Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 22, 2018

White House reportedly skeptical of Kim's 'freeze' offer, Trump relitigates Comey memos on Twitter, and more


White House reportedly skeptical of Kim's 'freeze' offer

While President Trump has in public enthusiastically praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's Saturday announcement that he would cease nuclear and missile testing and shutter a testing site, behind closed doors, the Trump administration is reportedly unsure of how to interpret Kim's offer. White House aides are skeptical of the freeze proposal, The Washington Post and The New York Times both reported Saturday evening. They worry Kim's concession will create an "illusion" of cooperation without making all the changes — including total denuclearization, which many experts consider unrealistic — the administration hopes to secure in upcoming Trump-Kim talks. President Trump claimed on Twitter Sunday Pyongyang has already "agreed to denuclearization." It has not.


Trump relitigates Comey memos on Twitter

President Trump returned on Twitter Saturday and Sunday to the subject of former FBI Director James Comey's memos about their conversations together, which were leaked to the public Thursday. "James Comey's Memos are Classified, I did not Declassify them," Trump wrote in one post. "They belong to our Government! Therefore, he broke the law!" Comey redacted classified portions before sharing his memos with a friend last year; other portions were classified retroactively. The president encouraged Congress to push Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Comey and Hillary Clinton, and he denied a February report he privately calls Sessions "Mr. Magoo."


Iran warns against changing the nuclear deal

Attempting to change the nuclear deal will undermine U.S. diplomacy, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned in a press conference in New York Saturday. "That's a very dangerous message to send to people of Iran but also to the people of the world," he said, "that you should never come to an agreement with the United States, because at the end of the day the operating principle of the United States is, 'What's mine is mine; what's yours is negotiable.'" President Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to maintain the agreement.


Romney fails to clinch Utah Senate nomination

Mitt Romney was not able to secure the Utah GOP's nomination to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) at the party's convention Saturday. The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee will face Utah state Rep. Mike Kennedy (R), who held a one-point lead over Romney in the second round of convention voting, in the GOP primary on June 26. "This is terrific for the people of Utah, and I really want to thank the delegates who stayed so late to give me the kind of boost that I got here today," Romney said of the results.


Georgia neo-Nazi rally met with protest, heavily armed police

An annual neo-Nazi march marking Adolf Hitler's birthday was held Saturday in the small Georgia city of Newnan, about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. Anti-fascist counter-protesters outnumbered the main demonstration, and a local church held an interfaith service to promote "peace and unity" during the rally. About 700 police officers, many heavily armed, were deployed in Newnan, outnumbering the neo-Nazis by at least seven to one. About 10 counter-protesters were arrested, some reportedly for "wearing masks," and the police presence came under critique for its militarized approach.


Dozens killed in Afghan voter registration center attack

At least 31 people were killed and more than 50 wounded by a suicide bombing at a voter registration center in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted would-be voters seeking ID cards for a parliamentary election scheduled for October. "There were women, children," said Bashir Ahmad, who was nearby when the bomb exploded. "Everyone had come to get their identity cards." Afghanistan's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, condemned the incident on Twitter: "Our resolve for fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won't win against the will of the Afghan people."


Waffle House shooting kills 4

Four people were killed and four others injured when a gunman dressed only in a coat opened fire around 3:30 a.m. local time at a Waffle House near Nashville. The shooting suspect has been identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Illinois. A Waffle House patron wrestled the gun away from the attacker, who left his coat and fled the crime scene nude. "If you see a nude guy walking around, call the police immediately," said Metropolitan Nashville Police Department representative Don Aaron. "We believe he may be the suspect in this."


Barbara Bush funeral draws 1,500, including 4 former presidents

An estimated 1,500 mourners turned out for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday. Her widower, former President George H.W. Bush, was joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, along with their wives. First lady Melania Trump attended without President Trump, who tweeted about the funeral from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. "She was our teacher and role model in how to live a life of purpose and meaning," said former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, one of Barbara Bush's four sons.


Actor Verne Troyer dies at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, best known for his portrayal of Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film franchise, died Saturday, his official Facebook page announced. He was 49. "It is with great sadness and incredible heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today," said the statement. "Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible." The announcement did not mention a cause of death, though it does discuss depression and suicide in a general sense.


Oldest person in the world dies at 117

The oldest person in the world, a Japanese woman named Nabi Tajima, died Saturday at the age of 117. Tajima had been the world's oldest person since September, and she was hospitalized beginning in January. Born on August 4, 1900, Tajima had nine children and about 160 descendants over the course of her life. She was the last person verified to have lived in the 19th century. The oldest person in the world now is another Japanese woman, one Chiyo Miyako. She will turn 117 next month.


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