America shuts down attempt by U.N. to characterize Palestinian protesters as 'peaceful,' investigate deaths
The United States has blocked the United Nations Security Council from issuing a call for an independent investigation into the deaths of dozens of Palestinians who were killed Monday along the Gaza border, CNBC reports.
The drafted statement would have read: "The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest. The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability."
The violence came in a surge of protest against Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a city claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their capital. President Trump decided last year to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In remarks at the dedication of the embassy on Monday, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said that the protesters "provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution." His comments were apparently later removed from the White House's official transcript.
Nearly 60 people were killed in Gaza on Monday, including eight children under the age of 16, and some 2,000 or more people were injured, local monitors report. Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International called the violence "a shameless violation of international law, in some instances constituting war crimes." The White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been reluctant to characterize the Palestinian protests as "peaceful," though, with Israel saying it acted in self-defense against terrorists. Jeva Lange
Fox News host Pete Hegseth gave a big ol' shrug at the mention of more than 50 Palestinians who were killed by Israeli gunfire on the Gaza Strip earlier this month while protesting the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Speaking with Ed Henry and Abby Huntsman over the weekend, Hegseth dismissed his co-hosts' claims that there "could be some innocent Palestinians, including children, who were killed" by saying they were shot "because Hamas told them to go to the front of the line."
"Okay, but there are some innocent people who died," insisted Henry. "Caught in the crossfire, children, whatever it is, let's just point that out."
"Ehhh!" Hegseth said with an exaggerated shrug.
Even Huntsman, who attempted to moderate the two sides, jumped in to contribute that "a human being is a human being." Watch the moment below. Jeva Lange
Deadpool 2 dethroned Avengers: Infinity War as leader of the box office, taking in $125 million in the U.S. and Canada over its opening weekend. The debut of the sequel featuring Ryan Reynolds' wisecracking superhero was the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie. Deadpool 2's haul fell just short of a projected $130 million to $150 million debut. It also fell shy of the original Deadpool's opening weekend haul of $132.4 million.
Avengers: Infinity War had led the box office for the three previous weekends. It dropped to second place, adding $28.7 million to its domestic total, which now stands at $595 million. Worldwide it has brought in $1.8 billion. Harold Maass
China could potentially end its restrictions on the number of children that parents are allowed to have as soon as this year, Bloomberg reports. For approximately four decades, China enforced a one-child policy that received widespread criticism and resulted in 30 million more men than women due to selective abortions, although the country has touted the policy for its economic successes. In 2015, the country opened up limits to two children in what was apparently an attempt to revitalize the workforce as it aged.
The new law, which would end restrictions on the number of children that parents could have, would be a further effort to sustain the economy. While just 13 percent of China's population was over the age of 60 in 2010, that number is expected to be as high as 25 percent in 2030.
"China's population issues will be a major hurdle for President Xi Jinping's vision of building a modernized country by 2035," said the vice president of the China Society of Economic Reform, Chen Jian. Jeva Lange
South Korean President Moon Jae-in heads to Washington on Monday as President Trump is reportedly asking advisers if he should pull out of a June 12 summit in Sinagpore with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, given the political risks of failure. Moon has been a driving force in the de-escalation of hostility between Trump, Kim, and South Korea, but some Trump aides and outside analysts question whether Moon oversold Kim's willingness to give up his nuclear weapons. Kim's government surprised the White House last week when it broke off peace talks with South Korea and said it would never denuclearize under the conditions suggested by Washington. Trump asked Kim in a call on Saturday night why Pyongyang's public statement seems different than private assurances Moon had conveyed after he met with Kim in April, The New York Times reports.
"It increasingly looks like the Moon administration overstated North Korea's willingness to deal," tweeted Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at South Korea's Pusan National University. "Moon will probably get an earful over that" from Trump. Seoul says the main agenda when Moon meets with Trump Tuesday will be preparing for the summit. Kim appears very conversant about the details of his nuclear program, but White House aides are "concerned about what kind of grasp Mr. Trump has on the details of the North Korea program," the Times reports. "Aides who have recently left the administration say Mr. Trump has resisted the kind of detailed briefings about enrichment capabilities, plutonium reprocessing, nuclear weapons production, and missile programs that [former President Barack] Obama and President George W. Bush regularly sat through." Peter Weber
Federal investigators in New York City have started poring through the files seized from Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, more than a month after FBI agents exercised a search warrant on Cohen's office, residences, and bank deposit box on April 9. At the request of Cohen's legal team, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood allowed Cohen and a neutral arbiter called a special master to go through the documents first to flag files covered by attorney-client privilege with Cohen's three law clients: Trump, Sean Hannity, and GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy. If the documents are deemed privileged, prosecutors won't be able to see them.
