October 7, 2018

This is VOA news. I'm David Byrd in Washington.

The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

As AP's Ben Thomas reports, the vote was 50-48.

"The ayes are 50; the nays are 48."

Vice President Mike Pence read the final tally as the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The two vote margin was one of the narrowest ever for a Supreme Court nominee and the vote unfolded with protesters shouting from the gallery.

"The Sergeant in Arms will restore order in the gallery."

Protests took place all day long in Washington and other cities.

Democrats took turns on the Senate floor at calling the messages they said were being sent with the confirmation.

"If you are a survivor, then your experiences are just one more quote 'hiccup'."

Senator Patty Murray of Washington State: "It's his experience that matters, his pain ...."

But President Trump described it as an exciting day.

"... he is going to be a great, great Supreme Court justice for many years ...."

Ben Thomas, Washington.

Speaking at a political rally in Topeka, Kansas, President Donald Trump praised his nominee, saying that he was a legal scholar and will make a great justice.

"He is a totally brilliant scholar who has devoted his life to the law. He is a loving husband, a devoted father and a faithful public servant, and he always has been."

Trump said that what Kavanaugh faced during his confirmation process was, in his words, "unthinkable."

The president said that Kavanaugh would sit next to his other Supreme Court appointee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and uphold what he called "Americans' sacred rights and God-given freedom."

Trump also urged the partisan crowd to get out and vote in the November 6th midterm elections, at which the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be elected.

This is VOA news.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Tokyo for Pyongyang Sunday after pledging that the U.S. will coordinate with allies, Japan and South Korea, on efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

He met Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kano about his upcoming visit to Pyongyang.

Pompeo said it is important that U.S. allies be unified in pressuring North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.

"We will share with you how we hope to proceed when we are in Pyongyang tomorrow. So we have a fully coordinated and unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if we are gonna be successful in denuclearizing North Korea."

Pompeo meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later Sunday.

Pope Francis has said silence on sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church can "no longer be tolerated."

As Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome, the pontiff ordered a thorough study of all documents in Vatican offices that concern former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned in July.

Pope Francis declared in a statement Saturday that the church has to "tackle the great scourge of abuse within and beyond" the institution.

He added "Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated" and said the Church has a duty "to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society."

The pope, who has refused so far to comment on accusations he was aware of misdeeds and abuse committed by former American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick long before he accepted his resignation in July, now has called for an investigation of the paper trail on his case.

Sabina Castelfranco, for VOA news, Rome.

Interpol has formally requested information about its missing leader Meng Hongwei from China, where the Chinese national seemingly disappeared on a trip home.

The Lyon-based international police agency said Saturday it used law enforcement channels to submit its request about Meng's status to Beijing. It cited concerns about his well-being.

China has not yet commented and is in the midst of a weeklong holiday.

Meng was elected to lead the organization in November of 2016 for a four-year term. A former vice minister of public security in China, he is the first Chinese national to hold that post.

Around 50 people were killed and another 100 suffered serious burns when a fuel tanker collided with another vehicle in the Democratic Republic of Congo Saturday.

A deputy governor of Kongo province said authorities were doing what they could to help victims of the crash in a village about 130 kilometers from the capital.

Roads in the central African nation are notoriously bad after years of war and neglect.

For more, visit our website. I'm David Byrd, VOA news.