After meeting a top adviser to Kim Jong Un at the White House this afternoon, President Donald Trump announced his June 12 summit in Singapore with the North Korean leader is back on track. Kim Yong Chol’s visit to the presidential residence was the first in 18 years by a senior North Korean official, and is being seen as a symbolic gesture by Pyongyang in a bid to revive talks with Trump. He reportedly delivered a letter from Kim, though its contents were unknown.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Hasta la vista. A minor Basque party’s fluctuating allegiance forced today’s no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a small but crucial tipping point that finally sent the Spanish leader packing this morning. Rajoy’s People’s Party has been beset by a huge corruption scandal, but he gave a defiant address to Parliament yesterday before reportedly going for an eight-hour lunch. He’ll be replaced by Pédro Sanchez of the opposing PSOE party, who has promised to stick to Rajoy’s budget and engage with Catalan separatist demands.
What are allies when it comes to alloys? The White House says it’ll levy 25 percent taxes on steel and 10 percent on aluminum for trading partners that were previously exempt from the tariffs announced in March. In response, Canada said it would tax $12.8 billion of American goods at rates up to 25 percent. Mexico is considering duties on steel, pork and various crops. And the EU released a 10-page list of retaliatory tariffs, with France and Germany calling the U.S. move “illegal.” Meanwhile, the Dow fell 200 points.
All roads lead … back to this guy. Political novice Giuseppe Conte was chosen last week by a coalition of populist parties as Italy’s next prime minister — but by Monday he’d resigned after his euroskeptic finance minister nominee was vetoed by President Sergio Mattarella. But Mattarella’s next choice proved unable to win party approval. Now president and parties have struck a deal on Conte, who’ll be sworn in today. His finance minister nominee will instead preside over European affairs, a role less likely to endanger Italy’s future in the eurozone.
In 2014, Florida deputies responding to a noise complaint over loud music knocked on the door of Gregory Hill, a Black father of three. Believing he had a gun, one deputy fired four times through the door, killing Hill. Now a jury has awarded Hill’s family a symbolic $1 for each of his children and $1 for funeral expenses, saying he was “99 percent responsible” for his own death. “This says, black lives don’t matter,” lamented the family attorney, who is pushing for a new trial.
Know This: Though LeBron James scored 51 points in last night’s NBA Finals opener against the Warriors, Golden State still eked out a 124-114 victory in overtime. Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani has won the National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling koinonia, meaning “a spiritual communion.” And the former chair of the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign is now applying for residency in France.
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Critics are lambasting the year-old magazine for featuring Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud on the cover behind the wheel of a convertible. Inside, the magazine lauds Saudi Arabia for lifting its ban on female drivers — though the ban is still in place until June 24. Social media users pointed out that 11 female activists who lobbied hard to lift it were recently detained, and some are still in jail, charged with “undermining the kingdom’s stability.” Twitter users responded by editing the activists’ faces onto the Vogue cover.
After a series of deadly accidents, self-driving cars are back on track. Japan’s SoftBank has thrown $2.25 billion behind Cruise, General Motors’ self-driving car development arm, giving it a 19.6 percent stake. Analysts say the investment gives GM a seat at the table and a good shot at the competitive industry. Not to be outdone, Waymo, Google’s driverless fleet, has picked up 62,000 Chrysler minivans. The announcements of the deals came on the same day, indicating the industry is rebounding after a PR crisis earlier in the year.
The images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which visited Pluto in 2015, show the dwarf planet has unexpected dunes of frozen methane sand, though scientists previously thought its atmosphere was too thin to hold such formations. They theorize that the sand was blown onto a glacial plain from snowcaps on a nearby mountain range, sculpting dunes that stretch for more than 12 miles — roughly the size of Death Valley’s Mesquite Flat Dunes. The discovery is prompting researchers to reconsider if similar dunes might exist on other planets with weak atmospheres.
During a scripted segment on President Donald Trump’s new push to separate children from their parents at the border, the late night host angrily asked Ivanka to intervene in her father’s immigration policies, calling her “a feckless c—.” Many commentators were outraged, comparing Bee’s remark to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet that prompted the cancellation of her show, while White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Bee’s comment as “vile and vicious.” Bee and TBS have both apologized, and the network has pulled the video of the segment.
And they’re off. Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act May 14, states — supported by a slew of new media companies, as OZY reports — have been scrambling to join Nevada in offering regulated sports gambling. Now the First State will become the first: Gov. John Carney announced that its three casinos will offer betting on sporting events starting Tuesday. While college athletics are widely expected to be included, state regulations ban bets on Delaware State or the University of Delaware.