Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 21, 2018

North Korea says it will stop nuclear and missile tests, DNC sues Trump campaign over 2016 election, and more


North Korea says it will stop nuclear and missile tests

North Korea "no longer needs" to test nuclear weapons and missiles, leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday, and will shut down the site of the past six nuclear tests. Kim cast the decision as a practical matter because Pyongyang has already achieved "the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons," but the announcement was hailed by many as an important gesture of goodwill in advance of Kim's upcoming meeting with President Trump. On Twitter, Trump praised Kim's statement as "very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress!" The last North Korean weapons test was in November.


DNC sues Trump campaign over 2016 election

The Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks for millions of dollars in relation to the 2016 hack of DNC emails and the subsequent election of President Trump. "This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery," said DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement. The DNC claims high-level Trump campaign officials worked with Russia to hurt Hillary Clinton's chances by stealing Democratic emails and disseminating them via WikiLeaks. The lawsuit is similar to one filed by the Democratic Party in 1972 over the Watergate scandal, which ended in President Nixon's resignation.


Trump accuses NYT reporter of trying 'to destroy Michael Cohen'

"The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Habberman [sic], known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don't speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will 'flip,'" President Trump complained in rapid-fire tweets Saturday. Trump accused Times reporter Maggie Haberman — who co-wrote a Friday story on Cohen, Trump's personal attorney — of using "non-existent 'sources' and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael" to build the report. The president expressed high confidence in Cohen's loyalty.


Comey memos reportedly spark inspector general probe

The Justice Department on Thursday sent Congress redacted memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing private conversations he had with President Trump. The documents were almost immediately shared with The Associated Press, and their release prompted an investigation by the DOJ inspector general, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, because parts of the memos were upgraded to classified status after Comey shared them with a personal friend. Trump argued on Twitter Friday night the leak means "the Special Council [sic] was established based on an illegal act," suggesting Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe is illegitimate.


Report: Sessions may quit if Rosenstein is fired

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the White House he may quit if his second-in-command, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is fired by President Trump, The Washington Post reported Friday evening. Because Sessions has recused himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, Rosenstein oversees it, which has made him a target of the president's ire. Trump's interest in firing Rosenstein has been rumored for months. Sessions reportedly made his show of support for Rosenstein in a phone call with White House Counsel Don McGahn last weekend.


CIA releases Haspel torture tape memo

The CIA on Friday published a 2011 memo on the actions of Gina Haspel, President Trump's pick to replace Mike Pompeo as CIA director. The memo says Haspel "acted appropriately" in 2005 when she ordered the destruction of nearly 100 videos of the agency using torturous interrogation techniques. Haspel issued the order at the direction of her then-supervisor, the memo says, an agent named Jose Rodriguez. Haspel's nomination has been controversial because of her role in Bush Administration use of torture in the war on terror. Several senators have asked the CIA to declassify further information about her record.


Missouri governor charged with felony data tampering

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) was charged Friday with felony computer data tampering for his campaign's alleged use of "data, specifically a donor list owned by The Mission Continues," a charity Greitens founded, for "a political fundraiser." Greitens is already charged with felony invasion of privacy. He is accused of threatening a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair that he would release an intimate photo of her if she spoke about their relationship. The governor has refused to resign while his court cases proceed. He denied the new charge Friday.


Romaine recalled over E. coli contamination

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday directed Americans to throw away all romaine that could have been grown near Yuma, Arizona, which is believed to be the source of E. coli contamination on the lettuce. The CDC originally warned against pre-chopped romaine only, but the caution has been expanded to include hearts of romaine and full heads of the lettuce. Some 53 people in 16 states have been affected by the outbreak. While five have suffered kidney failure from the bacteria, no deaths have been reported so far.


Father fatally stabbed while holding his daughter in a restaurant

A California man named Anthony Mele was killed in an apparently random stabbing attack while he held his young daughter at a cafe in Ventura, California, on Wednesday. A homeless man named Jamal Jackson was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the attack. Restaurant employees and customers followed Jackson after the stabbing to help police locate him. "It's horrible," said prosecutor Richard Simon. "You don't think you're going to be killed when you go out to dinner at a nice restaurant with your family."


Swedish DJ Avicii dead at 28

Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead in Oman on Friday, his publicist confirmed. He was 28. "It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii," the publicist, Diana Baron, said in a statement. Avicii retired from performing in 2016 after suffering from health problems. His hits include "Levels," which went platinum in the U.S., and "Wake Me Up," which hit No. 4 on the Hot 100. "Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented, with so much more to do," tweeted fellow DJ Calvin Harris. "My heart goes out to his family."


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