The meeting between the U.S. secretary of state and Kim Yong Chol, right-hand man to Kim Jong Un, is the highest-level visit by a North Korean official in 18 years. After dining together last night, the two are expected to talk further today amid uncertain prospects for the planned June 12 summit between the North Korean leader and President Donald Trump. It’s one of three ongoing diplomatic efforts, including meetings in Singapore and the Korean Demilitarized Zone, aimed at salvaging the potentially historic meeting.
The Presidential Daily Brief
A lawyer for the former Hollywood mogul says he’ll fight the charges of rape in the first and third degrees, as well as a first-degree charge of committing a criminal sexual act. They’re the first indictments for Weinstein, who’s been accused by around 70 women in the film industry of harassment, sexual assault and rape. He’s been released on $1 million bail, but if he’s convicted of the charges, which stem from incidents in 2004 and 2013, the disgraced producer could see up to 25 years in prison.
Mission accomplished? After the Security Service of Ukraine announced that the assassination of Russian war reporter Arkady Babchenko was actually a ruse aimed at foiling a plot on his life by Russian intelligence, press advocates sharply criticized Kiev for spreading false information. Babchenko, a dissident journalist who emigrated to Ukraine last year, made a surprise appearance at a press conference about the murder investigation, thanking Ukrainian authorities for saving his life. But many observers have questioned whether the extreme measure was worth the potential consequences for media credibility.
As you were. Federal regulators unveiled a proposal yesterday to ease a key portion of a 2010 law aimed at cracking down on dangerous betting by big banks. The Volcker Rule has long been criticized by Wall Street for hampering financial markets. Under the Fed’s proposal, entities like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase would have more freedom to buy and sell securities — highly profitable trades that also carry the potential for major losses. But regulators emphasized the change doesn’t mean a return to the free-wheeling pre-crisis days.
Know This: Instead of condemning Roseanne Barr’s recent racist remark, President Trump has insisted that ABC apologize to him for its negative coverage. A new report has found that more than half of the world’s children face poverty, conflict or gender discrimination. And Scotland has become the first country to offer free sanitary products to low-income women.
Read This: With far-right sentiments on the rise in the U.S., the American Civil Liberties Union is facing a conflict over how broadly it should defend free speech.
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The big-box retailer has announced it’ll subsidize college degrees in business or supply-chain management for its 1.5 million employees as part of CEO Doug McMillon’s bid to overhaul the company’s image. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates who have worked for the company for more than 90 days will be able to take online or in-person courses from the University of Florida, Brandman University, or Bellevue University — selected for their experience teaching adults — for $1 per day. Walmart estimates 5 percent of its workforce could sign up.
They’re searching for major malfunctions. Relying on artificial intelligence, big data and stun gun-wielding robots, Beijing is increasingly automating its security. Currently most of the programs — including ranks of armless robots with facial recognition software roaming train stations — are in pilot phases, but they’re expected to eventually be fully deployed to help police the country’s 1.3 billion citizens. And although the technology could fill key gaps in China’s public security infrastructure, critics are concerned about its potential for human rights abuses.
Check yourself. Citing “compelling evidence,” the American Cancer Society now suggests that adults begin testing for the slow-growing cancer at the age of 45 — five years under the current recommended age. Experts say the disease, which is the second-leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths, is striking younger adults twice as often in the past 25 years. “We just have to face reality,” says oncologist Richard Wender. He added that while researchers still don’t know why it’s increasing, obesity and poor diets are likely contributing factors.
It’s the other Kim summit. The reality TV star visited the White House yesterday to discuss prison reform after months of back-channel talks with Jared Kushner, whose father was imprisoned for financial crimes. Kardashian reportedly urged President Trump to consider pardoning a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense. Last week, the House passed the Kushner-supported First Step Act, which would incentivize prisoners to participate in job training and rehabilitation programs in preparation for re-entering society.
Bryan Colangelo, general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, was accused in a report this week by The Ringer of using five different Twitter accounts to lambaste current and former players, as well as his predecessor, Sam Hinkie, and head coach Brett Brown. Colangelo denies the claims, arguing that someone is “out to get” him and that he’s “never posted anything whatsoever on social media.” He confirmed that he did use one of the accounts, but only to follow NBA news. The Sixers are reportedly conducting an investigation.