President Donald Trump has apologised to his new Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh for what he described as a “campaign of lies” during the confirmation hearings.
He was referring to the acrimonious debate over Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination, after sexual assault allegations were made against him.
Mr Kavanaugh said he was not bitter despite the “contentious” confirmation.
He has denied the claims made by several women.
The judge was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday, in a 50-48 vote that largely followed party lines.
It is seen as a major victory for President Trump, tilting the balance in the nation’s highest court in favour of conservatives for years to come.
One of the women accusing the judge, Prof Christine Blasey Ford, said Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in 1982 when they were high school students.
She provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Mr Trump initially called her a “compelling” witness – but he later questioned her credibility and mocked her at a rally.
As the White House ceremony got under way on Monday, Mr Trump said: “On behalf of our nation, I want to apologise to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.”
And he decried a “campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception”, adding that “under historic scrutiny”, he had been “proven innocent”.
Last week, the FBI completed a report on sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Kavanaugh – but the findings have not been released to the public.
Prof Ford has been unable to move back home because of “unending” death threats, according to one of her lawyers.
Mr Trump says Democrats will lose in the 6 November congressional elections, which will shape the remainder of his presidency.
The 53-year-old justice told the White House gathering that he would not let the “bitter” confirmation process affect his work on the highest court in the land.
“The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional,” Justice Kavanaugh said.
“That process is over. My focus now is to be the best justice I can be,” he added.
Without mentioning the sexual assault allegations, he touted his record of promoting women – and the fact he has become the first justice to have an all-female staff.
He will take his seat on Tuesday – on the far right of the bench, next to Justice Elena Kagan – hearing immigration and other cases.
A handful of Democratic lawmakers, including congressmen Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Ted Lieu of California, have pressed for Justice Kavanaugh’s removal over the allegations.
But top Democrat Nancy Pelosi has said trying to impeach the new justice “would not be my plan”.
A petition to impeach Justice Kavanaugh has more than 150,000 signatures.
Ms Pelosi says she will file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to make public the confidential FBI investigation into the claims against Justice Kavanaugh.
Justice Kavanaugh also faces more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints over his public statements as a nominee to the Supreme Court.
A far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election.
He will face the left-wing Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, in the second round on 28 October after he failed to win the 50% of valid votes needed to win outright.
With almost all the votes counted, Mr Bolsonaro had 46% and Mr Haddad 29%.
Opinion polls conducted before the election predicted that in a second round the two candidates would be tied.
Mr Bolsonaro’s once insignificant Social Liberal Party (PSL) is poised to become the largest force in Congress following legislative elections held alongside the presidential vote, in what analysts have described as a seismic shift in Brazilian politics.
The politician and the PSL have ridden a wave of rising anger at the Workers’ Party, which their supporters blame for a prolonged recession, rising violent crime and widespread corruption in South America’s largest economy.
The former army captain has made provocative statements on a huge range of issues.
His hard-line approach to law and order has brought back memories of the two-decade military dictatorship, and earned him backing from the military and those demanding greater safety in a country with rising levels of violent crime.
Misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric has prompted outrage and protests, while his anti-abortion stance has won him support from millions of evangelical Christians.
His son, Eduardo, tweeted a photo of himself and former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon – who, he says, is “in touch” with his father’s campaign to help fight “cultural Marxism”.
Economically, Mr Bolsonaro favours a smaller state. He has announced plans to lower taxes, privatise state companies and limit foreign ownership of natural resources.
The candidate believes selling off companies will help fight government corruption – one of the focuses of Operation Car Wash, a massive corruption investigation.
Mr Bolsonaro was stabbed on the campaign trail, drawing intense media attention to him and what are seen by many as his divisive policies.
Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent
Jair Bolsonaro expected to win the presidency in this first round, even if the polls said otherwise. “On the 28th October, we can all go to the beach,” he said, as he turned up to vote on Sunday. His supporters had been saying for weeks that their candidate would win this straight out.
Mr Bolsonaro may have soared in the polls recently but Brazilians are going to have to wait another three weeks to find out whether it’ll be him or Fernando Haddad as Brazil’s new leader.
Brazil feels very divided – and fragile. You could feel it when you talked to voters. So many people have told me they would be voting for the “least worst” candidate. On one side, there are those determined never to allow the Workers’ Party to rule again; on the other, those desperately trying not to allow a far-right candidate to rule this young democracy.
