Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 29, 2018

North Korea offers denuclearization for promise of no U.S. invasion, Trump rallies in Michigan, and more


North Korea offers denuclearization for promise of no U.S. invasion

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday offered to denuclearize his nation in exchange for a formal end to the Korean War and a promise that the United States will not invade, a representative of the South Korean government said Sunday. South Korea also reported Kim pledged to shut down his nuclear test site in May. "I know the Americans are inherently disposed against us, but when they talk with us, they will see that I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific, or at the United States," Kim reportedly told South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


Trump rallies in Michigan

President Trump skipped the White House Correspondents' Dinner for a campaign-style rally in Washington, Michigan, Saturday evening. "Is this better than that phony Washington White House correspondents thing? Is this more fun?" he asked his approving audience. Trump's talk hit on familiar themes: the need to maintain GOP control of Congress ("We gotta go out, and we gotta fight like hell"); former FBI Director James Comey ("a liar and a leaker"); immigration ("We have the worst laws anywhere in the world"); and Kanye West ("He gets it"). He spoke hopefully of further progress toward peace with North Korea and, on Twitter Sunday morning, dubbed the night "a big success."


Michelle Wolf draws laughs, outrage at White House Correspondents' Dinner

The host of the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner was Daily Show correspondent and comedian Michelle Wolf, who turned in a biting performance that sparked laughs and outrage alike. While President Trump did not attend the dinner, some members of his administration did go, and Wolf did not soften her jabs at those present. She particularly targeted White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whom Wolf said "burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye." Her comments about Sanders drew critique from New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman, who praised Sanders' composure.


Pompeo slams Iran, pushes unity in Saudi visit

New Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled this weekend to Saudi Arabia, where he said "Gulf unity is necessary, and we need to achieve it," while focusing critique on Saudi rival Iran. Tehran "destabilizes this entire region," Pompeo argued at a press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. "It supports proxy militias and terrorist groups. It is an arms dealer to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It supports the murderous Assad regime [in Syria] as well." Pompeo is a strident critic of the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump has said he may exit.


'Caravan' migrants approach U.S. border

A group of about 400 Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorans who have traveled up through Central America toward the United States have reached Tijuana, Mexico, on the California border. Now, members of the "caravan" — which has drawn President Trump's ire — must decide whether to attempt a border crossing to seek asylum in San Diego or to settle down in Mexico. American immigration attorneys working with the immigrants have warned their clients many will not obtain asylum, and they could be separated from their families at the border. "A lot will depend on how well they can articulate their case," said one lawyer.


Trump threatens shutdown over border wall funding

President Trump on Saturday threatened to shut down the federal government in September if Congress does not appropriate funds for his much-promised wall construction along the southern border. "We have to have borders, and we have to have them fast. And we need security. We need the wall. We're going to have it all," he said. "We come up again on September 28, and if we don't get border security we will have no choice: We will close down the country because we need border security." On the campaign trail, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall.


Thousands protest in Spain over rape case

More than 30,000 people marched in Pamplona, Spain, on Saturday to protest the outcome of the prosecution of five men accused of gang raping a young woman in 2016. The men, known as "the wolf pack," were convicted Thursday of a lesser sexual abuse offense and sentenced to five to nine years in prison. Had they been convicted of rape, the sentence would have been 22 years. Saturday's rally was the third consecutive day of protests since the verdict was announced. Demonstrators chanted, "It is not abuse; it is rape."


MSNBC's Joy Reid apologizes for blog posts

MSNBC host Joy Reid opened her Saturday show with an apology for offensive posts she believes were placed in the archives of her old blog by hackers. "I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me, but I can definitely understand ... why some people don't believe me," Reid said. "I have not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry." Reid said she hired cybersecurity experts who did not find evidence of hacking.


Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies at 70

Burning Man festival founder Larry Harvey died Saturday after being hospitalized following a major stroke earlier in April. He was 70. "He is survived by his son Tristan, his brother Stewart, his nephew Bryan, and a global community of devoted Burning Man participants inspired by his vision to build a more creative, cooperative, and generous world," said a memorial post in The Burning Man Journal. Harvey grew up in Portland before moving to California in 1969. He launched Burning Man in 1986 with a party burning a large wooden sculpture of a man on a beach in San Francisco.


Yellowstone geyser makes 3rd unusual eruption

Yellowstone National Park's Steamboat Geyser, the largest active geyser in the world, erupted Friday for the third time in six weeks. This is an unusual pattern of activity for the geyser, which has not erupted three times in one year since 2003. In a statement Saturday, Yellowstone geologists said this is not a cause for concern. "There is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent," said Michael Poland of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Steamboat Geyser can shoot 160°F water 300 feet into the air.


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Uganda's 'shameful' new anti-gay law
Protesters against Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill
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A nuclear-powered U.S. Navy submarine

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Xi Jinping tells national security team to prepare for 'worst-case scenario'
Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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Fossils uncovered in Australia are 107 million-year-old pterosaurs bones, scientists say
Reconstruction of Australian pterosaur.

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