The first batch of documents processed by the special master, Barbara Jones, and Cohen's team included Cohen's paper documents, and Jones said last week that she will give Wood a timeline for processing the much larger collection of electronic files once she gets enough of that material; the government is expected to hand over all electronic files except from one computer by Friday. The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is investigating Cohen for possible business fraud, and prosecutors have suggested that little of Cohen's relevant documents will be covered by attorney-client privilege. Peter Weber
John Oliver wonders if John Bolton follows the 'Scaramucci model' after his 'Libya model' threat to North Korea
The proposed summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un "hit a major snag" last week, John Oliver said on Last Week Tonight. "Negotiating with North Korea is clearly the tightest of tightropes to walk, and unfortunately, instead of a professional tightrope walker, Trump has brought is a big ol' walrus," National Security Adviser John Bolton, who suggested the "Libya model" for North Korea. "That may not sound like much to you, but Bolton bringing up Libya is literally the worst thing he could have said in this situation," Oliver said, comparing it to a NSFW conversation between a husband and wife.
The "Libya model" starts with Moammar Gadhafi agreeing to give up his nuclear weapons program and ends with him being brutally murdered in the street after the U.S. facilitated his overthrow. "It's not just Kim Jong Un who is touchy about what happened in Libya," Oliver said. "Gadhafi's death is a common obsession among autocrats. In fact, even [Russia's Vladimir] Putin apparently thinks about it a lot. ... You know what, I'm not actually surprised by that, because if you told me that there is a video that Putin watches over and over again, I would guess it's of someone being murdered. You know, that's his Big Lewbowski."
"For a sense of just how badly Bolton screwed up here, Trump actually walked his comments back" on TV, at least briefly, Oliver said. "That is the president of the United States directly contradicting one of his top advisers — a man who, incidentally, was standing in the room the whole time. And look, John Bolton, how can I put this to you, what you did, in terms that you might understand? Your decision to say the words the 'Libya model' may have put your time in the White House on the path of the 'Scaramucci model,'" which he explains below, complete with some NSFW language. Peter Weber
John Oliver wants finding quality rehab to be the easy part of the addiction solution, explains why it isn't
"Rehab is a place where people can address an addiction to drugs or alcohol, something that until relatively recently was seen as a moral failing that could be overcome with sheer willpower," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, using Belinda Carlisle and "an amazing PSA from the '80s" as a cautionary tale. "Thankfully there is now a broader understanding that addiction is complex and that nothing about getting off alcohol or drugs is easy." Experts commonly view it as a medical problem, and for many addicts, the solution is sought in America's $35 billion rehab industry. Oliver's big message: Buyers beware.
Insurance is increasingly covering rehab, thanks to a law signed by George W. Bush and expanded under Barack Obama, Oliver said, but not all rehab is equal — there are no federal standards for what rehab or addiction counseling should entail, and the vast majority of people don't get evidence-based care. "So tonight let's look at what rehab is and why the industry's so troubled," he said.
Oliver pointed to Florida as "a window into how the flood of insurance money into treatment centers has caused massive problems," running through some of the ways "rehab" centers game the system, like excessive testing. "Urine is so valuable that in the recovery industry it is known as liquid gold," he said. "The final big problem" is that "everything about this industry is incredibly difficult to navigate, which is dangerous," literally a matter of life or death, Oliver said. The best starting place right now is probably trying to get advice from a doctor who is board-certified in addiction medicine, he said, but it shouldn't be this difficult. "So much about battling addiction is really hard. Getting clean is hard. Staying clean is hard. But getting good, evidence-based, trustworthy help should be the f---ing easy part." (There is NSFW language throughout.) Watch below. Peter Weber