Officially, China is expressing its hope that the United States and North Korea "will be cautious on their words and actions, and do things that help to alleviate tensions and enhance mutual trust, rather than walk on the old pathway of taking turns in shows of strength, and upgrading the tensions," in the words of Foreign Minister spokesman Geng Shuang. "The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive." But an editorial Friday in the semi-official Global Times newspaper warns North Korea that if it attacks the U.S., China won't come to its aid.
Both President Trump and Kim Jong Un are playing a "reckless game," and China should make clear that "when their actions jeopardize China's interests, China will respond with a firm hand," the Global Times editorial says. "China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral," it adds. "If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so."
"The key point is in the first half of the sentence; China opposes North Korea testing missiles in the waters around Guam," Cheng Xiaohe, a North Korea expert at Renmin University of China in Beijing, tells The Washington Post. "Secondly, in a half-official way, China is starting to review and clarify the 1961 treaty," the Sino-North Korean Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, which the editorial mentions. The treaty obliges China to step in and help Pyongyang if it is subject to unprovoked aggression, but perhaps not if North Korea shoots first. China has become increasingly frustrated by Kim's regime, and there is some talk in China of scrapping or at least clarifying the 1961 treaty to help curb Kim's nuclear ambitions. Peter Weber
On Tuesday, less than a week after he was accused of sexually harassing a producer he worked with and suspended by the company, Amazon Studios head Roy Price resigned, the studio confirmed to USA Today.
The Man in the High Castle producer Isa Hackett says that in 2015, Price repeatedly harassed and propositioned her, and after she rebuffed his advances, she told Amazon about what was happening. Price's resignation comes after dozens of women accused powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Catherine Garcia
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spent most of Monday being interviewed by members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team, several people familiar with the meeting told Politico Tuesday.
One person with knowledge of the interview said Spicer was asked about President Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the statements he made about the firing, and Trump's meetings with Russian officials like Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The interview was part of Mueller's investigating into Russia's potential meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Spicer is a former Republican National Committee press secretary, and during the general election was part of Trump's team working out of Trump Tower. Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, another RNC official who left to join the Trump administration and lasted just a short time, met with Mueller on Friday. Spicer declined to comment to Politico on the report. Catherine Garcia
President Trump gave himself a pat on the back during an interview Tuesday, taking credit for the Islamic State "giving up." U.S.-backed forces liberated Raqqa, Syria, on Tuesday, seizing ISIS's de facto capital, and Trump declared his strong leadership was the reason.
During the interview on The Chris Plante Show, a talk show hosted by Plante and broadcast in Washington, D.C., Trump claimed that the U.S. was losing the war on terror before his administration took charge. CNN notes that Trump has applauded himself before for efforts against ISIS, glossing over the fact that operations in Iraq and Syria began under former President Barack Obama.
"I totally changed rules of engagement. I totally changed our military, I totally changed the attitudes of the military and they have done a fantastic job," Trump said. "ISIS is now giving up, they are giving up, they are raising their hands, they are walking off. Nobody has ever seen that before."
Plante asked why that hadn't happened before, and Trump didn't hesitate with his self-congratulatory answer.
"Because you didn't have Trump as your president," he said. "It was a big difference, there was a big, big difference if you look at the military now." Summer Meza
Google Maps received swift social media backlash for a test feature that showed you how many calories you'd burn if you walked to your destination. The feature was pulled Monday night, and Google confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it was removed in direct response to the negative feedback.
The feature, which was developed for iOS only, showed not only the number of calories a user could burn by walking, but also put the walk in terms of mini cupcakes. This was particularly troubling for some users, who felt it played into unhealthy attitudes about food and exercise. One of the main complaints was that the feature could be harmful for users dealing with eating disorders, as calorie-counting is a controversial practice in the nutrition world, and some have argued that a fixation on numbers can lead to an unhealthy obsession.
ty for shaming me for my mini cupcake consumption google maps!!!! pic.twitter.com/nYwNHMJFqa
— Khushb Shah (@KhushAndOJ) October 16, 2017
"For some people, that's not an issue at all," said Claire Mysko, the chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association in an interview with The New York Times. "But for people who are hyper-focused on numbers, that can feel very oppressive to see calorie counts everywhere when you're trying to shift your relationship with food."
While some viewed Google Maps' cupcake feature as an attempt to promote healthy habits, the short-lived experiment will not be returning for iPhone users. Summer Meza
President Trump tumbled 92 places on Forbes' 2017 list of the richest Americans, released Tuesday, due to a $600 million loss since the last ranking, Deutsche Welle reports. Forbes, which credited Trump with $3.1 billion (a far cry from Trump's $10 billion boast in 2015), said that the drop was due to the "tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit; and an expensive presidential campaign."
Trump charted as the 248th-richest person in America in 2017, down from 156th. "The magazine said the downgrading was also a result of 'new information' it had collected after Donald Trump had claimed during his campaign in 2015 that he owned $9.2 billion in assets and $8.7 billion in net worth," Deutsche Welle reports.
The list is topped by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison. In sum, the 400 richest Americans are worth a combined $2.7 trillion, Politico reports. See the full list here. Jeva Lange
A federal judge blocked most of the newest iteration of President Trump's travel ban Tuesday, declaring that the administration cannot restrict the travel of people from six of the eight blacklisted countries, Politico reports. The order was set to kick in at midnight Wednesday.
The third version of Trump's ban, announced in late September, placed indefinite restrictions on visitors from Chad, Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and Somalia. Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii temporarily stopped the ban for all of the countries except North Korea and Venezuela. Trump's last two versions of the restrictions were also blocked from being imposed.
Groups including the State of Hawaii and the International Refugee Assistance Project asked judges to block the latest ban, arguing that "Trump had exceeded his legal authority to set immigration policy, and the latest measure — like the last two — fulfilled his unconstitutional campaign promise to implement a Muslim ban," The Washington Post reports.
Starting in early 2018, Manhattan's usual gridlock traffic will have something new to contend with: self-driving cars. A fleet of Chevy Bolts will be led by Cruise Automation, the self-driving unit of General Motors, within a 5-mile area in New York City — a major change from the Empire State's previously strict regulations on autonomous vehicles.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the testing will happen in a geofenced area, and that each car will drive with engineers in both the driver's and passenger's seats. The Verge reports that there are still plenty of rules in place for the tests; GM is required to pay for a police escort for each self-driving car the company sends onto the roads. The timeframe is short, too, as the one-year pilot program that Cuomo announced in May expires April 1, 2018.
"Testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars at scale," said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation. Vogt explained the choice in a statement from Cuomo's office, describing Manhattan as a place that "provides new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate."
New York's street congestion, which includes everything from aggressive pedestrians to speeding cabs, is sure to be a challenge for GM, but current testing in San Francisco means that the vehicles have had some practice in cramped, urban environments. Summer Meza