Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 13, 2018

Family of suicide bombers attacks 3 churches in Indonesia, North Korea reveals plan to dismantle nuclear test site in May, and more


Family of suicide bombers attacks 3 churches in Indonesia

At least 11 people were killed and dozens more injured when suicide bombers targeted three churches in between services in Surabaya, Indonesia, on Sunday. The attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State and were perpetrated by members of a single family, the mother and two daughters at one church and the father with three sons at the other two. At least three of the attackers were killed; early reports do not make clear the status of the other four or the ages of the children involved. The explosions were timed within one minute of each other at different locations. This is the deadliest terror attack in Indonesia since 2005.


North Korea reveals plan to dismantle nuclear test site in May

North Korea on Saturday shared the "technical measures" it will take to fulfill leader Kim Jong Un's promise to dismantle his nuclear test site this month. The process will be completed by May 25, and though most of the work will be done over a three-day span, some reports indicate Kim already began to shutter the facility this past fall. International observers — journalists from the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, and South Korea — will be invited to watch the destruction of the site's underground tunnels. President Trump applauded the move on Twitter Saturday evening.


Trump accuses Iran of military growth

"Iran's Military Budget is up more than 40% since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached...just another indicator that it was all a big lie," President Trump tweeted Saturday. The actual increase is about 30 percent, bringing Iran's defense budget back to what it was in 2006, and it is part of a broader government spending increase in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday his nation will stay in the nuclear deal if "the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement" despite Trump's decision to withdraw the United States.


U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem met by protests

The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is due to open Monday, May 14, following President Trump's controversial decision to formally recognize the city as Jerusalem's capital and move diplomatic operations from Tel Aviv. The conversion of the American consulate building in Jerusalem into an embassy has sparked protest among Palestinians, especially because the day after, May 15, is an annual commemoration of the 700,000 Palestinians who left or were expelled from their homes around Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence. Trump cast his decision as a step toward peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but critics say it will make negotiations more difficult.


French police identify Paris knife attacker as Chechnya-born French citizen

The suspect who killed one person and wounded four more in a knife attack in Paris on Saturday was identified Sunday by French police as Khamzat Asimov, a French national who was born in Russia's Chechnya region. Asimov, 21, shouted "Allahu akbar" as he attacked pedestrians near the Paris Opera, and his violence has been claimed by the Islamic State. Already on a French watchlist before the attack, he was fatally shot by police at the scene of the crime. Asimov's parents reportedly have been detained for questioning. The victims of the attack have not been publicly named.


Trump urges Congress to skip August recess for funding votes

Seeking to avoid another threat of government shutdown if Congress has not passed a budget bill by the end of September, President Trump tweeted Saturday evening that legislators should plan to work through August recess. "The Senate should get funding done before the August break, or NOT GO HOME," he wrote. "Wall and Border Security should be included. Also waiting for approval of almost 300 nominations, worst in history. Democrats are doing everything possible to obstruct, all they know how to do. STAY!"


Sarah Huckabee Sanders lambastes staff over McCain joke leak

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders castigated staff at a Friday meeting for leaking the story of administration aide Kelly Sadler's grim joke that Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) view of CIA director nominee Gina Haspel "doesn't matter, because he's dying anyway." Sanders deemed the snark "unacceptable," but reportedly seemed most angry about the leak. "I am sure this conversation is going to leak, too," she added. "And that's just disgusting." Sadler was present at the meeting and did not apologize.


Hawaiian volcano opens new fissures, forcing more evacuations

The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii remained active over the weekend, opening a 16th fissure about a mile away from most of its lava flow activity in the Leilani Estates neighborhood. About 2,000 people have now been evacuated and more than two dozen homes destroyed by encroaching lava. The ongoing activity has geologists concerned about possible volcanic or seismic activity affecting other locations in the Ring of Fire, like the United States' Pacific coast, but experts say another eruption is not imminent.


Oklahoma governor signs adoption bill, vetoes gun bill

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Friday night signed one controversial bill but vetoed another. Fallin approved a measure allowing private adoption agencies to decline to place children in foster or adoption situations that "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." Supporters argue the law is a simple religious liberty protection, but some LGBT advocacy groups have already announced plans for a legal battle. Fallin rejected a "constitutional carry" bill that would have allowed adults in Oklahoma to carry a handgun without the permit and training presently required. "I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate, and minimal," she said.


Pakistan denies exit to U.S. diplomat after fatal crash

An American diplomat has been denied permission to leave Pakistan after his involvement in a fatal car crash. Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall, a defense attache, was due to leave Pakistan Saturday on a U.S. military plane but was blocked from boarding. He was instead questioned about allegations that he ran a red light in Islamabad and killed a motorcycle driver. Pakistan has asked the U.S. to waive Hall's diplomatic immunity for a trial, but so far Washington has refused the request.


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