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September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s now up to the Senate to decide whether to seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to send the nomination to the full Senate, a day after hearing emotional testimony from Kavanaugh and the woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.

Like yesterday’s televised hearing, today’s vote came with its own share of drama, this time centered on an undecided Republican. Jeff Flake announced this morning that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. A short time later, the Arizona senator was confronted in an elevator by two women who tearfully begged him to change his mind. He huddled with his colleagues. When it came time for the panel to vote, Flake joined those voting to advance the nomination - but asked that Senate action delayed for up to a week so the FBI can investigate the allegations against the judge. His request is now being discussed with Senate leaders.

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030893-w-411:84-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP Washington correspondent, with Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.)-“Sagar Meghani at the White House”-Senate panel advances Kavanaugh nomination, with caveat from Flake (28 Sep 2018)

<<CUT *030893 (09/28/18)££ 411:84 “Sagar Meghani at the White House”

030887-r-51:84-(Sound of clerk and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announcing results of the vote on advancing Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination)-“none”-Senate panel advances Kavanaugh nomination, Flake wants FBI probe (28 Sep 2018)

<<CUT *030887 (09/28/18)££ 51:84 “none”

030886-r-311:28-(Sound of Senate Judiciary Committee voting on advancing Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination)-“none”-Senate panel advances Kavanaugh nomination, Flake wants FBI probe (28 Sep 2018)

<<CUT *030886 (09/28/18)££ 311:28 “none”

030884-a-196:32-(Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. and during Senate Judiciary Committee meeting)-“that are there”-Senate panel advances Kavanaugh nomination, Flake wants FBI probe (28 Sep 2018)

<<CUT *030884 (09/28/18)££ 196:32 “that are there”

030885-a-58:80-(Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during Senate Judiciary Committee meeting)-“and Senator McConnell”-Senate panel advances Kavanaugh nomination, Flake wants FBI probe (28 Sep 2018)

<<CUT *030885 (09/28/18)££ 58:80 “and Senator McConnell”

LATE-NIGHT COMICS WEIGH IN ON KAVANAUGH HEARING

NEW YORK (AP) — It was riveting. It was tense. And at times, it was raw and heart-rending. Still, the late-night TV comedians were also able to find able to find some things to laugh about in yesterday’s hearings for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. On “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” the host noted it seemed everyone was riveted to the spectacle, even watching on planes. Noah joked some departing passengers were actually “praying for a delay.” He says even flight attendants were distracted by the drama unfolding in the nation’s capital, telling passengers, “get your own peanuts.” Jimmy Kimmel found humor in an exchange between Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley and the ranking Democrat on the panel, Dianne Feinstein (FYN’-styn). After playing a clip over them snapping at each other over introducing Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford, Jimmy Kimmel wondered, “how long have those two been married?” The studio audience chuckled.

CELEBRITIES REACT TO KAVANAUGH HEARING

UNDATED (AP) — If the Senate Judiciary Committee were made up of celebrities instead of lawmakers, Brett Kavanaugh’s bid for the Supreme Court would be in jeopardy. Like many of us, actors, musicians and comedians took to social media to share their feelings about the hearings. Among the most poignant reactions are from performers who say they, like Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford, were also sexually assaulted. Actress Busy Phillips posted an old photo of herself, saying it was when she was 14 — the age she was when she was raped. She says she kept quiet about it for 25 years before telling her parents and sister just four months ago. Also saying her pain was rekindled: Sally Field. She says she supports Ford and notes memories of sexual assault “are indelibly imprinted on your brain no matter how many years go by.” Mira Sorvino says she found Ford’s testimony “extremely credible and sympathetic” — and that Ford’s reactions were much like the ones Sorvino had after she spoke out about her sexual assault.

A SAMPLING OF CELEBRITY REACTION

UNDATED (AP) — Celebrity reaction to the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“These men are wholly uninterested and unmoved by this woman’s words...Dr. Ford has to talk about the worst trauma of her life in front of them. This is the reality of being survivor of sexual assault in this country. #WeBelieveDrFord #WeBelieveSurvivors #metooMVMT” — founder of the MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, via Twitter.

“I do NOT know how I got home after I was raped at 15. No memory of it. Neither does she. #ChristinaBlaseyFord” — actress Ashley Judd, via Twitter.

″#IfOnly I could save you. #IfOnly I could help you remove that weight from your tired shoulders and become the joy of an unburdened you. My prayer for all survivors of sexual assault. #MeToo” — actress Alyssa Milano, later tweeting from inside the hearing: “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.”

“The Democrats will do anything in their power to win no matter what, this time you’ve lost and will keep losing, the American people are a lot smarter than you are, we can see the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. #ConfirmJudgeKavanaughNow.”— actor and congressional candidate Antonio Sabato Jr.

“Guess when you have everything to lose, you gotta cry your way thru your testimony for effect. Funny, if #DrFord had done that, they’d call her extremely emotional. But #Kavanagh’s tears are cuz he’s passionate. ????#TeamDl #KanavaughHearings” — comedian DL Hughley, via Twitter.

“Today’s hearing reminds us that to really tell a woman’s story, one must begin with a 15-minute preamble from an elderly man about why her story is suspicious. #KavanaughHearings” — TV personality-comedian Samantha Bee, via Twitter.

