Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2018

White House says Trump-Kim meeting part of 'maximum pressure campaign,' gunman and hostages found dead inside veterans home after standoff, and more


White House says Trump-Kim meeting part of 'maximum pressure campaign'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday the forthcoming nuclear negotiation between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is part of the administration's "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang, but walked back the assertion that the meeting would happen by May. Trump will not take the meeting "without seeing concrete steps and action" from North Korea, Sanders said. On Twitter Friday night, however, Trump seemed to downplay such preconditions. "The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World," he wrote. "Time and place to be determined."


Suspect and hostages found dead inside veterans home after standoff

A suspected gunman and three women he is believed to have killed were found dead inside a veterans home in Yountville, California, Friday evening. The discovery came after a day-long standoff between authorities and the suspect, who has been identified as Albert Wong, a 36-year-old Afghanistan veteran. Wong was previously a patient in a PTSD program at the center, and the three women he killed are thought to be staff he encountered during treatment. The victims have been named as Christine Loeber, the home's executive director; Dr. Jen Golick, a therapist; and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, a psychologist.


Putin 'couldn't care less' about Mueller's Russian indictment targets

In an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly that aired Friday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the significance of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for meddling in the 2016 election. The nationality of the troll farm workers Mueller singled out is irrelevant, Putin argued, because they were not acting on Moscow's behalf. "So what if they're Russians?" he said of the indictment targets. "There are 146 million Russians. So what? ... I don't care. I couldn't care less. ... They do not represent the interests of the Russian state."


Florida's GOP governor signs sweeping gun bill

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Friday signed into law a gun access and school safety bill, less than one month after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm in Florida, creates a three-day waiting period for background checks, and bans the sale of bump stocks. It also boosts funding for school security and mental health care for students, while blocking mentally ill Floridians from owning guns. Most controversially, the bill allows some school personnel to be trained and armed. It does not ban semi-automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines.


NRA sues over Florida gun law

The National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit against the state of Florida immediately following Friday's passage of a major new gun control law. The lawsuit particularly targets the decision to raise the age to purchase a gun in Florida from 18 to 21. Because "for almost all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights" an 18-year-old is considered an adult, the NRA argues, denying Americans ages 18-20 the right to buy a gun violates both the Second Amendment and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.


Trump's military parade scaled down

The Pentagon on Friday revealed plans for the Veterans Day military parade President Trump has requested. The proposal includes planes and veterans in "period uniforms" representing past conflicts, but they will march alongside "wheeled vehicles only, no tanks" to "minimize damage to local infrastructure." Trump's initial vision for the event included more hardware and weaponry and less emphasis on history "from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to today," as the Pentagon's memo describes. Trump was inspired by a Bastille Day parade in Paris last summer.


Federal funding develops ferry to Kushner resort location

The Federal Transit Administration has spent $3.3 million helping a New Jersey beachfront town develop a ferry service and build a pier to shuttle passengers between New York City and Long Branch, where White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner co-owns a resort. The service could boost the value of Kushner's beachfront condos by as much as 50 percent. This project has been underway for a decade, and city officials reportedly kept the Kushners in the loop while talking with Washington about obtaining further federal funding. Kushner's company denied any unethical conduct in the situation.


Lawyer used Trump Organization email address for Stormy Daniels deal

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, used his Trump Organization email address when he paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels as part of the settlement to buy her silence about a relationship she claims to have had with the president. Cohen's use of the email, which included "Special Counsel to Donald J. Trump" in the signature, has undercut his efforts to put distances between Trump and the payment. Cohen confirmed the email use in a statement Friday and said the $130,000 came from his home equity line. The ultimate source of the money could put the Trump campaign in violation of election finance law.


'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced for fraud

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who garnered national infamy for dramatically increasing the price of a life-saving HIV drug, was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for securities fraud. The sentence includes credit for time served. Shkreli was convicted in August after he was found guilty of mismanaging millions in investor dollars at two funds. He then posted a braggadocious YouTube video claiming his sentence would be "close to nil." After the judge handed down the verdict Friday, Shkreli offered a tearful apology and pleaded for mercy.


Kristen Wiig joins the cast of Wonder Woman 2

Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig will play the notorious villain Cheetah in the upcoming Wonder Woman 2, director Patty Jenkins confirmed Friday. Wiig will play Wonder Woman's feline archnemesis, a "were-cheetah" who morphs from a regular archaeologist into a woman-cheetah hybrid with superhuman speed and strength. The DC character is one of Wonder Woman's longest-standing and most iconic foes, Vulture notes. The franchise's first installment, Wonder Woman, grossed $821 million worldwide when it debuted last summer.


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