It’s his final answer. President Donald Trump has declared that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement — a signature Obama administration achievement Trump called “a horrible, one-sided deal” — and reimposed economic sanctions. European allies spoke to the American president up to the final moments to address his objections to the agreement, like Iran’s ballistic missile program. In his announcement, Trump suggested that a new deal might be struck, but Iran says it plans to negotiate with other signatories, like Russia, China and European nations, to retain the agreement without U.S. participation.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The company, Essential Consultants, was used to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to hide her alleged affair with President Trump before the election. Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, posted documents on Twitter alleging that the same company received around half a million dollars from Columbus Nova — a U.S. investment firm with ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Hundreds of thousands more came from corporations with business before the administration. Avenatti claims Cohen’s use of the company may have violated banking laws.
As he announced the end of the Iran agreement, President Trump alluded to another nuclear deal in the making. He said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “is on his way” to North Korea to prepare for Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. “Plans are being made, relationships are building,” Trump told reporters. The North Korean leader secretly hosted Pompeo, then CIA director, earlier this year. Meanwhile, Kim spent Monday and Tuesday visiting President Xi Jinping in China, strolling along a beachfront and reiterating a determination to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Eric Schneiderman quit hours after four women publicly accused him of physical abuse. The attorney general, who was up for re-election this year, admitted to “role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” but denied claims of non-consensual violence and death threats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand were among those who called for his resignation after the story broke. Schneiderman was known as an advocate for women’s rights, seeking to crack down on domestic violence and filing a civil suit against Harvey Weinstein earlier this year.
Are they jumping the gun? While final tallies haven’t been released, the militant Shiite group has already declared itself the winner of Lebanon’s first general election since 2009. Hezbollah and its political allies are predicted to have won at least 67 out of 128 seats in the legislature. Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s leader, called the results of Sunday’s vote a “national achievement.” Experts predict that Prime Minister Saad Hariri — whose pro-Western Future Movement may have lost a third of its seats — will struggle to rein in Hezbollah’s influence.
It’s an offer they can’t refuse. Last year, media conglomerate 21st Century Fox agreed to sell its entertainment assets to Disney for $52.4 billion in stock. But now cable giant Comcast is reportedly looking to sink that deal with a hostile bid of $60 billion in cash. If Comcast can follow through on the deal — which depends on the success of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner — it could boost Comcast in the race against Fox to gain a controlling stake in European media company Sky.
Know This: The NRA has named former Fox contributor Oliver North, who played a central role in the Iran-Contra affair, as its new president. A former rival of Chinese President Xi Jinping has been sentenced to life in prison for taking $27 million in bribes. And recent landslides in Rwanda have brought the national death toll from such disasters to 200 this year.
Remember This Number: Seven days. That’s the limit of initial opioid prescriptions Walmart will provide its customers for acute pain, part of an attempt to crack down on the country’s opioid epidemic.
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Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Monday that the first $1.5 billion of Department of Housing and Urban Development funds will largely go toward rebuilding homes and businesses destroyed by Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year, causing $100 billion in damage. Funds are also being allocated for building low-income housing and supplying renewable energy. The new grants, expected in August, come with fewer strings attached than FEMA funding, which didn’t cover repair costs for many structures. Officials are still determining how to spend the rest of the $20 billion in HUD aid.
While the Indian rupee strengthened nearly 7 percent against the U.S. dollar last year, it’s had a turbulent run so far in 2018. Yesterday, the rupee sank to its lowest value in 15 months, representing a 5 percent drop this year — and analysts say it may weaken even more. Asia’s third-largest economy experienced slow growth in 2017, and has struggled to absorb a demonetization and bad debt in the banking sector. Rising oil prices could further strain the economy, since India imports nearly 80 percent of its crude oil.
Better to burn out than to fade away. Astronomers previously calculated that the brightest planetary nebulae, the luminous leftovers after a star disperses its surrounding gases, were reserved for stars with relatively large mass. But that contradicted observations of low-mass stars emitting their own bright and beautiful swan songs. Now, a new model explains how smaller stars, like our sun, could heat up three times faster than previously estimated as they die — enough to produce a glowing nebula when the sun ultimately sets billions of years from now.
“I was difficult. I was mean.” That’s what the actor said during his first interview since being fired from the Amazon series Transparent amid allegations of sexual harassment. Two transgender women claimed Tambor verbally and physically assaulted them on set. “Lines got blurred,” Tambor said — though he denied any wrongdoing, other than losing his temper. Transparent will shoot its fifth and final season without Tambor. Meanwhile, he’ll revive his role as the Bluth patriarch for a new season of Arrested Development, which premieres on Netflix May 29.
They’re putting their mettle to the pedal. Biking in frenetic Brazilian traffic can be terrifying: 1,300 cyclists die there each year. For women, who represent a small percentage of riders, it’s even more intimidating. Facing sexual harassment and other indignities — especially at repair shops — some are now responding by joining all-female cycling groups. They offer solidarity and safety in group rides, while training members to know their rights and fix their bikes. One organizer’s even planning a cross-country ride, hoping to build a social media movement along the way.