Is it malice? Appearing on ABC’s This Week Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus revealed that changing libel laws to make the media “more responsible” is “something we’ve looked at.” President Trump suggested as much March 30 in a tweet disparaging the New York Times. But there are no such federal laws, and Supreme Court rulings are the last word on media regulation. So the only viable path toward reining in journalists would be a Constitutional amendment, and Priebus intimated that it’s unclear if the libel exploration will lead to action.
Bosch's Daily Brief
What a pair. President Donald Trump has invited controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Trump plans to visit the Philippines for a November summit. It’s unclear, though, when Duterte would visit Washington, and many are concerned about his record: Last week, an International Criminal Court complaint accused him of committing mass murder and crimes against humanity in the name of combating drug crime. Meanwhile, Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania, telling supporters he’s completed “100 days of action” despite failing to deliver on many of his campaign promises.
They don’t like “free” encyclopedias. Turkey’s government has blocked access to Wikipedia after redaction requests were rebuffed, continuing a widely recognized censorship trend. Turkey’s telecom company cited a law that allows blocking sites temporarily for national security or the public good, though courts will have to back the decision for it to continue — not unlikely given Turkey’s previously reported episodes of social media interference. Meanwhile, 4,000 officials were fired for suspected ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of masterminding a failed July coup.
Make no mistake. The 27 countries remaining EU members after 2019 took four minutes to agree on three topics requiring resolution before U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May can negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal. First: The rights of EU citizens currently living in the U.K., followed by Irish border concerns and Britain’s estimated divorce bill of up to $65 billion. May’s currently embroiled in a snap general election she hopes will strengthen her position at home, even as the EU makes it clear London won’t be steering the Brexit bandwagon.
He won’t hold his peace. After weeks of rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear future — and another failed missile test yesterday — Pope Francis called for increased diplomacy, suggesting that Norway, for example, could mediate and avert a military confrontation with potentially devastating consequences. Saturday’s launch was seen as defiant not only to President Trump, but to Chinese calls for de-escalation. Meanwhile, the U.S. has reiterated that it’ll be funding the Thaad missile defense system, despite Trump’s suggestions last week that South Korea should cover the cost.
Know This: Last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner was the first since 1981 — when President Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt — to be skipped by the sitting president. Officials in El Salvador are investigating the suspicious deaths of several zoo animals in recent weeks, including a puma, a monkey, a zebra and a hippo. And five people have been killed in tornadoes in Texas.
Remember This Number: 36 percent. That’s the proportion of Americans who believe the president is “honest and trustworthy” as of yesterday, which some warn could be a problem if the U.S. has to deal with a serious crisis like an Ebola outbreak or asteroid strike.
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The wild ride continues. From dropping the “Mother of All Bombs” on a tunnel network in Afghanistan, to dodging Kremlin collusion allegations and signing a slew of executive orders, President Trump has had a hectic first 100 days. And we can expect more volatility as the president’s focus turns from vague rhetorical bluster to offering the nitty-gritty of actual policies, both at home with taxes and jobs and abroad with trade. Meanwhile, with North Korea’s nonstop nuclear brinkmanship, an explosive test awaits Trump on diplomatic — or military — fronts.
It was hot in the nation’s capital. But temperatures hitting 20 degrees above average didn’t stop thousands from taking to the streets yesterday to demand action to protect the environment. The People’s Climate March, held in cities worldwide, headed for the White House on President Trump’s 100th day in office. Labor unions, religious groups, Native Americans and environmental activists came together, bearing placards such as “There is no Planet B” and “Save the EPA.” But few believe they’ll convince the chief executive — who’s called climate change a “hoax” — to embrace Mother Earth.
Call it baptism by fire. After the Bahamas-based festival descended into chaos and saw mass defections and social media calls for rescue, organizers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, who’d promised attendees a unique music festival experience on a remote island, have issued an official apology. The days-long arts festival flopped and is indefinitely postponed. To blame? Huge interest, poor infrastructure, unpreparedness, windy weather — you name it. Festival-goers have been promised refunds and free VIP passes to next year’s U.S.-based festivities, but burned fans might be skeptical.
“It didn’t have to be this way, Netflix.” That was the message from an anonymous hacking group that leaked unreleased Orange Is The New Black episodes they had apparently been holding for ransom. The hit show was due for release June 9. The group, known as “thedarkoverlord,” shared ten episodes of season five on the popular site Pirate Bay — and also claims to be demanding payments from ABC, Fox, IFC and National Geographic for other unreleased shows. Netflix says a production vendor “had its security compromised,” and the FBI is reportedly helping investigate.
He knocked out doubts, if not his rival. Britain’s Anthony Joshua, 27, cemented his place at the top of boxing’s heavyweight hierarchy by defeating 41-year-old Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko with an 11th-round decision at London’s Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 — the biggest British boxing audience since 1939. The technical knockout capped a tense, balletic fight that saw both men hit the canvas, but the referee stepped in to save Klitschko from undue punishment after a devastating uppercut. Though neither fighter’s asked, they both have rematch clauses in their contracts.