This week: 3 key meetings and a MAJOR vote

Sunday 9.16.18

It's been a rough week for our friends in the Carolinas. Here's how you can help as people start picking up the pieces from Hurricane Florence. Here's what else you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

By Michelle Krupa and Faith Karimi 

Florence has killed at least 13 people and its relentless rain promises even more days of misery. (For all the updates as they happen, you can sign up here) ... In the Philippines, officials are trying to figure out how many people died due to Mangkhut, the strongest typhoon so far this year ... 
 A US Border Patrol agent accused of four slayings has been described as a serial killer  ... Dozens of mariachi bands were serenading families in Mexico City when five men disguised as musicians opened fire ... Someone has been putting needles in strawberries in Australia.
For our neighbors to the south, 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!

Make sure you have your plug and WiFi access handy when Apple iOS 12 launches Monday. The new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4 hit stores Friday.
 
Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife visit the White House on Tuesday. 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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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." The UN secretary-general's annual news conference is Thursday.

And starting Tuesday night, 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 Thursday 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.

Most cell phone users on Thursday will get a phone message with the header "Presidential Alert." Don't panic: It's just the Federal Emergency Management Agency, testing its Wireless Emergency Alert System on the presidential level for the first time. 

Thursday also marks 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. Demonstrators plan to converge Saturday on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Starting Friday, 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.

Pope Francis heads Saturday to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for a four-day visit that mirrors a trip Pope John Pope 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. 
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 Saturday, which is also National Public Lands Day. Visitors should expect limited hours and services.

And Oktoberfest kicks off Saturday 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!
 
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Tropical Depression Florence isn't the only disaster that has first responders putting their lives at risk. Emergency officials are also trying to protect people and property this week in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California. Check out more in our latest top images gallery, from CNN Photos
 
"As you see the families that you're helping, you know it's all worth it."
Amber Hersel, a volunteer civilian from Indiana, who's helping rescue people affected by Florence in North Carolina. 
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What happened to a famous 'X-Men' actress?
Top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing vanished without a trace in June amid an uproar over tax evasion by celebrities. Her disappearance left people baffled, and some are drawing their own conclusions. 
 
Best of TV
"Game of Thrones" and "This Is Us" could have a huge night Monday 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.

Stream away
Sean Penn leads a team of astronauts fighting to get to Mars in Hulu's "The First," while "SNL" alums Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph reunite in Amazon's "Forever." CNN's Brian Lowry reviews both.

Man of Steel
Henry Cavill may (or may not) be done playing Superman, but don't cry for him. He's already lined up a new gig, starring in "The Witcher" series, new on Netflix.
Swingin' 'em in  
In golf news, the Tour Championship tees off in Atlanta on Thursday. 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. 

Hey, wake up. Baseball's still happening 
If you've been waiting until the last month of the long baseball season to start paying attention, then it's time to kick it into gear. Pennant races are starting to heat up, and the playoffs are right around the corner. 

Florence couldn't stop the Tigers
The Clemson football team walked away with a 38-7 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles yesterday in South Carolina. Clemson now heads to Georgia Tech on Saturday, along with Stanford at Oregon and Texas Christian at Texas.
 
That's not our shade of pink
Country star Carrie Underwood gets her own star Thursday 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. (Click here to rock out.) 
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