A feeling of nervousness hangs over Brazil – and will do for the next few weeks as both candidates ramp up their campaigning once again. The future of Brazil will vary greatly, depending on who eventually wins.
Mr Bolsonaro said that he was certain that if there had not been “problems” with the electronic voting system used in Brazil, he would have won outright.
“I am certain that if this hadn’t happened, we would have known the name of the president of the republic tonight.”
He did not specify what he thought those “problems” were.
Brazil’s electoral authorities have said the vote went ahead peacefully and without any major problems.
Brazilians will have to choose between two very different candidates on 28 October.
Mr Bolsonaro, a Roman Catholic, won the support of many evangelical Christians by saying he would defend traditional family values. He has also won over many Brazilians who think his law-and-order stance will make Brazil safer.
On the eve of Sunday’s vote, he said that his government would hand down the tough punishments offenders deserved. He is also in favour of relaxing gun ownership laws and has spoken of torture as a legitimate practice. He also wants to restore the death penalty.
In his victory speech, broadcast live on Facebook and uploaded on to Twitter, he said there were two paths Brazilians could follow.
“[There is] the path of prosperity, liberty. family, on God’s side… and the other one is that of Venezuela,” he said referring to Brazil’s socialist-led neighbour, a country mired in a deep economic and political crisis which has driven more than two million people to leave.
“We can’t take another step to the left!” he urged voters. “We can’t go fraternising with socialism or communism,” he said.
He acknowledged that a lot of criticism had been levelled against him but vowed to “unite the [Brazilian] people”.
“Together we will be a great nation,” he said.
He has portrayed himself as a trusted candidate for those who baulk at Mr Bolsonaro’s style and rhetoric.
After reaching the second round, he said he and the Workers’ Party would “only use arguments, we don’t use any guns”.
Referring to Mr Bolsonaro’s lead, he said he felt “challenged by the results, which alert us to the risks Brazilian democracy is facing”.
“We need to approach this with a sense of responsibility,” he told his cheering supporters. “We want to unite the democrats of this country, to reduce inequality and to achieve social justice.”
He said he and his party had been presented with “a golden opportunity” by making it into the second round.
President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, has been sworn in following weeks of rancorous debate.
The Senate earlier backed his nomination by 50 votes to 48.
Mr Kavanaugh had been embroiled in a bitter battle to stave off claims of sexual assault, which he denies.
But after an 11th-hour investigation by the FBI into the allegations, enough wavering senators decided to support the nomination.
His confirmation hands Mr Trump a political victory ahead of key mid-term elections in November.
Before the vote, hundreds of people protested against Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination at the US Capitol in Washington.
During the vote, other protesters shouted “shame” from the public gallery and Vice-President Mike Pence had to call for order to be restored.
Mr Kavanaugh’s appointment is for life and he will strengthen conservative control of the nine-judge court, which has the final say on US law.
The 53 year old was sworn in on Saturday evening in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired justice Anthony Kennedy – whom Mr Kavanaugh is replacing – administered the judicial oath.
Protesters had gathered outside the court and at one point some ran up the steps and banged on its ornate doors. Other demonstrators climbed on the nearby statue of justice.
He sent out a tweet of congratulations:
Later he spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying Mr Kavanaugh had withstood a “horrible attack by the Democrats” and that women were “outraged” at what had happened to the nominee.
Mr Trump also said he was “100% certain” that the woman who had accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, had named the wrong person.
The upper house is split 51-49 in favour of the Republicans and the vote was largely along party lines. In the end, there was indeed a two-vote margin, the closest nomination vote since 1881.
The only party dissenters were Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who had intended to vote no, and Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted yes.
That should have meant a 51-49 tally, but the absence of Republican Steve Daines, a yes voter who was at his daughter’s wedding, altered the final figures.
Ms Murkowski opted instead to simply mark herself as “present”, leaving the final vote 50-48.
In their final summations, the two Senate party leaders reflected how bitter the divide had become.
Minority Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said Mr Kavanaugh did not belong on the bench as he had “obscured his views to the American people”, “repeatedly misled the Senate” and delivered one of the “bitterest and most partisan testimonies ever presented by a nominee”.
He also said Mr Trump had “stooped to new depths” in mocking the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.
Mr Schumer said that for all those who opposed the nomination, “there is one answer – vote” in the November mid-term elections.
