Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, UFC 229, 'Doctor Who' returns: 5 things to know this weekend

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Editors, USA TODAY Published 4:22 a.m. ET Oct. 6, 2018

Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination heads to final Senate vote

Despite another round of intense protests, the Senate voted 51-49 Friday to limit debate, advancing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. A final vote is expected Saturday with Republicans appearing to have the votes needed to confirm Kavanaugh and tilt the Supreme Court in favor of conservatives for years to come.  For weeks, Kavanaugh's future has hung in the balance during hours of hearings, FBI investigations and a smattering of sexual assault allegations. Senators Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, waited until Friday to announce how they would vote despite Democratic lawmakers questioning his credibility. Whatever the outcome, both Democrats and Republicans think the partisan fight will motivate their voters to get to the polls Nov. 6. 

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'It’s about freaking time': Doctor Who takes flight

For the first time in the 55-year history of the British sci-fi franchise, the TARDIS-dwelling Time Lord of Gallifrey is being played by a woman, Jodie Whittaker. Sunday on BBC America (1:45 p.m. EDT/10:45 a.m. PDT, and 8 EDT/PDT), fans will finally get their wish in the Season 11 premiere of "Doctor Who." There's a lot riding on Whittaker, the actress stepping into the Doctor's shoes, but if the first full trailer for Season 11 of the series is any indication, she's having the time of her life. USA TODAY's Kelly Lawler says it's about "freaking time."

Remembering when Matthew Shepard became America’s wake-up call 

On Oct. 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, 21, was found brutally beaten on the edge of Laramie, Wyoming. After Shepard’s killers drove him to a quiet development, repeatedly struck him with a .357 Magnum pistol, robbed him and left him to die, it took 18 hours for someone to find him  Details from that discovery would sear themselves into memories across the globe. More than a decade after his murder, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed in 2009 – expanding federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a person’s sexual orientation, gender or disability.

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In 1998, Matthew Shepard was found brutally beaten on the edge of Laramie, Wyoming. Now, 20 years later, we explore the lasting marks his murder left. Erin Udell, erinudell@coloradoan.com

Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov in 'biggest' UFC fight

On Saturday, Conor McGregor — who lost a boxing match to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 — will have his first MMA fight in nearly two years against Khabib Nurmagomedov. In what’s being dubbed “the biggest fight in UFC history,” McGregor will try to regain the 155-pound title he was stripped of — and that Nurmagomedov won — in April.  UFC 229 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Khabib (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) vs. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will headline the pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. If the weigh-in was any indication, it should be quite the show with McGregor promising a "devastating KO." 

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Conor McGregor's voice dominated most of the UFC 229 press conference. The UFC banned fans from the event and only allowed media. USA TODAY

MLB playoffs jump into high gear as teams face must-win games

The MLB playoffs are in full swing this weekend with two teams on the brink of elimination. Saturday features a pair of American League Division Series Game 2's on TBS, starting in Houston with the Astros looking for a 2-0 series lead over the Cleveland Indians. Meanwhile, the rivalry continues in Boston as the Red Sox try to put the squeeze on the New York Yankees after Chris Sale's award-winning Game 1 performance. On Sunday, the National League Division Series picks up again with a pair of decisive Game 3's. Both the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves return home, hoping to avoid elimination against the feisty Milwaukee Brewers and commanding Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

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