Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 29, 2017

Angela Merkel says Europe can't "completely depend" on the U.S. any more, Takuma Sato wins the Indy 500, and more


Germany's Merkel says Europe can no longer 'completely depend' on U.S.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday after friction-filled meetings between European leaders and President Trump that Europe can no longer "completely depend" on any ally — a clear nod to the U.S. — and "really must take our fate into our own hands." European leaders bristled over Trump's refusal to flatly endorse NATO's collective defense doctrine, or to promise to stick to the Paris climate accord. Instead, Trump chided Europeans for failing to pay what he said was their fair share for NATO's common defense. "This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed," said Ivo H. Daalder, a former United States ambassador to NATO. On Monday, Merkel's spokesman said the chancellor is still "a deeply convinced trans-Atlanticist."


Takuma Sato wins the Indy 500

Takuma Sato on Sunday became the first Japanese race-car driver to win the Indianapolis 500. Sato, 40, won the 101st running of the storied Memorial Day weekend race by withstanding a challenge by Helio Castroneves in the last laps. Sato's big win came five years after he wiped out and slammed into a wall in a final-lap effort to pass Dario Franchitti, who held on to win that year. This time, it was Sato who took the traditional swig of milk and kissed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's surface. "Unbelievable feeling," Sato said by his Andretti Autosport team car. "It's beautiful. I dreamed of something like this since I was 12.


North Korea launches third ballistic missile in two weeks

North Korea continued a series of controversial weapons tests on Monday with the launch of at least one short-range ballistic missile. The apparent Scud-class ballistic missile flew about 280 miles before coming down in the sea in Japan's economic zone, South Korean officials said. The launch came after two successful tests of North Korean mid- and long-range missiles in the last two weeks. President Trump responded on Twitter that "North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China ... but China is trying hard!" North Korea's refusal to curb its missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of United Nations resolutions and international sanctions has ratcheted up tensions with the U.S. and other nations. The U.S. on Tuesday plans to conduct its first test of a missile defense system intended to intercept ICBMs.


Trump to mark Memorial Day at Arlington cemetery

President Trump is scheduled to speak at Arlington National Cemetery and lay a wreath on Monday to mark Memorial Day. Trump provided a preview of the address over the weekend when he told U.S. service members in Sicily that they were "warriors of freedom" and the "patriots who keep the fires of liberty burning." He also noted that he is calling for increased military spending in a sign of his "complete and unshakeable support" for members of the U.S. armed forces.


Mississippi man charged with killing relatives, deputy

A Mississippi man killed a sheriff's deputy and seven other people in a shooting spree in rural Lincoln County, authorities said on Sunday. The suspect, Willie Corey Godbolt, was wounded. He was arrested and placed under treatment at a local hospital. The killings took place at three locations. Three women were killed at a house. The deputy, William Durr, was fatally shot when he responded to an emergency call of a domestic disturbance at the house. The gunman later killed two boys at a house in a nearby city, then killed a male and a female at a third address. In a video taken minutes after Godbolt's arrest, he is shown in handcuffs saying he had argued with relatives about "taking my children home," and that he had wanted for officers to kill him. "I ain't fit to live," he said. "Not after what I've done."


Philippines forces close to retaking Marawi City from Islamist insurgents

The Philippines' military said Monday that it was close to retaking Marawi City from Islamist militants linked to the Islamic State. Hundreds of residents remained trapped in the southern Philippine city as government troops continued to battle insurgents from the Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups, which seized the city last week. The government of President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the region, saying the move was necessary to put down the Islamist insurgency. The difficulty the military has had driving out the militants is testing Duterte's government and armed forces, which have called on citizens to help battle against the militants.


Navy skydiver dies in Fleet Week jump

A member of the Navy's skydiving team, the Leap Frogs, died Sunday when his parachute did not open properly during a team jump into Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, during annual Fleet Week festivities. The parachutist came down in the water near the park. He was immediately retrieved by rescue crews that were standing by, and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released. "Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," Rear Admiral John C. "Jack" Scorby Jr. said at a news briefing. "The cause of the mishap is under investigation and his next of kin are being notified."


U.S. considering laptop ban in all international flights

The federal government is considering banning laptops from carry-on luggage on all flights into and out of the U.S. in a push to "raise the bar" on airline security, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday. "That's the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of U.S. people," Kelly said in an interview on Fox News Sunday. The U.S. in March blocked large electronic devices in cabins on flights from 10 airports, including those in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey due to what Kelly described as a "real sophisticated threat." Airlines are concerned a broad laptop ban will reduce demand for tickets, but United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said recently the airline could comply with "whatever comes out."


British Airways restores most service after IT problem disrupts travel

British Airways and its sister airlines in Spain, Iberia and Air Nostrum, faced a third day of canceled and delayed flights on Monday due to computer problems. BA chief executive Alex Cruz said the airline was back to "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport late Sunday, with all long-haul flights from London's Heathrow back in operation. The airline did, however, cancel another 27 flights and delay 58, with mostly short-haul flights in Europe affected. Iberia and Air Nostrum canceled more than 320 flights on Monday, a banking holiday in the U.K. that sees a high level of air travel. The troubles began Saturday when an IT problem blamed on a power outage forced British Airways to cancel all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow, disrupting travel for tens of thousands of passengers.


The Square wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

The Square, a Swedish- and English-language comedy, unexpectedly won the biggest award at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the coveted Palme d'Or. Sofia Coppola was another big winner as she became the second woman in the festival's history to take best director. Coppola won for The Beguiled, a reimagining of a 1971 film based on a novel by Thomas P. Cullinan, about a wounded Union officer in the Civil War who is found by residents of an all-girls boarding school. It stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrell. The first and only other female director to take the honors as best director at Cannes was the Soviet director Yuliya Solntseva, who won in 1961 for her World War II film The Story of the Flaming Years.


Prominent cleric who supported female education killed in Afghanistan bombing
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