Majority Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Mr Kavanaugh was a “serious scholar, a brilliant student of the law and a meticulous and dedicated public servant”.
He said events had “strained our basic principles of fairness and justice” and that the vote showed the Senate was “an institution where evidence and facts matter”.
He spoke of “intimidation by the mob” and said the Senate vote should be one “to turn away from darkness”.
Ms Murkowski had earlier said that although Mr Kavanaugh was a “good man”, he was “not the right person for the court at this time” and his “appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable”.
Joe Manchin is facing a difficult re-election campaign in West Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide. He said he “found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist”.
There were shouts of “shame” from the public gallery as he voted yes.
Two Republican waverers, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, finally decided to back the judge.
By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has been decided. The political war, however, is just beginning.
Donald Trump’s court pick generated a controversy that captured the nation’s attention in a way that few political issues do. It generated daily headlines rivalled only by the US quadrennial presidential elections.
Now that the bombs have been thrown, it’s time to assess the fallout.
Basically, it’s the final arbiter of US law.
It has the ultimate say on such contentious issues as abortion and gun control.
The Democrats are still smarting from the previous Supreme Court appointment. Republicans last year successfully stalled the process, meaning it fell to Mr Trump, not Barack Obama, to nominate the new justice. Mr Trump’s choice of Neil Gorsuch strengthened the conservative leaning.
All eyes will now be on November’s mid-term elections. Mr Trump will be able to campaign on the back of an important victory, but commentators will be watching closely how the Kavanaugh affair affects women voters.
Its something farthest from your mind, I’m sure. If you’re working for a political campaign you’re pushing forward and the next 5 weeks are all out war ahead. What to do with your campaign site after the election? Heck I suspect some of you are just now getting around to your website, or many feel it hasn’t helped in the past so no need to worry. You’d be wrong if you fall into either of those mindsets, if you’re the diligent one you’ll find the rewards are like a garden.
I started renting a house in my hometown after returning from Chicago and suddenly I found I had room to grow things. I wanted hydrangeas so I planted 14 or so … it took a lot of them to make a show at a gallon a plant. We also planted a grapevine. Not much happened though, and I could have easily given up after the summer, just ignore them…but they were never going to be mature in one season. A grapevine takes 3 years before it produces grapes, I learned hydrangeas were “old” wood and new growth wouldn’t come from new plant life. If you get where I’m going, I’ll stop with the gardening story. You’re website will not produce fruit in its first couple months.
Domain age actually has both a direct and indirect effect on your ranking. For one, a website thats been up and running since the last election has had links from other sites organically made, not a ton if you just leave it sitting there but definitely more than if you take it down and just hold on to the domain. In a previous post I mentioned it takes 3 to 6 months to rank a site, you’ll be a step further if you just leave it up and alone. (Best not alone, maybe post a new article every couple months.)
Domain Age directly affects your Trust Factor/Citation Factor and your Domain Authority which in turn suggest that your Google standing next election cycle is going to be improved as well. And stop thinking your target keyword is your name, if someone is Googling your name they’ve already heard of you. Take the big terms like election results, voter guide or the other candidate’s name.
Take seandelahanty.com and judgeseandelahanty.com the first is younger but it has 70 times the backlinks and its been updated religiously, has the social media mentions, it has the content. The first address is a Domain Authority 23 and the older one is a Domain Authority 2! Its still neck and neck in some searches. Just today I Googled the candidates name the older one comes up 3rd and the real site thats 2 months old, has 10+ times the domain authority that site is 6th. Here is a representation of how much weight domain age may have, I link to the case study below. Oh and BTW the new site is actually doing pretty good I think. Page 1 ranking on 45 keywords on Google…100 ranked keywords altogether. But back to the point…
Now let me clear the air though, no matter how old your domain is and consistently you’ve had a site up…if the content isn’t any good its a lost opportunity. So do make an effort to convey your continued message through your site and when you run for the next office you’re site will be that much more ready. Final note here, there are a ton of opinions out there on domain age, but no one would disagree a site thats up and updated periodically is more likely to gain backlinks.
SO Just get a cheap web hosting plan and post every few months, don’t just take it down and box it up till a month before the next election. For further reading on domain authority a case study. Id recommend that article, it goes over several factors.
And I can tell you one person who’s still got her site up…signs of the times.
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