Monday morning news

Kavanaugh hearings begin this week » The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh begins this week. The judge will face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee beginning tomorrow.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says given that a few Senate Democrats appear willing to support Kavanaugh, he could win more than enough votes.

GRAHAM: If he does well at the hearing, he will get—my belief is 55 or higher, if he does well, and I’m sure he will do well. 

But some Democrats say they’re not getting all the information they need to make a decision. Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar reacted Sunday to the White House’s decision to withhold thousands of documents from Kavanaugh’s time working for former President George W. Bush.

KLOBUCHAR: We are not able to see a hundred-thousand documents that the archivist has just—because the administration has said we can’t see them. They’ve exerted their executive power. 

But Democrats will ask plenty of questions this week about his time in the Bush White House and his role on Ken Starr’s team during the investigation into then-President Bill Clinton.

U.S. cancels aid to Pakistan » The Pentagon says it’s taken final steps to cancel $300 million in planned aid to Pakistan. The Trump administration has complained that Pakistan’s government isn’t doing enough to help apply pressure to the Taliban, whose leaders use Pakistan as a sanctuary.

Shashank Joshi is senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, he says the move by the U.S. marks a shift in strategy in dealing with Pakistan.

JOSHI: Previous presidents have always hoped they could turn around Pakistan’s behavior. But I think with Trump we’re finally seeing a sense of disillusionment sink in and a sense of conviction amongst Congress, amongst the administration, the White House, that it’s too late. We simply have to now use more sticks because the carrots just haven’t worked. 

Pentagon officials say they submitted a request to Congress this summer for authorization to use the $300 million for other purposes. The request has not yet been approved.

A Pentagon spokesman said it made the request because of Pakistan’s lack of support for the U.S. strategy to bring the Afghan war to an end.

Amsterdam stabbings » Government officials in Amsterdam believe the stabbing of two American tourists on Friday at a railway station was an act of terrorism.

Authorities said based on the suspect’s statements to police, they believe he targeted the Americans. The 19-year-old suspect was shot and detained by police. He was later was identified only as Jawed S. because of Dutch privacy rules. He is reportedly an Afghan citizen who holds a German residency permit.

Police say the two unidentified Americans have serious but not life-threatening injuries and are recovering in a hospital. The suspect also is hospitalized.

Gas prices up this year, expected to drop into fall » As Americans hit the road over the Labor Day weekend, they’re paying more for gas this year. At $2.84 a gallon, the national average is the highest Labor Day price in four years.

AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano says it’s been an expensive year at the pump so far, but…

CASSELANO: The good news is, prices are falling as we head into fall. AAA expects the national gas price average to hit as low as $2.70, maybe cheaper than that, as we head into the fall months. 

Motorists are driving more this year, but crude oil prices have remained steady.

Alabama has the cheapest gas in the continental U.S. right now at $2.53 a gallon. At the other end, California motorists are paying $3.62 a gallon.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—Legal Docket. And Andrée Seu Peterson on how humans unravel. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) In this July 19, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh glances at reporters during a meeting with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

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