After weeks of teasing it, President Donald Trump tweeted today that his “highly-anticipated meeting” with Kim Jong Un will take place June 12 in the tiny island nation. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace,” the tweet concluded. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his recent Hermit Kingdom visit, arranged the talks, expected to hinge on Kim giving up nuclear weapons. It would be the first U.S.-North Korea summit, and follows a campaign of bellicose invective between the two leaders.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re finally free. President Trump thanked Kim Jong Un for releasing the three captives, who’d been held for over a year, as he met them on the tarmac when they arrived back on American soil before dawn today. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo secured their freedom during a visit yesterday to Pyongyang, where he also finalized plans for a summit between Trump and Kim that could mark a new phase in relations between the countries. “I really think he wants to do something,” Trump said of his North Korean counterpart.
The country launched one of its heaviest airstrikes in Syria since the war began, responding to what it claims was an overnight rocket attack on Israeli bases in the Golan Heights — the first time Tehran has attacked Israel directly from Syria. The Israeli army says it struck dozens of Iranian targets, while Syrian state media reported that a radar station, air defense positions and a munitions depot were also hit. “I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message,” Israel’s defense minister said this morning.
Age is just a number. At 92 years old, Mahathir Mohamad is set to become the world’s oldest elected leader after his opposition party and its allies beat Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, in power since 1957. Mahathir, a former premier, emerged from retirement to challenge his onetime protégé, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who’s been hit with accusations that he stole $700 million in state cash. But while Mahathir’s supporters celebrated in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, others are waiting to see just how smooth the transition will be.
“The United States must put away its threatening stick.” So said a Chinese commerce ministry spokesman, highlighting the strain between Beijing and Washington ahead of new talks aimed at averting a full-scale trade war. Meanwhile, Chinese inspectors have detained imports of American agricultural products, cars and pet food — though it’s unclear whether the delay is related to trade tensions sparked by President Trump’s threat to impose up to $150 billion in tariffs. China’s chief economic envoy heads to Washington next week, where he’ll reportedly offer to import more U.S. goods.
Know This: President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, did not apologize for her role in the agency’s controversial interrogation program, but she pledged during a confirmation hearing yesterday not to restart it. Scientists say the risks of a more violent eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano will rise in coming weeks. And a tanker truck carrying 12 tons of chocolate overturned in Poland Wednesday, spilling its contents across six lanes.
Watch This: Tune in to PBS on June 15 for the premiere of Breaking Big, OZY’s latest TV show, which will explore the secret sauce behind successful people. OZY co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson sits down with Trevor Noah, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Danai Gurira, Jason Aldean and others to find out how they broke through — and broke big.
Talk to Us: This year, OZY is going Around the World on a year-long tour to visit every single country, and we’d love for you to get involved. Where in the world are you when you read OZY? Send us pictures — they might make it onto OZY.com — and tell us what rising stars, new trends, music and food we should be writing about. Or even pitch us a story! Get in touch at email@example.com.
After more than a century, scientist David Goodall remains healthy for a man of his age, but the normal infirmities of a centenarian have worn him down. So he’s set to end his life today, but Goodall’s not going quietly: He traveled to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, to proclaim — with his final breath — that countries like his own should legalize the practice, even for those not suffering terminal illnesses. Asked what he wanted to hear upon his lethal injection, he chose Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.”
There’s an app for that. Labor-intensive and unpopular among younger generations, some Indian cuisines are facing an uncertain future. But a host of aggregators, physical pop-ups and digital platforms are now connecting traditional home chefs to new audiences, helping preserve cuisines — a central identifying element for many communities — and keeping myriad flavors alive in an era of globalized markets. Customers get great food and a healthy serving of culture, and as the trend attracts new interest, chefs are hoping it’s sustainable.
The truth is out there. While full federal funding of organizations searching for aliens ended 25 years ago, new House legislation would give NASA annual funding for “the search for technosignatures, such as radio transmissions.” Astronomer Jill Tarter, former director of the Center for SETI research, said a reliable cash stream would allow scientists to build better instrumentation and look at the sky longer. Tarter has also proposed rebranding SETI, changing its mission from the “search for extraterrestrial intelligence” to the “search for extraterrestrial technology.”
Los Angeles police are searching for the maroon and gold armor worn by Robert Downey Jr. for the superhero’s 2008 debut in Iron Man. A prop storage facility reported the costume missing on Tuesday, though it was last seen in February — and police said the disappearance is “considered a burglary.” It’s a big loss, but Marvel should survive: It made $585 million from that film, which launched the Avengers franchise, and has so far raked in more than $1 billion from Downey’s latest appearance in Avengers: Infinity War.
Show her the money. Two weeks after the Commission on College Basketball released its report on corruption in the men’s game, commission chair Rice wanted to clarify they weren’t “punting” on the issue of athletes earning money. She said students should be able to benefit from their name and image, within a legal framework, and she called the current NCAA rules on the matter “incomprehensible.” Rice also said she hopes the “one-and-done” rule preventing players from going pro immediately after high school will be eliminated in time for next year’s season.