“Who coached him to sound like a complete (expletive)?” — Singer John Legend, via Twitter.

“Dr. Ford, I am in awe of your bravery.” — TV personality Ellen DeGeneres, via Twitter.

“Deepest gratitude to you #DrChristineBlaseyFord You told us that you are ‘terrified’ — but today you embody courage.” — actress Mia Farrow, via Twitter.

“I’m no psychology professor but it does seem weird to me that someone could have a selective fear of flying. Can’t do it to testify but for vacation, well it’s not a problem at all.” — Donald Trump Jr., via Twitter.

“Anger over accusations is not evidence of truthfulness.” — filmmaker Alex Gibney, via Twitter.

“Been following the hearings on the radio. I don’t know how Brett Kavanaugh looks, but he sounds like a boy who didn’t get the PlayStation Santa promised him for Christmas.” — writer Jennifer Weiner, via Twitter.

“Sending strength and courage and self-care to survivors today, as I carry you and your stories in my heart.” — actress Mariska Hargitay, whose character on “Law and Order: SVU” investigates sex crimes, via Twitter.

“Sickened that our current political environment is so toxic and partisan, that #DrChristineBlaseyFord received death threats for doing, what she believes, is her civic duty.” — Chaz Bono, via Twitter.

“Bravery. Dignity. Integrity. Thank you #DrChristineBlaseyFord for your courage today.” — actor Josh Gad, via Twitter.

BILL MURRAY - DUSTIN HOFFMAN

NEW YORK (AP) — Late last year, Dustin Hoffman felt he was blindsided by John Oliver’s questions about a sexual harassment claim during an appearance at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Now, one of Hoffman’s pals has come to his defense at the same venue. Bill Murray calls Hoffman “a great man,” though he’s also “a ‘Borscht Belt’ flirt.” Murray’s appearance at the Y was to interview his former agent, Michael Ovitz, who has published his memoir. Murray and Hoffman were clients of Ovitz when they worked together on the 1982 film, “Tootsie.”

JUDY DENCH - #METOO

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) — It’s an interesting take on #MeToo from celebrated British actress Judi Dench. On the one hand, she says she doesn’t condone the conduct Kevin Spacey engaged in. On the other hand, Dench says she’s uneasy with the decision to wipe Spacey from the movie “All the Money in the World” last year. Dench says she “can’t approve in any way” of Spacey’s conduct — but says it’s unclear where cutting people out of productions will lead. Speaking at a film festival in Spain she asks, “are we to go back through history now and anyone who has misbehaved in any way or has broken the law or has committed some kind of offense, are they always going to be cut out?”

HILLARY CLINTON ON “MURPHY BROWN”

UNDATED (AP) — She lost the presidential election. But Hillary Clinton is getting votes for appearing on a popular TV series. She did a cameo on last night’s premiere of the reboot of the CBS series “Murphy Brown.” Clinton played “Hilary,” a job candidate who arrives in a pantsuit, seeking a “secretarial position” on Brown’s new cable show. Clinton boasts she’d be “qualified” and “ready on day one.” On experience, Clinton said she was “secretary...of a very large organization.” That “organization,” of course, was the State Department, which she ran under President Barack Obama. Clinton’s biggest laugh came when Brown, played by Candice Bergen, asked if she had technical skills. Clinton acknowledged having “some experience with emails.”

NELLY SETTLES LAWSUIT STEMMING FROM RAPE ALLEGATION

SEATTLE (AP) — Nelly has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who says the rap star raped her on his tour bus near Seattle, then defamed her by saying she made the whole thing up. The dismissal order was filed this week in Seattle and it says both sides will pay their own attorneys’ fees and costs. No other details were disclosed. But in an email, Nelly’s lawyer says no money changed hands. The lawyer for the woman, Monique Green, disputes that, but says she can’t comment further. Asked by the Seattle Times if Green stands behind the rape claim, her attorney said, “100 percent.”

DAZ DILLINGER ARRESTED ON DRUG RAP

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — One half of Tha Dogg Pound is in danger of being put on a legal leash. Daz Dillinger has been arrested and charged with 13 pot-related felonies. Police near Atlanta say officers serving a warrant found pot, THC vaporizer pods and a grape-flavored drink laced with cannabis. The rapper posted bail — but hasn’t commented on the bust.

JURY VERDICT TOSSED IN “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” COPYRIGHT SUIT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has thrown out a jury’s verdict that Led Zeppelin did not copy an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic 1971 rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.” A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Friday that a lower court judge had provided wrong jury instructions. It sent the case back to the court for a new trial. The lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles claimed the song’s famous riff was copied from the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit. A trustee for the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit claims Led Zeppelin stole the recognizable riff from the song “Taurus.”

DENZEL WASHINGTON - AUGUST WILSON HOME

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Denzel Washington has helped mark the start of renovations at playwright August Wilson’s childhood home in Pittsburgh. The Tribune-Review newspaper reports the actor was at a ceremony at the house Wednesday. Washington led a $5 million fundraising effort to restore it. Renovations are due to be finished in 2020, when the August Wilson House will become a center for art and culture. Washington directed a 2016 movie production of “Fences,” filmed the movie in Pittsburgh and plans to do other Wilson plays. He won a Tony in 2010 for playing the lead in Fences.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2

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