Start your Monday smart: Kavanaugh, Catholic bishops, Melania Trump, MLB postseason

Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 17:01:52-04

Here’s what you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. You give us five minutes, and we give you five things you must know for your weekday, plus a Sunday edition to get your week started smart. Sign up here.)


• The FBI will undertake a limited investigation of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Senate voting process, which was delayed after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake made clear he would not vote for President Donald Trump’s pick without an FBI inquiry into the decades-old claims, is expected to resume no later than Friday.

• In the era of #MeToo, domestic violence shouldn’t get downplayed. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you or someone you know needs help, call 800-799-7233 or visit

Melania Trump heads Monday to Africa for her first major solo trip abroad as first lady. She’ll go to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt on a weeklong “diplomatic and humanitarian visit, which will include stops focusing on health care, education, conservation and tourism,” her spokeswoman said.

• While she’s gone, President Trump will hit the midterm campaign trail, with stops Monday in Tennessee, Tuesday in Philadelphia and Mississippi, and Thursday in Minnesota. He also is due to meet this week with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose job may be on the line.


Two years’ worth of bragging rights gets awarded at the Ryder Cup in Paris.

• What if the Almighty reached out to an atheist on social media? Find out in “God Friended Me,” which premieres at 8:30 ET on CBS.


• It’s the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest single-day mass shooting in modern US history. With survivors still grappling with life-altering physical and psychological wounds, community leaders have announced events to honor those affected, including a sunrise ceremony and a recitation of the names of the 58 people killed.

Still going strong at 94. We wish former President Jimmy Carter a happy birthday! With his wife, Rosalynn, Carter is still fighting for public health and human rights — and weighing in on American politics.


• If you live in the Southwest, pack an umbrella. That’s when the remnants of Hurricane Rosa are expected to roll over Arizona and parts of Southern California, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Forecasters in Phoenix predict 2 inches of rain in some places, with flooding possible.

Stormy Daniels’ book, “Full Disclosure,” publishes. It includes specifics of what the adult film star says was a one-time sexual encounter with Donald Trump, who denies her allegation.

• You’re never too young to make a difference. That’s the message that hits store shelves in Chelsea Clinton’s new children’s book, “Start Now!”

• Batter up! The World Series countdown is on. Major League Baseball’s postseason begins with wild card games, followed by division series.


• A major meeting of Catholic bishops from around the world convenes In Rome. The 3½-week Synod (a fancy word for a church leaders’ meeting) of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation is expected to focus on the church’s positions on gender and sexuality, the role of women and a “desire for a Church that knows how to listen.” But some bishops have withdrawn, citing reasons related to the clergy sex abuse scandal, which undoubtedly will also be discussed.

• The NHL’s season begins with four games, headlined by the defending champs, the Washington Capitals, raising their first Stanley Cup championship banner before facing off against the Boston Bruins.


• This year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate is due to be announced. The winner gets a medal, a personal diploma and about $1 million. Reports that Trump had been nominated twice earlier this year turned out to be a hoax.

• It’s also World Teachers’ Day, when we salute educators whose profession is among the most respected but who also are constantly fighting for better pay and student resources. And we recognize the right of every student — including 264 million worldwide who should be in school but aren’t — to be taught by a qualified teacher.

• The NBA preseason goes global as the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers meet in Shanghai, with a rematch three days later in Shenzhen, China. It’s part of the league’s push to win fans in that country.


• The Youth Olympic Games opens in Argentina. Some 4,000 athletes, ages 15 to 18, will participate in 32 sports, including mixed-gender events, through October 12.