It could have been fatal. But authorities — who’ve arrested an 18-year-old in connection with yesterday’s attack — say the crude bomb on a London subway train did not explode as intended. Witnesses described a bang and fireball, which apparently caused burns and a panic that brought the incident’s total injuries to 29. ISIS claimed responsibility, and President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the perpetrators, then publicly unknown, were ”in the sights” of British investigators, prompting Prime Minister Theresa May to label such speculation as unhelpful.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The world just got smaller — and scarier. In just 17 minutes Friday, an apparent North Korean missile flew 2,300 miles over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. That’s 200 miles farther than the U.S. Territory of Guam, meaning islanders would have no more than 13 minutes to prepare for an attack such as Pyongyang’s threatened. The launch came just days after North Korea’s purported hydrogen bomb test spurred new U.N. sanctions — which Kim Jong Un has vowed to overcome in order to achieve military “equilibrium” with the U.S.
Will they return the love? President Trump has called the United Nations an “underperformer” for which he’d like to cut American funding, enough that the body’s officials predict operational paralysis. On Tuesday, he’ll face the General Assembly as it hosts global leaders — many of whom view Trump as the world’s biggest problem. There’s plenty of competition, of course: They’ll also confer on North Korean ICBMs and deadly Rohingya Muslim persecution, which is keeping away Myanmar Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who says she’ll address her nation’s crisis away from the U.N. spotlight.
It came, it frightened, it fizzled. Hurricane Irma riveted the nation and moved millions of Floridians this week, but mercifully turned out not to be the worst the state had ever seen, as evacuees had been warned. But there’s no doubt as to the source of the worry. The devastation Irma wrought across the Caribbean didn’t become clear until later: 38 confirmed deaths and entire islands flattened. On Barbuda, all 1,800 residents were evacuated, meaning that for the first time in three centuries, the island’s only inhabitants are the lost pets left behind.
They’ve left the enemy blinking. The Kremlin’s waging a new “hybrid war,” without violence but with plenty of casualties, experts say. Amplifying dubious or false stories, like a German epidemic of immigrant-perpetrated rapes, it’s stoking social and political divisions. Russian propaganda outlets such as RT and Sputnik appear to be leading a coordinated information assault against Western nations, putting military leaders on alert. From fueling conspiracies to promoting fringe politicians — even helping them get elected — Vladimir Putin’s vast information networks have become powerful instruments against which there may be no reliable defense.
L’etat est-il. In both executive and parliamentary elections, President Emmanuel Macron showed he was representing a large French centrist constituency. Key to his platform was reforming the way the republic’s business is done, especially regarding strict labor laws, which some blame for the country’s chronic 9 percent unemployment. But after he actually proposed doing so, his approval rating dropped to 40 percent, and some 60,000 protested against his reforms last week. But Macron’s still got a strong parliamentary majority and the backing of two of the three major labor unions, so few are ready to count him out.
The Week Ahead: Today the Juggalos, eccentric fans of rappers Insane Clown Posse, will gather in Washington, D.C., to march against the FBI labeling them a loosely organized gang. On Monday and Tuesday, former Secretary of State John Kerry will host the Yale Climate Conference, featuring actor Leonardo DiCaprio and California Gov. Jerry Brown, addressing what a recent scientific paper said could amount to an “existStential threat” to humankind by 2050. And on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the U.N. General Assembly and meet with President Trump in an effort to promote Mideast peace talks.
Know This: White former police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of the murder of a 24-year-old Black man yesterday in St. Louis, prompting hundreds of protesters to march, clash with authorities. Facebook is reportedly helping Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigate Russian political ad purchases. And a man in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blasphemous comments about the Prophet Muhammad.
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He was always intense. Harry Dean Stanton, whose gritty supporting roles captivated audiences as much as any headliner, died Friday of natural causes in Los Angeles at age 91. Acting in over 100 films, the Kentucky native became widely known in his 50s, starring in the Cannes-feted Paris, Texas, in 1984 — the same year he appeared in cult favorite Repo Man. The late critic Roger Ebert said Stanton created “sad poetry” with his “lean face and hungry eyes,” and assured that no movie including him could be “altogether bad.”
They’re also good listeners. From autonomous wheelchairs to mechanical nursing aides, nonhuman caregivers are demonstrating their potential to transform the lives of ailing elderly folks. A self-propelled wheelchair developed by the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) can navigate Singapore’s Changi General Hospital; Honda’s Asimo humanoid robot can retrieve food and control lighting; and another protodroid is able to lift patients and act as a walker. While insurers often view such devices as luxuries, some experts believe these inventions could, in a few years, foster healthier, more independent golden years.
Emojis won’t solve this. After 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in a Chicago hotel Sunday, police were reportedly clueless. But the grim discovery of her body inside a walk-in freezer sparked a frenzy of online commentary targeting supposed suspects, some seen in a viral livestreamed video in which Jenkins appeared — reflected in sunglasses — the night before she was found dead. Neither smartphone nor surveillance video proving foul play has emerged, and some say the digital free-for-all clouded the investigation into what may simply have been a tragic accident.
They’re no longer paddling against the stream. There was a time when major studios’ pre-album marketing and teaser singles made it happen for budding hip-hop stars. No longer: They’re blasting out tracks on Spotify, Apple Music or other services and waiting for recognition to stream in. Playlists such as Spotify’s kingmaking RapCaviar — curated by just one man — have boosted music revenue growth into double digits for the first time since the late 1990s. And those receipts zoomed 69 percent to $3.9 billion last year, suggesting the Napster-battered industry’s finally healing.
It’s no bullet train, but it hit the target. When Kenya’s new 75-mph Madaraka Express opened on May 31, it was 18 months ahead of schedule and twice as fast as existing colonial-era trains. The five-hour Nairobi-Mombasa trips have been sold out since, sparing passengers 11-hour bus rides through notoriously deadly traffic. But 85 percent of the project was financed by a Chinese bank, raising concerns about foreign indebtedness — not to mention the future of elephants whose migration routes cross the line.
Are “fake sports” a thing? While the New York Times and CNN don’t rely on an audience heavy with red-meat conservative sports fans, ESPN’s suffering amid charges of leaning left. Its diverse and provocative commentators include Jemele Hill, who tweeted Monday that President Trump is a “white supremacist.” And while its slumping cable subscriptions have been blamed on cord cutters, right-wing outlets blame ideology. The White House suggested that Hill be fired — which ESPN reportedly almost did, indicating the sports broadcasting king is playing a game it can’t win.