After several days of silence (and one conspicuous visit to a jewelry store), Jay Z, Beyonce, and Solange have issued a formal statement on the instantly infamous elevator fight between Jay Z and Solange that occurred when the trio left the Met Gala.
"As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it," said Jay Z, Beyonce, and Solange in a joint statement at the Associated Press. "Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family."
The trio also refuted reports that Solange was "intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior" on the evening in question. "At the end of the day families have problems and we're no different," said the statement. "We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same." Scott Meslow
Genealogy testing is inherently creepy. After spitting into a vial and sending it off, your saliva's final resting place can be a mystery (unless it's accidentally sent to another customer).
That's why lawmakers want to protect your bodily fluids and the data they provide. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter asking four major genetic testing companies to clarify their privacy and security policies, and they shared the letter with Stat.
The four companies that got a letter — 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and National Geographic Geno — haven't been embroiled in any scandals. But the Democrats told Stat they want to uncover potential problems in how data is used and stored before something does go wrong. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) similarly questioned these companies' ethics in November and pressed the FTC to ensure it was clear how customers' DNA would be used.
After all, earlier this month, testing company MyHeritage announced that it had accidentally leaked 92 million customers' email addresses, per Reuters. And McClatchy recently found some skeevy details about what Ancestry has done with the world's largest collection of human saliva. Questioning these companies early will hopefully avert a sticky situation. Read more at Stat. Kathryn Krawczyk
Two wrongs don't make a right, but apparently no one told that to the Republican defenders of the Trump administration's policies of child separation and detention. On Thursday, the Republican National Committee tweeted out a video of the former secretary of Homeland Security "admit[ting] to expanding family detention under President Obama" in an attempted gotcha.
The RNC has sent out a couple talking points on this today. Increasingly seems like Republicans’ official response to questions about child separation and detention is “Obama did it too!” https://t.co/aHBsqpX9rH
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 21, 2018
Yahoo News' Hunter Walker added: "Just a reminder, Obama isn't president."
The current secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, has also used the "we didn't start it" excuse, claiming "the Obama administration, the Bush administration all separated families … This is not new." The Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org writes that while "experts say there were some separations under previous administrations" there was "no blanket policy to prosecute parents and, therefore, separate them from their children," of the type announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this spring.
Besides — "he started it!" is never the best excuse when it falls in your hands to end it. Jeva Lange
There are plenty of people who would find it extremely difficult to muster up any pity for Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of the president. Still, the GQ profile of Junior published Thursday makes a pretty compelling case — from his birth through his engagement through the end of his marriage. "Maybe he's not an intellectual, but he tried to be useful for his family," was how one insider gently put it. "I feel bad for him, honestly."
Here are four of the most depressing details in the profile, which you can read in full here. Jeva Lange
His parents dashed off to other engagements as soon as he was born.
That evening he was born, little Don was left by his parents to the care of the hospital's nursery. His father headed home to celebrate New Year's Eve, while Ivana put a boa and a mink over her hospital gown and went to visit a girlfriend recovering from back surgery on another floor of the hospital. [GQ]
His father didn't want to give him his name.
“You can't do that!" Trump is quoted as saying in Ivana's memoir, Raising Trump. "What if he's a loser?" [GQ]
When his parents were getting divorced, they had a spat over who had to raise him.
First lady Melania Trump has touched ground in Texas to check out immigrant detention centers and speak with Border Patrol officials, CNN reported Thursday.
Trump made a last-minute decision to take a trip to McAllen, Texas, the first member of the Trump family to personally visit the immigration facilities where children are being detained separately from their parents as they await prosecution for entering the U.S. without documentation.
Upon arriving in McAllen, the first lady told shelter workers she was "looking forward" to seeing immigrant children. "We all know they're here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your kindness, and your compassion you're giving them in these hard times," she said, per The Hill. She additionally asked how she could "help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible."
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen probably shouldn't have gone to a Mexican restaurant while the government was splitting mostly Latino migrant children from their parents at the southern border. But in all fairness, Stephen Miller did it first.
Two days before Nielsen was publicly shamed for the family separation policy, President Trump's senior policy adviser similarly didn't think twice about eating at a Mexican restaurant, the New York Post reports. While protesters didn't flood the restaurant as they did with Nielsen, one customer did jump in.
"Hey look guys, whoever thought we'd be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?” the customer said as Miller walked by, a witness told the Post. Miller didn't respond and stuck around to finish his meal.
After claiming for days that he was powerless to stop the separations, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that seeks to amend a court ruling and thus allow migrant families to be detained together, rather than separate children from their parents at the border. Most of Trump's associates condemned the separation policy early on, but Miller was its fiercest champion and had a big role in crafting the so-called "zero tolerance" immigration policy. He even apparently enjoyed seeing photos of distraught kids torn from their parents, an outside White House adviser told Vanity Fair.
That'll be one order of enchiladas, smothered in irony, please. Kathryn Krawczyk
Anticipation on the Korean peninsula is building, and the real estate industry is benefiting.
Inventive entrepreneurs are flocking to the area along the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, hoping to buy up land so that they have a prime location in the event of the country reunifying with their neighbors to the north, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
For years, people in South Korea have been eyeing the markets every time North Korea seems to ever-so-slightly crack open its door to the outside world. Of course, leader Kim Jong Un has continued to isolate the nation, but his historic summit with President Trump brought new optimism to the region. In March and April, real estate transactions in border city Paju skyrocketed to about three times the average level from the last decade, reports the Times, while other regions remained stagnant.
Real estate agents and developers say the building excitement is tangible, as industrious businesspeople and wealthy investors arrive near the DMZ by the dozens to look at properties, willing to spend millions to get on the ground floor of what they think is a forthcoming change. The area along the DMZ is "like land that's still in a mother's womb, not yet born to the world," said Kim Yoon-sik, a developer. "If it is born, it'll be huge." Summer Meza
NFL players have a problem with the criminal justice system, and a bunch of presidential pardons won't solve it.
Four current and former players representing the Players Coalition advocacy group challenged President Trump to go beyond pardoning unjustly jailed people in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. Instead, Doug Baldwin, Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins, and Benjamin Watson are pushing for complete criminal justice reform.
After the Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited from a Super Bowl victory visit to the White House over the league's national anthem kneeling, Trump tried to make a concession. He asked players to send a list of people they thought were unjustly jailed, and he'd pardon them if he agreed.
Clemency can be valuable, like when Trump commuted Alice Johnson's life sentence for a nonviolent drug charge at Kim Kardashian West's behest, the players acknowledged in their op-ed. They suggested that blanket pardon for drug offenders who've already served long sentences could be a good first step.
But truly fixing the justice system means preventing nonviolent offenders from getting life sentences in the first place, and the players say Trump's executive power can make that happen. And if the president chooses not to wield it, then the players will keep using their power as Americans and professional athletes to insist on change. Read the whole op-ed at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk