North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to be transforming. Early today, he said the country was stopping nuclear and missile tests and shuttering its atomic test site, which has “done its job.” Those concessions were long demanded by the U.S., lifting hopes that next Friday’s planned summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be conducted in good faith. That historic precursor to the yet-unscheduled meeting between Kim and President Trump will reportedly be greeted by yet another milestone: a new Moon–Kim hotline.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The Democratic National Committee on Friday sued Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, alleging a conspiracy to skew 2016 presidential election results. That’s just the latest in a week of Russiagate twists for President Donald Trump. They include the president allegedly telling since-fired FBI director James Comey that Vladimir Putin had bragged to Trump about Russian sex workers’ beauty, according to Comey memos released at the urging of Republican legislators. That may help explain why the president’s just hired experienced criminal attorneys, along with former U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani.
He can pronounce “critique.” French President Emmanuel Macron has often rubbed European leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel the wrong way, but he’s also one of the only continental authorities boasting a solid working relationship with President Trump. The centrist European Union booster is set to visit Washington next week, bringing a vision of Europe as a vitalized and unified economic superpower. He may first need to get his own maison in order — high unemployment and populism are roiling France — if he wants the EU to follow him.
Established to keep Wall Street titans honest, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has a spotty #MeToo record: Of the 97 sexual harassment cases filed over the past 30 years, only 17 were settled in the plaintiff’s favor. Such statistics, as well as a lack of proper reporting on gender misdeeds, reveal the weaknesses associated with an industry-funded agency policing the male-dominated field. During the 2000s, women banded together to win class-action settlements against big firms, but new arbitration clauses backed by a Supreme Court decision are hobbling that remedy.
The Week Ahead: Sunday is Earth Day, with activities ranging from reducing the oceans’ plastic waste to protecting endangered species. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a civil rights challenge to Texas legislative boundaries, followed by a Wednesday hearing on the travel ban. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits President Trump Friday, with the Iran nuclear agreement high on the agenda.
Know This: Dozens of people were killed Sunday in a suicide attack on a voter registration center in Kabul. Eulogized as the “first lady of the greatest generation,” presidential wife and mother Barbara Bush was laid to rest Saturday in Houston. And Utah’s Republican convention has fallen short of giving former presidential nominee Mitt Romney the state’s GOP nod for U.S. Senator, forcing him to run in a statewide party primary.
Get up to Speed: Has America’s top ally in Asia been marginalized? The OZY PDB Special Briefing will tell you what you need to know about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit with President Trump. With carefully curated facts, opinions, images and videos, this latest Special Briefing will catch you up and vault you ahead.
A new class of ecologically conscious farmers is using agricultural land to suck carbon out of the air. Land use is an often overlooked contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, as large areas of plant growth, so good at absorbing greenhouse gases, have been destroyed. “Carbon farming” seeks to reverse that with techniques such as not plowing, covering bare soil (which emits carbon) or growing trees alongside crops. Those can create large carbon sponges, which, even if they aren’t a magic bullet, could theoretically remove billions of tons of CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere.
It sounds too good to be true. Discredited for its inflated claims long before the Information Age, multilevel marketing has found fertile ground in social media. There are more MLM firms, like clothing company LuLaRoe and the people selling That Crazy Wrap Thing, than ever before, looking much like old-school recruitment schemes populated by stay-at-home mothers looking for a flexible income source. Many online sellers say their involvement is making them real friends and providing real support — even if most don’t make real money.
They’re running for their lives. In response to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s serious health crisis — 63 percent of its citizens are overweight — many are turning to running as a way to fight cardiovascular disease brought on by smoking and traditional meat-and-carb diets. Running groups and organized races are on the rise, though still not widespread. Some new enthusiasts even say the activity helps them deal with the stress of living in a postwar society saddled with corruption and economic woes, such as the world’s worst youth unemployment.
Hip-hop phenom Meek Mill has been caught in the justice system’s web since his 2008 drug and weapons conviction in Philadelphia. A controversial probation violation re-imprisoned the rapper in November. It’s a common situation for the 4.65 million people on probation or parole — one-third of them Black — as they try to break out of a punitive cycle. With the rapper’s lawyers presenting powerful evidence of police and judicial misconduct, if Meek Mill can’t win back his life, it bodes ill for those who lack star representation.
This “Hail Mary” wasn’t a game winner. Jake Locker was the “savior” of his University of Washington Huskies and the Tennessee Titans’ 2011 first-round draft pick quarterback. But a lecture by rapper Lecrae convinced Locker to find Jesus, and at 27, in 2015, he retired, sacrificing NFL millions to raise his kids and livestock while writing about theology in his grandmother’s refurbished Washington State house. There are still teams that need an arm like his, but with an ingrained longing for a quiet, normal life, he’ll take a pass.