Revenues have fallen in President Trump’s Scottish golf resort, prompting suggestions that his behaviour has affected its popularity.

– A new lawsuit has alleged San Francisco police exclusively targeted black residents during undercover drug arrests.


A decade of Spotify: is it really time to celebrate?

Spotify is 10. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The music streaming service celebrates its 10th birthday on Sunday, leaving CDs and one-dollar downloads in its wake. But has Spotify really been music’s great democratiser, or is it a dystopia that punishes creativity? The Guardian’s music editors make each side of the argument.

Is it time for humans to leave western US?

Wildfires and scorching heat have devastated large parts of the American west this summer. Emma Marris visits Klamath Falls in Oregon to explore whether climate change, poor air quality and concerns over water shortages mean it is time to leave.

Not losing my religion: why faith is centre stage of global politics once again

Religion’s role in global politics is fading, or so the story goes. No longer, writes Neil MacGregor. From Russia and India to the Middle East and Europe, divinity’s place in public life is growing. The former director of the British Museum explores what this change means for the world.

How macho men are killing the planet

No self-respecting alpha male would ever be caught with a reusable grocery bag on his shoulder, let alone recycling his beer cans. But what does this mean for the planet? Madeleine Somerville explores the association between eco-friendly behaviour and femininity.


Whether it’s the Iraq war, the financial crisis or climate change, the US ruling class do not face the consequences of their decisions, writes David Sirota. Instead, accountability is reserved for the little people.

Inside the rarefied refuge, the key players who created this era’s catastrophes and who embody the most pernicious pathologies have not just eschewed punishment – many of them have actually maintained or even increased their social, financial and political status


The longtime rivalry between Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees bursts into life again on Friday night in Game 1 of the MLB playoffs after a 14-year wait for a post-season clash.

Conor McGregor takes on the reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas on Saturday. It’s the Irishman’s first UFC fight since his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in August last year.

Plus, here’s everything you need to know for this weekend’s Premier League games.

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