Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 30, 2017

Trump relives campaign enthusiasm at 100-day rally, WHCD mocks Trump and defends press freedom, and more


Trump relives campaign enthusiasm at 100-day rally

President Trump celebrated his 100th day in office with a cheering rally crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Saturday evening, skipping the White House Correspondents' Dinner in favor of a return to the campaign trail. "I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people," he told supporters in a speech ranging from North Korea to ObamaCare to Hillary Clinton. Trump reiterated his trademark promise to build an enormous wall along the southern border — "Don't even worry about it," he assured his audience — and mocked the "fake news" people "trapped" at the "very, very boring" dinner in Washington.


WHCD mocks Trump and defends press freedom

The White House Correspondents' Dinner carried on in President Trump's absence Saturday evening, and Reuters' Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, took the occasion to push back against Trump's "fake news" accusations. "We are not fake news, we are not failing news organizations, and we are not the enemy of the American people," Mason said. The dinner's host was The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj, who did address free speech — "Only in America can a first generation Indian American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the President!" — but spent much of his time skewering the absent Trump, "the elephant not in the room."


Trump says 'we'll see' if a North Korean nuclear test means military action

In an interview with Face the Nation on CBS airing Sunday, President Trump said, "I don't know. I mean, we'll see," when asked if another nuclear test by North Korea would prompt him to choose military intervention against Pyongyang. Trump was speaking in response to Saturday's failed missile test, in which North Korea unsuccessfully fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Pressed with the same question while touring a factory in Pennsylvania Saturday, Trump was similarly vague. "You'll soon find out, won't you?" he said. "You'll soon find out."


McMaster reaffirms U.S. promise to pay for South Korean missile defense

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reaffirmed the United States' commitment to pay for South Korea's THAAD missile defense system, comments that apparently contradict President Trump's recent suggestion that Seoul should foot the $1 billion bill. McMaster "explained that the recent statements by President Trump were made within the context in line with the general U.S. public expectations on burden-sharing with allies," said a statement from the office of the South Korean president, which noted that McMaster initiated the call.


EU leaders set Brexit demands

Leaders of the 27 nations remaining in the European Union after the United Kingdom's forthcoming Brexit on Saturday agreed unanimously to the terms of the exit process. Formal negotiations will begin this summer, and the guidelines approved Saturday set March 29, 2019 as an end date. Among other requirements, the terms specify negotiations must address the U.K.'s financial obligations, as well as creation of an EU-U.K. border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. "What this shows ... is that there are going to be times when these negotiations are going to be tough," said British Prime Minister Theresa May.


Climate marchers gather in 300 rallies nationwide

The People's Climate March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday attracted tens of thousands of marchers, while smaller rallies were organized in about 300 other locations around the country. In Washington, temperatures were 20 degrees above average, making for a sweltering walk from the Capitol to the White House to the Washington Monument. "Trump is undoing everything Obama did. He doesn't realize climate change impacts everyone. It impacts him," said one marcher, Michele Holmes. "Change is inevitable, and only we can solve it."


Tornadoes, flooding kill at least 7 in Southeast, Midwest

Severe storms tore through Southeast and Midwest states including Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas over the weekend, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens more injured. Five people were killed by tornadoes that struck near Dallas, Texas, and 54 more people were hospitalized because of the storm. Parts of Missouri and Arkansas have been deluged in up to 11 inches of rain, and about 30 million Americans remain subject to flash flood warnings as heavy rain is expected to continue in the region on Sunday.


Trump invites Filipino President Duterte to Washington

President Trump has invited controversial Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington to reaffirm the U.S.-Philippines alliance, the White House said Saturday. The two leaders spoke by phone, and Trump "enjoyed the conversation," expressing his belief that the two nations are "now heading in a very positive direction." Duterte has come under broad criticism for his brutal prosecution of the drug war, which includes encouragement of extrajudicial killings. "My order is shoot to kill you," he said of drug dealers. "I don't care about human rights, you'd better believe me."


U.S. service member killed in Iraq

An American service member was killed near Mosul, Iraq, on Saturday, said a statement from the U.S.-led coalition fighting to oust the Islamic State from the city. The Pentagon has not released any details on the identity of the person killed, only revealing that the death was caused by wounds sustained from an explosive device. This marks the third U.S. death in Iraq and Afghanistan this week. U.S. troop levels in Iraq are at their highest since 2011.


Swiss climber killed preparing to summit Mount Everest

Mountaineer Ueli Steck, known as the "Swiss Machine," was killed Sunday as he prepared to summit Mount Everest. Little information about the circumstances surrounding Steck's death is available so far, though his body has been recovered and his family notified. "The family is infinitely sad and asks that the media refrain from speculating about his death out of respect and consideration for Ueli," said a statement on Steck's website. "I love it, it's such a great place here," Steck wrote in a Facebook post shortly before his death.


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