Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 28, 2018

Bonnie Kristian
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R)
Pool/Getty Images

1.

Trump lauds historic Korean summit

President Trump touted the improving relationship between the U.S., North Korea, and South Korea on Twitter Friday after a historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "KOREAN WAR TO END!" Trump wrote. "The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!" The two Korean leaders on Friday pledged to pursue denuclearization. In a second tweet, Trump praised "the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States" in dealing with North Korea. "Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!" [Donald J. Trump, The Week]

2.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans conclude Trump campaign did not collude with Russia

House Intelligence Committee Republicans on Friday released a report finding "no evidence" of collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russian government officials. The document details results of a year-long Republican-led committee investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. The committee's Democrats refused to endorse the report, saying the investigation sought to absolve Trump without thoroughly and fairly reviewing relevant facts. Trump celebrated the announcement on Twitter Friday night, calling further investigation "a big Hoax by the Democrats based on payments and lies." [The Washington Post, The Week]

3.

Merkel talks Iran, trade, defense spending with Trump

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with President Trump at the White House Friday, where the two leaders discussed the Iran deal, trade, and German defense spending as a NATO member state. While Trump and Merkel have not enjoyed the close relationship the president has developed with some other leaders, in this visit they made a show of congeniality, with Trump calling Merkel an "extraordinary woman." Merkel spoke in support of maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has said he may exit. Iran "will not be doing nuclear weapons," he said at the press conference Friday. "You can bank on it." [The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times]

4.

Trump 'unlikely' to stay in Iran deal, says Pompeo

President Trump is "unlikely" to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Friday. "There's been no decision," Pompeo said, but "absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal." In the 2015 agreement, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for lessened economic sanctions from six world powers. Trump called the deal "insane" and "ridiculous" earlier this week, saying it never should have been made. [Reuters, CNN]

5.

British toddler Alfie Evans dies after 5 days without life support

Alfie Evans, the British toddler whose health care was at the center of an international legal battle, died early Saturday five days after he was removed from life support. He was 23 months old. Evans suffered from a rare degenerative brain condition which put him in a semi-vegetative state. His parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, sought to maintain his care, but his doctors said it would be "unkind and inhumane" to do so. Backed by Pope Francis, the boy's parents sought to move him to Italy, which granted him citizenship and proffered a military jet to transfer him to an Italian hospital. British courts denied the request and prohibited further treatment. [BBC News, The Associated Press]

6.

Judge delays Daniels suit pending criminal investigation

A judge on Friday ordered a 90-day delay for the lawsuit adult film star Stormy Daniels has brought against President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero rule that because Cohen is likely to face criminal investigation following an FBI raid on his New York office earlier in April, his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in the criminal case — which Cohen intends to exercise — would be jeopardized by his testimony in the civil case brought by Daniels. [Politico, Reuters]

7.

Trump defends Jackson against allegations

President Trump on Friday and Saturday pushed back on allegations made by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) about Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the president's former pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jackson withdrew his nomination Thursday following accusations that he crashed a government vehicle while drunk, drank on the job, and handed out prescription drugs "like candy." Jackson denied all allegations. "The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family," Trump tweeted Saturday morning. "Tester should resign." [The Wall Street Journal, Politico]

8.

Bill Gates donates $12 million for universal flu vaccine research

Bill Gates announced Friday he is giving $12 million for influenza research. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will partner with Larry Page, the CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, to create a fund of $12 million to support research into a universal flu vaccine, Gates announced at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society in Boston. "There is a significant probability" of a worldwide flu pandemic within our lifetimes, Gates said, and after several influenza epidemics over the past few years, "this could be an important first step" in helping to prevent that catastrophic scenario. [The Washington Post, Quartz]

9.

Brokaw disputes accusations of inappropriate behavior

Veteran NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw on Friday responded vehemently to two sexual misconduct accusations leveled against him by former NBC colleagues. Describing himself as "angry, hurt, and unmoored from what I thought would be the final passage of my life and career," Brokaw said he has been "ambushed and then perp walked across" the headlines. "Hard to believe it wasn't much more Look At Me than Me:Too," he wrote of his accusers. A former NBC correspondent named Linda Vester and an unnamed production assistant both allege Brokaw made forcible sexual advances toward them. They say they did not file complaints at the time for fear of retribution. [The New York Times, The Washington Post]

10.

Avengers: Infinity War tops $95 million on opening day

Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War is poised to break opening-weekend records, raking in at least $95 million by midday Friday after opening in previews Thursday night. The super hero flick is on track to be the second-largest U.S. launch ever, and is expected to grab $225 million in its first weekend, a debut second only to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which garnered $248 million in its 2015 opening weekend. Only five films in history have topped $200 million in their domestic debuts. [Variety, Deadline]