Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 11, 2018

Trump expresses optimism as he and Kim Jong Un head into their summit, Trump aides continue to bash Canada's Trudeau, and more


Trump expresses optimism ahead of North Korea summit

President Trump on Monday expressed optimism ahead of his potentially historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to work toward denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. As negotiators worked on the agenda, Trump said Monday that he believed the unprecedented meeting of the two countries' leaders would "work out very nicely." Trump tweeted Sunday from Air Force One on his way to Singapore from the Group of Seven meeting in Canada that he felt "this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!" Kim arrived in Singapore hours before Trump and met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose office praised "the bold and admirable decision" by Kim and Trump to meet. Trump has said he would know as soon as the meeting started whether Kim was serious about denuclearization.


Trump aides continue broadside against Canadian PM

While President Trump traveled to Singapore for Tuesday's North Korea summit, his economic advisers continued his line of attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in appearances on Sunday shows. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Trudeau's pushback on Trump's tariffs after the Group of Seven summit was "a betrayal," and a "sophomoric, political stunt for domestic consumption." Kudlow accused Trudeau of "stab[bing] us in the back" by undermining Trump's authority in advance of his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro said there is a "special place in hell" for Trudeau after his "bad faith diplomacy" with Trump. Canada's foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the attacks were not a "particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries."


Air Force officer found 35 years after going missing

A former Air Force officer with top security clearance who disappeared 35 years ago has been found in California. He was charged with desertion after being arrested at his home following a fraud investigation involving a fake identity he had been using. The once high-ranking Kirtland Air Force Base officer, William Howard Hughes Jr., was 33 years old and involved in classified planning of NATO's command and communications surveillance systems when he vanished in 1983. He was last seen withdrawing more than $28,000 from a bank in Albuquerque in 1983, shortly after he returned from a two-week European vacation. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations said there was no indication that Hughes had any ties to the former Soviet Union or leaked classified information.


Italy's new interior minister turns away rescue ship

A rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants, including 123 unaccompanied minors, was stuck drifting in international waters Monday after the interior minister in Italy's new anti-immigrant populist government prevented it from docking. The minister, Matteo Salvini, is head of the far-right League party, which campaigned on a vow to stop to the influx of migrants from Africa. "Saving lives at sea is a duty, but transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not," Salvini said on Facebook. "Italy is done bowing its head and obeying. This time there's someone saying no." Italy might be legally bound to let the ship enter one of its ports eventually, because its Coast Guard coordinated the rescues.


Cuba releases details on latest sonic incident

Cuba on Sunday released information on the latest mysterious health incident involving a U.S. diplomat in the country, saying that a U.S. embassy official had fallen ill after hearing "undefined sounds" in her home on May 29. Cuba said it sent investigators who found no evidence suggesting the source of the sounds. U.S. officials said they had pulled two officials from the embassy to be tested for possible brain injuries. The embassy has been operating with a drastically reduced staff since the incidents, which U.S. officials have described as sonic "attacks," began last year. If "medically confirmed," the two patients will be the 25th and 26th cases in Cuba, the State Department said. A similar case occurred recently at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China.


Foxconn investigates allegations of harsh conditions at Chinese factory

Foxconn said Sunday that it was investigating a plant that makes Amazon devices in China after the New York-based China Labor Watch issued a report detailing allegedly harsh working conditions at the plant. The watchdog group said employees at the Hengyang Foxconn plant in Hunan province are made to work excessive hours for low wages, and that they often have inadequate training. The report also said that plant supervisors rely excessively on temporary workers in violation of Chinese law. "If found to be true, immediate actions will be taken to bring the operations into compliance with our Code of Conduct," Taiwan-based Foxconn said in a statement. Foxconn is one of the world's largest contract manufacturers, employing more than a million people.


Melania Trump attends Ford's Theatre gala

First lady Melania Trump attended the Ford's Theatre annual gala Sunday as she began resuming a normal schedule after undergoing surgery last month. She attended the same event to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln's legacy last year with President Trump. "Tonight reminds all of us about the power the arts have in cultivating the American voice," she said. "Thank you to Ford's Theatre Society for tonight, and your continued dedication to education and leadership in the arts." Mrs. Trump made her first public appearance in 26 days on Wednesday after undergoing what the president called a "big operation" on May 14.


Italian minister says new government won't leave euro

Italy's new economy minister, Giovanni Tria, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper on Sunday that the country's new populist government had no plans to leave the euro. The first choice for finance minister proposed by the anti-establishment Five Star and the anti-immigrant League was rejected by Italian President Sergio Mattarella over his Eurosceptic views, and fears over the new government's commitment to the single currency's rules have cast doubt over a possible deal on eurozone reforms ahead of a pivotal EU summit this month. In his first interview since taking office a week ago, Tria said the government's goal is to lift growth and employment through structural reform, "but we do not plan on reviving growth through deficit spending."


The Band's Visit and Harry Potter win big at Tony Awards

The Band's Visit led the winners at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, taking the honors for Best Musical and Best Original Score. The Band's Visit's David Cromer also won for Best Direction of a Musical; Katrina Lenk won Best Leading Actress in a Musical; Tony Shaloub took Best Leading Actor in a Musical; and Ari'el Stachel won Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two, was named Best Play and John Tiffany won for Best Direction of a Play, while Angels in America won Best Revival of a Play and stars Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane won Best Leading Actor in a Play and Best Featured Actor in a Play, respectively.


Nadal wins his record 11th French Open

Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to claim his 11th French Open title, extending a record he already held. It was Nadal's second straight title at Roland Garros. The 32-year-old Spaniard overcame a cramp in his racket-holding hand at 2-1 in the third set, which he said had left him "very, very scared." He held on to win his 17th Grand Slam title, second only among male tennis players to Roger Federer's 20. Thiem, a 24-year-old Austrian, paid tribute to Nadal after the match, saying that he remembered watching at age 11 as Nadal won the tournament for the first time. On Saturday, Simona Halep won her first women's title, beating Sloane Stephens, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.


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South Korean man facing prison time after opening airplane door in midair
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