Start your Monday smart: UN meeting, Korean summit, Polish President, Kavanaugh vote

Posted at 3:38 PM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-16 17:38:00-04

Happy Mexican Independence Day! But, wait, isn’t that Cinco de Mayo? No, señor. Today is the day in 1810 that a Catholic priest issued the call for an end to 300 years of Spanish rule. Viva!

Here’s what else 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. Sign up here.)


• All this week, we’ll stay locked on Florence as the deadly storm’s remnants move north and people who live in the disaster zone return home to survey the damage.

• Make sure you have your plug and WiFi access handy when Apple iOS 12 launches.

“Game of Thrones” and “This Is Us” could have a huge night at the Emmys. The awards show airs at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, with Michael Che and Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” hosting. You can study up on the nominations here. And check out CNN’s predictions.


Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife visit the White House. The big question: After last year’s apparent snub, will Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda shake President Donald Trump’s hand? The visit comes as Poland has grappled with controversy over its Supreme Court and a law governing talk about the Holocaust.

• A third Korean summit is due to start in Pyongyang, North Korea. The three-day meeting will see South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet for the third time to discuss strengthening ties between the nations and, perhaps, denuclearization. It will be the first trip by a sitting South Korean President to the North Korean capital since 2007.

• The UN General Assembly convenes in New York. Word is Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won’t attend as criticism of her mounts over the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. The Iran nuclear deal may be a topic for sideline conversations as pressure also reportedly is growing for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to skip, just weeks after Trump said he’d meet with Iran’s leaders “without preconditions.”

• Starting this evening, we wish our Jewish readers an easy fast and a meaningful holiday as they observe Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement is the most important and sacred of Jewish religious holidays.


• The Senate Judiciary Committee is due to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Democrats on the panel have pushed back on holding a vote, arguing they don’t have access to documents about Kavanaugh’s record and haven’t heard from witnesses. But with the GOP in control of the committee and the full Senate, the judge’s appointment still appears inevitable.

It’s been one year since Hurricane Maria thrashed Puerto Rico. Protesters plan to gather in New York for an interfaith prayer service, then march to Trump Tower to decry the administration’s response to the disaster. A vigil also is planned at the White House.

• Most cell phone users will get a phone message with the header, “Presidential Alert.” But don’t panic — it’s just FEMA, testing its Wireless Emergency Alert system on the presidential level for the first time.

• Country star Carrie Underwood gets her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’ll be the walk’s 2,646th star. But, of course, she’s No. 1 in our hearts.

• In golf news, the Tour Championship tees off in Atlanta. The event concludes the FedExCup Playoffs and determines the seasonlong champion on the PGA Tour. For non-golf fans, this is all you need to know: Tiger Woods is in it.


• Consumers eager to protect their personal financial information can freeze their credit file for free, thanks to a new federal law. Rating agencies typically have charged $10 or less for the service.

• The new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4 hit stores.


Pope Francis heads to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for a four-day visit that mirrors a trip Pope John Paul II took a quarter century ago. Abortion and the waning importance of the nuclear family reportedly have been big challenges for the church in the former Soviet states. And of course, wherever Francis goes, the clergy sex abuse scandal casts its shadow.

Demonstrators angry over the Trump administration’s Hurricane Maria response plan to converge on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Earthquakes and collapse-explosion events that began in May have gone quiet around the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, so Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will reopen some sections on National Public Lands Day. Visitors should expect limited hours and services.

Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich, Germany. The two-week festival celebrates all things German — but most especially beer. It attracts more than 5 million visitors, and if you’re among them, the US consulate general in the past has advised Americans not to turn into a “beer corpse.” Prost!